CrossFit Open 19.3: Workout Strategy for Rx, Masters, Scaled

Written By Ben  |  Open 

Three new movements, two inverted movements, one strict gymnastics movement. Week three is heating up, and we have all the tips and strategy that you need for Open Workout 19.3, in one place. 

CrossFit Open Workout 19.3: 

For Time (10 minute time cap): 

  • 200 ft. Dumbbell overhead lunge 
  • 50 DB box step-ups 
  • 50 Strict HSPU 
  • 200 ft. handstand walk 

Men: 50 lb dumbbell / 24 inch box 
Females: 35 lb dumbbell / 20-in box 

Looking for a complete breakdown of 19.3 workout standards? Head to 

19.3: Overhead DB Lunge

  • If you need to, take that extra 1/2 second if it means getting your foot over the line completely. Don't be an inch off and need to take an entire extra step.
  • There is not a "lockout" requirement. The standard is that the DB needs to be above your head, so if someone tries to no-rep you for letting your elbow sag, be aware that's not the requirement. Here are the line by line standards.
  • You CAN switch arms if one is getting fatigued. It may be smart to do this rather than to drop the DB to the floor. My plan is to try doing this at each turnaround point.
  • You DON'T need to switch arms. While this might be a terrible idea to overload one arm, you can favor your stronger side if you want to.

19.3: Box Step-ups

  • Make sure that the weight of the dumbbell is on your back/neck area and try to have ZERO pressure on your shoulder muscles. 
  • Mess around to find a specific technique that works for you, but personally I will have the DB on my back, switching which hand I support the with.
  • This is time is all about shoulder recovery.

19.3: Strict HSPU

  • Small sets.
  • Cut off your first set before you hit fatigue. You will not "win" by hitting a big unbroken set, but you will lose if you get blown up here. Shoot for small, manageable sets that always leave a few reps "in the tank" until the end of the set of 50.
  • Use the box on the floor. You are allowed to have your fingers outside of the box, only your palms must be inside. Find your favorite position, but I HIGHLY suggest going as wide as possible to make it so that your body moves as little as possible.

19.3: Handstand Walks

If you are fit enough to make it here, I would be prepared for a BAD HSW at first.

  • Be prepared for a BAD first handstand walk attempt. In the 19.3 live announcement, Lauren Fisher showed us how tired she was - she needed to break up the HSW significantly.
  • Aim to get a few 5 feet sections done at a time, especially right away. Then as you get more comfortable, get into your groove and go for longer unbroken sections.
  • If and when you're feeling like falling, all you need to do is get both hands passed the next line for that rep to count. Keep accumulating reps, don't worry about trying to be an unbroken hero. 
crossfit open 19.3

CrossFit Open 19.3: Scaled

  • Men use 50-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box, perform front rack lunges, 5-in. elevated strict HSPU and bear crawl.
  • Women use 35-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, perform front-rack lunges, 5-in. elevated strict HSPU and bear crawl.

Besides our 55+ athletes, all scaled competitors will need to go upside down! This is exciting for some, and absolutely terrifying for others. If you're worried - watch this video for tips on how to kick up to the wall. 

Focus on the same cues as the "Rx" division, but really don't forget to push your head through at the top for the lock out

crossfit open 19.3 HSPU
You can hold the front rack lunge with two hands, instead of just one. But holding with one and letting the DB rest in the crease of your shoulder is probably your best bet. Get as much weight off of the arm as possible.

As you turn around after each 25' or maybe 50' segment, use that opportunity to quickly switch your DB to the other shoulder to reduce fatigue.

CrossFit 19.3: Masters

  • Men use 35-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box, perform overhead lunges, 5-in. elevated strict HSPU and handstand walk.
  • Women use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, perform overhead lunges, 5-in. elevated strict HSPU and handstand walk

As we can see, standards are pretty much the same as Rx until we hit 55+, with a 5 inch advantage on the HSPU. Check out all of our above Rx tips.

If you're reading this and in the 55+ category... from what I can tell, these DBs will be fairly light. Try knocking out big sets, keep your core tight, and keep the resting to a minimum! You need to get to the bear crawls ASAP.

19.3 Open WOD Mindset
  • Lunges = “Stay steady. Breathe. No Stopping”
  • Step-ups = “Right up, right down. Left up, left down”

If you keep the above cue in mind for your leading leg, then this cedence will allow you to “touch & go” and remember to follow the standard (alternating legs). You must practice this before the WOD or else you’ll lose rhythm and fall apart!

  • HSPU = “Head through. Tap and go. Small sets”
  • HSW = “5 feet at a time.”
CrossFit 19.3 WOD: Athlete Gear

If you're an athlete who tends to get banged up with lunging, then I'm going to recommend knee sleeves. They will help make the 200 feet lunge just a little bit more comfortable during the workout. Sure, you might look a little silly, but your knees will love you. 

For more 19.3 movement breakdown videos, check out this 19.3 quick tips page.

If you're looking for more details on the 2019 CrossFit Games season, check out this article.

  • Bear crawl: slow and steady, or try to “jog” it?
    Elevated HSPUs: use a pad on top of a weight for cushion, or 2 weights so there’s less compression and you don’t have to go as far?

    Thanks for all this!

    • The hips have to be higher than your head. That said — try and pick a pace that will be consistent throughout the near crawl section. It won’t do any good to jog a length, rest a while, then jog slowly back. Begin steady, then increase as you feel comfortable.

      For HSPUs, a sturdy layer of cushion will be helpful. Cracking down onto an unforgiving plate 50 times will leave a mark.

  • I always look forward to 2 things – Open “panic” – OMG I HAVE 72 HOURS TO GET STRICT HSPU AND HSW HELP ME WODPREP AND FRIENDS!

    but also some Open “Magic” – seeing people do movements they never have before, at volume they never have and weights they’ve never lifted before!

  • I am new to Crossfit and this is my second Game, did 19.2 last week! I have not done HSPU in YEARS! Thanks for all the advice and tips! All I can do it my best! And go from here! You really give great detailed information! Thank you so much!

  • True story: I expected to do 1 scaled HSPU, get down and shake it out, do another, repeat. I got in there and couldn’t even do one! I thought through what I could change, spread my hands really wide and did “tap and go” like you suggested, and during the actual WOD got 10 unbroken as time ran out. I never have done more than 2 in a row in my life. Open magic! (plus great wodprep tips)

    • AWESOME! So glad to hear Ben’s tips helped your out – and that Open magic came through for ya 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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