7 Week Crossfit Open Prep
7 Week Crossfit Open Prep Program

The Crossfit Open rapidly approaches, and to our dismay we realize that we haven’t done nearly as much preparation as we might have liked. Fear not, there is still ample time to get back to your fighting shape, and have the best Crossfit Open ever.  I should warn you that this program is not easy, nor is it for the faint hearted. Keep reading to see if it’s the right program for you.

Program Goals

This program is difficult.  It encompasses a total of 40 WOD’s and 40 strength sessions which should average out for 4 or so sessions per week.  It is focused specifically for intermediate and advanced crossfit athletes.  It also places heavy emphasis on the types of movements that reliably appear in the open over the past several years.

Goals


1. To increase physiological adaptation for 10-15min range

2. To increase mental toughness 

3. Familiarize yourself with rep schemes for open specific movements


You’ll notice that as we get into the meat of the program that I do not list days on any workout.  Your schedule is exactly that, yours.  Instead, I have listed them in numerical order.  They are designed to be done from 1 to 40 in correct order.  If you plan on doing this program, then you know your body pretty well by now, and will know when to take a rest day.  Otherwise, keep grinding.

Week 1 

This first week is designed to allow you to acclimatize to the workload. These workouts should take you about an hour to complete, including a warm up and cool down.  The strength work on workouts 1 and 2 will be fairly hard.  Based Upon my own trials, I think you’ll find it more of a challenge for your lungs than your muscles.

The WODs, on the other hand are fairly difficult all week. This week is going to be one of the more difficult weeks, as you won’t be used to this type of program yet.  Keep this in mind, if you can’t complete this week, then you probably don’t have any business even attempting the following weeks, as they only get harder.  Remember what the SEALs say, “The only easy day was yesterday.”

Week 2

This week is similar to last week, with an increase in volume for the strength work given the same time constraints.  This will allow you to get used to pushing hard on heavy loads while you are tired, which more and more, has become a fixture in the Crossfit Open.  Six sets is difficult, but I find it useful to tell myself while I’m doing it, to just get to set 4 and once I’m there, it’s not so bad to finish up.  Positive mental talk can do wonders for your performance.

Week 3

I’m not going to lie, this week sucks.  This is a lot of volume in the strength work, but hold on, because this is the most volume for the cycle.  By now you should be very used to the volume and how they are combined with WODs, so don’t wimp out, and get them done.  If you are lacking in motivation just take a gander at these athletes.  I promise that if you finish you will be able to beat all of them…well maybe not, but you will be much closer than if you don’t finish.

You need to also be cognizant of your own recovery.  If you are feeling miserable and sore and can’t even warm up properly for a workout, then you need to take a rest day, maybe two.  Remember, I’m relying on you to make that determination.  If you are merely sore and feeling ok then you should probably push on.

Week 4

This is the first week of the next cycle.  Gone are the day’s of the EMOM 6×5 which you might think is a good thing, but you should be asking yourself, what’s coming that is worse? We’ve changed the strength work to a fairly short time frame at a set 75%.  Again this is not something I would program for a novice.

You need to be smart enough to know when to push these reps and when not too.  Don’t grind out shitty reps during the strength work, you need to hit difficult reps with acceptable form.  Notice I say acceptable because when you are this fatigued you will not be using ideal form, but you should be using safe form.

For the WODs you really need to get into the open mentality.  You have to be smart with your pacing and really push yourself, because every rep matters.  These are not particularly long WODs so really use max effort here.

Week 5

The goal of this week is to increase volume and allow you to also increase your power output, as defined by work increased per unit of time.  By this time, your body should be making some physiological changes allowing you to tolerate more volume and simultaneously, you are probably mentally strong enough to do this amount of work quicker, thus increasing your output.  Keep in mind that while your body does change, your attitude changes faster, so stay positive and remember that you can put out for the hour it takes for each of these workouts.

Week 6

This is the last full volume week before we start a gradual deload into the first week of the Crossfit Open.  This will still feel like a difficult week, especially with the 11min intervals, for the strength work.  Notice I’ve made some effort to reduce the difficulty of the WODs.  They are meant to be more of a conditioning session, than something that will leave you lying on the ground for an hour.

Week 7

This week you will see that there are still some heavy lifts in there with the 5×1, but the volume has been reduced dramatically.  By now you are probably feeling a little beat up, but that’s ok, it’s how you are supposed to feel.  During these lifts you’ll probably find that you don’t feel great during the warm up, but you will be able to get through the lifts surprisingly well.  The WODs are also a little bit lower in difficulty as well.  All this is designed to keep the positive adaptations that you’ve worked so hard for, and allow your body to recover from the stresses of those previous weeks.

Week 8

What, 8 weeks in a 7 week program?!  I know, I know, I shouldn’t have, but the transition into the open is important and it must be managed carefully.  Going from your normal workout routine, to a rest day, to an Open WOD is not a smart way to transition.  You’ll notice that there are still a few heavy lifts, but the WODs have really dropped way down.  This will allow you to be completely recovered before your first Open WOD.

