CrossFit Open 19.4 Tips and Strategy

CrossFit Open 19.4 Strategy and Tips

As each week has passed we have found three or four online coaches and gyms with the best tips and strategy for each workout.  This week we decided to condense their best thoughts into a blog post and save you the time!

We just finished doing 19.4 as a gym- and a few observations I have for people:

  1. Go hard in the first couplet- but not quite Fran hard.  Close to that hard.
  2. The strategy for this WOD really does depend on your Bar Muscle up or Pull Up strength or weakness.  If you can’t do 20 MU or PU in a row- you will want to break them up into 2 or 3 sets at least
  3. We had four people already get their Bar MU for the first time- so go for it. Especially use the “box drop in method” that is outlined below.  That really helped people.


For Time (12 minute time cap, including 3 min rest)
3 rounds:

  • 10 snatches 95/65 lbs
  • 12 bar facing burpees

Rest 3 minutes, then…  

3 rounds:

  • 10 bar muscle ups
  • 12 bar facing burpees


Last week was slow, this week will be super fast- its two sprint couplets with 3 minutes rest in between.

Three types of athletes will dictate this workout- as Rx

  1. Muscle up ninja- can go unbroken through all three sets basically
  • Push hard on the first couplet
  1. Break muscle ups 2-3 sets for each set of 10
  • Pace opening couplet so don’t have to break more on MU’s in future
  • Control pace on burpees
  1. Will need to do singles on Muscle ups
  • Tempting to sprint the first couplet- but don’t. Pace it so you can have
  • Control pace on burpees

Don’t muscle snatch ANY reps – it will smoke your shoulders and pulling ability.  Take advantage of step up burpee to save midline

3 Minute Break:

  • Min 1- focus on sound of breathing to lengthen it out
  • Min 2- move around a little
  • Min 3- hop in place to get body prepped- get grips read

Focus on MU-

  • Focus on pulling with lats
  • Don’t finish low where you have to press out at the top if possible
  • Ask yourselves how would you break up 30 bar MU for time? That’s your pace from the beginning.

Last set of MU and Burpees- sprint!!




  • Grab with hook grip and thumbs taped
  • Feet wider than normal
  • Don’t do muscle snatch-
  • Go unbroken if less than 50% of your one rep max on Snatch
  • If weight is slightly heavier like 50-60% of your 1 RM max- go with either controlled singles or sets of 4-3-3- you don’t want ot arrive at the burpees destroyed.
  • If doing quick power snatch- you can test out a more narrow grip with your hands


  • Move fast but not so fast if you will burn out on snatch or MU
  • Practice a rhythm- you don’t ever want to be resting on the burpees
  • You can do step ups this year-
  • Mark where you want to put your hands by using chalk- then you can aim your hands for those spots each time. Must be able to keep your bar in the same spot each time

Pull ups:- if you don’t’ have pull ups yet- you have six months before the next open to focus on this.

  • Use box drop in method if you don’t have MU or PU yet
  • Have to break up your sets of 10- break before you need to.

Chest to Bar or Jumping Chest to Bar

  • Use your legs on jumping CTB

Muscle ups:

  • Break up your sets early – even if you can do 7 or 8 in a row- fast singles may be faster in the long run
  • If doing singles- use box drop in for sure!
  • If going for first BMU- use box drop in; nail the transition (put chalk mark in front of the bar on the ground to look for) ; loosen your grip- don’t death grip the bar

Snatch Tips:

Bar Muscle Up Tips:

Pull-up Tips:

This is my FAVORITE BMU Tutorial video:


Cole Sager

It’s a trap!  The bar MU

Warm up:   Prime aerobic system to spike heart rate;  Warm up the shoulders, especially using Crossover Symmetry

First Couplet: What’s my skill level and ability to recover?  Answer this honestly


  • Manage sets rightly to not be destroyed at the end


  • pick pace to be consistent across all of them- as if you were doing 30 in a row;
  • Slow down at the top when standing, not when on the ground. Get off the ground immediately. 

Bar Muscle Ups:

  • Break up first round for sure-
  • Second round- decide what you need to break it up into
  • Third round- try to go unbroken but don’t go to failure where you are staring at the bar standing there.
  • Stay long and away from the bar, don’t pull the bar into yourself.

19.4 CrossFit HQ Standards-

Official Scorecard-

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