| CrossFit Open 15.2 Warm Up 2015

Author / John


The 2015 CrossFit Open 15.1 was something else, and we had over 5000 athletes hit up the Power Athlete 15.1 warm up! The implementation of the proper warm up and preparation is our gluten-free bread and grass-fed butter, not only for competition prep, but day in and day out training to keep you coming back.

For 15.2 we got a flashback of what the 2014 Open had to offer. This was my favorite Open workout from last year, a combination of not only lactate threshold, but also mental threshold as well. Here lies your 15.2 specific warm up to get your chili heated up, prime the CNS pump, and get your lactate buffers buffing!

CrossFit Open 15.2

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:

From 0:00-3:00

2 rounds of:
95-lb. overhead squats, 10 reps
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

2 rounds of:
95-lb. overhead squats, 12 reps
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

2 rounds of:
95-lb. overhead squats, 14 reps
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds.


Crossfit open 15.2 PRE-WARM UP-WARM UP:

Here we go again. Do not sell this portion short, especially with a potential long run like 15.2. Increase your heart rate, break a sweat, and get the blood flowing.

10-15 minutes of jumping rope, C2 rowing, stride runs and shuffles, Assualt bike, etc.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up implements and even throw in some jumping jacks. Get moving and this will get you ready for the dynamic movement prep.

Again, this segment is not social hour or a water cooler warm up.  Some athletes on our board skipped this part or cut it short and I guarantee they left some on the table. The Open is CrossFit’s Game Day. Go out on the field, toss a ball around, get loose and relaxed before you prep for showtime.



Round 1:

Round 2:



The weights and movements are set and this week’s challenge will either have you working for 6,9, 12 minutes and beyond. The goal of this warm up is to push the brickwall as far back as we can by priming the lactic acid buffers, locking in posture, and get you ready to overachieve past your 14.2 score.

The complexes below will be broken up into 0:30, :60, :90, and 2 minutes to prepare for energy demands of the workout. Rest will be worked in to allow for the flush. Don’t be afraid if your quads are pumped after round 2 and your HR is way up. That’s the goal! We’re revving the engine!

Grip and forearms will fail first, so we are going to minimize time on the rig and still get the shoulder ready-ready for this killer combo.  Loaded squats of any kind are a Power Athlete staple no matter back squat or overhead squat – same jam, different jelly.  We’re going to start with the bar and work our way up to 95/65 lbs.

Last note. Fucking BREATH! Oxygen is your friend. The deeper the breaths, the lower the heart rate. The lower the heart rate, the more effective your lactic acid buffers will work. Remember, we are pushing the brickwall point in which acidic build up cannot be buffered and failure ensues as far back as we can. In order for this to work in the workout, you must hit this hard! Ample rest/flush time will be provided between warm up and 15.2, we just need to pre-game before the party.

CrossFit Open 15.2 Power Athlete Warm Up: 

:30 Rest and Recovery

:45 Rest and Recovery

:60 Rest and Recovery

  • :30- Calorie Row
  • :15- Kipping on a bar
  • :15- Overhead Squat– 95/65 lbs
  • :15- Kipping/Butterfly Pull Ups
  • :30- Calorie Row (Slow this down and take it for a stroll)

Get your feet elevated on a wall for 2 minutes, then active rest and hydrate for 5-10 Minutes before 15.2!


Take the legs up cool down time to mentally prepare yourself. Workouts with tiers like this one are 90% physical and the other half mental.  Set your goal and punch it in the throat. Enjoy this CrossFit Open warm up and be sure to post your scores below!

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. DavidMck on March 5, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Great, another movement I only ever do strict. Only time I’ve ever done a Kipping pull up was at my cf cert…

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      You can do strict easy. Just let me know how your 3 minute workout goes.

  2. Crossfit Balboa | Einhorn.. on March 5, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    […] Power Athlete Warm Up for 15.2 […]

  3. aeron621 on March 5, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Mad warm up!

