March 22, 2019

Well it’s the final week of the 2019 Open, and like so many of us were expecting, thrusters are back. 19.5 is going to be a long one - and pacing is absolutely crucial.

Let’s take a look at the workout:

CrossFit Open Workout 19.5:

For time:
Thrusters (95/65 lbs)
Chest to Bar Pull-ups


20 minute time cap. For full 19.5 workout standards, head to theofficial 2019 CrossFitGames Open website.

19.5 Strategy:

This workout is long - even more than what a double Fran would be. Depending on what your normal Fran time is, you might actually find yourself at the 20 minute time cap before finishing. Like I said ladies, pacing will be very crucial in order to avoid that.

While breaking up reps is a very good idea, this doesn’t give you the go ahead to stand over your bar with your hands on your knees for 20+ seconds. Keep moving, shake it out, get back on the bar.


Here are a few keys to keep in mind when you’re in the thrusters:

  • Stay controlled
  • Stay smooth
  • Focus on breathing.

It’s not a bad idea to attempt to know what your rep scheme will be before jumping into the workout. An example of this is:

  • 13-11-9 Thrusters
  • 11 sets of 3 C2B Pull-ups
  • 11-9-7 Thrusters
  • 9 sets of 3 C2B Pull-ups

You’re going to find yourself pretty winded during this workout; C2B pull-ups can affect your normal breathing pattern.Check out this video on how to breathe during thrusters in order to help that.

Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

Listen up - you want to do SMALL SETS here! Regardless of how many unbroken C2B pull-ups you can do while fresh… even if that number is 30+, I highly recommend keeping your sets right around 5 for this workout.  

For a lot of athletes, sets of 3's or even singles will be MUCH better. DO NOT fall into the trap of feeling good early and hitting big sets. You will end up paying the price later in the workout.


33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:

  • 65/45 lb. thrusters
  • Jumping pull-ups

For jumping pull-ups - use your legs and calves. For the jumping pull-ups, the standard is chin-over-bar - so don’t overexert yourself and go above that.


Nothing changes for our Masters athletes until the 55+ division (so follow the Rx strategy above). I’m going to advise using the same C2B strategies for your chin-over-bar pull-ups.  Head to the Games website to check your weight requirements for thrusters - this is dependent on your age group.


You’re going to start that first set of 33 feeling good - of course you are, you will be fresh. This does not mean you have the go ahead to knock out massive, unbroken sets.

If your goal is to come anywhere close to finishing this workout, your job is to stay smooth, controlled, and steady in the beginning, and then finish strong. Try to start the workout with about 80-85% effort, and hold this through the round of 21 reps. From there, try to slightly ramp up your pace, and finish strong.

Workout Gear

  • Weightlifting shoes (if you have them).

  • Hand grips (if you’re used to them for pull-ups)

Do whatever you can to avoid ripping here, or this workout will end up being a miserable experience.

Here’s a great video on CrossFit hand care that may help:

Enjoy this final workout - embrace the suck, and get after it!

Looking for a 19.5 warm-up, and recovery video?  Head and sign-up!

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