I’ve pretty much always thought that repeating the OPEN WOD is a bad idea.   I have repeated 1 workout because I knew that I botched the first attempt. It was a good idea as I finished almost 2 minutes faster.  read the entire article here


You will not push yourself as hard the first time
There are no ‘second chances’ in other competitions
You are more likely to get injured or ‘tweaked’
It puts your actual training progress on hold
It is bad for your ‘mental game’
There ARE times when repeats make sense (see below)
Don’t let your coach’s ego make you feel bad

You will not push yourself as hard the first time

If you are planning on doing it more than once, you are almost guaranteed to let off the gas when things get hard. As you start to doubt yourself during the workout, and things really hurt, there will be a little voice in your head saying, “its okay, I’ll try harder next time”. This will sabotage your initial performance, and make sure you HAVE to do it a second time!

You must be mentally prepared to ‘burn the bridges’ so you make your attempt the best. Don’t save anything for the swim back:

There are no ‘second chances’ in other competitions

As far as ‘The Sport of Fitness’ and similar competitions go, you aren’t allowed to ‘try again’ if you mess up the first time. You should become adept at planning your workout (pacing, resting, technique, etc.) so that you get your best score right out of the gate. Giving yourself the option to repeat will prevent you from learning how to ‘knock it out of the park’ on your first try.

The vast majority of experienced CrossFit Games athletes I have worked with almost always get nearly the EXACT SAME score on their second attempt. They know themselves and the movements so well they can execute a perfect plan 9 times out of 10. Every so often they may repeat a workout if they took a gamble on the first, or there are ‘weird’ rules about a lift immediately after or achieving a certain number of reps before a certain time to move on.

One ‘secret’ to the top performers is that they don’t usually repeat workouts in the Open and yet they are still at the top of the leaderboard. Other folks will repeat the workouts to get a better Open score, but then they fall flat at Regionals/Games. This is because they haven’t mastered the ability to be ‘one and done’, and the top performers are training for the long term, not the immediate win.

You are more likely to get injured or ‘tweaked’

There is a reason why good programs usually don’t have folks doing hundreds of reps of the same movement a few days apart. Not only is it not a good idea for recovery and progress, it also greatly increases the chance of injury! Hand tears are a good example of this, but it could also be a tweaked back or angry shoulder. Getting injured (especially on week 1, 2, or 3), is going to not only make overall progress stall. It is also going to be detrimental to later weeks of the Open!

It puts your actual training progress on hold

I had the opportunity to train ‘regular folks’ (people who were decently fit, but had regular jobs, and not necessarily trying to make Regionals as a primary part of their life), people that were Regional hopefuls for next year, Regional/Games team regulars, Masters of all levels, and Games individuals all at the same time. One year, we had 3 teams and 3 Individuals at one Regionals (From the same gym)!

One thing we noticed early on is that when people have to be hyper focused on the Open, it means that they are going to be behind at the end of it. The people who made the most gains year to year weren’t focused on just doing their best ‘this year’, they were focused on getting better overall.

When you are planning on doing the workouts 2 or 3 times, you are NOT making overall gains.

You are resting the day before their first attempt, then resting between attempts, then resting the day after, all while hammering movement that won’t be coming up in later weeks (or Regionals a lot of the time).

That only leaves a couple days to try and get some training in before the next announcement! Starting the first week on Wed/Thur (resting before week 1), and then eking out every attempt on week 5 (and taking some time to get back into the swing of things) means that you are really putting your long-term training on hold for more like 6-7 weeks.

This is about 13% of the calendar year!

And it isn’t like you go back to right where you left off. You will backslide on some of your strength numbers and metcon performances. This means that you may end up more than 15% behind another competitor who is able to maintain some consistent gains through the Open!

You may beat that person this year because of some extra points from ‘selling out’ this year, but they are going to have a head start over you next year. Over 2 or more years, they will continue to make progress faster than you… especially if you get ‘tweaked’ during the Open trying to get a every single point possible each year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.