#WorkoutoftheWeek 3.25.2019 - CrossFit Open 19.5

Here’s how I’m going to beat you. I’m going to outwork you. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.
— Pat Summit
Image courtesy of: CrossFit Inc.

Image courtesy of: CrossFit Inc.

Ok, people….so the final workout of the 2019 CrossFit Open was released, and naturally, this week, it is out #WorkoutoftheWeek. Our weekly blog posts detail a brutal workout we either perform at an affiliate, one that gets submitted to us, or just one that we’ve come across in our community’s weekly fitness routines.

You can always submit a Workout of the Week to us in these posts below, or by emailing us at: staff@voyedgerx.com

Now, if you were watching the CrossFit Games Facebook page and 19.5 workout release on Thursday night, you may have had the feeling that thrusters and or chest-to-bar pull-ups were coming, and guess what….they did.

They made a ferocious appearance in what I thought was one of the hardest Open workouts in years. If you have been doing CrossFit for a while, chances are you have done “Fran” which is a thruster pull-up couplet in the rep scheme of “21-15-9” and typically leaves people with what is called, ‘Fran Lung’ where their chest is burning so bad for an extended period of time after the workout.

All of which, made this particular rep scheme, when released, even more daunting with the 33-27-21-15-9 approach:

We’ll get to the rep scheme workout in just a minute here, but this is how I imagined Dave Castro felt on Thursday night as the workout was being released to the public…

Workout of the Week - 19.5

Workout 19.5
33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
95-lb. thrusters (Women = 65 lbs. thrusters)
Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

WOD Credit: CrossFit.com


Well, well, well. I am sure this workout went a little bit different for everybody, but there seems to be little to debate here about just how brutal this workout was. Like I mentioned earlier in the post, if you’ve ever done ‘Fran’ as a workout before, you were probably puckering up a little bit when this workout was released. Pull-ups are hard enough, but when combined with thrusters? Say goodbye to your forearms, shoulders, and lungs. Not to mention with the added rep scheme starting at 33 reps out of the gate and 105 chest-to-bar pull-ups and thrusters….woof.

Now, adding in those chest-to-bars….a lot of athletes who are doing pull-ups on a regular basis still struggle with chest-to-bars even if they are performing the butterfly maneuver. I saw a lot of athletes (including myself) go back to just regular kipping chest to bar pull ups for this workout and purposely break up the rep schemes here. It was a solid move considering just how taxing this rep scheme was.

With the 33-27-21-15-9 approach - what was your strategy? Mine was an attempt to break all of them into three sets each, but that quickly went out the window. I saw a lot of other blog posts talking about the 11-11-11, 9-9-9, 7-7-7 approach but a lot of my fellow athletes at the gym did not do this. Did you?

For me, I really had no strategy here…I just wanted to get the workout done and over with, knowing at 6’5” this would probably not be my cup of tea….I think I came out with 18 thrusters in the beginning and broke up my chest-to-bar pull-ups in sets of 5 to 7 in the beginning to maintain my breathing. This quickly fell into sets of 3-5 with the pull-ups (not butterfly) and then I kept my thrusters into sets of 5 or 10, if I could).

Side note: It didn’t work. My reps were all over the place and it got messy fast, with a lot of heavy breathing and attempts to lower my heart rate.

The thruster and pull-up combination kept my redline way too high the entire time for all 20 minutes. It wasn’t necessarily muscle fatigue (it was a little bit like all things CrossFit) but more so that I could not get a big enough breath to unleash heavy sets or stay on either one of the bars.

Pretty much how I felt on the pull-up bar at near the end of every round:

All in all, it was a great workout and very difficult CrossFit Open this year, but congrats to all of the athletes who participated in each one of the workouts. I think it is super important to know and remember that these workouts are designed to find the Fittest on Earth and also to elevate our standards and abilities as a community as a whole.

Over social media there were a lot of firsts this year, including bar muscle-ups, PR’s on power cleans and many more. And the one thing I do love about the Open is that they often test towards the communities perceived weaknesses where they most often feel movements can or are neglected, such as strict handstand push-ups, and more.

Till next time, people!

~Cam OUT