16.4 Open Workout

How to Destroy Crossfit Open Workout 16.4

So the 16.4 Open Workout is here, and it’s time for a chipper! The live announcement also saw defending champion Katrin Davidsdottir take on fellow Icelander Sara Sigmundsdottir in an epic throwdown!


Open workout 16.4 is the 3rd of the 5 Open workouts, all programmed by Dave Castro. Here is what it involves:

  • 13 Min AMRAP
  • 55 Deadlifts
  • 55 Wall Balls
  • 55 Calories on the Rower
  • 55 Handstand Push Ups

Deadlifts @ 102.5 kg / 225 lbs for men. 70 kg / 155 lbs for women

Wall Balls @ 9kg / 20 lb ball at 10 ft target for men. 6 kg / 14 lb ball at 9 ft target for women


  • 13 Min AMRAP
  • 55 Deadlifts
  • 55 Wall Balls
  • 55 Calories on the Rower
  • 55 Hand Release Push-Ups

Deadlifts @ 60 kg / 135 lbs for men. 40 kg / 95 lbs for women

Wall Balls @ 9kg / 20 lb Ball at 9 ft target for men. 4.5 kg / 10 lb ball at 9 ft target for women


At the live announcement at the Schreiever Air Force Base in Colorado, the two icelandic girls Katrin Davidsdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir battled it out. Here are the final score cards:

  1. Sara Sigmundsdottir: 274 reps
  2. Katrin Davidsdottir: 246 reps

So first we will dive right into the tips and techniques that you will need to adopt in order to help you get a great time on this workout. Then we will see how the pros handled it.



  • Pace carefully so that you can maintain a fast rep speed, but don’t burn yourself out and bring yourself to failure. You will feel stressed, and be running a high heart rate throughout the workout, but hitting complete failure at any point means that you have moved through the different movements too quickly.


  • This helps mentally to divide 16.4 into smaller sections and avoid total fatigue at any point during the workout.


  • You will have to complete 55 reps of each exercise, so concentrate on controlling your breathing throughout. This will help steady you, and force you into a strong rhythm. Especially on the Deadlifts, where you moving more weight, this will also help you to stabilise your core and increase the efficiency of the movement.


  • Make them quick, Sara stormed straight from finishing her rowing into the Handstand Push Ups without even breaking her stride. Unlike 16.3, which tested grip strength on both exercises, each stage of the workout flows into the next.


  • The 55 Deadlifts are moderate to heavy for such a long set, so break them down into smaller sections. Katrin tried dividing hers into 3 sets of 15 and a final 10 at the end.  Sara broke hers down into even smaller sets. So follow these examples. Keep your form tight and your mind focused.
  • Keep your Glutes tight and your core engaged. Drive with your legs and grip hard.


  • Same as Deadlifts, break them down. Sara almost completed the entire set unbroken, until her last throw hit the bottom of the target and was counted as a no-rep that she had to repeat. But then she is a machine, and dividing them could be an advisable option for anyone that isn’t an Icelandic powerhouse.
  • check out our guide here for some last minute tips to improve your Wall Ball tips here.


In the words of Nicole Carroll, Director of Training & Certification at CrossFit HQ, you need to:

‘Buckle in and gut it out’

  • Powerful pulls and good technique are vital during Open workout 16.4
  • Just keep going with this, don’t stop and lose your momentum! Here are some great tips on perfecting your technique from Jason Khalipa, an absolute beast when it comes to dominating the Rowing machine.


  • You will feel pretty gassed by the time you get to this stage, but you should still have a decent reserve in your shoulders. So go hard.
  • Break these up into manageable sets to keep a strong rhythm
  • Watch your technique and keep heels high in order to make sure you get your body over the line every time. Both Sara and Katrin were flagged up for no reps, so if you can maintain strong form and consistency, you will avoid wasting any energy on these smaller setbacks.
  • Make sure to generate power with a big kip, but don’t go to failure, as this will tire yourself out too quickly.


In the Deadlifts, both girls started strong and hit the first stage of Open workout 16.4 hard. The high altitude was a factor at the event in Colorado, so this was an unknown element that would affect their performances. Sara dropped the bar intentionally first, breaking at 13, whilst Katrin carried on. Taking slightly longer rests between each set, Katrin finished the Deadlifts at 1.50, whilst Sara had already moved onto the Wall Balls by 1.35.

Throughout the Wall Balls and the 55 calorie row, Sara gradually increased her lead and moved onto her Handstand Push Ups by 7.10. She simply walked straight from the rowing machine and flipped up against the wall, her first set looking explosive! Katrin kept a steady, consistent pace, and talked at the end about the importance of finding a threshold to work at for this workout.

At just over 10 minutes into Open workout 16.4, Sara was able to return to the Deadlifts once again. Katrin continued to push on with the Handstand Push Ups and sprinted back to start on her Deadlifts, by which time, Sara had firmly solidified her clear lead. With her heart set on hitting the Wall Balls once more, she ended the 13 minute Workout only 1 rep shy of completing the Deadlifts! Highly impressive performances by both athletes!

Featured Image Katrin  Jose Taquechel @ Oxudumedia

Featured Image Sara © Sara Sigmundsdottir

16.4 workout video © Games.CrossFit.com

Jason Khalipa video © Jason Khalipa

Katrin Instagram video © Katrin Davidsdottir

Sara Instagram video © Sara Sigmundsdottir