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19.4 is a how a basic CrossFit Open Workout always looked like. What this kind of programming shows: It’s 2019. The Snatches might have the same loading, while the gymnastics parts of the programming of CrossFit HQ and the Open were ramped up significantly in the last two and a half years. 

This is the reason, why in the past it could’ve been Chest to Bar or Toes to Bar, but today it has to be Bar MuscleUps, as C2B or T2B do not represent a real challenge for the most competitive athlete anymore. It’s the same as in the Handstand PushUps: where kipping used to be the „standard“ and a test, it’s time to turn things up a notch. 

The CrossFit Open aim to find the fittest individuals on earth and this is how you find out. After testing basic work capacity in week one and going heavy in week two, you test your pressing skills and shoulder strength and stamina in week three and go for another basic CrossFit pattern in week four: Opening hip and shoulder angle (the snatch) vs Closing hip and shoulder angle (the barmuscleup) spiced up with the most beloved Open Movement: The barfacing burpee. (Comment: While having to jump forward with both feet at a time, being allowed to step up again will make the average pace for those Burpees a lot faster than with the 2018-standard!)

My assumption for the fastest times in 19.4 is somewhere around 08:12 minutes. This would mean a tiebreak after the first three rounds of around 2:03 and finishing the second three rounds in a raw time of 3:12. The top athletes will also be able to go for 30 BMU in sub 2:00 under some real fatigue and and that their average Burpee is around 1,9 seconds.

What I think

The limiting factor will be fatigue. The load of the barbell is not heavy enough to hold anybody back, but the Burpees will slow the pace of the snatches down immediately if you let them fuck with your brains or go fast in the first rounds. For a top tier result you have no chance to slow down in the first part. But: Building up too much lactic acid by going too hard in those Snatches and Burpees will make the BMU a horrific experience, as your legs will be wobbly, your lower back might be toast and your forearms suffered form ripping that bar from ground to overhead. Be smart in part one and you will reward yourself by being able to go for bigger sets or even go unbroken in the BMU in part two. Still: It’s the same with the BMU as it’s with T2B or Deadlifts or even those HSPU last week: Sometimes quick singles can be more helpful than wanting to push through bigger sets than you can possibly handle. To close the circle: Sprinting on the burpees will increase your heart rate. If you consider yourself to being able to handle fatigue: Go hard. If you know, that either the Snatches or the BarMuscleUps are „holding you back“: Pace yourself!

Summing things up

Know your capabilities in part one to not gas out and be fucked up in part two. Part one means: Better be safe than sorry. That does not mean that I want you to go slow, but I want you to show control at all times. If you feel like slowing down on the burpees in part one you might already have gone too fast. Use the three minute break to calm down your breath and get your forearms ready to hold on to that bar. If you have a team around you maybe even floss your forearms. Be aware of one fact: Three minutes is no rest. In three minutes your body will not reduce lactic acid. All you can do is calm down your breath and mind. Part two is all about planning the right sets of BarMuscleUps. 

My very first thoughts, when I saw this one: Thank god, that I planned all those Mid Term Endurance sessions. If you followed us for the whole prep cycle, you have trained this way since September. That means, that the structure of this workout with the short break in the middle shouldn’t harm you as much as it will harm 90% of your opponents. 

Read all standards thoroughly and ask questions in our facebook-Group, if anything is unclear or you feel the need of further advice.


Your prep could look like this:

Do the mobility stuff you need and definitely floss your forearms twice. With the bands on: Do some empty barbell snatches, RingRows and PushUps.

After that, go for something like:

3 Rounds of

  • 12m right arm Waiters Walk
  • 12m left arm Waiters Walk
  • 12-15 HipExtensionthink about placing an empty bar on your traps to activate your upper back
  • 12-15 V-Up
  • 30″ Lie down flat

If you feel the need to sweat a little:

Add a 250m row with a sprint start to each round.

After you prepped your forearms and midline that way, play around with the combination of PowerSnatches with your workout load and some barfacing burpees.

Then get ready for your Bar MuscleUps,

rest for at least 5 minutes prior to the start and: GO!