Affiliates React to 16.3


In the 16.3 Open workout announcement, 17-year-old Nick Paladino went head-to-head against 45-year-old Shawn Ramirez. Paladino was the 2015 Fittest Teen in the World, the first teen to receive this award, and Ramirez is a two-time Masters Division CrossFit Games winner. But despite the 18-year age difference, CrossFit HQ thought the two would be equally matched.

The RX workout called for 10 power Snatches at 75 pounds for men and 55 pounds for women, followed by three bar muscle ups. The workout, scaled, was 10 power Snatches at 45 pounds for men and 35 pounds for women, followed by five jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups.

At the end of the announcement, Ramirez beat Paladino by six reps. And while Ramirez beating the 17-year-old was inspirational to many Boxes and many Masters athletes, the real success at CrossFit gyms across the nation were members getting their first bar muscle-ups. Social media was full of videos, photos and even memes illustrating CrossFitters around the world succeeding in the movement.

Read how three Affiliates reacted to 16.3, their predictions for the remaining two weeks of the Open, and how their respective communities came around members trying their first bar muscle-ups or accomplishing the workout scaled.

Dakota Cardosanto of Broad Street CrossFit


Is your Box doing anything as a community for the announcements or workouts?
“Every Thursday, we watch the announcement. And then on Friday, the last class of the day, we have a Friday night WOD. People come all day to do the workout, depending on their schedule. Most the time, we have people come at 7 p.m. and then we have a big party and we order pizza.”

How have you been preparing your Box for the workouts each week?
“The second the workout gets announced, I watch the video, I go set the gym up and I run through it on my own. I don’t do the whole WOD, but I just figure out what I think are going to be key points, and I talk to other Coaches and whatnot. And I’ll make like a little video and send it out to the members exclusively.”

Do you give your members any strategies before the workout?
“We do a specific warm up we plan for everybody. We actually talk standards and whatnot, but we talk strategy as well. We’re definitely trying to get people to put up some pretty good scores … For the warm-up, we were doing deep ring rows, getting people to stay tight and trying work on some hollow body stuff. So we had them doing some lat-activation, which is really just a tight gymnastics kip. But we try to explain it as less of a fling and more of an activation, so people aren’t just flailing around on the bar.”

How did your members react to 16.3?
“The beautiful thing this workout is the scaled. A lot of these guys are shining more than the RX because they’re doing the WOD and they’re kind of showing the heart that you expect from an Open workout, because they’re not held back by the skills. So we really worked on pacing.”

But a lot of your members got their first bar muscle-up. What was the atmosphere like in your gym when that happened?
“Oh man, it’s crazy. It’s really rowdy … Now our expectations of them have been blown away, their expectations have been blown away. Everyone is on board. It’s like we went from being one way to being super tight. I don’t think anybody has worn anything other than Broad Street CrossFit clothing for the last three weeks, which is crazy because people are just so proud of us.”

Any predictions for 16.4?
“16.4 is 15.5 (even though I really hope it isn’t.)

Nicole Race of SPSC CrossFit

A few Pelicans from the 5:30am class getting their FIRST bar muscle-up!!! What did you do to make Friday a win?!   A video posted by SPSC CrossFit (@spsccrossfit) on

How is your Box celebrating the Open?
“So this year, we decided to team up with another local Affiliate that we’re really good friends with. We decided to alternate locations every other Friday for a Friday Night Lights. Last year, we tried to do a viewing party and that was kind of fun, but we decided to make the workouts a lot more of an event and a competition and have just a really fun kind of electric environment. So we decided to team up with Burg CrossFit and we’ve just been alternating gyms every other week and it has just been a blast. One of the best things we’ve ever done.”

Did your members have any reaction to a Masters athlete going head-to-head against a teen athlete?
“This is our second year really doing the Open and the first time having a couple Masters athletes. So when that came up, they were really excited to see that regardless of your age, you can still be challenged and do well and can be accommodated. And the fact that the Masters kind of kicked the younger guy’s butt was awesome … I think that’s a big stigma associated with CrossFit. A lot of people assume you have to be very young and already very fit and strong and athletic, and we all know that’s not the case. So it was great to see someone who was older not only doing CrossFit, but doing it really well. So that [was] inspiring for a lot of our older members for sure. ”

And a lot of your members got their first bar muscle ups. What was the atmosphere like in your Box during the workout?
“Everyone was screaming, running around. Half the people stopped working out because they saw it out of the corner of their eye. One of them actually happened during the Friday Night Lights last Friday and the whole gym just erupted because they could see that she was trying and trying and trying. [The other Box’s] members were cheering, our members were cheering. It was just a good booster for that person.”

Any predictions for 16.4?
“We have a lot of leg stuff to do. We haven’t done thrusters or wall balls, box jumps or deadlifts yet. Or rowing. So it’s going to be some nasty leg burner … I was thinking they were going to repeat 15.5. I know it sucked and everyone hated it, but it was so simple and beautiful and I think they’re going to repeat that one.”

Carter Gaffney of CrossFit Santa Monica


How is your Box tackling the Open this year?
“I’ve seen, over the years, people generally perform much better in that sort of official setting. So in our gym, we keep the actual Open workouts to two limited time spots. We set up that anticipation, that feeling of competition. If you do it kind of any old time, it feels random and you kind of perform randomly.”

What was your reaction to 16.3?
“I thought it was clever and I wasn’t really surprised to see the Masters athlete win for a number of reasons in particular with this workout … the red line is something you’ve got to watch out for. And the younger guy, he just went too hard and hit that redline too early, and that’s all it really took. And that’s what this workout is. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but when it’s a couplet with those kind of low numbers, you can get completely redlined real quick if you’re not careful.”

Did you give your members any strategies or tips for 16.3?
“We try not to overthink it too much. We try to give one or two succinct bullets for people to follow and then let them just do the best they can. For us, we’re not going to Regionals. We’re doing it for people to have fun and for people to understand their own capabilities. We try not to sort of put too much pressure or make people overthink it.”

A lot of your members got their bar muscle-ups with this workout. What was the atmosphere like at your Box?
“It was great! I felt like CrossFit headquarters and Dave, they never disappoint when it comes to how well they think through these Open workouts and what it’s going to do to the athletes and the community. I think that having bar muscle ups in an Open workout, when we’ve never had that before, was really smart and it really allowed the entire community to push themselves and get a movement that is not that difficult. If you can do a couple chest to bars, you can do a bar muscle up. But a lot of people don’t realize that. So it really allowed the entire community, including people in our Box to push themselves and get that first bar muscle up.”

Any predictions for 16.4?
“Box jumps. Other than that – who knows.”

Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.