15.4 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning I went to Crossfit Terminus to take care of Squat Mafia and Team Terminus, who is currently ranked top 3 in the World.

I had the opportunity to watch them do 15.4 and got to share some strategies with them while also learning of strategies and tips to implement. This Crossfit Open workout is going to be tricky as those who already have HSPU’s will need to alter their technique a bit to meet the new standard.


1) Roll out the upper thoracic spine.

2) Shoulders should be mobile with both internal and external rotation. Wrap the band on the pull-up and put the arm through rotating the arm from the shoulder joint. Check your mobility before you start loosening up your shoulders then recheck to make sure they move even more post warm-up. 

3) Stretch out the calf muscles! You will want these loosened up during HSPU as you will want great ankle flexion to lift those heels above the line.

4) Roll the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball.

Little Extras to Win

1) Nutrition

Be extremely hydrated going into this workout as you will not have time to stop and sip your water or fuel. This is a workout where I will drink a sports drink or coconut water roughly 15 minutes beforehand to get my electrolytes moving and balanced. 

KEY – Definitely have a protein shake post-workout and make sure to load up on protein following. 


1) The rules are different with the HSPU, so be sure to have your judge call out the rep once it is complete. This way you do not waste your shoulders on a  no-rep. 

2) Do not hit failure on the HSPU. Once you feel you are roughly 80% to failure, drop and reset. 

3) Your neck is your lifeline so PLEASE do not crush it on the mat every rep and either use a cushion or be gentle. The last thing you want to do is overload the discs and spine for future problems because you wanted 1 or 2 more reps. 

4) Keep your arms closer and not too wide. The wider you go with your hands the harder it will be to throw your legs up and reach the point where your heels need to go over. This video below demonstrates how 1 athlete setup too wide then readjusted her hands even wider, and got no repped because she lost distance by widening her arms. 


1) If you can touch and go..then you are awesome! For most of us, breaking this up in short sets will be important especially so we do not compromise form. 

2) Warmup with a decent weight to get the nervous system loaded up and primed. Do not go cold into this workout so when you lift 185 it feels heavy. 

3) Find weight that bounce less! Don’t put on the bumper plates that bounce away from you when you drop each time but place the ones that stop once they hit the ground. 


15.3 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning (3/13/2015) I did 15.3 so I could get an idea for certain tips and strategies you can implement into the third Open workout.

Castro threw a curveball putting muscle ups first, which I would love to hear your opinion in the comments, good or bad business decision?



2) Shoulders should be mobile with both internal and external rotation. Wrap the band on the pull-up and put the arm through rotating the arm from the shoulder joint. Check your mobility before you start loosening up your shoulders then recheck to make sure they move even more post warm-up. 

3) Stretch out the calf muscles! You will want these loosened up during double unders and wall balls especially for the quantity of reps you will be performing. 

4) Roll the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball. 

Little Extras to Win

1) Break up the muscle ups from the beginning. If Lauren Brooks broke them up in the 1st round, then none of you should go unbroken. I did 2 – 2 – 2- 1 then I did singles on the next 2 rounds. 

2) Break up the wallballs. I did 25 – 25 then 15 – 15 – 10 – 10 – 10. The last thing you want is to go hard during these then lose your breath and have to perform 100 double unders. 

3) Break up the double unders. If you feel your forearms or shoulders burning then that is your clue to stop and take a 5 second. Remember, this is a 14-minute workout so there is plenty of time.

4) Do this next to someone better than you so it pushes you to get more reps. 

5) Have a cup of water next to you to get a swig after each round.

6) Remember  to not lose your breath as this is a longer workout.

7) The money is in the double unders so if you have 30 seconds left and only 5 wallballs to go then bust your ass to finish those wallballs and get on the double unders. Also, every rep on the muscle ups will be a difference maker and can move you up hundreds on the leaderboard.


15.2 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

Hope everyone is excited about 15.2 and I have some strategies that can be very beneficial.

For those that watched Emily and Michele go head to head they utilized a lot of these tips.

Also, if you haven’t watched my webinar with Emily Bridgers then you should watch this first before reading ahead.

Link to Webinar – http://draustincohen.com/3-strategies-to-dominate-open/


For 15.2, I ate a medium size meal with good carbs (quinoa) and chicken around 6:00 PM the night before. The morning of I ate a banana or some sugar fruit around 7:00 AM and this will be my final meal. My goal is to not feel heavy during this workout and be as light as I can for the amount of C2B pull-ups that will be happening.

* During the workout our body will be burning sugar off so it will be good to have some sugary drink after each round on your rests. My plan is Amy and Brian’s Coconut Water unless I find a good sports drink not loaded with artificial crap. You could see Emily drink some of her drink between rounds to replenish her body with sugar.

