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“Luke Skywalker”

The Barbell Strikes Back Tribute WOD

335 2
  • For Time
  • 21 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
  • 5 Legless Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold
  • 21 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
  • 4 Legless Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold
  • 21 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
  • 3 Legless Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold
  • 21 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
  • 2 Legless Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold
  • 21 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20 in)
  • 1 Legless Rope Climb (15 ft)
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold

With a running clock, as fast as possible complete the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Handstand Hold is completed.

Intended Stimulus

This will be a long and technically demanding workout. A high degree of muscle fatigue is to be expected. Aim for a completion time between 20 to 30 minutes.

Tips and Strategy

Burpee Box Jump Overs: Try not to sprint right out of the gate. Instead, find a sustainable pace that keeps you moving. Use the time on top of the Box as an opportunity to breath. Lateral jumps are okay. A forward jump with a turn may allow some to go faster if that is their goal.

Rope Climbs: Have a plan on how you will rest between Rope Climbs. One example might be 15 to 20 seconds between each Rope Climb. Make sure you’re ready before going up the Rope to avoid failure or missed reps.

Handstand Holds: Attempt to take your mind off how you feel and focus on your breath (avoid holding it). If unable to hold for the whole minute, decide in advance how you will break up each set. Some examples would be 3 sets of :20 with a :10 to :15 rest between. Or, 2 sets of :30. Decide your plan and start it at the beginning of the workout as opposed to bringing yourself to the point of muscle failure early in the workout and having to chip away later.

Scaling Options

Padawan (Beginner)
Rounds: modify to 3-4.
Burpee Box Jump Over: 15-18 reps. Reduce box height to maintain jumping. Modify to Burpee plus step up if unable to jump.
Rope Climb: Get-ups from the floor. Adjust reps to 3-2-1-1-1.
Handstand Hold: Straight arm plank hold or standing double Dumbbell overhead hold with light weights.

Knight (Intermediate)
Rounds: 5
Burpee Box Jump Overs: Use a descending rep scheme 21-18-15-12-9.
Rope Climbs: Modify to 8-10 feet as needed. Adjust rep scheme as needed. Or, practice leg locks from seated position on the Box.
Handstand Hold: Reduce time to 30 to 45 seconds. Modify to headstand or inverted hold off the Box.

Master (RX or just about): Perform the workout as written. Or, modify to regular rope climbs instead of legless.

Grand Master (Advanced): Use a 20 lb Weight Vest. Perform Freestanding Handstand Holds.


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namesake photo

Background: Training to be a Jedi is not easy. It requires years of practicing complex skills, learning to master one’s ability to move through space and time, and of course developing the patience to handle and overcome any obstacle.

In The Empire Strikes Back (aka: Star Wars, Episode V), Luke Skywalker trained under the guidance of Grand Master Yoda to complete his Jedi training on the swampy planet of Dagobah.

Luke’s training included climbing and swinging from the vines that covered the planet’s forest, doing acrobatic flips over fallen trees, and improving his conditioning all while Yoda clung to his back to provide words of wisdom and encouragement.

Luke also worked to master freestanding handstand holds. Handstands are a staple in Jedi training and Luke learned how to channel his thoughts productively and use the force while under immense physical fatigue while doing them.

This workout is a fun tribute to these memorable scenes from The Empire Strikes Back movie. It was designed by Coach James McDermott, Head Coach of Albany CrossFit @albanycrossfit (Albany, NY, USA) and creator of The Barbell Strikes Back @thebarbellstrikesback podcast.

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