The FINAL week of the 2023 CrossFit Games Open is already here!

For the first time this season we’re presented with a workout where *IF* an athlete completes a required amount of work in 6 minutes, they *GET* to continue on with the workout!

Since parts of this workout are simply outside the current capabilities of certain athletes, there may be more people who decide to attack the “Scaled” version of this one. If you’re officially registered on the Games site, however, just remember that ONE REP at the “Rx” standard will rank you above every single Scaled athlete. That means that I encourage most athletes who can complete Wall Walks to the standard and at least a couple of Double-Unders should go the Rx’d route!

The worst thing to have happen on the “first two blocks” of movements would be to get No Reps called by moving too fast. Make sure you practice the timing of when your hands can legally leave the lines and make sure your hands get back down to the line prior to your lower body hitting the ground.

Practice how you can efficiently get into your next set of Double-Unders, especially when under fatigue, so that you don’t constantly get tripped up. That could mean throwing in a few extra Single-Unders prior to jumping a bit higher and flicking your wrists a bit faster.

During your warm-up I encourage athletes to build up to a heavy, but not 1RM Snatch, with the goal of hitting at least the “Third Weight” that will be on the barbell if you make it that far.

If you plan to make it to the Strict Handstand Push-Ups, make sure you really understand what those reps need to look like in order to count. Keeping your midsection tight and body stacked over your shoulders is going to absolutely critical in order to keep that movement as efficient as possible. Try your best not waste any reps here since once “strict” reps go, it can take a really long time to recover enough to start making reps again. That could means quick singles or doubles with shorter rests instead of try to knock out bigger sets at the beginning.

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all once more for tuning in for another year of these posts!

I’ll leave you once more with my favorite closing line:

Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You… and I’ll see you again next year. 🙂

The second week of the 2023 CrossFit Games Open is here and for the first time ever in this stage of the competition, we’ll be running!

Why are we running and doing burpees, you ask? Because at my gym I programmed shuttle sprints two days ago and burpees today. (ha!)

In Colorado, this winter has been *FREEZING* so not a lot of people have been running. The fact that runs are only 25ft will encourage a lot of athletes start running way too fast, but remember that you need to run TWENTY intervals at a time. The requirement of touching the ground also means that athletes are going to be bending and standing a lot. Try your best not to twist every time and instead square up your hips and shoulders prior to pushing off and heading in the other direction. Make sure your shoulders stay loose during the run, since a lot of people shrug when they run tired.

For Burpee Pull-Ups, ask yourself which variation will allow you to keep moving for as long as possible. If the jump back + jump up Burpee plus a powerful vertical jump right into a Pull-Up works when you’re fresh, are you going to need to change that technique drastically once you start to fatigue? This is not going to be a 15-minute sprint for most people so don’t start off sprinting if you’ll have 8 minutes of suffering on the back end.

I encourage athletes to build up to a heavy, but not 1RM Thruster during warm-up to use as a gauge on where you hope to get during Part B. View this like an Olympic Weightlifting meet where you only expect to get THREE attempts. The first weight should be one that you KNOW you can hit when you’re tired and out of breath to “get on the board.” The second attempt can be a challenging weight that you’re confident you can still hit after that first attempt. Based on how much time is left, gear up for a really challenging final attempt that you take with less than 15 seconds left.

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

***GOOD NEWS! With the programming we’ve seen these first two weeks, it means that we likely won’t see Rowing, Thrusters, Burpees, OR Pull-Ups for the final week!***

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Please let me know if this helps and I’ll see you back here next week!

The first week of the 2023 CrossFit Games Open is here! Let’s get this party started for yet another year and have some fun along the way. (As an added bonus for all of you, I’m sharing my strategy video from 2014 at the VERY bottom of this post! What I love most about it is that in TEN YEARS, my advice remains really similar!)

As with nearly every workout I’ve ever provided advice for, your number one goal should be to control your heart rate and pace yourself. It will be really easy for athletes to look at this workout and think, “Rowing is the easiest movement here so I’m going to go fast as I can so I have more time to do the other things!” Simply put, redlining any one part of this workout will lead to *most* athletes “having a bad time” through the rest of 14 minutes.

