Tips and Tricks for CrossFit Open Workout 21.3 & 21.4 from Rich Froning

Before the 2021 CrossFit Open draws to an end, athletes will need to go through workouts 21.3 and 21.4. Both are relatively short workouts which include high-skill gymnastics and a heavy barbell.

Rich Froning, 4-time CrossFit Games individual and 4-time Games team champion, and the CrossFit Mayhem team share their tips and tricks to get the best result possible on both workouts.

CrossFit Open workout 21.3

For Time:

  • 15 Front Squat
  • 30 Toes to Bar
  • 15 Thrusters

1 minute rest

  • 15 Front Squat
  • 30 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
  • 15 Thrusters

1 minute rest

  • 15 Front Squat
  • 30 Bar Muscle Ups
  • 15 Thrusters

15 minute time cap

Men: 95lb // Women: 65lb

CrossFit Open Workout 21.4

21.4 begins immediately upon completing or reaching the time cap for 21.3

Complete the following complex for max load:

  • 1 Deadlift
  • 1 Clean
  • 1 Hang Clean
  • 1 Jerk

7 minute time cap – time begins immediately after the completion of 21.3.

Rich Froning tips for Open workouts 21.3 and 21.4

Warmup strategy

Warm up your arms and you grip with a rower or a jump rope, as 21.3 and 21.4 will certainly tax it.

“A long warm up is going to be key,” says Dr. Kelly Starrett, co-founder of The Ready State. “I’m really interested in getting your legs pumped up with blood – that’s actually one of the big deals here.”

Pre workout:

  1. Hip capsule mob
  2. Double overhead band
  3. Anterior band distraction

Follow with:

  1. Quick bike sets
  2. Row for grip

Take time to recover from your warm up, but ensure your legs are ready to take on anything.

Movement demo:

21.3 workout strategy

  • Keep your grip loose during the front squats.
  • Keep smooth reps for the toes to bar, using a variation that feels comfortable to you.
  • The rounds of toes to bar and chest to bar are not where the workout is won, so take one or two breaks if you need them.
  • Drive with the legs for the thrusters and try to keep the weight off your shoulder to save energy for the bar muscle ups.
  • Bar muscle ups are what’s going to determine your score here, so think about your efficiency and limit the amount of rest.
  • The last set of thrusters will feel pretty hard after all the bar muscle ups but grind through them, as this is the end of the workout.

21.4 workout strategy

  • Do some squat cleans and some jerks to warm up at lighter weights – you don’t need to do the complex on your warm up.
  • 7 minutes is a fairly long time but you’ll be pretty fatigued so the time cap might feel like it’s going by faster than usual.
  • You’ll probably manage to fit in around three good attempts.

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