FAITH RXD Denver Chapter Coach, Mike Ray, has some great tips for Open Workout 20.5.


Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths grow tired and weary,

    and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.


I love this verse, it’s a good one to end the open on. Trust in the lord for your abilities in this workout. Also you could think of Rev from Remember the Titans, “Like, Eaagles yaaa”ll, like eaaaagles yaaa’ll.”


But remember, this is fun- it’s supposed to be fun. Let this verse be a check on where your focus is. Put your hope in the Lord. And after repeating this verse, remember to keep your HR (Heart Rate) down.


Looking at this workout, it’s hard to really tell what to do right? Personal strategy is key here.



Muscle Ups

Big kips, and big pull; if you know what you can hit, make sure you do so with no failed reps- those waste so much energy. Be careful not to rip, as that will make this workout really bad. Use whatever grips or hand protection you have, and use your hips to kip hard.


Wall Balls

Doable sets of these, in my opinion (see below for strategy).

Form- use your hamstrings. Which means, in the bottom, keep your whole foot on the ground (no toes!) and fire out of the hole from your BOOTY! Keep your chest up and back tight. If you use your back, you will feel this on the row, and your back should only be stabilized in this movement, not actively used.

I recommend getting your hands under the ball vs. the side of the ball, because this helps with the stability factor and harnesses more of the lower body (bigger muscles) with less use of the arms and shoulders, which you need for muscle ups.



Several things to do:

  • Keep cal/hr up high.
  • Hard pulls and use the hamstrings.
  • Slow down your pace to be 25-30 strokes per min MAX, then settle in with the big pulls to keep the power high.



“I will get my 1st MU today!”

If you are trying to get the first MU, you gotta ask yourself what is important- a good tiebreak time, or a muscle up?


To me, the muscle up is more exciting. I remember getting my first one and running out of Crossfit Grit screaming with joy. My then girlfriend, and now wife, is still embarrassed.


So, if this is your strategy, here is what I recommend: focus on finishing the WB and rowing, but get ample opportunity to get that muscle up. You should know how long it will take to do the other parts of the workout, so you can plan for that.


Start with the 1st 1-2 minutes on attempting to get a muscle up fresh. Once that time frame ends, and you are not worn out (maybe overjoyed…hopefully), start working on doable sets of wall balls. I am thinking that you can do 10 sets of 12, or if you feel good 6 sets of 20.


Once you complete your sets, make one muscle up attempt. After all WB, go to the row, and hammer out all 80 cals unbroken then in the remaining time take attempts. If, during the WB sets, you feel you are done attempting the muscle ups, hop on the rower and chip away sets of cals, but you need to get 15+ each time or it isn’t worth the transition to me.


“No chance I get a muscle up.”

Don’t be so negative. Treat this as doable rounds for time, like 6 sets of 20 WB and 14 cal row (your last row will be shorter due to MATH), then when you are done, make attempts. You never know.


“40 is a lot, especially doing singles.”

You can do muscle ups, but not more than two at a time, or even one for that matter. Start with your dividing factor. Do a muscle up. Drop down. Do a second. Drop down. Do a 3rd. Then start an AMRAP as mentioned in section 1.


Breaking the WBs to hit more muscle ups, is another strategy. When you get to the 10 minute mark, evaluate where you are with the wall balls and rowing. If you are not close to 100 WB, your focus needs to shift to finish the WB and the Row. Then, with the remaining time, chip away with your muscle ups.


I still recommend doing all 80 cals at once, but that is dedicated 4-5 minutes of work at least. That’s why I want you to reevaluate at the 10 minute mark because you have time to react.


“I can hit 5…till I get tired.”

Start off fresh hitting 5, then hit a set of wall balls, then go back to the rings and hit 3-5. I say repeat this till you are getting 2s or you’re at the 10 min mark.


As with above, the 10 min mark is your time to take a second to reevaluate. You could hop on the rower and rock out 20 cals while you think on what you need to do to finish. Again, I am a big proponent for getting rid of the row at one time, but if you have a larger number of wall balls remaining, be smart in breaking them up. Just remember, all rower transitions are slow. Again when you finish, you need to go back to hitting what you can with muscle ups till the time ends.


“Thank you JESUS for Muscle ups!”

Well, if you are here, then you know what you can do.


I recommend a doable, consistent 10 rounds of 4 MU and 12 wall balls, followed by hammering out 80 cals on the rower.


If you think 4 is so easy, and you want to go harder, look at maybe 8 rounds of 6 MU and 15 Wall balls. Or so on if you know your abilities. To me, I know that I can hit 7-8 and not be wrecked, but 10 would be for 2 rounds at most, so I am going to go with the 10 rounds and keep my heart rate good and ready for the rowing push at the end.


Wall balls for me become a weakness, but I know 12 is definitely doable and I want to stick to what I know. There is merit to opening with a big set of each then settling down, but remember, you know your skill set, and if you hit 10+ MU and 25+ wall balls, how long are you going to stare at the rings before you get back up? Be smart and don’t blow out. 40 MU is a lot if you are not elite. And I think the most I have ever seen in a workout that I have done is 30.


Let’s do this!



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