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3 Tips to Improve Your Performance in the 2018 CrossFit Open

The holiday season is upon us and that means the 2018 CrossFit Open is lurking in the near future. I wanted to share with everyone a couple of observations I've made regarding performing well the open.

2018 will be my eighth time participating in the CrossFit Open. Over those 8 years, I’ve watched the open evolve from an all inclusive open competition, to an open competition with different divisions (scaled, masters, etc.). As soon as the scaled division was introduced, we immediately saw heavier weights and more complex gymnastics movements in each Open. Nothing is off limits when it comes to the Open, especially when Dave Castro is the mastermind behind the workouts.

During my eight years of competing in the Open I’ve seen a couple of reoccurring "things" that usually trip-up athletes and prevents them from doing the workouts RX or performing as well as they would like. Here are a couple of things to take note of:

  1. Double Unders - this is a high skill movement that requires a lot of practice. You can almost guarantee that we will see double unders in the Open this year. Now is the time to start practicing your doubles. Consider yourself warned.

  2. High-volume gymnastics movements - Chest-to-bar pull-ups, toes to bar, and handstand push-ups are all almost guaranteed to show up in your open workouts. If you have these movements down, it’s time to start refining your technique and working on efficiency and cycle time. Stringing together chest-to-bar butterfly pull-ups is a huge advantage to any athlete in the Open. If you don’t have these movements down yet, start to make a concentrated effort on building the necessary strength to perform these movements unassisted. These movements take some time to develop so I suggest you start now. Build basic gymnastic strength, then progress to kipping and then to stringing multiple reps together.

  3. The muscle-up - Bar and/or ring muscle-ups are another sure fire movement that will show up in the Open this year. If you don’t have it yet, get it. Even just one muscle-up is a huge separator in the open.

There are a few other things that advanced athletes can work on in terms of barbell cycling, hitting high percentage Olympic lifts consistently, and pistol squats. But if you focus on improving the three things listed above, your performance and results in the Open will be directly impacted.

If you plan on participating in the Open and are struggling with any of the movements listed above, please ask a coach for help! We are here to help you get better and help you achieve your goals. All of our coaches can put you on a path to improvement in these areas.

We also offer personal coaching which is another great way to get prepared for the open (

Hope this helps.


Coach John

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