Open 24.1 Rx Strategy & Tips To Get Your Best Time

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  The Open 

The CrossFit® Open 24.1 workout has been announced, and we get to do a very fun couplet of dumbbell snatches and burpees over the DB.

We’ve never seen this variation of the traditional 21-15-9 rep scheme before, so we’ll want to strategize how we can efficiently hit this workout to get our best time possible.

In this article, we’ll go over tips and strategies on how to pace this workout, and how to efficiently move through the movements while going as fast as possible!

Before we dive in, here's the link to the full workout.

Dumbbell Snatch Strategies for Open Workout 24.1

The dumbbell snatch is back, but with a fairly significant change. This year, you can’t switch arms at any point throughout the set. This means arm fatigue is going to hit much harder than Open workouts we’ve seen in the past.

1. Adapt a Movement Pattern Based On Your Capabilities

Save your arms by performing a chest to the floor burpee to eliminate the fatigue of the eccentric motion of doing "the worm" this will keep your snatches stronger through the workout. 

Part 2 - access your strengths and weaknesses 

Assessing points to consider are:

Is the db snatch heavy, is it a lot of burpees for you, or is it both? OR are you better at both and you can push the pace?

  • IF you struggle with the DB split the reps 11/10 if you struggle you might be able to hold bigger sets.
  • IF your HR is going to skyrocket with 21 then split it in half.
  • IF the DB isn't too heavy for you cycle with your hips high
  • IF the DB is heavier for you reset to use your legs more

Keep scrolling to movement limiters to find the best plan of attack.

3. Don’t Be Sloppy With Your Contact

The last thing an athlete wants is to be “no-repped” for not touching both heads of the bell to the ground. Every rep, make sure you’re making contact with both dumbbell heads on the ground to ensure ALL of your reps count.

In addition to touching both dumbbell heads, we also have to be mindful of how we’re setting the weight down. Try to set the dumbbell down after each set in a controlled fashion so the dumbbell doesn’t bounce and roll away, only adding time to your workout.

Our Workout Predictions for the CrossFit Open Season 2024

Lateral Burpee Over DB Strategies for Open Workout 24.1

1. Smart, Alternate Step Ups
  • Start by jumping down and stepping up. It's the way to go. To get maximum speed, alternate stepping up with the outside foot. Otherwise, stick to your most comfortable side.
2. Chest First When You Hit The Floor
  • When you hit the floor, go chest to floor first. Avoid “worming” down to the ground, hips first, as it will put more pressure on your arms and fatigue them.
3. Mark Your Hand Position Using Chalk

This one is huge. Before you start the workout, use chalk or tape (ask your gym first!) to mark a consistent hand position that ensures your feet end up close to the DB when you jump or step up.

Don’t forget to make a small mark for where the dumbbell needs to be too! When you're getting ready to do your burpees with the dumbbell, how you position yourself on the ground makes a big difference.

If you set up too far back or too far forward, it messes with your rhythm. Ideally, when you're lying down, the dumbbell should be around your hip level or a bit lower.

That way, when you get up, you don't have to step up too high to bring your feet next to the dumbbell. Your feet will be in an ideal spot to just hop right over it without any unnecessary steps.

So, finding that sweet spot with the dumbbell placement can really save you some time and effort during your burpees.

Tips On How To Avoid Blowing Up Your Back

With a burpee and snatch couplet, the back is going to be the first to blow up! These two movements both use a hinging pattern and will wear out that movement.

If you are prone to feeling these movements in your back, or start experiencing your back blowing up in this workout, then you can do the following;

1. Jump back and step up.

Jumping back and jumping up on the burpee causes a deeper hinging movement and puts more pressure on your back. Instead, try jumping back and stepping up to give the low back less work and put more work on the quads.

