CrossFit Open Workouts: What To Expect For 2019

Written By Ben  |  Open 

In case you haven’t heard, we’re just a few weeks away from the CrossFit Open kicking off. For many of us, it’s like our Super Bowl of the the CrossFit year. An exciting time to come together as a community, and test out our fitness.

As always, the workouts will be announced on Thursday nights, and final scores need to be submitted by Monday night. We are already starting to build out our strategy guides for all things pertaining to CrossFit Open workouts. If you don’t want to miss our weekly emails and videos, be sure to sign up below...

Looking Back: CrossFit Open Workouts 2018

Before we jump into what we can expect for the 2019 CrossFit Open, let’s do a quick recap of last year. The 2018 CrossFit Open came “chalk-full” of surprises.

For only the second time ever, we saw two scored workouts in a single week of competition with 18.2 / 18.2a. The only other time we saw this was back in 2015

We also saw 3 new movements for the first time ever. They were the handstand walk in 18.4, the dumbbell hang clean & jerk in 18.1, and the dumbbell squat in 18.2.

crossfit open workouts from 2018

Hopefully this wasn't you...

Read on for a detailed recap of last year’s nightmare, including links to each workout strategy guide. Because you never know when we might get another repeat workouts thrown at us...

18.1: The arrival of the DB Hang C&J

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

  • 8 toes-to-bars
  • 10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks
  • 14-cal. Row

18.3: Double Under Madness

2 rounds for time of (14 min time cap):

  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 overhead squats
  • 100 double-unders
  • 12 ring muscle-ups
  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 dumbbell snatches
  • 100 double-unders
  • 12 bar muscle-ups

18.2: More DB's...

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:

  • Dumbbell squats
  • Bar-facing burpees


  • 1-rep-max-clean

18.4: Diane’s Revenge

For time (9 min cap):

  • 21 deadlifts
  • 21 handstand push-ups
  • 15 deadlifts
  • 15 handstand push-ups
  • 9 deadlifts.
  • 9 handstand push-ups
  • 21 deadlifts
  • 50-ft. handstand walk
  • 15 deadlifts
  • 50-ft. handstand walk
  • 9 deadlifts
  • 50-ft. handstand walk

18.5 = 12.5 = 11.6: Three-peat

AMRAP (7 min):

  • 3 thrusters
  • 3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 6 thrusters
  • 6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 12 thrusters
  • 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 18 thrusters
  • 18 chest-to-bar pull-ups

(and so on...)

I think it’s fair to say Dave Castro did not disappoint us on the creativity front. I think we’ll see the theme of new and improved” continue in 2019.

But what does that mean, exactly?

Looking Forward: CrossFit Open 2019

Let’s grab the low-hanging fruit first. Last year, I wrote an article titled Numbers Don’t Lie: 7 CrossFit Open Movements To Master. As far as the movements every athlete needs to concentrate on, not much has changed year over year.

There are essentially 7 movements you need to be able to “Rx” if you want to complete the CrossFit Open as prescribed. They are:

  1. Double Unders
  2. Muscle Ups (Bar or Ring)
  3. Toes To Bar
  4. Thrusters
  5. Chest To Bar Pull Ups
  6. Snatch
  7. Wall Balls
crossfit open workouts and movements

It’s worth noting again that since 2011, those first 5 movements have shown up in every single Open. WODprep has extensive free training on all of these movements. We also have premium coaching on many of them

The secret to learning any movement you don’t already know is proper coaching, accountability, and practice. If you’re looking for that perfect combination, we can help.

Moving on to predictions for 2019 CrossFit Open Workouts.

Dumbbells are trending. 

We saw them twice last year so I think we’ll see them again this year. Next time you have a WOD programmed with snatches or cleans, ask your coach if you can substitute the bar for dumbbells. I’m sure your box programs DB snatches and cleans, but a little extra practice will only help. Nor do I think you’ll be hurt by giving up the barbell a handful of times over the next couple weeks.

Handstand walks will show themselves again. 

This time, they’ll be earlier in the WOD.

Last year, the handstand walk was programmed deep into 18.4. Many athletes may not have got that far before hitting the time cap. I believe handstand walks are the new muscle up: the elusive skill that takes forever to learn.

Before the 2017 Open, the muscle up used to be a CLEAR differentiator between serious and recreational athletes. I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2012 and I remember every year, the Open WOD with muscle ups used to be a mad-dash to the muscle-up. The score for 10s of thousands of athletes would essentially be a “tie-break time”. Those same athletes caught on and started learning how to do a muscle up just so they can score better in the Open. Dave Castro had to find another movement to separate the “lions from the sheep” so to speak. That movement, at least for now, is the handstand walk.

