Posted by Ben Quinney on

And we’re already in week 2!? Wow, I feel like this year’s Open season is going to fly by. Dave Castro has made a habit of late to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to test how their fitness has improved, and this is our opportunity to do just that – 15.2 is a repeat of 14.2. 365 days later, let’s see how you’ve changed!

 If you participated in last year’s Open, you’ll remember just how especially nasty this little couplet of Overhead Squats and Chest-to-Bar Pullups is. What is a combination of two relatively technical and somewhat advanced movements, this workout is all about how you pace yourself right from the start. We remember watching Camille – arguably the best Pullup-er known to CrossFit - break down last year because of a poorly chosen strategy. So this week, we’re going to go through your specific warm up, and how you should tackle this workout to climb up the leader board. 

Warm Up

We’re going to focus a majority of our warm up for this workout around preparing and activating the shoulders and hips. Remember from last week that the purpose of your warm up is to mobilise/activate, increase heart rate, and practise perfect movement patterns over the course of 20-30 minutes.


3x10 Broomstick High Pulls to Dislocates

3x15 Banded Shoulder Internal and External Rotation

3x10 Banded Face Pulls

2x10 Leg Swings (each side)

3x8 Samson Lunge with Lateral Flexion (each side)

3x12 Glute Bridges

Increase Heart Rate

Row or AirDyne for 5-minutes - :50 easy, :10 hard.

Practise Movement Patterns

With an empty bar, perform 3 rounds not for time:

5 Hang Power Snatch

5 Overhead Squats

5 Pullups

Then, spend 5 or so minutes hitting Squat/Power Snatch singles with gradually increasing weights.

Overhead Squats

If you’ve got a pair of light-ish Oly shoes (Reebok’s or Inov-8’s) I’m going to recommend you wear them. The added stability and mobility they will give you, especially when the reps get higher and fatigue sets in, will definitely be worth it for the majority of us. If you’re already pretty mobile throughout an Overhead Squat and will have no issue repping them out, then go with your regular shoes to get rid of the added weight of Oly’s. 

Most of us will be using a Snatch grip throughout the Overhead Squats, however you’ll find less fatigue in your shoulders if you adopt a closer overhead grip because the arms become more stacked over the shoulder joint. If you’ve got the shoulder mobility to allow this grip, definitely use it and save them for the Chest-to-Bar.

Finally, Squat Snatch in to your first rep… or even better, close grip Squat Snatch in to your first rep.

Chest-to-Bar Pullups

For most of us, this will be the make or break of the workout. If you don’t have Chest-to-Bars, your goal here is to simply give it everything you’ve got, kip as hard as you can and get that darn chest to the bar! This could very well be the day you land your first Chest-to-Bar, and that’s a PR worth celebrating!

If you do have Chest-to-Bars, you’re going to want to break them up from the very first round. A good rule of thumb for the Bodyweight Ninjas out there is to halve the sets for the first one or two rounds, and then break them down in to smaller sets thereafter to preserve your grip and shoulders. Drop from the bar, quickly shake out the arms, get back up! If you’re kind of okay at Chest-to-Bars, hit even smaller sets of no more than three or four reps from the get go. Remember that these are going to get very hard very quickly if you’re not smart about your strategy.

Conclusion and General Tips

For the majority of the CrossFit world, getting past that third round would be somewhat of a miracle.

Aim for unbroken Overhead Squats, and stick to your strategy on the Chest-to-Bars, allowing yourself 3-5 seconds rest before getting back on that bar.

Remember that there is an inherent rest interval programmed in to this workout, and although it will gradually get smaller with each successive round, it is something that we should endeavour to take advantage of! For the set of 10’s, try to aim for 1-minute per round which will give you a full minute rest before starting the set of 12’s. Then, look at staying as close to 1-minute per round as you can for as long possible to maximise your rest (even if this means slowing down a little bit). However, of course this workout will eventually come down to how well you can manage your fatigue as your rest slowly diminishes.

Have a plan, and stick to it from round one! If this is the workout you hit your first Chest-to-Bar, make sure you celebrate this amazing PR! For everyone, brace yourselves, as Dave Castro said “this isn’t going to be fun.”


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