The CrossFit Open is here!

HWPO Training team member and CrossFit Open veteran Jake Marconi shares his top five tips for anyone thinking about competing in the 2024 Open, whether they’re new to the Open or have participated in it before.

Feb 1, 2024

The CrossFit Open is here!

HWPO Training team member and CrossFit Open veteran Jake Marconi shares his top five tips for anyone thinking about competing in the 2024 Open, whether they’re new to the Open or have participated in it before.

Feb 1, 2024

The CrossFit Open is here!

The CrossFit Open is an annual, three-week-long international competition in which anyone can participate regardless of age, ability and fitness level. Athletes of all abilities from all over the globe will compete against each other in three weeks of workouts. 

The Open kicks off the start of the 2024 CrossFit Games season and determines which athletes in each division will move forward to the Quarterfinals. A workout will be released each Thursday for three weeks, commencing on February 29th and ending on March 18th. Athletes will then have until the following Monday to complete the workout and submit their scores.

Last year, we posted an article giving you some tips and tricks for the Open, and we have revisited our thoughts and have got some new tips for you, among some others that remain as important as ever.

Should I compete in the Open?

The answer is probably yes. 

The Open is for more than just athletes or very competitive gymgoers. The Open is fun! It’s a great way to see how your score compares to your friends at the gym and everyone else in the world. And, if comparing scores is not your thing, even better — the Open can be just for you. It’s a chance to get out of your comfort zone, whether mentally or physically, and spur some new growth (read: GAINS!).

 Whether the Open is your first day of CrossFit or you’re a professional athlete doesn’t matter. Anyone can participate. Options to scale the workouts make the Open suitable for any athlete regardless of level or ability to compete.

How can I prepare?

Keep on training! 

The 2024 CrossFit Open workouts are anyone’s guess, but the HWPO Training team has some tips and recommendations on getting through this year’s Open season.

HWPO Training team member and CrossFit Open veteran Jake Marconi shares his experience to give us his top five tips for anyone considering competing.

Watch the Open announcements and make a plan

Jake recommends watching the Open announcements each week, which will take place on Thursday nights, starting on February 29th, for 3 weeks. Watching the announcements will give you a good sense of what the workout entails and give you a chance to think about your strategy. 

When writing your strategy, consider your personal strengths and weaknesses. Anticipate areas of the workout that may cause you trouble and those that may be easier. Write out your plan, including notes about how you will break up reps, how long you want to spend on each round, areas when you may need to take a breather and things that could go wrong or be difficult. It’s important to be as detailed as possible. 

“Writing down a plan for each workout gives you a chance to do the workout in your head before ever stepping on the floor or picking up a barbell. If the Open is outside your comfort zone, visualizing and making a plan can make the actual workout more comfortable. If you are a competitor, making a plan will optimize your performance. Your plan will probably change when your heart rate goes through the roof, but at least you’ll have a direction to head in when starting the workout. And, if nothing else, it’s fun to go all in on one workout.” 

Be prepared to adapt your plan

Open workouts don’t always go as planned. In fact, most of the time, they don’t go as planned, and that’s ok. Be prepared to adjust your strategy if it isn’t working for you in the moment, and don’t panic.

If your plan doesn’t fall apart, that’s a bonus!

“Some of my best workouts have been the ones when the plan falls apart. The pressure of perfect execution goes out the window, and you end up just ‘sending it’, as the kids say. Ha! Once the wheels come off, the goal is just to finish the workout.”

Fuel up

For most people, the Open workout will be their most intense workout of the week. It’s important to fuel your body so you don’t burn out and disrupt your regular training. 

Jake recommends eating a higher-carb meal the night before you attempt each Open workout.

“Don’t go full Michael Scott and eat pasta minutes before the workout,” he warns. “But do have some extra carbs. If a typical dinner has one cup of rice, have two; that will be plenty of extra fuel for the next day.”

Warm up

Take the time to warm up before each Open workout. The most important thing about warming up for intense Open workouts is getting your heart rate up. Even though you don’t know exactly what your heart rate will be during the workout, try to estimate it and touch that heart rate during your warm-up at least once. Jake’s advice:

“Your warm-up should be specific to the workout. I like to start with a general cardio piece that gets me sweaty and then do movement work that gets me ready for the positions that will be required in the workout. After that, I like to do mini-intervals of the movements in the workout with one to two minutes of rest between each; generally, two or three sets of mini-intervals are enough. The goal of these mini-intervals is to get familiar with the flow of the workout and, more importantly, get your heart rate up to something that is similar to what you feel in the workout. Getting your heart rate high, or as I like to call it, feeling some pain will ensure you aren’t surprised by the spike in heart rate during the actual workout.”

Most people can maintain a high heart rate, but reaching that heart rate is initially uncomfortable. The first time your heart rate spikes, your body tries to lower it, so you’re likely going to sweat and feel fatigued quickly. It’s essential to get your heart rate up for the first time in your warm-up rather than during the workout so you don’t get burnt out immediately. 

Open workouts come in all shapes and sizes, and so do warm-ups. It’s essential to sufficiently prepare your body to avoid injury and comfortably complete each workout. For short workouts, spend more time warming up than you would for a longer workout.

Have fun! 

The Open can seem daunting and stressful but try to enjoy it. Participate in all the Open activities. If your gym has Friday Night Lights, go to them. Compete against your friends, but don’t get too worked up over your scores. And Jake’s parting thoughts:

“The Open is a great time to test yourself beyond what you might do in normal training. And, if you train alone most of the time, the Open is a chance to feel like a part of something bigger!”

Community is one of the defining characteristics of CrossFit, and the Open is a community-focused event that anyone can and should participate in.

HWPO Training team members share their 2024 Open tips

While at HWPO headquarters, we asked some of the other HWPO Training team for their top tips for success at the 2023 CrossFit open.

Mat Fraser

“Don’t rush into your first attempt. Take your time, practice the movements, practice the transitions and have a game plan. Stay calm. The goal is to have the fastest total time for the workout, not the fastest first round or first movement.”

Matt O’Keefe

“Go hard, and when it hurts, go harder. Make mistakes, go fast, enjoy finding your limit and build off of it week to week and year to year. It’s a journey!” 

Josh Godinez

“If you have shown up and worked hard in your training, trust that you are prepared. On each workout, focus on executing as well as you can. Know that full effort is all you can give. Enjoy it and try to have fun with the experience.“

Sam Petrich.

“Remember that it’s about having fun! Hitting the workouts with friends is the way to go.”

Justin Ahrens

“Have fun! Take it as a learning experience more than anything. Leave it on the floor without any regrets.”

Steven Fawcett

“Your result is not the be-all and end-all. Embrace the challenge and give each workout your best honest effort.”

See you on the leaderboard!

Reach your goals this season

Try HWPO FLAGSHIP, the program based on Mat Fraser's training regime.