    Too bad my hands aren’t tough enough…

    170 Reps Rx’d

  4. Steve (a.k.a. Prof. Booty) Platek on March 6, 2015 at 4:12 am

    @mcquilkin this looks great, just like last week: smarter than any of the other prep/wu materials out there. I’d like to offer a few tips for success here too, to maximize one’s ability to get as far as they can:

    1) hands. Take care of your hands. Once you rip, you’re probably mentally done, even if you think you can push through, that little bit of discomfort from your hand can magnify the intensity of the workout, unless you train with ripped hands frequently

    2) break C2B pull-ups earlier. No need to be a baller and show everyone that you can do 10’s, 12’s, 14’s, because as Tex says grip could be another defining factor here. Fortunately for us, PowerAthlete trains grip regularly so you should be fine. If you’re feeling questionable about your grip go back to @cali ‘s article on grip training and get some blood flow to your forearms and hands. I found last week my grip didn’t tire at all and I know it’s b/c of our training; and b/c I used jumping rope in my aerobic prep – really gripping down on that handle of the rope. A wise training protocol (PowerAthlete/FieldStrong) once said: you’re only as strong as the weakest link in your kinetic chain – don’t let that be your grip.

    3) OHS: If you’re not an ancient decrepit old fuck like me and have some decent mobility, try going closer grip OHS – more like a clean grip OHS. This should save the torque on your shoulders come the C2B and stack the bones in a way that makes you more comfortable.

    4) get jiggy with it. when you feel like it’s over is the time to push through and punch that fucker in the face.

    Good luck PA Nation!!!!

  5. shredalert on March 6, 2015 at 4:52 am

    Well said @mcquilkin and @splatek. The PA warm up for 15.1/a was off the charts and I had great success by following a small portion of it. Now I plan to follow the whole fucking thing for 15.2.

  6. Nick Brooky on March 6, 2015 at 5:48 am

    @mcquilkin, sick warm up. I can’t wait to do it Saturday morning. Last week’s warm-up definitely primed me for the workout but it still punched me in the dick. Too bad I don’t know how to butterfly, I use a basic gymnastics kip. Good luck to everyone.

  7. […] Power Athlete- These guys go into a great warm up routine for the workout. Expect to see a good portion of this tomorrow morning. […]

  8. […] Power Athlete HQ: “2015 CrossFit Open Warm-up: 15.2“ […]

  9. Eric Gough on March 6, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Love the warm-up…not the workout! As an old bastard 18 months out of shoulder reconstruction (labrum & rotator from a life of throwing & abuse) I struggle mightily on this last year. My OHS is still piss poor as my mobility still isn’t good. C2Bs also are a struggle–that last pull to get the chest up to the bar is tough due to previously stated mobility. Working all those Bent Over Rows the last year has done wonders for the strength, but sadly my mobility has been much slower to return.

    Just hoping to improve on last year’s short workout!

  10. Retro Intensity on March 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    @mcquilkin – have you seen this – https://vimeo.com/121438628 – Rudy from Outlaw basically says to not treat it like an interval workout and instead take 45 seconds per part staying super slow in the early rounds (45 seconds to do 10 pullups) – would that change the theory behind the warmup at all?

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

      This warm up is based off of energy systems and the dominance phenomenon, not any strategy in particular.

      It is an interval warm up to maximize lactate buffers and flush to push the threshold as far back as we can. The only advice I gave you for the workout itself is to treat like it’s Game Day and to punch it in throat. If you game it and then fall behind, you panic. Panic takes energy and tension. We can prep the body to deal with these stressors in the warm up. I would not change this warm up one bit, whether your workout strategy is to fight for rest or to pace the whole workout. Either way you will need to prime all three energy pathways and the next muscles in line. I would be interested to see Rudy’s prescribed warm up for his Games athletes though.

  11. Ingo B on March 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    General note: this article is open to gen pop. Please ensure no premium content is pasted or directly quoted here. Thanks.

