How To Survive the CrossFit Games Open

by · April 22, 2012

To claim the ultimate prize, $250,000 and the coveted title of Fittest on Earth™, the CrossFit Games champion must endure one of the most grueling physical and mental tests on Earth: a 3-part journey spanning several months that challenges even the world’s toughest athletes.

The Home Depot Center

Reebok CrossFit Games 2011

[PART 1: The Open]
17 worldwide regions, 68,000+ athletes, one workout per week in a five-week open competition.

Open workout 12.1: burpees


[PART 2: Regionals]
The top Open athletes (60 male, 60 female, 30 teams) from each of the 17 regions qualify for the Regional competition: three days of live competition in a local arena.

[PART 3: The Games]
The season culminates with the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games held July 13-15 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Athletes tackle rigorous, broad-ranging tests of overall physical capacity. 10 events, 3 days, 1 champion.

For the majority of CrossFitters with big dreams, the Open stage represents the pinnacle of their CrossFit competitive aspirations. With the influx of tremendous athletic talent from all over the globe and the surge of popularity from ESPN appearances and corporate sponsorships, CrossFit has become “one of the fastest growing sports in America.”

In 2011, 26,000 athletes competed in the Open. This year, over 68,000 submitted scores.

2011 CrossFit Games winners

As the CrossFit Games continue to grow and get increasingly competitive, it’s best to focus on the first stage of the long journey: the CrossFit Games Open.

Here are my tips to surviving the Open:

    • Set smart goals
      Watch other athletes complete the WOD. What did they do well? Where could they have improved? Did they utilize any particular strategy? How did they break-up the movements? Doing your homework ahead of time and setting a reasonable goal range will set you up for success.


    • Stay in the moment
      Even though you’ve been training an entire year for this, once that clock hits 3-2-1, you’ll be running on pure adrenaline and instinct. Don’t forget to enjoy your moment!


    • Find support in your community
      Are there groups of CrossFitters gathering at local boxes to do the Open workouts nearby? The Open workouts are perfect examples of the CrossFit community in action. Plenty of awesome energy, competitive heats, and encouraging support.


  • REST
    A 4-letter word to some CrossFitters. Resting is crucial to maximizing your performance especially when have a super short timeframe to make it count. Get plenty of sleep and don’t kill yourself training the rest of the week.

Think you have what it takes to be a CrossFit Games Champion? Check out the five Open workouts from this year’s competition:

CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.1:

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.2:

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:

30 Snatch (M 75 / F 45 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 135 / F 75 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 165 / F 100 lbs)
Max Rep Snatch (M 210 / F 120 lbs)

CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.3:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of:
15 Box jumps, 20″ box
75 pound Push press, 12 reps
9 Toes-to-bar

CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.4:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall balls (14lbs to 9′ target)
90 Double-unders
30 Muscle-ups

CrossFit Games Open Workout 12.5:

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
65 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.

For all of the complete workouts and video demonstrations, check out the Official Reebok CrossFit Games site.

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