CrossFit® Open 19.4: How to go Fast but not too fast

March 15, 2019

Photocredit: WODprep

We knew muscle ups were going to show up eventually in the 2019 Open, and they’ve officially made their appearance in week 4. Or pull-ups, if you’re planning to do 19.4 scaled.

Either way, CrossFit Open 19.4 is a solid workout. Take a second to check it out, and then let’s take a look at the strategy.

If you want to read the 19.4 workout standards, head to the official 2019 CrossFit Games Open website.

  • If the snatch is light for you, try to go touch & go, try to stay unbroken.
  • If the snatch is on the heavier side, it's OK to do quick singles.
  • Don’t rest unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you have a huge 3-minute rest after part 1 that you can take advantage of.
  • Hook grip! Any time you’re on the bar, make sure to use a hook grip. I’m also going to recommend power snatching for most athletes.  

Burpees Over The Bar
  • It’s going to burn, but you need to go fast. Remind yourself, you get rest after this part!

  • The key is not "as fast as possible", which would make you redline, but instead, it should be "what pace will make it so that I have absolutely no resting?". Go at that speed, and try to push your tempo.

  • You can step-up or step-up into your burpees. Last year this wasn’t allowed, but this year it is. However, you still must two-foot jump and land over the bar.
Bar Muscle Ups
  • Unless you can do a bunch of BMU’s unbroken, no problem, I am going to advise that you break the BMU’s up into singles.
  • Using the "box drop-in" will be a HUGE win for anyone trying to learn their first reps. At the very least, make sure you are jumping into the first rep of each set (or each single) to ensure that you utilize the precious momentum.
  • “Find the floor” and make your transition AGGRESSIVE. (watch this for more details)

Open 19.4: Scaled

Scaled needs to do pull-ups! Hopefully, you’ve been working on your pull-ups this year and making them a priority - they’re a fundamental part of CrossFit. Instead of complaining "I can't do pull-ups! They've ruined the scaled division!” Say "I need to own this. I need to get to work."

  • Check out the above advice on snatches and burpees - similar coaching pointers apply!
  • If you are trying for your first pull-up, I really do not suggest kipping wildly just to try to get a rep. But since you’re probably not going to listen to that advice,  here's what I suggest - use the "box drop in" method to develop momentum to get your chin above the bar (this is demonstrated above under the BMU section).

CrossFit 19.4: Masters

Similar to past Open workouts, standards are going to stay the same here until we hit Masters 55+, where the BMU’s switch to Chest to Bar pull-ups

  • The same rules apply for C2B’s as they do for BMUs... trust yourself and your body, and don't go unbroken if your max set is only 12-15 reps.
  • Instead, take short, quick breaks and get back on the bar ASAP. Singles are totally OK as long as you keep moving. Don't waste time!
Workout Gear Thoughts
  • Tape your thumb for the snatches… and please, PLEASE use a hook grip.  Hook grip is a must when it comes to Olympic lifts. Don’t know how to tape your thumbs? Watch this.
  • You have the option to either tape the bar OR use grips to help with grip... not both according to standards.  If you feel like you’re going to tear your hands, watch this.

Thanks for reading! Head to to get a 19.4 specific warm-up and recovery video sent to your inbox :) 

This guest post from the CEO and Head Coach at WODprep, Ben is passionate about helping fitness athletes of all abilities get their competitive edge and learn new skills! He's currently living in Japan with his wife and two dogs, and whenever possible the two love to travel and explore new places around the world (and meet new WODprep athletes).