CrossFit 20.1 Open Workout: Full Strategy For Rx, Scaled, Masters

Written By Ben  |  Open 

Open #2 of the year is upon us, and CrossFit 20.1 has officially been announced. 

It’s a burner. Are you ready to attack it?

It may be just two movements, but with 100 bar-facing burpees to grind through, there’s more to consider than you might think. Read on and make sure that you have a strategy going into these 15 minutes.

But first... here's the workout:

CrossFit 20.1 WOD

crossfit open 20.1

CrossFit 20.1: Pacing

Listen up. Whether you're doing this workout Rx, Scaled, or as a Masters Athlete - consistency is going to be key, and you should be heading in this one with the intent to hold the same pace throughout. Avoid the mistake of starting off too quickly and then trailing off when you run out of gas.

If you know that this weight is heavy for you, really focus on NOT coming out fast. That might mean that you have to break up the ground to overhead into smaller sets - like 4 snatches, and 4 clean and jerks. That is a MUCH better plan than burning out at the beginning.

Warning:  A lot of athletes won't finish this workout because of improper pacing. Your goal should be that your round 1 and round 10 paces are very similar.

Those final two rounds is when it's time to really push.

Unless you're an ultra-elite athlete, your mindset should not be trying to go sub-10 minutes on this workout. 

20.1 Pacing Summary:

  1. This workout will burn.
  2. In order to finish under the time cap, you need to complete 1 round every ~90 seconds. 
  3. Don't come out too fast at the beginning.
  4. Stay Consistent.

CrossFit 20.1

Open 20.1: Ground-to-Overhead

Just because we saw Froning and Panchik snatching in the Live Announcement doesn't necessarily mean that that is the best route for you to take. 

Snatches are going to be more taxing, and depending on what your max is, you may want to stick with clean & jerks instead.

Your ultimate goal on G2O is to go unbroken. So with that in mind, if this is a heavier weight for you to snatch, it's a better route to try to stay unbroken on clean and jerks instead. 

  • Snatches = Faster
  • C&J = Stronger
Snatch Tips

If this is considered to be a lighter weight for you, try moving your hands around, and snatching with a more narrow grip. 

I'm also going to suggest trying out a wider stance with your feet, similar to what we saw Scott Panchik do in the head to head. If you want to go this route, start with your feet out wide, and DON'T move them.

Avoid 'starfishing' your snatch - jumping your feet out and then back in for each rep. This is a waste of energy.

Clean & Jerk Tips

If the snatch weight is somewhat heavy for you - I suggest clean & jerks. A key here is allowing the barbell to spend minimal time on your shoulders.

  • Good C&J: Catching the barbell in a partial dip, and then immediately go overhead with it (Fluid)
  • Bad C&J: Catch the barbell, stand up, and pause before pressing it overhead (Slow & Inefficient)

Tip: Try to find plates that bounce the least amount possible. Singles are fine if you need to... but you will save both time and energy if you have plates that aren't bouncing your barbell all over the gym.

Burpee Tips

There's no way around the fact that these are going to eventually suck... they're burpees.

You might start off this workout feeling great - this does NOT mean you should be doing turbo burpees. A steady, consistent pace throughout is going to save you. Try starting out slower than your mind wants you to, and go at them with a methodical approach.

Burpee Option 1: Step up, step down. This is common, a little slower, but a good option to hold a smooth pace.

Burpee Option 2: This one is my preference - the splat down, and step up. Basically, use the least amount of arm control possible while lowering to the ground (this saves your arms) and then step back up.

Key: Try adding a turn over the barbell as you jump. This will help save a bit of time. 

Avoid: Prancing burpees (if you're going Rx). This is a no-rep as the standards read that you need to jump off both feet.

Lastly, if you have chalk available, it's a good idea to mark your hands on the ground while setting up for the workout. Find a comfortable spot in front of the barbell (where your head isn't hitting the bar) and mark each side of the bar. This helps you keep your barbell in roughly the same spot throughout the workout. 

(Keep your coaches happy and clean up your chalk marks when you're done 🙂 )

CrossFit Open 20.1: Scaled

The scaled workout is very similar, with the exception that stepping over the bar is allowed instead of jumping. 

If you're attacking this workout scaled, stepping over is a good route to help save energy and keep that consistent pace.

CrossFit 20.1: Masters

Again, Masters aren't changing too much for Open Workout 20.1. 55 years old and above, the weights are going to drop - but I'm advising all the same strategies above. Read up, have your plan of attack going into the workout, and stay consistent.

If you want to get a high score in a “burner” like 20.1, it’s CRUCIAL that you pace yourself correctly. Just a heads up... once you join WODprep Plus, our brand new Masters only community, you’ll get expert coaching to help you hit 20.1 with “just right” pacing - not too fast, not too slow.

20.1 Open Workout: Equipment

Not too much equipment that you're going to need for this one! Outside of your normal shoes, I would also suggest TAPE. Taping your thumbs can help save your hook grip, which you should definitely be doing regardless of how you're moving the barbell.

CrossFit 20.1 Wrap-up

At the end of the day, this workout is simple - but also deceiving. Focus on steady, consistent transitions, and you're going to save time.

Avoid undisciplined transitions - or all the above strategies won't be effective.

Want these full-length guides delivered to your inbox every Friday morning?

Thanks for reading - and good luck!

Looking for our 2021 Posts? Go to CrossFit Open 21.1 Strategy Guide

Head here for our CrossFit Open 20.1 Workout Announcement and Quick Tips

Please note: WODprep is not affiliated with CrossFit, Inc nor is it endorsed by CrossFit, Inc or any of its subsidiaries. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

  • Hi! Thanks so much! I read above “Your ultimate goal on G2O is to go unbroken. So with that in mind, if this is a heavier weight for you to snatch, it’s a better route to try to stay unbroken on clean and jerks instead.” Could you give an indication what you mean by a heavier weight to snatch? Is there maybe an estimate of what percentage of your 1RM snatch would be the turning point? Thanks so much!

  • Thanks for the suggestions. Judged/watched a few people this morning and pacing is the key. If you need to rest a moment, do it on the ground because its half a burpee then hit it again. Quote of the morning, “that was harder than it looks.”

  • Thanks for the tips. I do the WOD in the morning at 5:30. Would it be possible to send the strategies the night before?

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