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September 20, 2019 – Bob Marinaro

We’ve all seen the memes (we may have even participated in spreading them). We’re all aware of the compressed season. We’re all in awe of the elite athletes who will be able to compete at such a high level for such an extended period of time. If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re talking about the CrossFit Open. On 10/10/20, the second Open of the year kicks off and, complain as we may – and speculate as we must – we’ll all do 20.1 on Friday morning and have a good time with our fit fams at our local gyms.

As we discussed here, some boxes run the open as an in-house intramural competition to promote participation. Others integrate it into their regular programming. Still others use the Open as a qualifier for their fall competitions. That’s what we’d like to discuss today.

A wise man once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. With so many Sanctionals using the Open as their qualifier, why not adopt the same strategy? In order to do so and avoid “competition fatigue” or otherwise making your members feel obligated to over a month of extra gym time, a non-invasive way to implement this would be to take the approach of making the Open workout your regular Friday programming. At the end of the 5 weeks, you can take your members’ results and do a Games style event (managed by Throwdowns.com, of course!) for the top 20 athletes in each division. Make it fun, keep it low key, and make the finals a party.

If your gym is on the competitive side, you might take a similar approach, but do the Open workouts in more of a Friday Night Lights environment. Doing so will yield a kind of Sectionals feel as you build up to finals week and a champion is crowned. And for that final workout? Choose a past Games workout and scale the weight down to make it fun! For a population that is not comprised of superstars and elite athletes, we like to reference some of the original Games workouts which, by today’s standard, are similar to daily Rx standards. Take this one from 2009:

  • SQUAT CLEAN (Rx: 15 w/155#, Scale: 15 w/100#)
  • TOES TO BAR (30)
  • BOX JUMP (Rx: 30 at 24″, Scale: 30 at 20″)
  • MUSCLE-UP  (Rx: 15, Scale: 10)
  • DB PUSH PRESS  (Rx: 30 w/40#, Scale: 30 w/25#)
  • DOUBLE UNDERS (Rx: 30, Scale: No change)
  • THRUSTERS (Rx: 15 w/135#, Scale: 15 w/95#)
  • PULL-UPS (Rx: 30, Scale: No change)
  • BURPEES (Rx: 30, Scale: No change)
  • 300-FOOT OVERHEAD WALKING LUNGE  (Rx: 45# plate, Scale: 25#. plate)

Standards have come a long way!


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