March 22, 2016
16.4 Workout Analysis and Breakdown
By Jonathan Kinnick of Beyond the Whiteboard
To score in the 90th percentile, the women needed 25 handstand push-ups and the men needed 36.
To score in the 90th percentile, the women needed 25 handstand push-ups and the men needed 36.

Open Workout 16.4 was a 13-minute chipper with 55 reps per movement. The movements included deadlifts, wall balls, rowing, and handstand push-ups. If you finished those four movements in time, you earned the right to start again back at the deadlifts.

This workout gave us an alternating pull-push format. Deadlifts (pull) were followed by wall balls (push), then rowing (pull) and handstand push-ups (push). This allowed the respective muscles to recover somewhat before they were asked to work again in a slightly different manner.

For all athletes, the row split was crucial. This determined how much time they would have to chip away at the handstand push-ups. Top athletes needed as much time as possible to blast through the handstand push-ups, round two deadlifts, and maybe some wall balls. With an impressive score of 330 reps, Josh Bridges was the only Rx’d competitor to finish the wall balls on the second round.

16.4 Workout Analysis

This week we saw 87 percent of men go Rx’d (up 3 percent), and 66 percent of women go Rx’d (up 8 percent). By putting the more advanced movement (handstand push-ups) at the end of the chipper, we saw even more athletes willing to take a crack at the Rx’d version of the workout.

A score of 165 reps indicates that the athlete finished the 55 calories on the rower, but was unable to complete any handstand push-ups. 6,534 men and 7,160 women finished 16.4 with 165 reps. This included athletes who are not able to do handstand push-ups, those who were too fatigued to do them, and those who didn’t have enough time after they finished their row.

Sixty percent of the Rx’d men and 39 percent of the Rx’d women finished on handstand push-ups. Fewer women were able to make it into the handstand push-ups than the men. The 9-foot target on the wall ball helped to equalize that section of the workout, but the men still showed an advantage on the row (being taller and heavier than the women, on average).

The Rx’d men outperformed the women by about 10 reps across the board on this workout. A lot of this difference can be attributed to faster 55-calorie row times for the men, leaving more time to work on the handstand push-ups. For the athletes who completed the row, the average tie-break times were 10:21 for the men and 10:49 for the women. An extra 28 seconds is huge on the handstand push-up wall.

To score in the 90th percentile, the women needed 25 handstand push-ups and the men needed 36. To break into the 99th percentile, the women needed 19 deadlifts on the second round, while the men needed 31.

There were so many athletes who got stuck on the handstand push-ups, that every rep there had a huge impact on ranking and percentile. Just squeezing out a few more handstand push-ups meant a big bump in placing.

Scaled, Masters, and Teens

Here is a link to Percentile Charts for Every Division.

There were a lot of variations on this workout for the handstand push-ups. The Scaled Individuals and Scaled Teens were asked to perform hand-release push-ups (throwback to 11.2), while the Masters were asked to perform push presses instead. Last year there were no hand-release push-ups and the Scaled divisions also did push presses. Every division did the full 55-calorie row, which ended up being the most challenging part of the workout for many athletes.

The percentiles were pretty similar across all divisions this week.

Analysis by


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