2. Lower the hips more when picking the DB off the floor in the snatch

If you hold your hips high at the start of the DB snatches, this recruits more of your back and posterior chain. If you’re struggling with your back blowing up, make sure you lower those hips to use more quads in your initial pull. Be careful not to load your back as you get tired and take the “easy route” on the snatches.

3. Keep DB Closer To Center of Gravity

Aim for the front head of the DB to be between your feet. This is so the DB is slightly behind you and you can use the momentum to initiate the snatch. If the DB is out in front when its on the ground when you go to initiate the snatch it will pull you forward and off balance.

How To Optimize Your Transitions and Rest

So, since the workout involves using only one arm at a time for the dumbbell movements, maintaining consistent motion throughout is crucial. Transitions should be swift, ideally no more than five seconds, ensuring a seamless flow between dumbbell snatches and burpees.

As soon as you complete your final dumbbell snatch, after placing your DB on the ground, immediately transition into the first burpee without standing fully upright. Similarly, after your final burpee, aim to swiftly stand, take a breath, step over the dumbbell, and resume your motion without prolonged pauses.

The pace of your burpees will largely dictate how smoothly you can transition between the two movements. It's essential to find a pace that allows for steady movement without significant slowdowns or unnecessary risks. This continuous motion should be sustained throughout the entire 15-minute duration of the workout, which can challenge many athletes.

Regarding recommended rest times for athletes splitting their dumbbell reps due to muscular fatigue or to manage heart rate spikes, it's advisable to keep rest periods minimal, ideally no longer than 10 seconds.

Adjusting the number of sets based on this guideline can help maintain intensity while managing fatigue and heart rate spikes efficiently.

For instance, if you can comfortably complete sets of 11-10 with a 10-second rest, that's great. However, if you find it challenging to maintain that pace with a 10-second rest, consider adjusting the sets to 7-7-7 or a similar configuration that allows for appropriate recovery without compromising the workout's intensity.

Movement Limiters

Let's dig into some strategies for all the different categories. We're going to look at the workout as a whole, thinking about how long it might take and what strategies might work best depending on your strengths and weaknesses with the two movements.

The two critical factors to consider are whether the dumbbell snatch feels heavy for you and if the burpees pose a significant challenge. Perhaps it's a bit of both.

Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are in this couplet will help you choose the right strategy for you.

For those proficient in both movements, this workout becomes an opportunity for a high aerobic output piece.

If The Dumbbell Snatches Are Heavy

If the dumbbell snatch presents a struggle, consider resetting your hips, especially during the 21-15-9 scheme. Splitting the reps in half can work wonders, particularly since you won't have to alternate hands.

Many find difficulty not in the alternating movement but in the switch between hands. Therefore, this approach might help those who struggle to become more efficient and quicker.

It enables them to maintain larger sets than they're accustomed to without the need to switch hands, which can save valuable time.

Hence, when determining how to break your sets, it's crucial to think about whether doing 21 unbroken will spike your heart rate. If so, dividing the reps is a wise choice.

If The Burpees Are Your Limiter

If you're comfortable doing 21 unbroken DB, your proficiency with burpees will determine your workout pace. If you're adept at burpees, you can move swiftly through the dumbbell portion, setting yourself up for success in the overall workout.

Taking a slower approach with the dumbbell, pausing to breathe at the top, may actually enable you to maintain a faster pace during the burpees.

Fast or Slow Dumbbell Snatches or Burpees?
How To Play It

When comparing the speed of burpees versus the speed of dumbbell movements, burpees play a more significant role in the workout's intensity.

Fast burpees can be completed at a rate of around 20 per minute, making them a key factor in optimizing your performance. Slow burpees might take about 2 minutes to complete 20 repetitions.

However, when comparing fast dumbbell sets to slow ones for 21 repetitions, the time difference is relatively small, perhaps only around 50 seconds even with a significant break. 

The movement speed of the dumbbell remains consistent regardless of fatigue level. Therefore, it's crucial to utilize the burpees to regulate your pace and optimize your performance.

