Posts Tagged ‘CrossFit Games Open’

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!

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!

-Tom

Friends,

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!

Friends,

It’s the final week of the 2020 Open, and this workout is a good one!

Not a ton of time to share strategy via text here since I’m trying to get this posted before people wake up to hit those 5am classes, but I’d love for you to watch the video at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think.

20point5

Here’s my main strategy, though… there are three primary groups that will be attacking this workout.

Group 1:

These athletes don’t expect to get a single Muscle-Up. As long as you can complete Rx’d Wall Balls and Rowing, this workout is a SPRINT to finish 80 Calories and 120 Wall Balls. Quick sets, quick transitions, then spend the rest of the time working to get your first-ever Muscle-Up!

Group 2:

These athletes can complete some, even many, of the 40 required Muscle-Ups. This group should STILL plan to reach their tie-break time in a decent split, but they should sprinkle in their muscle-up reps throughout the process in order to accumulate as many reps as possible while they’re more fresh! This group should definitely begin the workout with a few muscle-ups while they’re most fresh.

Group 3:

These athletes plan to complete the workout in 20 minutes or less. Athletes of this ability level are really good CrossFitters, and I think they should view this as essentially “40 Muscle-Ups for time.” What does that mean? I think they decide reasonable sets and reps for how they plan to complete their 40 reps, and then break down the Calories and Wall Ball sets to fit around those Muscle-Ups.

Regardless of how far athletes hope to get, I think it’s critical to identify one’s main weakness out of the three movements. What I mean by that is, if Muscle-Ups start failing first due to shoulder fatigue, I believe the majority of Wall Ball reps should be saved towards the end of the workout. Prioritize movements based on expected levels of fatigue.

We all know each of these movements is “full body” and require cardio, so the goal needs to be to ensure quality reps, no/few misses, and a steady pace throughout.

It’s the final week of the 2020 CrossFit Open. I hope you all have had as much fun competing as I did.

More than that, I hope you found my advice over the last five weeks to be helpful.

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

And I hope to see you soon!

Happy Thursday, friends!

Another Open Workout is released, and it’s our first repeat of the 2020 Open Season. Workout 20.3 is a re-do of CF Games Open Workout 18.4. After going back and watching the video and reading the post I wrote for this workout back in 2018, I don’t really think I’d change my advice on how I think people should approach this one.

For that reason, I’ve posted the link to my entire 18.4 review at the bottom of this post!

The quick summary of my thoughts, however, is that I think there will be three main groups of athletes for this one.

Group 1 – Those Deads Are Heavy and/or Nope, Handstand Push-Ups Are Not My Jam

Since “tie-break” times are logged after every set of deadlifts, there will be thousands of people at each round’s cut-off. Therefore, the fastest you get through your final set of deads, the higher your ranking. If you think, or know, that it’s unlikely you’ll get through a single HSPU, your goal is to get through your 21 deadlifts as fast (BUT SAFELY) as possible. That could mean 21 seconds in 21 reps, tie-break time noted… and now you’ve got 8 minutes and 39 seconds to try and work through your first handstand push-up.

Group 2 – Diane I’ve Got… The Rest, I’m Not So Sure

If completing 21-15-9 of Rx’d Diane in 9 minutes or less is likely, but you’re not quite sure if you have much to offer for the second workout of heavier deadlifts and handstand walks, I think you should view this Open workout as, “How fast can I get through Diane?” Period. If it takes you 6 minutes to complete it, you have 3 minutes to get as many reps as possible of the second workout. If Diane takes you 8 minutes and 30 seconds, that still gives you 30 seconds to try and get in a few deads at the heavier weight.

Group 3 – Heavy Deads and Handstand Walks all day, baby!

If you fit into this category… congrats! You’re a beast. Pace this like you’d pace most normal CrossFit Open workouts. You need to be smart and realize that for most humans, trying to handstand walk when your shoulders are crushed typically doesn’t end well. If you plan to get to the handstand walks, my advice is to be patient enough to really fight for each 5 foot increment. Some people just flip upside down and hope for the best. Don’t get 4 feet in a row, then get charged a no-rep, four different times because you’re too tired. Be patient, regroup, and make every attempt at HS walk count.

Regardless of the version you choose, remember that you’re about to do a bunch of really heavy deadlifts, at presumably a very fast speed. Heavy deads are likely one of THE MOST COMMON ways that people injure themselves in this sport of exercise racing we all love. Please don’t become another statistic! Keep your core tight, and keep your movement sound. As fun as it is to sprint with a heavy barbell, I’d rather you be able to walk tomorrow. Please be safe.

Alright, here’s my FULL STRATEGY POST from Workout 18.4.

Check it out, and let me know if you have any other questions for me.

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

Since my video this week is 13 minutes long, I’m going to keep the writing in this post short.

Workout 20.2 is:

20 Minute AMRAP

4 Dumbbell Thrusters

6 Toes to Bar

24 Double-Unders

Here’s the basic gist of my advice-

Find a pace for each of the three movements you can maintain at a “forever” pace. If you come out too hot, the last half/quarter of the workout is going to be spent trying to keep it together.

