| CrossFit Open 15.3 Warm Up 2015

Author / John


Sorry for the delay, Power Athletes. Luke and I have traveled 30 and 24 hours each down to South Africa for the first ever CrossFit Football cert on the African continent!

Now imagine my sleep-deprived surprise when I step off the plane to see muscle-ups first?! Welcome to the party, pal! My second thought was when I looked down at my poor hands…they must have been watching Die Hard when they were coming up with this one.


15.3 presents an awfully familiar challenge combining skill, friendly hip extension and technical proficiency on the rings. One of the questions we always pose at the CrossFit Football seminar is, “Why do we condition?”. Certainly not for conditioning sake! 15.3 represents one of the purposes of conditioning very well because it challenges technique under the stress of fatigue. The biggest limiting factor for this workout is going to be the loss of technique. All the will power and Die Hard Try Hard will not save you here.


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:

7 Muscle-ups
50 Wall-Ball Shots, 20 lb. ball to 10 feet
100 Double-Unders



14 minutes will be on the clock, no matter if you have the movements for this workout down or not, so you better get the water boiling before moving. 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.

This is the time to dial in the focus. Cues will not save you when the clock starts, so get your mind right for competition. The Open is CrossFit’s Game Day. Act like it.



Round 1:

Round 2:



Whether you’re an experienced CrossFitter, or this is your first Open, we want you to focus on execution of the movements. Last thing we want is for you to feel like the walls are closing in on you. Technique is everything, especially for the muscle-ups. For this reason we have included components of Power Athlete’s compadre, Carl Paoli.

Double Unders are like juggling, you either got it, or you don’t. We included a low HR, low stress J-rope session in the pre-warm-up warm-up, so you should be locked in your double under starts and criss crosses.

Each of the 3 segments below requires you to start double unders, maintain rhythm and push technique/speed to trigger lactate production. For here we move into the Spiderman Complexes to prep for wall balls. We are not going to include wall balls in this warm up. I care more about energy system and technical proficiency here than friendly hip extension. Squats are our jam, and you better believe we want those wall balls #toesforward!

From the Spiderman’s, we lock in a violent hip extension required* of your muscle ups without taxing the shoulders, and leads right into muscle-up transition execution under high HR and fatigue.


:30 Rest and Transition

:30 Rest and Transition

:60 Rest and Recovery

  • :60- Multiple Muscle Up Practice

Hit some more Child’s Pose Progression 1 with some active rest and hydrate for 5-10 Minutes before CrossFit Open 15.3 Warm Up!


And lastly, take these women’s advice: Quit your Bitchin’.

Muscle Up as the first movement is a strong move in reminding people about the time and effort it takes to train. Especially on technical skills and movement through space. We all know our limitations, and if you don’t, your coach isn’t pushing you far enough.

Share this article


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. Retro Intensity on March 13, 2015 at 5:01 am

    This resonates with me because while I understand people are upset about it being the first movement, I can clearly remember filming myself every freaking Monday (Muscle-Up Mondays) for MONTHS trying to learn muscle-ups and asking for people to review my form, and constantly battling to get that movement. Yes, it “screws some people into doing scaled”, but think about how many people are finally going to get their first muscle-up. “Nothing gets accomplished without a deadline” – you now have a deadline to learn them – 1 muscle-up places you higher on the leaderboard than 500 reps scaled – choose your fate.

  2. […] 15.3 Warmup suggestions from Power Athlete […]

  3. […] CrossFit Open 15.3 Warm-up (Power Athlete HQ) […]

  4. G Miller on March 13, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Any chance to make the videos public? looks like a great way to warmup for the workout.

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 13, 2015 at 7:02 am

      The videos are public and should open if you click on the movement. What browser are you using?

  5. honeybadgernick on March 13, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Thanks again Tex. These warm up articles have been invaluable to myself and my athletes. Hoping to see some first time muscle ups tonight! Good luck #powerathletenation

  6. Retro Intensity on March 13, 2015 at 8:36 am

    @mcquilkin – dumb question – what’s the difference between Round 1 and Round 2 for the dynamic movement prep – basically, why the split? Is it any different than just all the movements straight through?

    Cocky Walks – 10 yards
    Goblet Squat Static Hold – 20 seconds
    Leg Cradle Lunge with Lateral Flexion and Extension – 10 yards
    Inch Worm Hands Only – 5 reps
    Child’s Pose Progression 1 – 2 RT/ 2 LT
    Scapula Depressions on the rings with a False Grip- 10 reps
    Cocky Walks – 10 yards
    Pillar to Plank Press Up – 10 reps
    Leg Cradle Lateral Lunge Twist – 5 RT/5 LT
    Contralateral Inch Worms -5 reps
    Child’s Pose Moose Antler – 2 RT/ 2 LT
    Ring Pull Ups – 5 – 10 reps

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Just how I write warm ups, I want them to build off one another. Look for the progressions/connections between them.

  7. Retro Intensity on March 13, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Secondly – “Double Unders Out the Gate” – something special about these? Or just regular double-unders.

    Feel free to mail me my award for dumbest questions ever, I’m okay with that title today.

    • Tex McQuilkin on March 13, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Put your foot on the gas. I don’t want these to be paced at all. Go as hard and fast as you can maintain DU’s.

  8. […] Warm Up Via Power Athlete […]

  9. Steve (a.k.a. Prof. Booty) Platek on March 13, 2015 at 11:38 am

    thank for this @mcquilkin
    good stuff.

  10. Ingo B on March 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    A gentle reminder that this post is open to general pop, so pls do not quote, paste, or directly reference PAHQ premium content.


  11. G Miller on March 13, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    @tex yup, you’re correct. Tried to open them in a new window.

  12. sean ploskina on March 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    433. Not quite the full three rounds. I am filing a complaint with the ACLU about these wallballs. The vertically challenged male is being discriminated against.

Leave a Comment


Never miss out on an epic blog post or podcast, drop your email below and we’ll stay in-touch.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.