By using the burpees strategically, either to push yourself or to maintain a steady rhythm, you can set yourself up for success in the workout.

Additionally, taking advantage of the opportunity to catch your breath at the top of the dumbbell movement can further aid in maintaining a consistent pace throughout the workout.

Pacing: How To Tackle 24.1 CrossFit® Open


For advanced athletes, the goal is to complete the workout without breaking, maintaining a swift and steady pace throughout the burpees.

If you're at the advanced level, you should aim to perform all repetitions of the burpees without pausing, keeping a consistent rhythm from start to finish. 

The key for athletes who are pushing advanced and elite levels, you should know what your splits are and how long it takes you to complete the movements. Fitness and pacing awareness won’t be the limiter here, instead, it’ll be how much you can suffer in the pain cave.


For the intermediate athlete, you might be capable of doing the prescribed exercises (RX), but it might be quite challenging to navigate through so breaking the dumbbell early and maintaining a steady burpee pace is recommended.

By the time you finish a round of 21 burpees, or even just the first set of 21, you should be able to swiftly pick up the dumbbell without hesitation. This sets the rhythm for completing the subsequent sets of 15 and 9 repetitions.

The second set of 21 burpees becomes the pivotal point of the workout, unlike Fran where the 15 thrusters are typically the toughest. Therefore, pacing yourself for the 21-15-9 pattern, especially during the second set of 21 burpees, becomes crucial.

If you can finish the first set of 21 burpees feeling fresh enough to tackle the second set of 21 dumbbell snatches, you'll set yourself up for success.

Transitioning smoothly from the burpees to the dumbbell becomes a focus, particularly in maintaining a sustainable pace similar to one that you would hold for 40 or 50 burpees in a row is a consideration for everyone who isn't an elite athlete sprinting through the workout.


For a beginner, you will want to take it easy, slow your pace, and step up on the burpees.

Approach the initial phase aerobically as if you're going on a light jog. As you start to feel comfortable and can maintain that rhythm, work on sustaining a consistent pace that's going to get you your best score.

Consider splitting the dumbbell exercises to keep your heart rate manageable, especially at the beginning. Break them into three or maybe even four sets.

Remember to regulate your breathing at the top of each movement. Avoid rushing through the dumbbell routine; instead, pause to breathe at the top of each lift.

WODprep’s Pacing Top Tip

While it's important to push yourself and go hard, pacing is equally important for maximizing your workout successfully.

On that same note, don't fall into the trap of 'under-pacing' and leaving too much on the table when you hit the set of 9 reps.

The key is finding the perfect middle ground.

Here’s our recommendation on what you can do BEFORE you start the workout:

  1. Time yourself on how long it takes you to complete 5 reps of each movement
  2. From the amount of time it takes you, write down your split times for each round

In many CrossFit® workouts, we see attrition throughout - meaning that rounds get slower as we go - but the best pacers are able to minimize the drop-off and keep their splits pretty tight through their workouts.

The first step is to simply develop pacing awareness.

In this workout, it will feel like the workout gets faster as you move through it. Factor that when writing down your split times as you become more fatigued.

The better you get at pacing awareness, the less surprised you’ll be when the workout “feels hard”.

Don’t Gas Out. Nail Your Breathing in 24.1 CrossFit® Open

Alright, let's break down the breathing rhythm for this couplet. As you lift the dumbbell, exhale at the top, then inhale on the way down. 

For the burpees, exhale as you lower your chest to the ground and then inhale as you stand up and jump over. It's important to exhale again as you land back on the ground.

Some might need two breaths during the burpee, but ideally, try to exhale on the ground and inhale as you stand and jump over.

It's about finding a comfortable pace; longer breaths are preferable. Remember not to try inhaling as you hit the ground during the burpee. That's the key to maintaining a smooth breathing pattern throughout the exercise.