For the Row, find a sustainable pace that you can finish and quickly get started on your Toes-to-Bar. I think a great “pace estimate” for fairly strong male rowers could be to aim for ~around~ 20 Calories per minute. If women are able to hold ~15 per minute, that means nearly all athletes should hope to be off of the rower between 3-4 minutes.

I advise breaking Toes-to-Bar sets into repeatable reps to chip away at the FIFTY required reps. If you can repeat sets of 3-5 reps without fatiguing too much, stay on pace and go. Some athletes will try to break these into singles at least at the end of the set. My only suggestion there is to use a slightly lower bar that still allows you to kick your heels behind the plane of the bar and still get full range of motion but NOT one that is so tall that it becomes exhausting to jump up to it every time or too time-consuming to get repositioned under the bar for the next attempt.

While many athletes could probably knock out 40 Wall Balls in a row when fresh, I’m going to strongly discourage most of you from going that route. Instead, decide if you want to break these into four sets (try 13/11/9/7) or three sets (maybe 16/14/10), never redline your heart rate, take quick breaks between sets, all while keeping it moving and keeping your heart rate lower. This is where I think some athletes can pull it together a bit more before heading over to their barbell.

On Cleans, a lot of athletes will likely go for singles out the gate. While that is certainly one way to conserve energy, when done INEFFICIENTLY it can actually end up adding MORE time and stress to your set of 30 reps. The “careless” launching of the bar off of your shoulders as you stand will lead to it bouncing all over the place. Instead, (1) get set every single time with long arms, a tall chest, and a flat back, (2) drive up with your legs and then pull under the bar with those straight arms, (3) stand all the way up at the top, and then (4) drop the bar back to the ground with intention so it lands balanced and reduces the amount of chasing you need to do. By this point of the workout it won’t be feeling like a sprint for too many athletes. Being methodical and deliberate will allow you to keep moving and waste less energy.

If you make it to the Muscle-Ups, congrats! My number one piece of advice for this part of the workouts is to NOT MISS A REP. You’re probably going to be tired when you get here. If trying to link reps together under fatigue is going to cause a ton of missed reps, that can be really demoralizing. Instead, keep that hollow position tight, use a BIG hip drive on every single kip, and be sure to keep those rings CLOSE to your body as you dive through to the receiving position. If you make it this far, you’re most likely strong enough to dip yourself out of that transition position. Let yourself get there instead of trying to catch yourself halfway out of your press-out. Quick singles here will conserve grip, allow you to keep your heart rate under control, and not require as much time under tension between reps. You’ve got this.

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Please let me know if this helps and I’ll see you back here next week!

And for the added bonus video, here’s a much younger (and more fit!) me giving advice on how to approach this one back when it was originally released back in 2014! We were just kids!!

The final week of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is here! Check it out below and close out this Open season with a bang!

What better way to close out this year’s competition than by performing a version of one of CrossFit’s most notable workouts, Fran? Oh, but they decided to make it heavier, more advanced, add reps, AND add an extra movement to make it EVEN MORE fun!

Advice on pacing and strategy for this workout will differ significantly depending on where athletes find themselves with their Gymnastics/Pull-Up proficiency. That said, advice for Double-Unders and Thrusters is pretty consistent across all divisions. (If you’re a top-tier athlete, you just need to go. It’s as simple as that.) If you’re in the majority of those completing this workout, your primary goal should be to break up your sets of Pull-Ups and Thrusters BEFORE fatigue sets in too much. Think QUICK RESTS from start to finish in order to keep moving! As the exercises on the rig increase in difficulty as exhaustion becomes more of an issue, prioritize not missing a rep. That could mean dropping off of the rig a few reps before failure or letting go of the barbell a few reps earlier than you’d like. If an earlier break leads to less time between efforts or sets, you’ll save time and energy in the long run. This workout won’t just challenge grip, the high heart rate will impact one’s ability to perform every exercise. Control your heart rate more efficiently and you’ll be more successful with this one!

