The second to last CrossFit Open workout happened last week and it was a burner. So far, we’ve learned a great deal from the Open and hopefully you’ve grown as an athlete and as a person through this process. 19.4 was about effort. How hard can you work and how well can you recover.

19.4 was:

In a 12 minute running clock–

3 Rounds of:

10 Snatches

12 Bar Facing Burpees

3:00 Rest

3 Rounds of:

10 Bar Muscle Ups

12 Bar Facing Burpees


So, realistically, you only had 9 minutes to get in BOTH workouts in. The 3 minute rest is mandatory and, as we will see, should be earned.

All the movements in this workout are relatively simple (compared to what they could be). Snatches are probably going to be done in a Power manner. Burpees are a pretty simple movement. And bar muscle ups are the “simple” version of any muscle up. If the workout had Hang Squat Snatches and Strict Ring Muscle Ups instead, it would be and feel much different. Simplifying the exercises allows us to increase intensity and have a faster time per rep.

Ultimately, intensity is what this workout is about. Can you push really hard for a short period of time, recover, and then go that hard again?

We often throw around the word ‘intensity’ in CrossFit. It’s a core value of it and we love saying our workouts are intense. But how often do you really work out intensely? Many of us are limited on reaching that level of intensity by the movement complexity. It’s hard to go balls to the walls on a workout that has squat snatches if you’re not comfortable with that movement. You will spend more time trying to do it right and thinking about the technique, than going fast (which is not wrong, and precisely the reason why we scale workouts. So you can get the stimulus right). 19.4 gives you the chance, and asks you, for intensity.

19.4 should be an all-out sprint. Followed by a nice rest. Followed by an all-out sprint. But that’s easier said than done. You need to practice giving 100% effort. It’s not fun. It’s not enjoyable. And most people avoid it. Resting and recovering is also a skill. Controlling your breathing, calming yourself down and getting that heart rate down can be managed on command. Similarly, it can be disrupted if not controlled.

So, we, CrossFitters, like to say “we workout hard” and “what we do is very intense”, but do you walk the walk or talk the talk?

Can you push past the pain and burning of your muscles? Do you listen to the voice in your head telling you to slow down or stop? Can you get in “the zone” while working out? Did you absolutely need a rest after the first three rounds? Were you dreading the start of the second workout, or were you anxious to start? Can you absolutely say you had nothing left when you were done?

Then you might be working out intensely.

Were you able to get your heart rate down within the rest time? Was 3 minutes enough for you to be rested? Could you control your instincts and stay calm after an all out power outrage?

Then you might be efficient at recovering.

If you struggled with any of these, then it’s a clear lesson into what you need to focus on. Part of being fit is the ability to hit max effort on a given exercise. Most people, conscious or unconsciously, hold themselves back a little. In CrossFit we push our limits, we go beyond our comfortable zone and we rise to any challenge. We can only practice that ability when we do workouts that are within our potential to give 100% effort to (this means: SCALE THE WORKOUT!).

If you have any question on how to make each movement right for YOU and get the best stimulus out of your workouts, come chat with one of your Celebration CrossFit coaches!


by Coach Matt