CrossFit Open Tips From Team PWR LIFT

A new year means a new CrossFit season! On Feb. 29, the season kicks off with the CrossFit Open that runs all the way until Mar. 18.

For those who aren’t familiar with the CrossFit Open, hundreds of thousands of athletes participate in it every year. From CrossFit newbies to seasoned competitors, anyone can enter to compete anywhere in the world, from your CrossFit gym to a local park.

Some athletes who sign up are looking to hold themselves accountable for their fitness goals. Some are motivated by the culmination of camaraderie in the sport they participate in year-round. Some are filling a competitive void from the days before they hung up their uniforms.

Whatever each individual “why” is, the CrossFit Open has become a major unifying event for the sport of CrossFit, when athletes from all over the world come together to rally around the shared pursuit of an athletic challenge.

For the duration of the competition, the CrossFit Open follows the same cadence each week. The workout is released on the CrossFit Games website on Thursdays at noon PST, and you have until Monday at 5 p.m. PST to do the workout and submit your score online. At the end of each week, you can see where you stack up against the world, in your age group, and within your division by viewing the worldwide CrossFit Games Leaderboard.

The competition divisions range from age groups to adaptive to scaled, with the chance at the end of the three weeks to advance to the quarterfinals, the next step in working your way up the ladder to the CrossFit Games, in which the fittest athletes in the world will compete in (for context, that’s the top 0.1 percent of CrossFit Open participants) on Aug. 8-11.

We’re always excited for a new year of competition, but this year we’re getting extra fired up with some motivation from our fitness pros on Team PWR LIFT. Here’s what three of our Team PWR LIFT athletes had to say about how they prepare for the CrossFit Open and what tips they have for any new and returning CrossFitters competing in it.


Chris Harris

Chris Harris Instagram

1. Practice and prime.

“When the CrossFit Open workouts are announced, sometimes they introduce new movements or standards that can really throw you off if you’ve never done them before. It is important to practice the intricacies of each of these movements before tackling the workout.

After spending some time practicing these movements, you will want to prime your system and get it ready for the workout. I like to do this by performing mini rounds of the workout, where I will start at lighter loads and/or reps in order to really focus on the movements and practice minimizing their transition times. Each time I do one of these mini rounds, I will increase the load and intensity to eventually hit my goal efforts in the workout.”


2. Full effort is full victory.

“A lesson I learned early on in my CrossFit days is that full effort is full victory. If you give it your best effort, you have controlled what you can control, and you should walk away with your head high and no regrets.”


Grant McCartney

Grant McCartney Instagram

1. The CrossFit Open will expose your weaknesses.

“If it’s your cardio, a specific movement, or whatever it may be… it will get exposed. This close to the Open, you cannot build much more strength, but you can gain some coordination and comfortability with certain movements.

So, let’s say you’re not great at double-unders. Start practicing three times a week just to get a little more comfortable. Even the repetition of doing a burpee over and over will help you move your feet and arms the same way every rep.

You want to be a machine with certain movements. And, surprisingly, over time, your most comfortable movements will feel like rest.”


2. Do the CrossFit Open workouts at a local CrossFit gym with other people.

“The community and support will give you way more reps, knowledge, and excitement. The support of others will make you stronger, you’ll push harder, and you might even learn a trick or two.

If you live in Houston or you’ll be in town, come to my gym Skyline CrossFit’s Friday Night Lights events, where we do the Open together and support each other. If you come to the Open’s week three 24.3 competition on Mar. 15, PWR LIFT will be there handing out free product.”


Teaganne Finn

Teaganne Finn Instagram

1. Keep it simple.

“Just because the CrossFit Open is upon us doesn't mean you need to drastically change up what you've been doing.

If you've been taking classes, keep it up. If you've been following your own programming, continue doing so. You can increase the intensity, focus on bigger sets of gymnastic movements, or add in some crossovers instead of double-unders, but don't feel like you need to start a whole new program or completely change what you've been working on.”


2. Don't be distracted by the shiny object.

“The Open is one of those magical times when people often get their first muscle-up (bar or ring depending on the workout). I know it's tempting to try and do gymnastic work every single day leading up to the workouts, but keep your eye on the prize. Yes, working in some strength and skill work is important, but overall workout stamina in the Open is king.”


3. Execution.

“Sometimes, myself included, we go into a workout with no plan other than to just ‘get through it.’ While this is generally fine if you're just looking to get a sweat in, the Open requires some strategic planning, and it's an opportunity to be a bit more focused during your workouts.

I suggest picking one or two workouts a week to formulate a plan and then try to stick it during the workout. Take note on what worked and didn't work and try to refine it up until the Open.”

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