2012 CrossFit Open: What To Expect

2011’s Amazing Programming Went Unnoticed

In my opinion The CrossFit Open is the most difficult CrossFit Competition to program for. Unlike the Regionals and Games, there isn’t an understood expectation of talent. For example, athletes at the Regional level can handle a high load/reps of olympic and gymnastics movements. Games athletes are expected to handle, well, everything and anything. I was really impressed by the 2011 CrossFit Open. In fact, I think many people overlooked how well the workouts were designed.


In 2011 all the workouts had time limits that ranged from 5 to 20 minutes. Also, all of the workouts were easy enough for most people to get some type of score, but hard enough for stronger athletes to separate themselves. Thus, I doubt the workouts will be super heavy. However, they will be heavy enough where scoring high will require a solid amount of strength and endurance. This is one of those it sounds easy but is actually really hard to do workouts. Below is a graph of the results from CrossFit Open 11.1. The distribution of results show how most people were able to do a few rounds, but only a few people were able to really well.

Regional Worthy Threshold

This was the most impressive part of the 2011 Open programming. Although making workouts that everyone can attempt is a big priority, the main priority is setting a threshold for Regional worthy athletes. It turns out, HQ thought of a genius solution. The most technical movements over the 6 weeks were Muscle Ups and Overhead Squats. They were put towards the end of a workout, where the people who were fit enough to get to them were probably able to perform them. For example, The Week 4 workout was a 10 minute AMRAP of 60 Bar-facing burpees, 120 pound Overhead squat, 30 reps and 10 Muscle-ups. The burpees took a good chunk of time for most people, however the more fit athletes were able to move through them quick and attempt the overhead squats and muscle-ups. The Regional worthy athletes put up anywhere between a 1 to 1.5 rounds. However, as long as you could do one bar facing burpee you had a valid score for the workout. In short, genius.

Equipment, Video and Judging

Around 50,000 people will be participating in the open which means we aren’t seeing any high-end(comparatively) equipment during the open. Also, all of the workouts have to be easily recorded and can’t be too difficult to judge.

What I Doubt We Will See

  • Row
  • GHD-Sit Ups
  • Back Extension
  • Rope Climb
  • Swimming
  • Run(unless it’s a shuttle run which I’d like to see)
  • Basically anything you can’t do out of your garage.
  • Push-Ups(mainly because I think everyone can’t help but cheat when they get tired and it’s really hard to judge)
  • Air Squat(hard to judge)
  • Ring Dips

Good Probability

  • Pull-ups
  • Ground To Overhead
  • Dead-lifts
  • Double Unders
  • Bar Facing Burpees(not normal ones and I pray not burpee box-jumps)
  • Wall Balls
  • Toes To Bar
  • Power Cleans
  • Box Jumps
  • Thrusters
  • Squat Clean

Regional Threshold Movements

  • Muscle Ups
  • Overhead Squat
  • Handstand Push-ups

My Random, Gut Is Saying, List

I have no real reason other than thinking it would be cool to see these

  • Shuttle Runs
  • Lunges(Alternating Lunges)
  • KettleBell
  • Fight to The Death With Random Stranger


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  1. PatrickNeal
    February 22, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    you need to do this more often. you do a good job at it.

  2. Steve
    February 22, 2012 / 4:15 pm

    Great article but I’m surprised you mentioned Pushups as doubtful as there were hand-release pushups last year in the Open.
    Take care and best of luck!!

  3. February 22, 2012 / 10:37 pm

    @Patrick & @Kath Thanks, plan to do it more

    @Steve: Maybe there will be hand release, but I just think they are really hard to judge. Who knows. At the end of the day, they are a lot better at it than I am.

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