Dave Castro’s Programming Legacy: The Open

January 9, 2022 by and
Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC

The recent news of Dave Castro being fired from his position of General Manager of Sport for CrossFit has sent shockwaves across the community. For the past 15 years, Castro has been the undeniable leader of the sport, and in CrossFit’s own words “a driving force behind the systemization of CrossFit into the Sport of Fitness.”

While Castro’s influences were far reaching, he was most infamously known for the impact his programing had on the wider community. That impact is too substantial to capture in a singular written piece, so instead it will be split into a trio of articles framed under the structure of the CrossFit Games season starting with the Open. 

Thrusters and Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

Beginning with the first ever open, thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups were featured in the finale that was 11.6: a 7:00 ladder of thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups starting with three of each and adding three reps every round. 

This combination was made famous by Fran, but has built its legacy throughout the Open:

  • 12.5 was a repeat of 11.6
  • 13.5 was another variation of the same two movements
  • Then there was a four year hiatus from this combination while thrusters were paired with burpees, rowing, and double unders.
  • But lo and behold, in 2018 we had 18.5, which was also 12.5 and 11.6 (the first time a workout was repeated for a third time)
  • 19.5 once again saw the same two movements but with the amped up 33-27-21-15-9 rep scheme

If you’re counting, half of the Open seasons we’ve had have ended with the thruster / chest to bar pull up combination, making it the most iconic combination in the history of Dave Castro programming the Open. 

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