  12. Ingo B on March 6, 2015 at 10:08 am

    PS – no one did, just being proactive.

  13. Chelsey Haardt on March 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Good eye ingo!!
    Hit this workout at 6am with Amanda and didn’t get a chance to stop by here before for my warmup. But I did have a few of these movents inplemented by Ben who coached that class! So when I’m Coaching at CFBalboa tonight I will definetly implement this warmup. Gonna try to do 15.2 again on Monday to try and best today’s score! Eager to see if the PA warmup helps me improve my score. I have a feeling it will! Good luck everyone 🙂

  14. Bill G on March 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    First time using this site. This warmup looks great and is more dynamic/science based than anything I’ve been to exposed to previously.

    A quick question.

    For the dynamic warmup, here is what you have for the first round (which you mention will be in :30 phases?):

    :15- Calorie Row
    :15- Kipping on a bar
    :15- Spiderman Crawls w/ Elbow to Drop (Aim for 1R/1L)
    :15- Kipping/Butterfly Pull Ups
    :30 Rest and Recovery

    So I do my 15 second calorie row, then rest for 30 seconds? Then move to the Spiderman Crawls? And progress from there?

    Or should I be moving from each exercise as fast as possible and THEN resting for 30 seconds after I complete the cycle?


  15. Bill G on March 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Hey guys,
    this looks great and I can’t wait to use it tonight. I’m curious if during the dynamic warmup, am I just moving from movement to movement as fast as possible?

    :15- Calorie Row
    :15- Kipping on a bar
    :15- Spiderman Crawls w/ Elbow to Drop (Aim for 1R/1L)
    :15- Kipping/Butterfly Pull Ups

    THEN I rest for 30 seconds before the next section?

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks for coming. Complete each combo, then rest between. So if something is written, :15,:15,:15,:15, complete all these connected movements and then rest allotted time.

      Good luck, let us know your score.

  16. Bill G on March 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I did the warmup a bit sloppy as I wasn’t at my home box (we have an event at different host boxes each week) and then, once I was primed and ready I had to wait about 15 minutes to start my round.

    But I’ll be retesting on Sunday at the home box and will have a better idea of how to pace it.

    All that said, I still got to 124 reps.

    Doing singles on all the pullups til the later rounds. And I’ll be trying this warmup once again. It felt great.

  17. craigrowles82 on March 7, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Another great warm up @mcquilkin, Thanks for your help and keep them coming.

  18. jshtrv on March 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Warm up done as written
    80 reps c2b killed me
    ego deflator

  19. Bill G on March 8, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Whoops! I retested too soon. I got 116 this time. Paced better but didn’t have the strength. Boooo.

    Again, I dug the warmup.

  20. Eric Gough on March 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Followed warm-up for the most part–have to put in more shoulder mobility work as prep. Last year I did this WOD, I was 5 months post-shoulder surgery…got 22 reps. OHS were an absolute bitch. C2B were done 1 at a time with reverse grip.

    This year I got 71. Probably could have done a little better, but the shoulder is still creaky with marginal mobility. Hard to retrain this old body. My OHS are ugly at best. Sore quads a result of knees forward to hit depth. Did C2B in sets of 4-6 for the most part.

    But, in the end I improved a ton. I found out I may be ready to add OHS back into my work.

  21. Ross on March 9, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Great warm up, felt really good going into the workout and improved on last year’s score, despite not having done c2b pullups in ages.

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Nice work, guys. I am glad ya’ll were able to apply this to your training and give to your athletes. 15.3 will come slightly later than Thursday night. @Luke and I will be traveling to spread the Power Athlete methodology to South Africa that day, but I will get it posted as soon as we find internets!

  22. Crossfit Open 15.2 – Crossfit Directory on February 1, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    […] Full article from Power Athlete Crossfit Open 15.2 […]

  23. Shuvo Kumar on June 15, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I really like CrossFit Games and I learn important things from this post. I am very much crazy about CrossFit Games 2021 live stream.

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