How To Train Your Mindset To Get The Best Score In The 24.1 CrossFit® Open

As this workout isn’t “technically challenging”, making your sure mindset is on point becomes far more important to crushing 24.1 CrossFit® Open. The best starting point for a more positive mindset is controlling the “known” parts of the workouts. 

Let’s begin by breaking down the sets and volumes, focusing on one set at a time to manage the relatively low total volume.

While the burpee volume may concern some, it's structured in a descending ladder, progressively easing the challenge.

Recognize that the second round of 21 burpees might be the toughest, but the intensity decreases thereafter. If you KNOW that this is where it will hurt, all you have to do is push through this section.

Next, keep your heart rate steady and don't go into hyperventilation mode. Trust that you've trained well and talk yourself up to handle any pre-workout jitters.

Don't let “how you feel” influence what your mind is thinking. During the workout, your self-talk should remain consistent and positive, regardless of whether you feel fantastic or terrible.

If you sense that you're pushing too hard, the plan should simply adjust, like slowing down during burpees. Rather than falling into a negative mindset as the workout intensifies, you should maintain a constructive approach throughout.

By adopting these strategies, you can enhance performance in CrossFit® Open 24.1.

How To Get The Best Recovery From CrossFit® Open 24.1

Do you remember 17.1? Yep, we do, and so do our backs. Almost like a repeat, the main focus of recovery to bounce back after CrossFit Open 24.1 will be on your lower back.

Try this exercise: bring your knees to your chest and lounge with your feet up against the wall.

Just aim to keep your back in that rounded position as much as possible to avoid it seizing up. Keep doing this exercise over the weekend to give your back a chance to bounce back before you tackle a retest.

Takeaway Thoughts

So, wrapping things up, CrossFit® Open 24.1 is all about figuring out the best game plan, staying cool, and pushing through those dumbbell snatches and burpees like a champ.

With this combo, you've got to find what works best for you. Whether it's breaking up the sets to catch your breath or keeping a steady pace all the way through, it's all about finding your groove and sticking to it.

Pacing is key, especially when you start feeling the burn. Remembering to breathe and keeping that rhythm going will help you keep up the momentum, even when it feels like the workout is trying to crush you.

And let's not forget about mindset - staying positive and focused can make all the difference. Taking it one set at a time, controlling those nerves, and knowing you've got what it takes to push through can really boost your performance.

The name of the game is having a strategy in place before starting the timer. Positions, movement patterns, and setups are all major factors to help you log your best Open Workout 24.1 score yet!

The Open is here!

For years, we've created free strategy guides packed with value teaching YOU how to get your best score yet.

You've put in the hard work, and now it's time to get all the tools you need on HOW to attack this year's workouts.

Plus, you'll receive a bunch of cool FREE bonuses in our Open Starter Pack.

Join hundreds of athletes from around the world who CRUSH the leaderboard every year with our guides.

Key CrossFit® Open Links You Need:

Looking for the 24.1 CrossFit® Open Rx Workout & Standards?

Looking for the CrossFit® Open 24.1 Rx Strategy & Tips?

Looking for the 24.1 CrossFit® Open Workout & Standards (Scaled and Masters)?

Looking for the CrossFit® Open 24.1 Strategy for Scaled and Masters?

24.1 CrossFit® Open Workout, Standards, Strategy for RX

If you want to read the full series, click the links below! Enjoy!

Top CrossFit Workouts to Practice Before The Open

2024 CrossFit Open: 3 Unconventional Things to Practice (+ New Movements)

6 Movements to Master Before the CrossFit Open 2024

Where to Get the CrossFit Open 2024 Leaderboard

Top 5 Hardest Workouts from past Opens

How To Reduce The Risk of Injury in the Open 2024 

Best Way To Recover In Between The Open Workouts 2024

How Can CrossFit Affiliates Prepare For The CrossFit Open

Disclaimer: 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. We are an independent group of functional fitness athletes trying to help people like us perform better in their WODs and everyday lives.

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