The greatness of the CrossFit Open, besides the competition atmosphere, the camaraderie and the sucky workouts, lie on the test of fitness it brings. All year long we do workouts that challenge us and for the most part we get content with how we do. The Open demolishes that. It shows us very clearly what we need to work on and what we’ve been neglecting. Because of that, every week I will talk about how each Open workout challenged us and what it taught us. Let’s start with 20.1:


CrossFit Open 20.1:

10 Rounds For Time:

8 Ground to Overhead at 95/65#

10 Bar-Facing Burpees


Usually, the first Open workout is a pretty straightforward, simple workout. This couplet proves that simple does not equal easy. This is one of those workouts that burn everything, from your legs, to your shoulders, your lungs and even your soul. So what can 20.1 possibly teach us?


Efficiency over Intensity

Let’s start with the movements. Ground to Overhead can be done as snatches (power snatches, squat snatches, muscle snatches) or some kind of clean and press/jerk (power cleans, squat cleans, muscle cleans, push press, push jerks, strict press, split jerks). If you didn’t realize it by now, that’s 80 repetitions. If you haven’t put it enough time practicing these movements, you will waste more energy than what’s necessary to perform it. And when you get tired, those reps will look more and more sloppy.

It doesn’t matter if you’re snatching or cleaning and pressing, if you’re not efficient with these movements, your performance will suffer. That is why it’s important to practice them. A lot of times we like to put weight on the bar to see how much we can lift, when we really need to step back and make sure we are always moving the bar well.


Role of Metabolic Conditioning

Also, if you ever looked at the pyramid that is on the wall by our front door, you saw what is called the Theoretical Hierarchy of Development. It starts with Nutrition at its base, the second tier is Metabolic Conditioning, followed by Gymnastics, Weightlifting and finally, Sport. We often reverse the operation to prioritize weightlifting, gymnastics and sport because they are the “sexy” stuff. We all want to be able to do those movements while we try to avoid the running, rowing and endurance stuff.

But when you look at the pyramid, metabolic conditioning is the base of physical performance. We must build our engine if we hope to really get better at anything else, including the “sexy” stuff in weightlifting and gymnastics. To improve our endurance and stamina, we need to do grunt work. 5×5 of 400m runs, 5k rows, AMRAP of bike and burpees, the workouts people dread the most.


Takeaways from 20.1:

In CrossFit, sometimes we get caught up on intensity and fun movements. But we have to remember that our goal is to be healthy and fit. The path to get there is through sound and efficient movement patterns and a good and steady aerobic system. We must master the basics before we try to get fancy with our movements. The Open starts with a workout that reminds us that technique and engine are the basis of a healthy and fit life.

If you need help achieving your goals, or working on your weakness, come chat with one of your Celebration CrossFit coaches today!


by Coach Matt