Predicting 15.4—Week 4 of the CrossFit Games Open

Written by:

Damect Dominguez

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Tomorrow, the 4th workout of the 2015 Open will be announced. That means there are only two more workouts before the Open officially comes to a close. But rather than get upset about it, let’s focus on the positives! And what could be more positive than giving a shout out to all of you who managed to get their first muscle-up during 15.3! There were some great videos of athletes getting up on the rings for the first time, including those of 70-year-old Joe Meeks (who managed to get 4 total) and adaptive athlete Kevin Ogar.

“After 12 1/2 minutes of trying I’ve never been so happy to get one single rep in my entire life!! This single muscle-up allows me, for the first time since the @crossfit Open started, to post a score on the @crossfitgames site. Thanks @thedavecastro for putting MUs first so I could get a score!”
-Kevin Ogar

While getting your first muscle-up is a feat to be celebrated, taking a look at the numbers of the elite athletes gives you a nice dose of reality. On the woman’s side, Sam Briggs turned in a monster performance of 633 reps to top the leaderboard for 15.3. What’s incredible about Briggs’ display is that she had originally submitted a video score of 632 reps, but upon hearing that she would be docked for wall-ball shots that did not appear to break parallel, she responded by re-doing the workout. Lo-and-behold, the 33-year-old Briton was able to one-up herself the second time.

For the men, Games veteran Ben Smith tallied a score of 630 reps (4 full rounds plus 2 muscle-ups), good for 1st overall in 15.3.

After three weeks of the Open, here is how the leaderboard looks for the women, men, and teams.

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Individual Wome

1. (65) Camille Leblanc Bazinet
2. (75) Kara Webb
3. (77) Emily Bridgers

Individual Men

1. (123) Mathew Fraser
2. (129) Rich Froning
3. (159) Ben Smith

Individual Team

1. (26) Invictus
2. (54) Get lifted
3. (59) NorCal CrossFit

Prediction for 15.4

As many repetitions in 10 minutes of:
3 Power Cleans (135/95lbs)
3 Over-the-bar burpees
6 Power Cleans
6 Over-the-bar burpees
9 Power Cleans
9 Over-the-bar burpees
and so on…


15.4a begins immediately at the 10:01 mark.
Handstand push-ups—max repetitions in 2 minutes.

The reasoning

As the Open nears its end, and the ‘available’ movements to choose from dwindle, trying to anticipate an Open workout starts to get slightly easier. Slightly.

First, let’s consider the ‘traditional’ Open movements that we have yet to see:
Box Jumps
Power Cleans
Shoulder to overhead

Of course, there’s always the potential for a new movement to be added—but we’ll get to that. We don’t think that Dave Castro will combine thrusters and burpees again as it would be too similar to 14.5 (thrusters and bar-facing burpees). They have to be split, but burpees are typically combined with a barbell movement. Realistically, that leaves us with power cleans. Yes, there is the potential for something like a front squat to be included, but chances are that the two remaining barbell movements we will see are going to be power cleans and thrusters.

Second, we have to consider that there are two workout formats yet to be tested in 2015: The ladder and the chipper. At this point we have to consider the final athletes on show for both 15.4 and 15.5:

15.4: Scott Panchik vs. Josh Bridges
15.5: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet vs. Sam Briggs vs. Annie Thorisdottir

With three of the best female athletes going head to head (to head) in the final workout of the Open, we’re betting that Castro will create a nasty chipper to round of the competition in style. That leaves us with a ladder format for Bridges and Panchik, and considering that these men have two of the best engines in the sport, they’ll fly through the power cleans and burpees. Besides, these two already tackled a chipper workout during the live announcement of 14.4 last year. However, those two movements on their own don’t seem like enough of a workout. There’s something missing. That’s why we think that we will see the return of the ‘15.a’ workout.

But why not a heavy lift, as was the case in 15.1a (2 minutes to establish heaviest clean and jerk)? Well, precisely because there’s already been a heavy lift. In addition, we think that Castro is going to introduce a new movement to the 2015 Open in one of these last two workouts (or both!). Given the flexibility he and the Games staff now have with the Scaled division, we feel he’s going to look to test our fitness and capacity through a high-rep bodyweight movement after many of us will already be gassed from 15.4. It’s evil, but that would be right in line with Castro’s style.

15.4: Josh Bridges vs. Scott Panchik

March 19th
CrossFit X-Factor
Portland, OR

About Damect Dominguez

Co-founder of BoxLife Magazine. Author: Training Day: 400+ Workouts to Incorporate in Your Training.

3 thoughts on “Predicting 15.4—Week 4 of the CrossFit Games Open”

  1. I see Thrusters and Burpees in 15.5. Annie and Sam did Thrusters and Burpees in 14.5 why would they invite them back for 15.5 and do similar movements. It doesn’t make sense to me, just my two cents.

  2. I think cleans and some form of burpee (bar over, bar facing, burpee box jump or jump over) is a good prediction. But I have to believe we will see more of a “strength” test than this. 135/95 is not light but it’s still not heavy enough to be a separator. Castro wants the “right” people to make it to regional. Doesn’t he what strong people who can also do gymnastics moves? So far this year the bodyweight folks have the edge. We need a workout that bubbles those that can do both to the top. This prediction does not do that, in my opinion. I think we could see a “for time” workout that includes some heavy weight. If you can’t lift it, you have to scale.


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