* After the workout I will load up with protein such as a grass-fed double patty. Do not think because you’re finished with 15.2 you can go get pizza or some other toxic dish as this will completely ruin the workout and not give your body proper nutrients to recover? Nope! There 3 more weeks left of the Open so make sure you are keeping your body in its A game.


* When I warmed up I focused a lot on hamstrings, shoulders, and did mostly static stretching. I also utilized  dynamic warm-up and get my blood flowing.

* Start with 5 minute run.

* Jump rope for 3 – 5 minutes

* Leg up against wall stretching hamstring – Push leg into wall for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat 7 times

* Overhead squat (45 x 5, 75 x 5, 95 x 3, 115 x 2) – I will do this to get the nervous system ready for the loading. This is the same concept as warming up precisely for any workout as you never want to shock the nervous system with high loading.

*  Use band to stretch ankle

* PVC to stretch shoulders as well as band.


 Use Oly shoes for support and to keep your balance. As you saw last night, Emily and Michele kept the OHS unbroken for the most part and broke up the C2B.

* Find your pace!!! Last night Emily and Michele broke up their pull-ups from the beginning. Determine your pace and stick to the plan. Ex: Round 1 – 5 5, Round 2 – 4 4 4 Round 3 – 5 5 4, etc

* During workout I had a pull-up bar that was 6 inches over me, which meant I had to jump an extra 6 inches to start my C2B. ROOKIE MOVE!! Whether you need  box or weights to elevate you, definitely don’t exert any more energy than you need to by jumping for the pull-ups. Once I hit the 3rd round of 14 it became tiresome jumping while I was doing sets of 3.

* There is no extra credit for getting your belly button the the bar. The movement is chest to bar so be sure to not over pull in the beginning when you are relaxed.

If you have any other recommendations or comments please post below.


15.1 Crossfit Open Strategies and Tips

This morning (2/27/2015) I did 15.1 so I could get an idea for certain tips and strategies you can implement into the first Open workout. If you watched last night, then you saw the beautiful pacing Froning and Frasier did which is the whole design for the 1st part of this workout.


1) Bar and rig should be close to each other so you can avoid too much walking. My bar faced the rig as seen to the right and I made sure to use the pull-up bar that was roughly 6’1. I am 5’11 so the jump was very small instead of using the pull-up bar that was 6’4. The goal is to conserve as much energy as possible. FullSizeRender

2) Keep the 35 lb plates on the end and load up from there. Most likely you will get 3 attempts so go ahead and figure those out ahead of time. Determine the goal weight, then go 50-60% on 1st attempt, 70-80% on 2nd attempt, then hit the goal weight on the 3rd attempt. 

3) Every pound matters! Whatever you set up with always put a 1 lb plate on the end of each. This gives you a small edge from those people who don’t have 1 lb weights or don’t even think about this strategy. For instance, if I was going to 185 by having 2 35 lb plates on each side, then I should add a 1 lb plate to the ends making the weight 187.


1) I made sure to eat a banana beforehand and get some light nutrition in my body. The weights are extremely light and that is exactly how I want to feel during the workout. 

2) In between part 1 and part 2, be sure to get a swig of some sports drink to get this electrolytes back in balance and give you that extra boost. Personally, I am a big fan of coconut water and mixing with a protein powder from SFH. 


1) SMASH YOUR FOREARMS. The one thing I did not do but wish I did was roll a lacrosse ball over my forearms as seen in the picture. I would have done this for 30-60 seconds on each side to get the blood flow moving through the soft tissue. 


2) Shoulders and lower back should ready to go and warmed up. Take that PVC pipe and use it to open up those shoulders and practice those movements. 

Little Extras to Win

1) I would 100% see your chiropractor within a few hours of this WOD. Get your biomechanics in line, increase nerve flow, and decrease the negative loading on joints for increased performance. 

2) This comes down to pacing. Determine ahead of time a goal pace and try to stick to it. This is only a 9 minute workout so a 1:30 pace will get you 6 rounds on the dot.

3) Visualization will be important. For those who watched my webinar with Emily Bridgers or downloaded the workbook, visualizing was one of our key strategies to dominating the 2015 Crossfit Open. On the clean and jerk, be sure to see yourself getting the lift right before you pick up the bar.

4) Wear light shoes. With the toes to bar you will not want to add any extra weight. 

5) Break up the toes to bar. First round fo 10 + 5 and either keep that or break it down to 5 – 5 – 5.

6) When transitioning from deadlift to snatch KEEP your hand on the bar. 

7) DO NOT REDO this more than once! This workout needs good recovery so be sure on the 2nd attempt you go all out because fatigue can set in especially with the L spine.