Week 4 of the Open finds us confronting a classic “chipper” style workout.  It will be essential to make sure the shoulder and posterior chain especially are given appropriate mobility work and the necessary amount of warmup to prep the aerobic system.

This workout will be won by the athlete with the strongest aerobic system and superior shoulder endurance.

Mobility and Movement Prep

Traps, traps, traps.  Each of these movements will stress the upper, middle, and lower traps in variety of ways (deadlifts – isometrically, wall balls – elevation, row – retraction, elevation, handstand pushups – elevation).

Suggested drill:  Banded trap distraction

Hamstrings should be loose but not overstretched.  We need these to be snappy on the deadlifts.

Suggested drill:  Posterior chain floss + activation drills

Given the handstand pushups and wall balls, we need to make sure that we can get into optimal positions overhead.

Suggested drill:  Foam roll serratus anterior.

Wall balls and row requires tight hip flexors to be greased up.

Suggested drill:  Couch floss.

General Warmup

3rds NFT: 200 m row, 10 American KB Swings, 7 Wall Balls, 3 Handstand Pushups or 10 Hand Release Pushups

CNS Prep

Take 8 minutes to build to a tough 2 rep TNG Deadlift.

Specific Metabolic Prep

8 Deadlifts (225/155 RX 135/95  Scaled)

10 Wall Balls (30/20 – RX.  20/14 Scaled)

10 Cals Row (At race pace)

5 Deficit Handstand Pushups (RX) or 10 5 HR Pushup

Rest 5-10 minutes.


13 min AMRAP

55 Deadlifts (225/155 – RX, 135/95 – Scaled)

55 Wall Balls (20/14# – RX, 20/10# Scaled)

55 Cals on Rower

55 Handstand Pushups (RX), Hand release Pushups (Scaled)


Managing muscle fatigue and maintaining consistent breathing will set you up the best for your HSPU or HR Pushups, which is where the workout will be “lost” or “won”.


Break earlier than you think you need to on the deadlifts with short recovery between breaks 5-10 seconds.  I recommend no set bigger than 15 reps.  Possible rep breakdown on first round of deadlifts:  15-10-10-5-5-5-5.

Wall Balls


If the deadlifts are paced correctly and you are proficient in wall balls and breathing, I recommend a big first set on the wall balls.  30 if possible, longer if capable.  This is where you can make it hurt a bit more.


This is your “recovery”.  Lots of good breathing.  Go too fast here and you will be smoked for the handstand pushups.  If proficient on the row, 1100-1300 cals per hour pace for men, 800-1000 for women.

Handstand Pushups  / Hand Release Pushups

If paced correctly, you should have between 3-4 minutes to go coming off the rower.  This is where the workout will end for most RX athletes.  Small work sets with short and smart recovery.  If proficient with HSPU, big first set of 10-15.  If HSPU are a bit more perplexing, sets of 3-5 right out of the gate with short recovery.  HR Pushups should be performed at a steady tempo with a 1-second break on the ground between reps.

Hope you have found this prep useful!  Good luck this weekend!

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