April 10, 2013
Mikko Salo Does 13.5

Mikko Salo had taken three days off — “not a good thing” — and had consumed nothing more than two cups of coffee and a protein shake the morning he performed CrossFit Games Open Workout 13.5.

“I’m not saying I’m lucky if I’ll get to eight minutes, but it has to be a good day — almost a perfect day for me,” says the 2009 Games champion. “I’m nervous about the pain, but not about the workout.”

A challenge containing elements of Fran, 13.5 required athletes to complete three rounds of 15 thrusters and 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups in under four minutes to extend their time to eight minutes. Another 90 reps were required to extend the time to 12 minutes.

Shortly before the workout, Salo says every additional rep past eight minutes will be a bonus.

“That is my goal,” he says. “After (the) eight-minute mark, you can even rest like 20 seconds.”

The 33-year-old finishes three rounds in about 3:16. His first broken set of thrusters comes in the fifth round. Then, he finishes the sixth round in about 7:57, extending the Fran-like workout to 12 minutes. All told, he amasses 227 reps—one more than two-time Games champion Rich Froning.

Afterward, Salo is breathing heavily and sweating profusely.

“It was bad. I got lots of work to do still,” he says. “I’m happy with my result, but still, a lot of work to do.”

He says he was disappointed in his engine, then schedules another workout for himself: “Today, something longer in the evening.”

Video by Gary Roberts.