The CrossFit Open 16.4 Strategy



Hey all,

So this morning I was excited to see a workout I could actually do and get a killer workout from.

Unlike 16.3, which involved 7 minutes of cursing the day I ever decided to begin CrossFit, and coming out with absolutely no muscle-ups to show for it, 16.4 is a ‘lovely’ little chipper wod that will also having me cursing the day I ever began CrossFit, but for different reasons entirely.

But before we discuss tactics can anyone tell me why the elusive Dave Castro chose 55 of everything? Would love to know.

Check out my quick cheat sheet below of tips I’ve compiled that will hopefully make 16.4 slightly more manageable.. 

Standards for 16.4

13 Minute AMRAP 
55 deadlift
55 wall ball
55 calorie row
55 handstand pushups

Rx Weight:
Males 225 lb or 70 kg
Females 155 lb or 102 kg

Wall Balls:
Males 20 lb or 9kg
Females 14 lb or 6kg

The strategy

55 Deadlifts:  

These are heavy on both volume and reps, so break them up. Whether its 10-10-10-10-10-5 or into smaller sets such as 6-6-6-6-…-6-7 or even 1,1,1, x 55 make your sets lower than you’d originally think necessary. Be cautious though, as the first rep back up is always the hardest. Oh, and use a mixed grip.

55 Wall Balls:  Make sure you set up properly from the get-go. If you stand to close to the wall, you’ll risk air-balling it and you don’t want to waste any time or energy. You want every single wall ball you throw to count, so don’t half-ass a rep only to have to do it again until your too gassed out to continue on.


Also, if you need a rest, don’t waste energy catching the ball before letting it hit the ground. I am going to aim for something such as 12-6-10-5-12-10.

The Row:
I can’t wait for this portion. Big pulls are important here. I like to row for calories so one calorie per pull at the start is what I’ll attempt with a max of 2-3 rows per a calorie once I begin to tire. This might be a bit much to expect. Be mindful that you can always adjust your methods.

Hats off to all the beasts that make it this far.

Take some deep breaths as you slowly peel yourself off the rower and saunter over to the wall before doing whatever your body will allow on the HSPU. You will feel tired but new muscle groups will be activated that you haven’t worked yet so keep on keeping on!

Oh, and rest smart:
Drop the bar or wall ball, breathe 3 times and get three more reps done and repeat. In the end, we are all at different levels of fitness, so whether you plan on resting for five breaths or more, plan to do what you believe your own body will need.

Good luck and have fun!



4 comments on “The CrossFit Open 16.4 Strategy”

  1. Hey Victoria. Thanks for the tips. I tried 16.4 this morning hoping to make it to the calorie row at least. The DL was going to be tough as it’s close to my 1 rep max (which is 255#). I did break it up, as you suggest, but I dropped the bar on every rep. I’m planning to try it again on Monday and string together a few reps without dropping the bar. I managed to get through the wall balls with about 20 seconds left and finished a single calorie on the rower. :-). 111 reps. A nice symmetry. Good luck with your run. Hope it goes well. Robin

  2. Thanks for the feedback Robin! I have a feeling that I am going to be in for a mighty surprise when I give it a go tomorrow. I will probably end up with a whole lot of single reps myself! And good luck on Monday! Make sure you rest and recover!!!

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