Learn how to row. 

I’ll be the first to admit there’s a major gap in my rowing game. It’s just so inconsistent. Some days I can generate 1 calorie per pull or finish 500m in 1:45. Other days, I’m lucky if I can get 1 calorie in 3 pulls and end up rowing 500m in 2:10.

Feel free to correct me, but so many of us seem to be lost on the rower. We don’t know where to begin...

  • Where should I be pulling the handle to?
  • How fast or slow should I be pacing myself?
  • What should I lead with - arms, legs or torso?
  • How far do I lean back?
rowing shows up crossfit open 2019

I think we all treat rowing a lot like running. We get through it fast enough to look like we’re trying, but slow enough that we can use it as rest from “the hard stuff”.

To answer some of the above questions, here's a great video that covers some of the basics of rowing.

Couplets & Triplets are the bread and butter WOD styles. 

With more and more people joining CrossFit, the Open WODs need to be easier to facilitate for large groups of people to execute at the same time within a gym. Don’t expect to see workouts with 4 or more movements. Those take up too much space. I’ll go the other way and say we might see a single movement WOD this year. Max burpees in 7 minutes? Death by Muscle Ups?  

What are you predicting for the 2019 CrossFit Open? Let us know in the comments below.

And now, a few frequently asked questions for the newbies around here…

When Does the CrossFit Open Start?

The CrossFit Open begins on Thursday, February 21st, 2019. Here’s the full schedule so you can mark your calendar.

  • Week 1 – Thursday, Feb. 21st – Monday, Feb. 25th
  • Week 2 – Thursday, Feb. 28th – Monday, Mar. 4th
  • Week 3 – Thursday, Mar. 7th – Monday, Mar. 11th
  • Week 4 – Thursday, Mar. 14th – Monday, Mar. 18th
  • Week 5 – Thursday, Mar. 21st – Monday, Mar. 25th

What are the age groups for the CrossFit Open?

There are several age groups outside of the individual men, women, and teams category. You can find the leaderboard for each of them on the official Open website. Here is the complete list:

  • Men (35-39)
  • Women (35-39)
  • Men (40-44)
  • Women (40-44)
  • Men (45 - 49)
  • Women (45 - 49)
  • Men (50 - 54)
  • Women (50 - 54)
  • Men (55-59)
  • Women (55-59)
  • Men 60+
  • Women 60+
  • Boys (16-17)
  • Girls (16-17)
  • Boys (14-15)
  • Girls (14-15)

How do you qualify for the Masters Online Qualifier?

If you’re a Masters Athlete who is trying to get to the Games, you’re going to have to do it through the Online Qualifier, which is scheduled to happen in May. In order to participate in the Online Qualifier, you need to finish the Open within the top 200 of your specific age group.

More details on the Masters Division can be found here.

How much does it cost to sign up for the CrossFit Open?

Great question! It cost $20 per athlete to register for the Open. Yes, you can still technically participate and do the workouts even if you aren't signed up. But once you register, this means that you’ll officially be listed on the world-wide CrossFit Open leaderboard.

You also have the cool ability to create your own custom leaderboard, which essentially allows for you to track other specific athletes within your gym… the region you live in, or even the top Games athletes. If they’re in the Open, you can track ‘em on your leaderboard.

Here’s a full article on how to set that up.  

But why do the CrossFit Open?

Check out this great quote from the Morning Chalk Up, because I couldn’t have said it better myself.

"Greg Glassman is the first person to ever define the term fitness. And this is the modus operandi of CrossFit; You can now measure your fitness. What better way to do that than the Open?

Every year you get to see where you stand in your box, in your state, in your age group, in your country, and in the world. You get to see how much you’ve grown from last year to this year. Maybe this year you got your first RX Open workout. Maybe your first strict handstand push up. Maybe you PR’d your clean. These are things you can measure. 

And, you can also measure your ability to meet the unknown and be prepared for the unknowable."

- Jessica Danger, Morning Chalk Up

Before You Leave...

Make sure to sign-up to receive our Open Strategy Guides for 2019; guaranteed to help you feel just a little more prepared going into the craziness of each Open workout. 

Disclaimer: WODprep is not associated with CrossFit® in any way and these opinions are separate from the CrossFit® brand.

  • Great article! Question about the 7 movements at the top. Is it recommend they be learned in the order listed starting with Double Unders, Muscle Ups, then TTB? Thanks.

    • Thanks Darren! No – the 7 movements are just the most common within the Open – but that’s not the order. You definitely don’t want to try to learn muscle ups before you have the upper body strength to do chest to bar pull-ups, toes to bar, and dips. Hope this helps!

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