Building An Engine For The Open

It's that time of the year again when the CrossFit Open is upon us and I was asked by one of our members the other day "how can I build my engine to improve my performance at the open?" My short answer to this is "for this year... you can't!" It takes a long time to build and develop a solid aerobic base and establish an understanding of your own energy systems and thresholds... I would compare this to saying "I want to be able to back squat 150kg next week my current Squat is 50kg... Can you help me out??" 

However, in the short term what we can work on in the next few weeks is our ability to dig deep, develop a base level understand of our own capacity and approach the Open confident that we know where we are in terms of our own fitness levels and thereby reduce the chances of completely being crushed by a workout as we messed up the pacing.

So what follows is a simple 4 session program designed to help you get ready for the open from an energy systems and pacing point of view:

Please note: The avatar for these workouts is an athlete looking to complete in the scaled category of the Open not RX.... RX athletes drop us a message and we can send you another version of this for free.


A) EMOM 12 mins alternate between:

1) 8 Bar Facing Burpees

2) 30 Secs Thrusters - These should be light and performed unbroken. Match your reps each round after.

B) Row 3 min on 1 min rest x 6 - match your /500m split every round and don't go too hard. You should be able to have a brief conversation at every point whilst doing the row.


A) EMOM 10 mins alternate between:

1) 10 Alt Overhead Lunge - moderate weight

2) 15-20 Unbroken Wall Balls - If you drop the ball you start again. Compose yourself before you start and focus on your breathing exhale on the throw inhale before you catch

B) Complete the following AMRAPS. Try and keep moving throughout each one and pace accordingly bearing in mind you have a lot to get through!

5 min AMRAP: 4 Burpees, 6 Thrusters @ 35/25kg, 8 Box Jumps @ 24/20"

Rest  4 mins

5 min AMRAP: 10 Jumping C2B, 10 Power Snatch @ 35/25kg, 10 Hand Release Push-Ups

Rest 4 mins

Repeat both AMRAPs and aim to match your scores!


A) EMOM 12 mins alternate between:

1) 50 Unbroken Skips

2) 30 Secs Thrusters - try to add 2-3 reps from week 1

B) 10 Rounds for time: 4 Burpees, 6 Kettlebell Swings (American) @ 24/16kg, 8 Wall Balls

C) Row 2500m at a sustainable but hard pace


A) EMOM 12 mins alternate between:

1) 12-15 cal row

2) 15-25 Unbroken Wall Balls - aim to beat session 2

B) For time:

21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3

Thrusters @ 35/25kg

Bar Facing Burpees

Some of you will recognise this if you have done it before check your score. If you haven't enjoy it.... It's a mental challenge to get through but exactly what the Open is all about!

Any questions relating to the above or if you need any advice about how to best tackle the CrossFit Open drop us a message!