CrossFit Open WOD 20.2 is genius

Crossfit Open WOD 20.2 is

Rx Workout:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
4 dumbbell thrusters
6 toes-to-bars
24 double-unders
♀ 35-lb. dumbbells ♂ 50-lb. dumbbells

Scaled Workout:
4 dumbbell thrusters
6 hanging knee-raises
24 single-unders
♀ 20-lb. dumbbells ♂ 35-lb. dumbbells

In the ten years of the CrossFit Open, we have never seen thrusters before the fifth week of the Open and this is the first time we have seen dumbbell thrusters… and they are heavy. The reps are fairly low for each movement, but the workout is 20 minutes long. So buckle up, friend.

Six Tips to complete 20.2

1. Place your dumbbells down vs letting them drop willy-nilly on the floor. Safety first!
2. Position yourself close to the rig, so that you don’t have far to walk to start your toes to bar. Use gymnastics grips to minimize or prevent rips.
3. Place your jump rope on the floor in a way that you can step back into place and start your doubles. Reduce untangling time.
4. At the end of each round, start right back on the db thrusters. Don’t break so long that you start thinking over your life choices.
5. Maintain your breathing and don’t go out hot right out of the gate, just to tire out in later rounds. Remember you’re going be to working for 20 minutes straight.

Dave Castro, Director of the CrossFit Games

For everyone who thinks a low rep scheme will be a breeze, I want to remind you that it’s the workouts that look easy on paper that can be the hardest. Let’s take a minute to put on our Dave Castro thinking caps and breakdown the workout.

Let’s start with dumbbell thrusters

During all the years of the open, we have always seen barbell thrusters in the fifth workout of the open. The weights have typically been 95 lbs for men and 65 lbs for women. This year the workout is two 50 lbs dumbbells for men or two 35 lbs dumbbells for women. On paper, the weight is only 5 lbs heavier. But doing thrusters is so much harder with dumbbells than it is with a barbell because you are moving two separate objects versus using a single barbell. So while strength is a factor, so is balance and coordination. So you end up going slower in order to keep steady and stable. Trust me, after 10 minutes, you’ll be glad that you only have to do four reps.

Make sure to breathe at the top of the rep and put your dumbbells on the ground nicely and don’t just drop them. If the dumbbells hits your foot (or someone else’s), you will end up with a broken foot.

Toes to bar

Toes to bar is a gymnastics skill. Six reps of toes to bar should not be hard if you are proficient with the movement. Even if you can’t do them unbroken, you could do them as singles instead of excessively swinging and trying to get some momentum to complete the movement. Doing a single rep at a time can be much more efficient. Also, in order to cut down on transition times, position yourself with your dumbbells near the spot on the rig where you plan to do the toes to bar.  Ideally, you don’t want to waste time walking across the gym to the rig to do your toes to bar. Obviously, the spacing at your gym maybe a factor. But if you can position yourself just in front of or behind the bar on the rig, you will drastically reduce your transition times.

Double Unders

Here’s the thing, you either have your doubles or you don’t. Hear me out. If you’ve been working on your double unders and are able to string together 15-20 doubles unbroken, I say go for it in the workout. But if you struggle to get more than 5 unbroken at a time, you might want to choose the scaled option of the workout.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying to do double unders, but here’s something to consider. Double unders is literally the only movement in CrossFit where you can get beat up for trying, meaning that for the most part, when you trip on the rope, most likely, the rope is going to hit you on the leg and it’s going to feel like getting whipped. And that can instantly make you frustrated. Once you’re frustrated, your breathing will become erratic and your mind will feel unfocused. When doing double unders, the most important thing to do is control your breathing and stay calm.

Remember to put your rope down nicely and position it near the dumbbells. Transitions are the key.

So what’s the real test? 

Trying to understand the mind of Dave Castro is like trying to figure out the what the finale of LOST actually means. You’ll never completely understand. But over the years Dave has shared his philosophy behind the workouts in the Open, Regionals and the Games, so we can hypothesize what this workout is testing.  On the surface, this workout is testing your efficiency at the movements. How many rounds of 4 dumbbell thrusters, 6 toes-to-bar and 24 double unders can you do in 20 minutes. That’s the obvious test.

But test is really to see if you can do these three movements efficiently AND keep yourself composed for 20 minutes. The athletes who make a good choice about doing the workout as prescribed versus doing a scaled version and who can keep moving without getting flustered or frustrated will get the most out of this workout. This means not watching your neighbor to try to keep up. It means staying in your own lane and doing the best that you can do on this one workout, knowing that your score will not define you as an athlete. Your effort in this workout will be good enough no matter how you do. Remember that the Open workouts are just a snapshot in time and they give each of us a goal post to measure our fitness. Who knows, in a year or two when you re-test this workout, you might see an improvement. But remember why you are doing the Open. It’s just the workout of the day. There may be some magic when everyone is in full cheer mode. But be safe and have a blast.⁠

No matter the outcome, I’m proud of you!


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