| CrossFit Open 15.5 Warm Up 2015

Author / John

It’s time to Face/Off with the final workout of the CrossFit Open 2015, and it is no joke. While I know everyone is sad that this week brings the end of the Open, all of you that have applied these warm ups provided by Power Athlete have seen the depth behind these warm ups should fear not.

12-Labours-Power-Athlete-CrossFit-Open-15.5Earlier in the week, Power Athlete teamed up with the online tracking platform, Train Heroic, to launch a brand new, more bad ass and innovative way to follow Field Strong.  Applying Welbourn’s programming to a system that application guidelines, displays daily leaderboards, and keeps all of your records, and we are very excited about it. Read more about Field Strong on Train Heroic.

For many, this is the last workout of the 2015 CrossFit season. While some personal accomplishments have been made so far, we do not want you to go into the final workout satisfied with where you currently stand and going through the motions with your ‘best’ attempt. Losers always whine about their best.  Winners, we go home with the prom queen.

Having no time limit works in the winner’s favor.  Think of it as a ‘burn the ships’ mindset, and you have no choice but to lay it on the line like Nic Cage did when he stole the Declaration of Independence and all the cars in under 60 seconds.


27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)

Men use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb.



A workout with no time cap means this pre-warm up portion cannot be neglected.  A common fault we’ve seen all too much is athletes who go into workouts like this without getting their chili hot and do not feel a pop until after the first round.  But by then, the quads are locked, lower back is jammed up, and the lungs are fighting for air with one thought rolling through their mind, “Why couldn’t you put the bunny back in the box?”

I know, it makes no sense.  Just like skipping this portion of your warm up! Invest in a solid 15 minutes of jump ropes, arm swing drills, strolling on the rowing machine, or the Assault Bicycle.  Mental toughness is key, and we want you to go in hungry.  Think of this as the time to ask yourself the hard questions and dial the grind in for Face/Off with 15.5.



Round 1:

Round 2:



Two components of this warm up we need to carry over into the workout: the pump and transition integration.  In order for us to get a pump, approach the rows like work, not a stroll for hours.  Practice your fast starts and get the wheel spinning hard for the set time. Move as quickly as possible from the rowing machine to the floor for pillar press ups and onto the bar.  You will be tired turning the workout, make it a habit from warm up to finish to get in position and go.

We want to limit the pressing in this warm up, but still need to prepare for when the arms are called upon.  Do not fly through the Pillar to Press Ups.  These should be steady and controlled with the elevated HR.  Press the palms hard into the floor to had the stretch of the extensors.

Power Athletes were made for squats, and this Open has spent a lot of time in our kingdom.  While on the lighter side, there are 72 squats to knock out in this workout.  Lactic acid build up will be your greatest enemy here, so keep the breaths steady and the bar moving.  The 15 second blocks of squats below are designed to tap into lactate production, we then allow :30 for recovery and flush.  By the end of the four cycles here, you will prepared for the workout weight and your buffers will be ready for the sprint ahead.


:30 Rest

:30 Rest and Load Up

:30 Rest and Load Up

Rest 5-12 minutes before 15.5 and we NEED you to hit Vertical Column Side Stretch RT/LT for 60 seconds each side!

Nic-Cage-CrossFitYou’ve rowed 1000s of calories, and crushed 1000s of thrusters. We need you to get a little Nic Cage crazy with this one. I’ve prepared your your energy systems and the neuromuscular processes throughout this series… but here’s what I haven’t done yet: I’ve never provided a strategy. Coach’s don’t talk this way anymore, but I’m going to say it, here’s my strategy. Games are for kids; walk into this workout ready to fight and leave it ALL out there. Because if you game it, pace it, and lose, it could all be gone… in 60 seconds.

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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. bjmonger on March 26, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Maybe for 16.1 we can get Cage to demo all the warm-up movements and exercises being performed in the workouts? That could really get my chile hot and maybe speed up the whole warm-up process in general. Just a thought.

  2. […] 15.5 Open warm up suggestions from Power Athlete. […]

  3. Ingo B on March 27, 2015 at 11:52 am

    A pre-emptive reminder that this post is open to gen-pop, so please do not post, paste, or reference PAHQ premium content here. Thanks, and may you live long and prosper while The Force be with you.

  4. jshtrv on March 29, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Warm ups done
    10:20 legs felt like they were going to explode!
    Awesome stuff PAHQ

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