Coach G Gets Sour For 16.4

We are on WEEK 4 of the 2016 CrossFit Open!


I am happy to say that I feel the workouts thus far have been very cleverly designed this year with each having a certain level of “fun” to them as well.


16.4 is no exception!

You can peep all of the details here:

Y’all can’t say we weren’t well prepped for this one! With the 50 wallball + leg burner we did on Monday and the deads and handstand push ups we did on Tuesday…we are set up for a prime time performance come Saturday!


As always, you are all welcome to coordinate with me and come do the workout whenever you need to between now and Monday at 6pm, but as a gym we will still be hosting on Saturday morning with the action starting at 9am.

Per the usual, the heat sign up list will be on the white board in the morning. If you want to go earlier, come around 9-930, if you want to go mid morning, come around 10-1030, if you want to go later in the morning, come around 11-1130.


We will be able to run heats of 6 if need be, and a big shout out goes to Mike McEvoy, Michael Horner, Frank The Tank, and Brett Berrong for letting us borrow their personal rowers for the event and making that possible…give them a “good game” next time you see them.


I will have the gym sectioned off again to support the athletes in each heat. Since this workout is a bit longer, and requires more time for set up and warm up for each individual athlete, you can expect the time in between heats to be a bit longer than they have been in the past 2 weeks.

With hopes of running heats of 6 it should go without saying that I will DEFINITELY need judging help from ANYONE that is willing and able to do so. This is a very easy workout to judge, and having helpers and volunteers has made the past 3 weeks run especially smooth!


Now that the house keeping is out of the way….here is my sour patch moment (first they’re sour, then they are sweet…) This is about to get sour….


This is my disclaimer for athletes participating in this workout:

While I am a huge fan of this type of workout, I recognize the potential risks in a workout like this as well.

Lets start with the deadlifts…


The RX deadlift weight is light enough to still be considered a light load in the realm of deadlifting…but at the same time it is still heavy enough to be potentially dangerous for some athletes. I cannot emphasize how important a proper warm up for your back, glutes, and hamstrings is for the deadlifts AND the wallballs.

Here is a catalyst warm up routine that is good for olympic lifting, but I have also found to be good for any kind of pulling…and will definitely help prep you for the other movements.

The deadlifts concern me a touch more than the wallballs. This is one of those instances where my saying of, “just because you CAN doesn’t necessarily mean that you SHOULD” should resonate with you.

Think about your ability with the deadlifts, think about the volume of deadlifts you are needing to do, and consider the tasks at hand AFTER the deadlifts. If you can hit 55 deadlifts at the RX weight but every rep is going to be like a 1 rep max for you…it’s probably not a good idea to do that.

As I always say, if this is still confusing…let range of motion and technique be your guide. If your back is starting to round to the extent of where you look like a Halloween cat silhouette…you should probably stop…


Again, if you don’t know where to draw that line, I will gladly do it for you…hopefully before your spine has the chance to shoot out of your anus…vivid imagery….vivid indeed…


As for the handstand push ups, y’all know by now that I am the ab mat Nazi when it comes to using a mat for your head…as in…I don’t let you do it…


I explain myself almost every time on WHY I don’t allow it, but I will explain again just so everyone is aware…knowledge is power…


More often than not, I see athletes when they fatigue on their handstand push ups they either A. Try and spend too much time on their head in the bottom position trying to squeek out more reps, or B. Start crashing  down on top of their dome in attempts to rebound their way to more reps or C. They do a combo of both.


This is where my beef lies….

I don’t allow you to use the ab mat because I feel it is important to understand how to control yourself up AND down on a movement like this, without relying on bouncing your head off of anything.


Call me crazy, but I feel like if that is something you CANNOT control, then guess what???…that’s my cue to NOT let you get upside down until you can, or we stack the plates to get you to a point where you feel comfortable, and then progress down from there…I know it sucks, but your cervical spine will thank me later…


I am not knocking ab mats as a good training tool, If you are legitimately afraid of lowering yourself and feel the need to use an ab mat, by all means, there is definitely a time and a place to PRACTICE with the mat to do so…but 55 reps in a chipper is not that time…

HOWEVER…this workout DOES allow the use of an abmat and plate set up…so…I WILL also allow you to use the mats and plates…but you have been warned…if I see you bouncing your heads off the ground, the damage you are doing to your head and neck will pale in comparison to the damage my Chuck Norris style roundhouse kick to your temple will do when you get off the wall….


The past few times we have done handstand push ups in class, I have broken down some technique tips that I found to be helpful. If you would like a refresher on these tips, get with me sometime before your heat and we can break it down. The range of motion for the handstand push ups is very specific and something different that we don’t practice outside of the open, so I would highly recommend practicing hitting your feet lines well before the workout starts so you are aware of what counted reps will feel like.

Note: If you are doing scaled or master’s division, this doesn’t apply to you for this workout since you will be doing hand release push ups or push presses.

Now back to being sweet…after this week we will have 4 workouts down, and 1 to go…bring your friends and family to come cheer you on, and lets have another great week of competition!



Here is The Outlaw Way strategy video for 16.4:






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