The CrossFit Open is here folks! I am going to tell you how to strategize 2 different styles of workouts, and break them down if I were a beginner, intermediate, or an RX athlete. See if you can apply the strategies to this year’s Open workouts.

Open 14.4 


60 Calorie Row

50 Toes to Bar

40 Wall Balls 20/14

30 Power Cleans 135/95 

20 Ring Muscle Ups 


I would approach this with some realistic expectations here. Toes to bar might not be a skill you have yet, if you aren’t even CLOSE, scale this workout down to whatever the scale is, and then find an 80% effort, and stay there for the entire thing. This one is all about not burning your shoulders out before the muscle ups. 

If you ARE close to getting toes to bar, then pace the row and make it nice and easy, saving all your energy to getting your toes to the bar as many times as possible. Stick to singles and make each one count!


If you fall into this category, that means you probably have a shot at getting into the power cleans. Find a comfortable pace on the rower that isn’t too taxing, and break up the toes to bar EARLY. Think sets of 5 from the get go, or maybe even 3s, and be fast and efficient on the breaks. If you have to double kip on your toes to bar, you should be doing fast singles. It is much less taxing and quicker than hanging on to double pump 1 rep. You could do 2 reps in that time with fast singles. I have seen regional level athletes crush open workouts with toes to bar in them, by going to quick singles. Wall balls, think 3 sets here, to give yourself time to attack singles on the power cleans, and keep them on a cadence. 1 rep every 5 seconds should be good. 


If you are at this level, pick a pace on the row that is slightly faster than comfortable. When you get to the toes to bar, depending on proficiency, break these up into sets of 5-10, to keep your heart rate down and core less taxed for all the hip drive you’ll use on the rings. Once done here, 2 sets on the wall ball, think 30-20 with a quick break will get you to the barbell, where you could hit doubles until you need to break to singles, and before you know you’ll be looking up at the rings. From here, it is all about efficient reps, and KIP YOUR DIP. If you have to, break these into sets of 3-5 and try to not fling the rings when you come down. Keep the chalk bucket close, and the rower close to the rings incase you have a chance to hop back on. Make sure the rower straps are wide open and monitor is turned on to get a chance at some calories. 


Open Workout 18.2 and 18.2A

For Time:


Dumbbell Front Squat 50/35# per hand 

Bar Facing Burpees 

In Remaining Time 

1 RM Clean 


If you are new, you are probably going to scale this workout, unless you have the pre-requisite strength to move 100#/70# in the front squat for 55 reps in a relatively quick fashion. If you do, then you need to think about breathing during each rep of the front squat, and during the burpees. If you have to, break up the set of 9 and 10 Dumbbell Front squats, but other than that, try not to break, and just move through them methodically, not elevating your heart rate too much so that you fall apart. Then have at it with the clean and party. 


If you fall into this category, let’s think about all the things you read from beginner, but let’s cut down on transition times. Meaning keep the DB’s close together for an easy pick up, every time you pick the DB’s up it should be right into your first squat. Breathe still, and aim to almost recover on the burpees from the set of 4 onward. 

Change your shoes before the clean to a lifter if you need, this will give you a chance to bring your heart rate down, and be conservative on your opening weight. 


If you are in this category, find a comfortable position that you can get into with the DB’s with minimal energy and time. That way you don’t waste time fussing with DB positioning. Once that is figured out, keep your equipment right next to each other, and breathe throughout the entirety of the workout, even when the curtains are closing on you. This will hurt, so get it done, take a couple minutes to swish some carbs (FUEL 5) in your mouth to signal to your brain that you have energy still, and get your belt on/lifters if needed. Make your first clean about 75-80% of max to feel some weight, and then go to 85%, because this one is going to feel A LOT heavier than the first. BUT, this will be the clean that helps flush the legs out. You then can approach the next lift at 90+% with some piss and vinegar, and it’ll feel a lot better. THEN – it’s time to party with some PR weights.