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Can’t wait to be back with all of you again next year!

The second week of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is here! Check it out my advice below and let me know what you think!

Quick and dirty suggestions:
1- Easy, Champ! Don’t come out to hot. Over 2/3’s of this workout happens from the round of 6 on the way up to the round of 6 on the way back down.

2- Full Body Deadlifts: We already know the lower back is going to get lit up. Be deliberate with every single rep, brace your midsection, and stay connected to the bar from your big toe to your neutral neck.

3- Stay Low and Go! Over-practice the rhythm and timing of your steps in order to remain as efficient as possible on your Burpees. While this workout may not be won on the Burpees, inefficient reps here will certainly lead towards too much standing around just keep it moving!

Regardless of your experience or ability level, if you’re going to try this workout:
Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!

The first week of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is here! Check it out below and get ready to have some fun!

A lot of athletes will look at this and think about going out of the gates aggressively. I cannot emphasize enough how bad of an idea I think that is for most human beings! The first 2-5 rounds may go quite smoothly for most, but it’s the last 4-5 minutes of this workout that will separate most individuals!

Wall Walks: Practice where your hands should go at the start of each rep in order to make these reps as efficient as possible. My main piece of advice here is to ensure your arms are LOCKED before you start to climb up the wall. Also, be sure to get BOTH feet on the wall prior to staring to move your hands. There will be a LOT of “no-reps” called because hands move early. Don’t waste energy on re-doing these reps! On the way down, get your hands back to the line fast and then get down! Make every rep count here.

Dumbbell Snatch: Hips, hips, hips! Hips down, chest up, and arm straight at the start of each rep. Stand fast and PUNCH to the sky every time. The *less* this feels like an upper body movement the better off you’ll be. The biggest efficiency cue for me is for athletes to stand slightly in front of the DB in order to get a bit more momentum to launch the DB up from slightly behind the feet. Arms should feel like ropes on these.

Box Jump-Overs: The change on this movement this year is that athletes MUST step down on the other side of the box. While that eliminates some advantage for athletes with an incredible engine, I acknowledge that this rule will likely reduce the number of injuries sustained from those trying to rebound under fatigue. (Net win, I’d say!) My advice here is simple: “Stay low and GO!” For as long as possible, prioritize landing on the box, not standing up all the way, pivoting on your way down, and then going right into the next rep. In order to make these even more efficient, practice timing so that as soon as the second foot hits, athletes are able to smoothly transition right into the next rep. When fatigue sets in, consider standing all the way up on top of the box to recover instead of resting on the ground. The more space athletes have to recover, the more time they’ll be likely to take before the next rep.

This workout is about HEART RATE MANAGEMENT. Keep it under control and you’ll be more likely to finish STRONG

My strategy video is below and I really hope it helps some of you out there! Please note that it was TOUGH for me to talk AND demonstrate all of the movements in one take. Know that I tried my best to keep the information as concise and effective as possible! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

The final week of the 2021 CrossFit Games Open is already here and the worldwide competition is going to end with TWO separately scored workouts. Take a look at them below and wrap your brain around the madness that is workouts 21.3 and 21.4!

First, let’s talk about 21.3:

Athletes will be looking to complete 45 reps of both front squats AND thrusters. That’s 90 reps of squatting with a moderate weight in the front rack position, which is a lot of reps! That’s without even taking into account the required work on the pull-up rig! Being asked to do 30 TTB, in a workout is a lot for some. Thirty chest-to-bar pull-ups is a lot of others. And truthfully, only the very competitive CrossFit athlete will be able to come close to complete 30 bar muscle-ups, specifically at the end of a piece like this. (As your grip and upper body fatigue more and more, the movement on the rig becomes more and more challenging. That’s a brutal combo!) Keep your heart rate under control through steady barbell work and keep yourself moving through short and consistent sets on the rig. That will be the best approach for most athletes!

