CrossFit Games

Seven Questions Leading Up to the 2024 CrossFit Open

February 8, 2024 by
Photo credit: Arbor CrossFit
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Feelings about the CrossFit Open range from outright dissent to cautiously excited to obsessive. No matter where you fall on the spectrum though, 24.1 will soon be upon us. Here are seven questions on our minds as we proceed toward the 2024 Open.

1. Will this be the biggest year yet? At the time of this article’s publication there are more than 125,000 people registered for the 2024 CrossFit Open. 

2. Will we see new movements? We have seen at least one new movement every year (The shoulder-to-overhead in 2013 is debatable as new since we previously saw the push press).

  • There have been an average of 1.8 new movements every year.
  • Last year we saw the introduction of the shuttle run and the combo movement of the burpee pull-up.
  • The years with the most new movements were 2017, 2018, and 2021. Each of these years produced three new movements.
  • The 2017 Open introduced dumbbells, and we saw them annually until last year, which was Adrian Bozman’s first year of programming the Open. 

3. Will we see a repeat? The only year that we didn’t see a repeat was 2022, which was Dave Castro’s last year of programming. 

  • The longest time span between a workout and its repeat has been nine years (from 14.4 to 23.1).

4. Will there be a max lift? We have seen a pure strength test four times:

  • 15.1a: One rep max clean and jerk. 
  • 18.2a: One rep max clean. 
  • 21.4: One rep max complex of a deadlift, clean, hang clean, and jerk. 
  • 23.2b: One rep max thruster.

When pure strength tests are included in a competition with a limited number of workouts, it can shake up the leaderboard. Regardless, we should all be ready to lift heavy if it shows up again. 

5. Does winning the Open predict success at the Games? While the Open isn’t the most important part of the competition season (The reigning fittest woman on earth, Laura Horvath, finished the 2023 Open in 185th place), excelling in it can certainly set you up for success. 

Men:

  • The average finish at the Games by the Open winner of the same year is 4.8.
  • The winner of the Open has won the Games seven times on the men’s side: three times each by Rich Froning and Mat Fraser, and once by Jeffrey Adler, last year. 

Women: 

  • The average finish at the Games by the Open winner of the same year is 10.1.
    • This number is inflated due to Annie Thorisdottir having to withdraw and finishing 38th in 2015 (Removing this would change the average finish to 7). Other winners of the Open who did not compete at the Games due to various reasons were Sam Briggs in 2014, Jamie Greene in 2016, and Mal O’Brien in 2023.
  • The winner of the Open has won the Games three times on the women’s side: Annie Thorisdottir in 2011, Sam Briggs in 2013, and Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr in 2021.

6. What combinations of movements can we expect? Constantly varied programming is at the core of CrossFit, but we can still use past data to spot trends and guide our training. Below are a few examples of commonly paired movements. 

  • Out of the 13 years of the Open, the two movements that have been combined the most are chest-to-bar pullups and thrusters, which have shown up together seven times.
  • Cleans (without a jerk) have been in seven Opens (six in metcons and once as a one rep max). Five of those times they’ve been combined with toes-to-bar, which have been in all but one Open. 
  • We’ve seen wall walks only three times. However, they have been in the last three Opens, so we are likely to see them again. Two out of those three years, they have been combined with double-unders.

7. Will the programming be different based on the increased number of athletes who will qualify for quarterfinals? In short, not likely. The Open is meant to be highly accessible and a celebration of community and fitness. 

  • Where we will see the biggest changes will most likely be the next stage. With substantially more people qualifying from the Open, the programming for Quarterfinals will need to challenge the best in the world, yet allow the vast majority to participate. 

On a recent episode of the CrossFit Games Podcast, Competition Director Adrian Bozman told Chase Ingraham:

  • “If you’re gonna invite more people to the dance, you better have some steps that they can follow.”

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