CrossFit Games

CrossFit’s Two Semifinal Workouts Released

May 10, 2022 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC
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As part of year two of the Open-Quarterfinals-Semifinals-Games layout for the CrossFit Games season, CrossFit has specifically programmed two workouts that must be used for each of the 10 Semifinals.

Remind me: Last year all Semifinals had the freedom to program every event of their competition. CrossFit reviewed the workouts and approved them, but was otherwise uninvolved in the programming.

This year CrossFit is mandating all Semifinals use two workouts they have programmed and has also outlined in a little more detail some parameters the competitions must work within. The details of those are unfortunately unknown to the public, but we do now have the two workouts.


CrossFit Semifinal Workout Number 1:

  • 2014 Regionals Event 5
    10 Rounds for Time
    1 legless Rope Climb
    200 foot run
    Time Cap: 11 minutes

The first of two workouts CrossFit has chosen for inclusion at all Semifinals for 2022 is a throwback to an old Regionals workout from 2014. This workout, back then, was made famous on two fronts:

  • One: with athletes like Elijah Muhammed basically jumping to the top of the rope in what seemed to be half a pull.  
  • Two: it was the workout that dramatically kept Katrin Davidsdottir from the Games that year.

It’s always great to have a repeat workout and see how far the field of athletes has come, but in this case, it is worth asking the question if maybe the caliber of athlete has increased enough where we might be better served having two legless rope climbs, at least for the men, in each round seeing as it is part of the test that is meant to find a very elite and select group of athletes in each Semifinal field to advance to the Games.

CrossFit Semifinal Workout Number 2:

  • Barbell Complex
    3 attempts for max load of:
    3 Cleans + 2 Front Squats + 1 Jerk (Shoulder to Overhead)

For the second mandatory and uniform workout CrossFit has selected the lifting event. The nice thing about choosing the lifting event is that strength in isolation is tested on a consistent basis at this point of the competition. It prevents athletes from saying “well if it had only been a snatch like it was at a different competition.”

On the other hand, you could just tell the competitions they need to test a specific strength event, exert control of the strength test in that regard, and focus more on ensuring a different aspect of fitness is tested appropriately.

Either way, everyone loves a heavy barbell, and this complex will definitely require precision and strength when it matters most.


CrossFit Semifinal Workout Number 1:

  • Pair Thrusters + Legless Rope Climbs
    For time, starting with the female pair:
    40 thrusters, 95 lb
    6 legless rope climbs
    30 thrusters, 95 lb
    4 legless rope climbs
    20 thrusters 95 lbs
    2 legless rope climbs
    Immediately followed by the male pair (thrusters at 135 lb)
    Time Cap: 20 minutes

This is a classic combination that we are accustomed to seeing at Regionals from years past as a finale. The team iteration of this will likely be similarly exciting to watch. Though legless rope climbs are a movement which are notably much more difficult for women than men. Having them go first leads to the potential for a pair of female athletes to get stuck staring at the rope and have the men in line waiting with the possibility of never taking the floor.*

*Note this happened to Mayhem Freedom at Wodapalooza one year and fans who came to watch Rich Froning in action never got to see him do that event as the females on his team could not clear the way for him. Perhaps putting the men first, or reducing the number of rope climbs for the women would improve the likelihood that everyone gets to participate in this event.

CrossFit Semifinal Workout Number 2:

  • Snatch Ladder
    M: 185/195/205/215/225/235/245/255/265/275 (11th platform staged at 285)
    F: 135/140/145/150/155/160/165/170/175/180 (11th platform staged at 185)
    *If a lifter completes the ladder, they will move to the 11th platform, where they will take the next 1-min rotation to rest and declare the load they wish to lift. After the minute of rest, they will have from 0:00-0:25 to complete the lift.
  • Timing Details:
    0:00-0:25 – Lifter 1
    0:25-0:50 – Lifter 2
    0:50-1:00 – Transition to next platform/next pair enters.
    Continue cycling in this fashion until all athletes have lifted.

While this will be incredibly exciting for people who love weightlifting, it will be extremely chaotic and burdensome for competition directors to coordinate; particularly with the tight time domains for transitions and variable loading of the final bar.

Most likely everything will run smoothly, but we can only hope that CrossFit is also providing a contingency plan for competition directors should things get off base in terms of timing at any point. Ultimately the number one priority when programming a heavy lifting event in live competition needs to be safety, this just looks like it has a lot going on and begs the question of how much thought was given to that.

Bottom Line: The inclusion of these two standardized workouts across all Semifinals will give everyone the opportunity to measure themselves against the entire field of athletes in their division at this stage of competition. It does make for some nice analysis leading into the CrossFit Games.

It will definitely be of interest to see if this changes again heading into next year as there are certainly people on both sides of the coin here: some want uniform programming at all Semifinals, while others think that last year’s format with more freedom for each individual competition programmers is more entertaining. And if they do keep it the same, will we continue to see this pattern of a weightlifting test and a repeat workout being the ones CrossFit chooses to impose its control over?

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