Photo by Runar Eilertsen on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The Crossfit Open rapidly approaches, and you need a plan to kick it’s ass.  This is that plan.  This program will be 10 weeks in length, and by the end of it your conditioning, and muscular endurance will be at an all time high.  It focuses on one thing and one thing only, high power output in the movements that will show up in this years Open. Be warned this plan is difficult, so difficult in fact that I doubt many will be able to finish it as prescribed.  

Before we get into the details of the program let’s go over who should be attempting this plan.  This plan is for experienced crossfitters.  I would recommend that you be able to meet these standards before attempting it.

Crossfit Standards Intermediate Data
Crossfit Standards Intermediate Data

I would consider these the bare minimums.  This plan is going to be very difficult if you can’t surpass most of these.  If you want to see all the standards check out the Crossfit Rating System.

If you aren’t ready for this type of programming yet, you can check out our most popular plan, which is a 7 Week Open Prep Program.

As the title implies, this will be part one of the program, or in programming terms the first cycle.  The goal here will be increasing total workout volume.  Remember, this is targeted towards performing well in the Open, which is predominately a test of stamina and high sustained power output, and secondarily strength.

Let’s get into Program!

Week 1 

You can see that the majority of the sessions have three components to them, a strength portion, work capacity/conditioning piece, and a more traditional WOD.  This cycle is going to hammer your anaerobic capacity.

Week 1

For the strength work you need to work to a technical max.  This should be the heaviest set of 5 you can complete with no appreciable form break down.  It’s not the heaviest set you can possibly do.

ME stands for max effort.  This means I want you to complete as many reps as you can at 90% of the weight you did for your heavy set of 5.  Again, you need to stop when your form starts to degrade.

The EMOM’s are going to be difficult, and they only get harder.  It’s ok if you can’t complete the prescribed reps towards the end.  You should aim to get as many prescribed sets done as possible, and then continue doing as many reps as you can for the remaining intervals.  I’m asking you to work to your max capacity here, so no wimping out.

Having tested the key pieces of this plan, I can tell you that I’m sure I’ll have to scale one or two of the EMOM’s.  I don’t look at it as a failure, as it’s more like picking the right difficulty to promote adaptation.  To get through this completely prescribed, you will probably need to be a top 500th finisher in the open.

You should make sure you are taking at least 5-10 min of recovery time between each piece.  We need high intensity.  No one is getting a gold star for getting the whole session done as quickly as possible.

If you like badass, free crossfit programming, put your email in on the right and join the team.  If you don’t I’ll get Josh Bridges to rub his creepy mustache on you. 

Week 2

This week is harder than last week for all three pieces.  There is more strength work, the conditioning is harder, and the WODs are more difficult.  You’ll recall that I did warn you.

Week 2

For the conditioning, I want max effort on the Tabata’s.  This is one area that does not increase in volume.  Instead, I want you to aim for a 5% increase in total distance each week, on both of the conditioning sessions.

I also do not particularly care what you choose to do for your conditioning.  I recommend: assault bike, rowing, running (10% incline on treadmill) in that order, but if you want to do something else, it’s fine by me.

The active recovery days are very simple.  I generally just take a walk, but you could go for a bike ride or do some technique work with the bar, but I think it’s best to stay out of the gym if you can.

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Is this active recovery?                                  Photo by Erwin.van.Leeuwen on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Week 3

This is going to be the most difficult week prior to the deload.  The volume and intensity are cranked way up, and there’s no shame in scaling what you have to, or taking an extra rest day when needed, or quitting and eating donuts in your underwear.  Just kidding, not that last one!

Week 3

The EMOM’s are going to be incredibly difficult, and you will be sore after them.  This is what’s required to make real progress.  Make sure that if you are dropping reps that you are only dropping enough to keep going, not to make it easy on yourself.

I also encourage you to do 5-10 minutes of active recovery after each session.  It is one of the few recovery methods that has actual scientific backing.  Make it part of your cool down, and just move on the rower, walk, or peddle an airdyne just enough to keep the blood moving.  This isn’t a workout.  Click the link above for more specifics.


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Week 4

Here is your well deserved deload.  You might notice that it’s still fairly intense, but the volume is 30-40% lower than the previous week.

If you got through those weeks you should pat yourself on the back, or tell everyone you know.  Remember, the first rule of crossfit is always talk about crossfit.

Week 4

If you quickly glance at this week, it looks like a piece of cake.  That is how bad I’ve tricked you.  There are still two pieces to each workout day, and you think that’s an easy week.

All joking aside you should start to notice that your WOD’s and general conditioning have improved by the end of this week, but this is only the beginning, and we are still over a month away from the Open.

Final Thoughts 

This programming is tough, like the toughest program I’ve ever written tough.  It is only going to get more difficult in part 2, but progress isn’t easy.  I highly encourage you to listen to your body, and if you need to take an extra rest day, then do so.  That is why I’ve labelled them sessions and not certain dates or days of the week.

Complete the plan as you see fit.  If you want to do two sessions a day, you can.  If you prefer a long grinder, that’s fine as well.  As always good luck, and post your questions in the comments below.

Once you’ve finished this program you can move on to part 2.  Be warned it isn’t any easier.


    • Whatever you choose. Personally I think assault bike, row and incline run are great. Just pick one and try to stick with it for all the conditioning sessions.

  1. I’m going to ha e a crack at this starting Monday, been searching for a program to follow and this looks awesome. Thanks for taking the time. Also just followed you on Insta, cheers