Should you Re-do an Open workout?

redo or not crossfit open

Seeing your score on the leaderboard can be as sore spot especially if you feel like it's not the score you deserved.

After all, the leaderboard doesn't show that you didn't have enough time to warm up, or that your shoulder was bothering you that day, or any other excuse or justification.

It only shows the cold hard facts: your name and you score.

Often when you feel like your score didn’t reflect your best effort (or more accurately, you didn't do better than the people you “should” have), there is some frustration and maybe even a little rage.

Before long, you begin to hear a tiny voice saying that with just a few strategic changes and a lot more pre-workout, you can completely crush the workout a second time. 

Sometimes re-doing a workout results in a better score but there's no guarantee. This guide will help you decide if you should redo an Open workout or if it’s better to remain on team one and done.

The Open

Ever Thursday over three weeks, CrossFit HQ announces a workout via live stream.

The community, all 400,000 of us, have until the following Monday to complete the workout and submit a score.

The results are published on a global leaderboard though the results can be filtered by country, age group, or affiliate.

This is what makes the Open the world’s largest participatory sporting event.

This is also what makes a usually very reasonable person wonder if they should repeat the workout to produce a better score.

redo or not crossfit open
@vicmcleod

The maddening thing about the Open is that you only have four days to complete the workout. Within those four days, you can attempt the workout as many times as you want (or better, as many times as you can stand).

For the most part, the Open workouts are not developed with the intention that athletes will repeat, however re-doing a workout is not uncommon.

With each passing day, more scores begin to show up on the leaderboard, more videos and guides with hacks and tips come out promising to help you improve your score. And so begins the doubt.

So how do you know if it's worth a redo? How do you know if you’ll get a better score?

A Few things to Consider

Are you hurting?

Calloused hands, exhausted legs, and worn-out grip do not play in your favor.

If your first effort was so taxing that you haven’t been able to recover properly, chances are that redoing the WOD will not result in a better score.

What went wrong?

Be honest and critical about what went wrong the first time.

If it's a case of the nerves, maybe you'll feel more confident the second time around and you'll be more consistent.

If there was an equipment malfunction, make sure you have backups, and extra backups just in case. Perhaps you went in with an overzealous strategy, or maybe you didn’t even have a plan. Rest, regroup, and redo once you’re better prepared. 

On the other hand, if your skills are what were lacking, you're probably better off accepting the score and working towards improving your weaknesses. Find a plan that will help to get you there and promise yourself that next year will be different.

Will it affect the rest of the Open or your training?

Completely depleting your energy systems in a workout and then attempting to do so again only 24-48 hours later can be very risky business. Realistically, if the workout is heavy, or extremely intense it’s probably very taxing on the body or central nervous system and shouldn’t be repeated. Working out under too much fatigue could result in injury which will affect your training far beyond the span of three weeks. Be smart about which workouts can be redone.

redo open
@vicmcleod

A Few things to Understand

Know your “why”.

The majority of Open participants sign up for their own reasons. Maybe it’s just for fun, maybe because of tradition, or maybe because of peer pressure.

If that's the case, doing your best and having a good time are your priorities when completing the workouts and that’s perfectly fine. 

A smaller percentage of participants are trying to climb the leaderboard. Maybe they have a good chance at slipping into the top 10 fittest athletes in their country, age group, occupational category or affiliate.

For them, the stakes are a bit higher, they should consider practicing or rehearsing the workout on Thursday and doing it for real before scores are due. 

Finally, there's a very specific group of athletes that are contending for a spot in the next phase of competition.

You can bet that these select few will have more than one crack at the WOD.

It's important to know what you hope to get out of the Open and what's the most important to you.

Don't get so wrapped up in the competition that you forget to learn, grow, and enjoy yourself..

Especially if you're not interested in competing. 

Fitness isn’t built in a day

Between the first time you attempted the workout and the second (or third!) you are not going to get fitter.

It's possible that for your second attempt, the environment, the equipment, or your body feel better.

These are factors that we can control in the short term by warming up adequately, doing a few practice rounds, and being organized.

These controls can contribute to a better score, but won’t make as much of an impact as being stronger, having a better engine or being more proficient in skill work. 

Any flaws or weaknesses that “failed you” in the workout needed to be developed weeks and months ago.

It’s an inconvenient truth, but very little can be improved within four days. You’re not going to get better at double unders or be able to string together more toes to bar in a way that will significantly improve your score.

Accept that you gave your best effort, look for a program that will help you be better prepared for next year, and move on.

You’re only competing against yourself

As athletes, we tend to obsess over the numbers, but the Open isn’t about where you fall on the leaderboard.

It’s about testing your limits and supporting other members of the community as they do the same.

Your value as an athlete, and as a person, is not quantified by how many reps you can complete in an AMRAP.

In the end, you have to be satisfied with your efforts more than with the results.

If you think that you could do it better, then have at it. If you’re not sure, just take the outcome  as a learning experience and try to do it better next time.

Conclusion

The Open workouts are meant to test your progress and highlight weaknesses of your day-to-day training.

We are afforded the luxury of being able to repeat workouts, however if you're repeating each and every workout, the test loses its efficacy. 

Sometimes, accepting a “bad” score is necessary for your development.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it makes the “good” scores feel so much greater. Whether you repeat or not, decide to be prepared, go hard, and have fun just as HQ intended.