Smashby’s CF Games Open Strategy – WOD 15.4

Posted: March 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

The 4th workout of the 2015 CrossFit Games Open is a couplet. Handstand Push-Ups. Cleans.


Now, keep in mind when reading this, that I am pretty much as far from the HSPU expert as you can get. However, one thing I think I can do fairly well is pace workouts. For me, this 8 minute WOD is basically a HSPU endurance race, with some Clean “breaks” built into it.

Handstand Push-Ups:

If you’re close to getting one for the first time, fight today! My advice on kipping them is simple:
With your butt against the wall, pull those knees down to your chest, kick to the ceiling, and throw your head “through the window” to help you ensure that proper lock-out.

I don’t want to get into the politics of sportsmanship and integrity in the Open in a strategy post, but know this… there will be lots of cheating in this workout. You just need to decide whether you want your score to be tainted and rank higher, or if you want to score less reps with proper range of motion. It really is as simple as that, to me. Some of us have been doing CrossFit for 5-6+ years already, and I feel this standard is the most fair one that has ever been set. I am very curious to hear from you guys as to why you might think this standard is LESS fair. Here’s how I see it… 3″ below your wrist, regardless of arm, torso, leg length, and regardless of your weight, is 3″ below your wrist. Am I missing something? Fill me in!


Do them. Haha, not much logic here. If it’s close to, or an actual 1 Rep Max for you, then buckle-up and get it. Plan on a full squat clean, jump and shrug as hard as you can, pull under that bar quickly with fast elbows, and stay tight on the way up! If you’ve got this weight, I’d suggest to move through it as efficiently as possible. For me, it felt like quick singles worked best.


As someone who isn’t great at HSPUs, my goal was to make it through all sets of them without reaching failure. I stuck with short, quick, sets of three for the entire workout. For my friends who are better at them, I suggest starting to break them up at least starting at the set of 12 (if not sooner). My best suggestion is just to fly through reps until you feel your pace slow, then kick down. Whether that’s at rep 7 or 9, or rep 4 of 12, kick down, shake ’em out, and kick right back up.
When I do this workout again, I’ll try to decrease my rest time between HSPU sets. This is going to be one of the workouts with the largest discrepancies happen between athletes. If you’re strong and stick to the standards, you’ll be just fine. What are your strategies? Anything crazy that might help someone else?
Good luck, have fun, I believe in you. We’re almost there, everyone. One more week!

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