CrossFit Games Open WOD 19.4 brings the unique aspect of work/rest intervals! I personally love this. I enjoy it in my training, and I really like it being used as part of an athletic test. For those that are elite in the sport, both workouts are dead sprints; 3 min or less for the first one, and possibly the second one, too. For the average Open participant, there are definitely important aspects of pacing to consider. We will delve into all of that and cover the optimal approach for both levels of crossfitter.

Open WOD 19.4 – For Time:

3 Rounds:
10 Power Snatch (95/65)
12 Bar-Facing Burpees

Rest 3:00

3 Rounds:
10 Bar Muscle-ups
12 Bar-Facing Burpees


It’s vital that you get the general body temperature elevated.  We always ensure this occurs in our daily classes, but it’s even more important when you are pushing yourself to the limit. Aside from the obvious reason of injury-prevention, the warm-up is important to accelerate your breathing, and prepare your body for the upcoming work. It is extremely difficult to try to take the body from 0 to 60 mph. For the purpose of this workout, you will be benefited by incorporating some high intensity pieces into your warm-up. After the GENERAL warm-up, throw in some interval pieces. 10 sec of hard work, then rest. Then 20 sec of hard work, then rest. Then 30 sec of hard work, then rest. Complete a couple rounds (rest to work should be 2:1). This will ensure your lungs are open, and that you have a nice sweat going before the start of the workout. The Rower would work great for this, because it will also start warming up your grip muscles.


Eat food! Not super close to game time, but don’t be fasted. Carbs in liquid form even up to gametime are totally cool. These are glycolytic workouts, fast-acting carbs close to workout will help you keep moving quickly. Don’t be scared of a little caffeine either.

Mobility and Body Prep:

The unique combo of snatches, burpees and muscle-ups will tax the deltoid capsule substantially. You will be more efficient with your movement if you can open up this area. Use a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to loosen up the shoulder girdle. Include band pull-aparts and face-pulls, as well as some light-weighted dislocates (passthroughs). Spend some time in SMALL sets (as to not fatigue the grip), doing some scap-pull-ups and flying kip swings (hand-release at top of kip). Furthermore, both exercises will require extension and explosive movement through the hips. The more hip power you can engage, the less you will be taxing the arm and shoulders. Incorporate some explosive hip-driven drills, like broad jumps, high jumps and tuck-jumps.

Specific Movement Prep

EMOM x 6 min (alternate minutes):
4-5 TnG Snatch (alternate sets of muscle and power snatch)
5-6 Bar-Facing Burpees (at same pace for workout; see section below)
2 Kip Swings (with hand release) + 2 Kipping CTB PU + 1 Bar Muscle-up

2 Rounds (rest to work about 2:1 between rounds)
4-5 TnG Snatch
5-6 Bar-Facing Burpees
1-2 Bar MU

Pacing and General Strategy

Elite Athletes  

This is an engine test. You must push hard the entire time. The top scores are going to all be close, and every single rep matters. For this reason, you must be able to sustain effort for under 3 minutes at all-out pace, and still be able to perform Muscle-ups efficiently without burning out. With that said, there is some strategy within the workout. While I am a firm believer in a consistent pace, these are also much shorter workouts and pacing isn’t quite as vital. Think of this workout like running 800m each time. You want to go hard, and maybe it’s a little too hard at first cause you’re excited, so you back off slightly, find a consistent pace for the middle 500m or so. Then you still have something left in the last 100-200m where you can really turn it on and finish fast.

In the first workout, I think there is some value in using the snatch as your way of pushing harder or backing off. Muscle snatch for speed when pushing hard, and back off with power snatches to save your shoulders and catch your breath during the middle period.

In the second workout, the Burpees need to be your monitor. If the Muscle-ups are easy for you, go ahead and smash the burpees. If you find yourself starting to break the Muscle-ups, it might be time to recover a little on the Burpees.

If you can do around 20 unbroken Bar Muscle-ups, you should probably break them from the beginning unless you intend to really “recover” on the burpees.


Intermediate Athletes (pretty much everyone else)

For most of you, the first workout is going to present a choice: Go unbroken on the Snatches but pace the Burpees, or go smash the burpees and break the snatches intentionally. In a workout like this, I tend to believe that breaking the snatches and smashing the burpees will be a faster end result. Burpees can become this sluggish process where every part of the burpee feels immensely draining, and you just lose a ton of time. If you commit to crushing burpees and know that you get to rest/recover a little on the snatches, that might get you a better end result. Just be aware that if a 95/65 snatch is remotely challenging for you (like a 1-RM of 80-90 and 115-135), you need to pace the burpees regardless so that you can make 30 reps

The Bar Muscle-ups in the second workout are the only real concern for the intermediate crossfitter.

  • You must stay shy of failure (break sets earlier than you think)
  • You must pace the burpees to allow you to make muscle-ups

The Bar muscle-ups are an interesting one. I’ve noticed that many intermediate crossfitters find the first rep to be the easiest rep, because of the swing produced from the jump into the rep. If this is the case, it might be good strategy to do all quick singles. You can breathe a bit, save your grip, and potentially eliminate rest on either side of the muscle-ups. Just make sure that if you take this approach, you go right into the muscle-ups after the burpees, and right into the burpees after the muscle-ups. If you are good at bar muscle-ups, I would target trying to hit sets of reps equal to 1/4 or 1/3 of your max unbroken

For most of the athletes in this field, I advise to stick with power snatches. It will tax the shoulders less than the muscle-snatch, and that will save them for the other movements. You may also want to use that split second at the top of each snatch rep, to briefly release your grip. It sounds trivial, but it will help over the course of the workout, as you head into the muscle-ups.

Find your sustainable pace of output, break reps accordingly, and you’ll do great!