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Strategy and Tips From WODprep to Get Your Best Scores For 21.3 & 21.4

As usual, Ben from WODprep is all over the latest CrossFit Open workout announcement. Dave Castro’s mic drop on the final Open workout means that we will have to go straight into 21.4 directly following 21.3; so this one will be as much about mental strength as it will be physical.

Check out WODprep’s video:

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.

Tips & Strategy for 21.3

This workout is full of different (and difficult) movements. Even the scaled version will be a lot of trouble for some athletes, so it’s good to have your strategy ready before heading into this one!

  • Use the box technique

WODPrep has lots of recommendations for those who are trying some of these movements for the first time, including using a box to help you with the pull-up bar movements. 

Using Ben’s box drop-in technique, you can use the box to give yourself more momentum on the way into your muscle-up or toes-to-bar.

  • Look after your hands

With so many bar movements, your hands — if not taken care of — are going to feel it. WODPrep highly recommends wearing gymnastics grips in 21.3 to limit rips which can seriously decrease your grip performance for 21.4. The last thing yoy want is to get to heavy grip-tasking barbell work with a big new rip on our palm.

  • Break up your reps

If you’re battling to get the reps for 21.3, it’s okay to break them up. You might go a little slower, but it’s going to help you in the long run. If you’re struggling, allow yourself to accumulate reps through singles so that you hit each rep effectively without wasting any time on no-reps or tiring yourself out trying to go unbroken.

Singles are your friend!

Tips & Strategy for 21.4

21.4 will happen shortly after you finish 21.3, so don’t forget that while you go hard on the previous workout! You’ll still need enough energy to lift heavy in a complex movement that will test strength and technique.

We recommend opening 21.4 with a weight that’s around 70-75% of your clean & jerk 1-rep max. This will often be a weight that will be competitive with your similarly skilled peers and it will help you gauge your next jump. Plus, now that you’re on the board, you can start to really send the next few attempts and jumps.

Make sure you know what you want to do before each attempt and make sure you take the time you need to do it. Remember you have a 7-minute time cap on this one, so you have time to rest, think about technique, and take a minute to regroup before each attempt.


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A post shared by Ben Dziwulski, WODprep (@wodprep)

  • Stick with what you know!

You’re likely to be making about 3 or 4 attempts at this workout, so it is going to be tiring. A good tip here is to stick with what you know, and don’t try to go out of your way to do crazy stuff with the barbell, because that’s not what this challenge is asking for! There is no need to add new techniques like squat jerks or bounces because you can.

  • Quick reminder: You don’t have to finish the lift before the time runs out, just start it

This means that even if you have a few seconds on the clock, pick your barbell up and start your complex. Take your time. If you complete the movements the rep is still good once the time is up.

Read More: CrossFit Invictus Tips for Workout 21.3 & 21.4 (Beginner and Intermediate Athletes)

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