I wasn’t sure what to think of 19.4. Burpees are not my friends, for the most part, but I felt confident about the scaled snatch weight of 45 pounds and the chin over the bar pull ups. I might have tried to do the 65 pound snatches, and I might have succeeded, but I’m nowhere near bar muscle ups right now and it might be injurious to try. So I planned to scale, but I wasn’t sure how far I’d get.

19.4 was 2 sets of 3 rounds each with a mandatory 3 minute rest between them and a total time cap of 12 minutes. The first set of 3 rounds was 10 snatches and 12 burpees over the bar. The second set was 10 bar muscle ups and 12 burpees over the bar (chin over the bar pull ups for scaled). I wasn’t even sure that I would make it to the second set, because I’ve been feeling pretty slow.

On the other hand, I’ve also been participating in a burpee challenge for the month of march, and while burpees over the bar (technically bar facing burpees, since we were not allowed to do the burpees laterally) are more difficult than the challenge burpees, I have been practicing the movement this month. The challenge runs for 20 days, starts with 3 burpees on day one and increases by 3 each day. So by the time I got around to doing 19.4, I had completed my set of 51 burpees (in a single set, no breaks – but slow).

A set of just 12 burpees, which, in the past, might have been intimidating, was looking like a nice break.

I started the morning by judging a friend, who broke up the sets of snatches and made short work of the burpees. She was also going scaled, but has not been working on pull ups for as long as I have. Still, after the rest break, she made it through 9, which was really awesome. I tried to help her with her kipping motion, but I’m not a coach, so while I could see there was something off with her timing, I couldn’t provide her with a way to correct it.

After that, I went off to warm up with my set of 54 burpees. I figured I would be able to get nice and warm, but not wear myself out too much with that as long as I started early enough. That also allowed me to go ahead and watch the second heat, where another friend got her very first strict pull up – and she made it look easy! I only wish I’d gotten some video of that.

Then it was my turn, and, although I had advised my friends to break up the sets of snatches, I have a heavier one rep than they do, so I was going to play it by feel. Maybe 2 sets of 5, I thought.


I went unbroken for each of my 3 sets of 10 snatches at 45 pounds. It got a bit heavy on the last set, but by the time I had finished 6, I knew I wasn’t going to be putting the bar down for a break. I pounded them out and got to the last set of burpees, which also went pretty fast for me. I didn’t have a great split time, but 4:44 was better than I expected of myself.

Three minutes of rest is both a lot of time and not very much time at all. I spent a good minute of it singing nonsense syllables to try and calm my breathing and lower my heart rate. It is pretty amazing how much you can recover in just three minutes. Even though I still felt horrible, I was able to get up to the bar and knock out a set of 10 kipping pull ups. That had been my goal, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it!

Then burpees, then more pull ups. I switched quickly to fast singles on a lower bar so I wouldn’t waste energy hanging on when I couldn’t muster linked ones with kipping anymore. I was getting down to the end of the time while going through my burpees, and I pushed hard to finish with enough time to at least try to get a pull up in. I hopped on the bar for a fast single, realized I still had time and did one more.

I didn’t finish this one, but I didn’t really expect to finish it. My burpees are better than they used to be, but they aren’t exactly fast. Still, I felt really good about how I did in the workout. Since I scaled, I didn’t have to jump over the barbell for the burpees, just step over, and that helped a lot, since I always get freaked out about the possibility of tripping on the bar on a jump – even though that’s never actually happened to me. I have tripped over a rower trying to do burpees over the rower, but not a barbell. Plus jumping jacks up the heart rate.

Just one more week left of the Open for – well, not this year, since there will be another in October – for this competition cycle, which will culminate in the 2019 CrossFit Games. I’m looking forward to another challenge, preferably one that I can smash.

Me being all judge-y.
There were far more pictures of me judging or standing around than actually working out this time.

In fact, this is the only picture they posted of me during the workout, about 20 seconds after I finished the first round. I’m that little ball in the upper left corner on the floor. 

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