Review

By now you are probably cursing my name, and sorry you ever read this article, but if you’ve completed this program you should be proud of yourself.  Likewise, you will be well set up to have your best open ever.  The important thing for any goal is to have a plan, and now that you have successfully executed this one, you’re ready to crush the Open.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Is anyone following this program? if so what are your times on the WOD’s? a couple of us are looking for something to compare to.

    • I am starting this program today. I’ve tried a few other open prep programs in December and this one honestly looks the most promising.

      • Thanks Shane it means a lot. Feel free to post any questions or concerns you have here and I’ll be happy to answer them. Good luck.

  2. Workout 1:
    75-245lbs for 6×3 Male Rx, 100-125lbs Female Rx
    5:37 – 11:40 Male, 5:07 – 13:55 Female
    Workout 2:
    Male: 135-305 for 6×3 DL, Female: 65-215lbs Rx
    Male: 55-127 Rx Reps, Female: 50-117 Reps Rx
    Workout 3:
    Male: 35-60lbs Dip, 15-45lbs Female Rx
    Male: 17:50 – 7:42 Rx, Female: 20:00- 8:53 Rx
    Workout 4:
    Male: 175-225lbs Rx, Female: 83-103lbs Rx
    Male: 2:29-1:57 Rx, Female: 3:09-1:58 Rx
    Workout 5:
    Male: 0-45lbs Rx, 0 lbs female Rx
    Male: 8:54-9:48 Rx, Female: 8:32-6:58 Rx

  3. Workout 6:
    Male: Front squat 185-245lbs, WOD 12:28 Rx – 7:31 Rx
    Female: Front Squat 113-125lbs, WOD 11:58 Rx- 8:00

    Workout 7:
    Male: Deadlift 185-325lbs, 168 Reps
    Female: 133-165lbs, 124 – 168 Reps

    Workout 8:
    Male: Dips 50-90 lbs, 224-513 Reps
    Female: Dips 25lbs, 289-334 Reps

    Workout 9:
    Male: Clean 155-195lbs, 2+23 – 4+5rds rx
    Female: Clean 88-113lbs,3 – 3+5 rds Rx

    Workout 10:
    Male: Pull Up 25-60lbs, 10:01-8:15 Rx
    Female: 0 lbs, 11:00-12:06 Rx

  4. Great program so far Jake. If you get a chance can you post weeks 3 & 4 Numbers. Getting stronger the Squat and Deadlift AMRAPS are Awesome ! haha

  5. Workout 11:
    Male: FSquat 115-245lbs, 7:54-4:45
    Female: Fsquat 85-150lbs, 9:41-3:45

    Workout 12:
    Male: Deadlift 95-305lbs, 15:30-8:14
    Female: Deadlift 105-210lbs, 11:14-5:14

    Workout 13:
    Male: 10-70lbs, 54-149 reps
    Female: 10-40lbs, 75-22 reps

    Workout 14:
    Male: 135-185lbs, 4:14-3:52
    Female:70-105lbs, 4:42-4:12

    Workout 15:
    Male: 20-55lbs, 17-171reps
    Female: 0 lbs, 15-119 reps

  6. Workout 16:
    Male: 1 X 54 @ 135 LBS – 1 X 24 @ 295 LBS, 100 – 496 reps
    Female: 1 X 42 @ 35 LBS – 1 X 35 @ 200 LBS, 185 – 495 reps

    Workout 17:
    Male: 1 X 24 @ 83 LBS – 1 X 29 @ 205 LBS, 12:30-6:42
    Female: 1 X 115 @ 46 LBS – 1 X 70 @ 135 LBS, 9:56 – 8:48

    Workout 18:
    Male: 1 X 45 @ 35 LBS – 1 X 36 @ 185 LBS, 10:10 -5:12
    Female: 1 X 35 @ 53 LBS – 1 X 35 @ 115 LBS, 11:57 – 4:05

    Workout 19:
    Male: 225lbs, 5:10
    Female:55-165lbs, 3:20 – 2:30

    Workout 20:
    Male: 25 – 70lbs, 224-302 reps
    Female: 0 lbs, 230-302 reps

  7. Hey Jake just wanted to give you a shout out we had PR’s all last week on all of our lifts Alan did a 300-pound push press and a one-minute PR on Fran, I PRd deadlifts, push press, Clean , C&J and close to a minute PR from two months ago on Fran 4:08 today 4:53 just before we started the program. Justin PRd deadlift, Clean, Push Press and C&J

  8. I just started the program and my stats today we’re 115# for front squats and 12:26RX for the workout. I’m not an advanced cross fit individual, but have been doing it for almost 2 yrs.

    • Stats sound pretty good to me. Keep working and let me know how it goes for you. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have as well.

  9. Workout 2.. 145# DL and 90reps for the workout. Let me just say I have a difficult time with snatches. My technique is not the greatest and I have to really concentrate to not lose my form so I’m pretty happy with 90. Thanks for this program!

  10. If cleans or snatches say just that instead of power cleans or snatches am I supposed to be doing squat cleans or squat snatches?

    • Yep no prob. The goal is to do as many reps as possible of back squat with the assigned weight. The strategy is up to you. You can try doing a certain amount every minute, or by when you feel ready, but just keep squatting for 7 min.

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