  1. Transitions – Keep your gear as close together, and as neatly organized as possible the entire time. Don’t waste 1-10 seconds per round trying to pull your dumbbells back together or untwisting your jump rope.
  2. Break before you fatigue – If you know you’re going to be wrecked trying to hit 24 DUs in a row, break it up on purpose, take a breath, then continue.
  3. Find a sustainable pace – If you get 3+ more rounds in the first half of this workout than you do in the second half, I think you went out too hot. I’d rather you find a pace that allows you to feel STRONG at the halfway point and THEN turn it on.

Final question I get asked a lot-

Should I “Rx” or “Scale” this workout?

If you care about your “Open Ranking” AND you have the ability to physically perform even ONE rep of each of the movements, I think you should go Rx’d. Remember, if you complete ONE REP at the Rx’d weight, you’ll rank above every single person in the world who completes this workout scaled. That means if it takes you 20 minutes to do 3 reps of double dumbbell thrusters at Rx’d weight, but you can do it, I think it’s worth it to get a score of “3” Rx’d!

However, if your goal is to get a good workout in and sweat for 20 minutes, Scaled is 100% the way to go! Find weights and modifications that will allow you to keep moving, and remember that the best of the best in the world will get close to (or more than) THIRTY rounds of this workout completed.

I don’t know about you, but the last time I completed 1,000+ reps of ANYTHING in 20 minutes was….. probably never. When scaled appropriately, this will be a sneakily effective workout, regardless of the modifications used.

Hey, have fun out there, folks!
At the end of the day, it’s only fitness.

Get out there, be safe, and have some fun!

Thrusters and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for 19.5. A lot of us knew they were going to show up, but I don’t know anyone who predicted a workout this brutal! It’s more reps than Double-Fran, and is more challenging because of the chest-to-bars. Ouch!

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My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Planned Sets. This applies more to the Thrusters than the Pull-Ups. One way to do this (if you are proficient with the Thruster weight), could be to break down your Thrusters into three sets each round. Meaning, for the round of 33, complete three sets of 11 reps. Or, if you’re like me and don’t like needing to repeat the same number of reps more than once, go 13/11/9. Then, for the set of 27 reps, go 11/9/7, and so on.
  2. Control. Controlling your hear rate will be critical, especially with the Thrusters. Coming out of the gate too hot will lead to a ton of standing around by the time you’re halfway through this workout. On pull-ups, know yourself and your abilities before this workout begins. Completing a couple of huge sets at the beginning will lead to most people frying their grip early on. This is going to be a longer workout. Be smart, conserve your energy, and complete steady sets from the start. It’ll be much better to save a little energy for the end of the workout than to crushed for the last two rounds!
  3. Double Fran Plus! The workout Fran is 21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull-Ups. This is more than double that volume. And with Chest-to-Bars! I say that again because I think you need to remember that from the very beginning of this workout! Break up your sets often and early, just minimize your rest between them. Keep yourself moving.

If you watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think and if it helped you at all.

This is the final week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open! Let me know how it goes for you!

A lot of people I know predicted that workout 19.4 would include some sort of Snatch variation and one kind of Muscle-Up. Well, those friends were correct!

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 8.32.33 PM

My three main pieces of advice for this one are as follow:

  1. Which version are you? In my mind, there are two versions of this workout for “Rx” athletes. The first is for athletes who are able to complete the first 3-round workout without too much difficulty, but who will then likely be unable to complete a single Bar Muscle-Up. My advice to those athletes is to view this workout as an ABSOLUTE SPRINT! Get through those three rounds of 10 Snatches and 12 Bar-Facing Burpees as fast as you possibly can! The tie break time after that final Burpee of the third round (Rep 66) will separate THOUSANDS of athletes around the world. Get to that tie break as fast as possible! For the other group of athletes who plan to make it to, and through several of the Bar Muscle-Ups, I think this workout needs to be paced a little bit more. Making it through the first three-rounds and being destroyed will likely leave very little in the tank to get through the Bar Muscle-Ups as efficiently as you’d like. Leave some juice in the tank, and break up the Muscle-Ups earlier than you might want to. Something tells me that shoulders and triceps are going to be more fatigued than people expect.
  2. Breathe. For athletes looking to get into the second three-rounder, it will be very easy to get a little bit too excited when this workout starts and make it an absolute sprint. A lot of athletes can sprint one, and maybe even two rounds of Snatches and Burpees, but if that third round takes it out of you, even a three minute rest won’t allow you to finish strong in the second portion. Keep your heart rate down, your breath slow and controlled, and put yourself in a position where you can *finish* this workout stronger than you start it.
  3. Relax. Same advice as last week. You can’t control other athletes who get credit for “garbage reps” by their judges, so don’t even worry about it! Stand up all the way on your Snatches, face your bar and take off with both feet on your Burpees, and follow protocol on the Muscle-Ups. I received several messages last week from people telling me how frustrating it was to watch judges count Handstand Push-Ups that didn’t meet the standard, but my response to that remains the same; “It’s just a silly competition, and none of it really matters.” Stay in your lane, have fun with your friends, and only worry about controlling what you can control. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

If you spend the time to watch my video for the week, as always, please let me know what you think, and if it helped you at all.

Only one week of the 2019 CrossFit Games Open remains after this week. Have some fun out there, everyone!