The Heroic Guide to CrossFit Open 16.4

The CrossFit Games Open Workout 16.4 is a compact chipper.

The push/pull elements combine to generate local muscular fatigue and an aerobic challenge.

If you pace well and stay smart about your rep scheme, you’ll achieve your ultimate goal: getting to the handstand pushups.

CrossFit Open 16.4 Workout

Find the full workout and movement details on the official page for the 2016 Open Workouts.

Make sure to pay special attention to the measurement standards for Handstand Pushups. Here are the essentials:


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:

55 deadlifts

55 wall-ball shots

55-calorie row

55 handstand push-ups

Men deadlift 225 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target

Women deadlift 155 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. Target


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:

55 deadlifts

55 wall-ball shots

55-calorie row

55 hand release push-ups

Men deadlift 135 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

Women deadlift 95 lb. and throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

How to Warm Up for CrossFit Open Workout 16.4

Here is an excellent warm up from the guys at The Movement Fix that will get you prepped and ready to attack Open 16.4

Five rounds:
  • 10 straight leg raises each leg
  • 5 lateral lunges each side
  • 3 deadlifts (start light and progressively get heavier each round)
  • 5 push up to downward dog with scap press

The Perfect Strategy for CrossFit Open Workout 16.4

What’s the best game plan heading into this chipper?

Rudy Nielson from The Outlaw Way recommends that you make an honest assessment of your strength. This workout is about getting to the HSPU. If you go too hard and heavy on any of the movements, you’ll burn out before you get to the last movement.


What’s your 1 rep max? That will determine how to break up your sets.

  • 75%+ of your max = you should scale
  • 65-75% of your max = 5s/4s/3s/2s/1s (Start at 5 and drop reps as needed)
  • 55-65% of your max = 10/10/8/7/5/5/5/5
  • <55% of your max = 15/10/8/7/5/5/5


Do big sets with a small rest. 30/25 or 25/15/15 or 20/15/12/8. Take no more than 5-10 breaths between sets.


If you know your max output in calories, take 60% of that number and use it for your pace. Otherwise get on the rower, hang in, and feel the burn.

Handstand pushups

Do fast sets and get off the wall. Don’t hang out at the bottom or locked out. If you know your max HSPU, begin with 50% of that and then drop from there.


These are critical. No more than 10 seconds on transitions. Get on the rower, no matter how slow you start out so that you start logging calories.

4 Movement Tactics for CrossFit Open Workout 16.4

What are some essential cues that you should keep in mind for each movement?

Rudy Nielsen and Ben from Wodprep share their best tactical tips.

Tactic #1 - Deadlift

Use a mix grip (one hand over, one hand under) + drop the bar at the top to save your grip.

Tactic #2 - Wallball

Guys line up 28” away from wall and girls 24” so that the ball bounces off the target and into your hands instead of into your face.

Tactic #3 - Wallball

Use a “clearing stroke”. Instead of keeping your arms up, circle them back and underneath to save your shoulders.

Tactic #4 - HSPU

Heels up / flex your toes to get a full rep. If your toes are pointed towards the ceiling you risk missing the rep by an inch.

How to Recover from CrossFit Games Workout 16.4

Hitting 16.4 again? Want to bounce back for your Monday WOD? Here is a follow along yoga recovery from Stephanie Ring at Endure Yoga.



There you have it - your Heroic guide to crushing Open 16.4. Get after it!
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About The Author

Peter Haas helps people to master the fundamentals of movement technique and nutrition to amplify their performance and carve out new levels of leanness. Find out more about him at Train Smart Digital.