March 25, 2013
Week Three in Review: Asia
By Jennifer Tan

Workout 13.3 provided those who competed last year with an opportunity to see how they improved over the last 12 months.

“13.3 has the following movements in it …”

As Dave Castro pulled out a medicine ball, jump rope and gymnastics rings from a wooden box at CrossFit Roots last week, no doubt many athletes’ eyes widened as they streamed the live announcement.

“13.3 … is … last year’s 12.4.”

A repeat of 2012’s 12-minute AMRAP of 150 wall balls, 90 double-unders and 30 muscle-ups was probably not what most had been hoping for. It did, however, provide those who competed last year, with an opportunity to see how they have improved over the last 12 months.

Greg Glassman’s 2007 CrossFit Journal article, “Understanding CrossFit,” timelessly highlights the necessity for repeat workouts such as 12.4/13.3.

“We believe that meaningful statements about safety, efficacy, and efficiency, the three most important and interdependent facets of any fitness program, can be supported only by measurable, observable, repeatable facts, i.e., data. We call this approach ‘evidence-based fitness.’”

With almost 80 percent of those who completed both 12.4 and 13.3 having improved their scores, it seems there’s no time like the Open to test one’s data.


Last year’s Regional second-place finisher, Joseph Rank of CrossFit Sentinel, has crept into the top five after scoring 264 reps in 13.3. He currently sits in fourth position.

Following closely behind is Michael Mogard, owner and head coach of Brunei’s second affiliate, CrossFit 673. Mogard’s score of 268 reps ranks him third for week three’s workout.

“13.3 went pretty much as planned,” Mogard explains. “I was trying to finish the 30 muscle-ups, but six no reps on the wall balls and a missed muscle-up cost me. The best part about this (workout) is that it’s nice to be able to track your improvement from last year’s 12.4.”

Yousef Albaqsami is keeping a tight grip on the No. 1 spot in Asia for now, after managing to get three wall balls into the second round before time was called —that’s a PR of 132 reps.

“I have been incorporating muscle-ups into my training for a while now because I had a gut feeling that they would come up,” he says. “This time last year, I had just discovered CrossFit and threw myself into the Open as a challenge. It was brutal.”

Albaqsami is one of two male athletes who managed to clear the first 30 muscle-ups, to head into the second round.


There were notable improvements from last year’s 12.4 for Asia’s top female athletes. Nicole Tainatongo, Maura McGraw and Sarabeth Hershey all finished with 240 reps to their names in 2012. This year, they managed to get stuck into the muscle-ups, achieving 13, eight and 12 additional reps, respectively.

The top three spots are obviously comfortable and their occupants don’t seem intent on leaving them any time soon. Tainatongo continues to dominate first place, with Marlene Andersson of CrossFit Circuit Plus sitting tight in second after scoring only one less muscle-up than Tainatongo.

This means the current third-place position belongs to Vanessa Fung, based in Shanghai, China. Earlier in the week Fung shared her thoughts on 13.3.

“I remember doing it last year and wanting so badly to get to the muscle-ups,” she recalls. “I managed to get three reps then, so I definitely have a number to beat this year.”

Fung beat her previous score by an extra seven reps, securing her growing reputation as a serious competitor for this year’s Regional.


No big surprises on the Team Leaderboard in Asia this week, as CrossFit Misawa remains at the top of the region. CrossFit Asia and CrossFit 671 continue to swap and shuffle between second and third place, with a solitary point separating the two. Clearly the three teams will be in hot contest once the Regional weekend arrives.

Team CrossFit Lifespark was only 50 reps shy of the 1,500 mark for 13.3, which is a noteworthy score considering there are only six athletes who make up the entire team, even at this early stage of the competition. Sure, one of those members is Candice Howe, who currently sits fourth in Asia, but it is clear that the team as a whole is working hard and its members undoubtedly have their eyes set on Seoul.