| CrossFit Open 15.4 Warm Up 2015

Author / John

Power Athlete’s first three CrossFit Open Warm Ups have been viewed over 20,000 times! The feed back has been nothing short of positive and informative for the athletes and affiliates who have put these warm ups into action. Thank you, coaches and athletes, we hope this approach is empowering you to outperform and overachieve throughout the Open competition!

CrossFit-Open-Power-Athlete-Warm-UpI know what some of you were thinking after 15.3, “Lemme ask you something … I got a couple of good ones in there, right? It wasn’t like I got my ass kicked, right?” And the rest of you were looking around after the announcement, “That’s what I love about the Open, man. I get older, the movements stay the same. Alright, alright, alright.”

Well, good news is Open 15.4 is right up the hard chargers wheelhouse. Especially my grandmother. But, hell, she’s quicker and tougher than you! (Course she’s 6-3, 250, runs a 4.5 40.)


Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., adding 3 reps to the handstand push-up each round, and 3 reps to the clean every 3 rounds.

Men clean 185 lb.
Women clean 125 lb.



Look, I got it all planned out. Most workouts with handstand push ups like this never get past a punch or two before they’re broken up, know what I’m saying? 8 minutes may feel like a lifetime, but it isn’t. Invest in a solid 15 minutes of jump ropes, arm swing drills, rowing, or the Assault Bike so you can be going into the warm up ring breaking a sweat.

I don’t care how pumped you’re feeling on Game Day, put this time in to calm the nerves and get your mind right. Come the 4 minute mark, I don’t want you disappearing into your cave. When you’re coach asks you how it going, I want you to respond, “Fixin’ to be a lot better, man!”


Round 1:

Round 2:



The approach to this is simple: Don’t let your mouth write a check your body can’t cash. There are only so many handstand push ups in the chamber, so we are going to get your stabilizers going and then take care of the elbow.  Get a feel for this new standard during the :10 Iso-Holds. This may be something new you’ll have to adjust too, but if you have been rocking the kick-ass over head iso-work like the Handstand Hold with Leg Drop and all the upper-body plyos Field Strong has been putting you through 15.4 will be just another day in the park.

I have to get your HR up before the technical movement of the Clean for that lactate pump and to integrate perfect bar path. In order for us to do this and not burn out the arms we are bringing back our old friend the Athletic Position Burpee. These are not your typical burpees, these are what my grandmother did back in her day. Please, do not perform a push up with this movement. Save it for the wall. I strongly suggest that you jump as high as you can with full hip extension for each of these Athletic Burpee windows. Why? Not only to begin to fire your CNS, but to integrate the full hip extension into the following movement pattern.

Each round gradually increases the stress all working up towards the 185# and gets you ready to max out on handstand pushups. We will not do handstand push ups to warm up, we will warm up to do handstand push ups and cleans.



:30 Rest and Load Up

:30 Rest and Load Up

:30 Rest and Load Up

Rest 5-12 minutes before 15.4 and be sure to include Child’s Pose Progression 1 and Child’s Pose Moose Antler and hydrate during your active rest before taking this on!


Although I understand the heat of competition and you do not want to give your rivals your preparation tools, please share these Open warm ups, Power Athlete Radio and the coaching tools provided by the Power Athlete coaches with everyone. Why?

It’d be a lot cooler if you did.

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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. honeybadgernick on March 20, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Can’t wait to hit this tonight!

  2. […] Additional 15.4 warm up suggestions from Power Athlete here. […]

  3. Ingo B on March 20, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Pre-emptive reminder: this post is open to general population. Please do not post, reference, or link premium PAHQ content here. Thanks.

  4. bradholbrough on March 20, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Every warmup has been on point!!
    Thank you so much!!
    From one lax guy to another
    I’m an Ex NLL defender

  5. sean ploskina on March 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Great stuff again Tex.

  6. […] CrossFit Open 15.4 Warm-up (Power Athlete HQ) […]

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