Now, let’s address 21.4:

I think most athletes should give themselves at LEAST 1-2 minutes of actual rest after 21.3 before even considering taking their first attempt at this complex. View this as if it were an olympic weightlifting meet. Your first attempt should be one that you KNOW you’re able to hit. Keep in mind, very few athletes have ever completed a heavy 4 rep complex after a 15 minute workout with 90 squats and 90 reps from the pull-up rig. Be more conservative than you think on your first attempt, then build up from there. BE AGGRESSIVE on those reps. POWERFUL hip drive UP! AGGRESSIVE pull UNDER the bar! TIGHT CORE as your legs drive to a full stand. SPEEDY punch UNDER the bar for the jerk. Believe you CAN make the lift before you even approach the bar.

My strategy video is below, and I really hope it helps some of you our there! Thank you tuning in for another year of them.

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

It’s week 2 of 3 of the 2021 CrossFit Games Open, and we’ve got a repeat workout. Since I already wrote a blog post and recorded a video for this back in 2017, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Four years later, my advice is basically exactly the same:

Don’t crash and burn on the burpees and realize that this workout really starts after the round of 30 Snatches. If you’re engine is there, THAT’S when you’ll get your chance to shine.

Click here to go to the original post I made for workout 17.1! And here’s the video that went with it:

Here’s a few extra tips on what to do in order to increase your likelihood of doing better on this workout:

  • Thoroughly warm up your lower back, and keep your chest up throughout the Snatches. It’s going to be easy to drop your chest and use your back on them, resist the urge. Hinge at the hips, load those hammies, and the squeeze your glutes to stand! Capitalize on the efficiency of that movement!
  • Improve DB transition from one hand to the other. The less you need to think about that movement, the more you’ll be able to stay in control.
  • Practice timing of steps/jumps for Burpee Box Jump-Overs. If you’re trying to conserve energy, consider stepping back and stepping up. Learn how to approach the box to be in a safe position to jump onto the box.
  • Don’t rush. On either movement. If you’re in too much of a rush to lockout your arm or stand all the way up, your Snatches won’t count. If you flop down onto the ground out of position, you’ll need to re-do the burpee. Be deliberate throughout the workout and waste NO reps.
  • LIFT YOUR KNEES. As fatigue sets in, many athletes will get lazy and not prioritize getting their entire foot onto the box. Honestly, I feel like not missing a single Box Jump-Over is the biggest win of all in this one! It’s not fun to bust your leg open and it doesn’t feel cool to have a scar on your shin for the rest of your life. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience!

Was this post helpful for you? Let me know, please!

As you approach this workout, remember me saying:

Good luck, have fun, I believe in you!



The 2021 CrossFit Games Open is finally here!

I don’t know about you, but no one I’m friends with predicted this as the first workout of the new competition year. Wall Walks and Double-Unders are the two movements in the Rx’d division, modified Wall Walks and Single-Unders comprise the Scaled version, the Foundations division includes Bear Crawls and Jumping Jacks, and finally the No Equipment version is made up of Wall Walks and Lateral Jumps.

For this strategy post, I won’t be breaking down each workout division as I have in the past. Instead, I’ll be covering a few main themes I think will be appropriate for nearly all versions of the workout.

The three topics I cover in my video are: (1) Scaled or Rx’d? Which should you choose and why? (2) Pacing? How should you approach the two movements? and (3) Technique – What are a few things to think about to make the movements as efficient as possible.

This is only the first week of the Open and I am always interested in your feedback for how to make these videos more helpful for YOU. Did you like this? Tell me! Would you prefer that I dive more deeply into any other aspect of the workout? Let me know!

I hope you find my advice over the next three weeks to be helpful!

As always…. Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

For those of you who might not follow me on Instagram (@Smashby1), I posted a video yesterday as a part of my “Drive Time with Smashby” series.

In this video, I shared how I am planning my Personal Training workload in 2020. Given that I coach a variety of athletes in a multitude of disciplines, explaining my thought process of client selection, communication method, and training location, allowed me give some insight as to how this crazy mind of mine works. It was also a helpful exercise for me to really think through what I’m hoping to do, and why!

I hope you like this video, and if you want to chat about anything I discussed, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Let’s gooooo!