A High-Skill Open

What do you think of the new Open structure? Has it changed your training approach?


In CrossFit, we love to speculate this time of year. In that way, I’d like to throw my own gas on the fire.

The prevailing thinking has pegged the Open as a relatively lower-skill event than Regionals and the Games, in part, to accommodate a greater deal of inclusion. With participation as an openly stated priority for CrossFit HQ, triple-unders and deficit handstand push-ups, for example, have been historically considered “nothing to worry about” in this stage of the game.

With the new CrossFit Open structure in place, which includes a scaled division for the first time, one must wonder what this could mean for the Rx event. Will we see heavier, higher-skilled tests because of the inclusion that the scaled division provides?

Each year, the powers that be at CrossFit have defended questions about the Open, which include, but aren’t limited to, ones about the skill level of the Open with the notion that even though it isn’t the perfect test, the Fittest on Earth are still pushed through. No one can argue against the growth of necessary skills and capacity to operate at the upper echelon of the sport today. In that way, one could argue that the test of the CrossFit Games, even at the Open level, must accommodate the rise in fitness capacity we’re seeing from competitors.

Do you think the Rx division of the Open will lean a bit further toward the demands in skill of the Regional competition, or will the Open continue to be more of a stereotypically moderate-weight slugfest? Has the new format changed your training approach?