Open 24.2 Rx Strategy & Tips To Feel Invincible

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  The Open 

The CrossFit® Open 24.2 strategy for the Rx division is here! For the second week of the CrossFit Open, we encountered another back-bending, cardio-heavy workout. This is a total surprise to the community, as heavy barbells or gymnastics movements have yet to appear. This triplet will really test athletes' training and whether they've covered all their weaknesses.

In this article, we’ll discuss tips and strategies for pacing this workout and efficiently completing the movements while going as fast as possible!

With everything at stake to secure those quarterfinal spots, we'll show you how you can achieve your best score yet.

>>>> For the full workout movement, standards and scorecard, check it out here

Taking On CrossFit® Open 24.2 Workout - The Overall Strategy

The biggest component of strategizing this workout is the overall pacing feel or effort. We’ll get into the details of how to strategize each separate movement, but first, let’s start with the workout as a whole.

 If you break the workout into two parts, the goal is to start off at no more than 80-85% effort, saving some gas in the tank to be able to sustain that same pace once you reach the back half. 

Transitions are key to success in this workout. Depending on the number of rounds you get, you could have anywhere from 18 to 33 transitions, and you’ll want to avoid wasting unnecessary time.

Use your overall feel of effort to be able to keep quick transitions and getting right into the next movement your top priority. 

Row Strategy in Open Workout 24.2 

The row is going to be the easiest place to control your pace and effort.

Rowing faster will not save you much time and may, in fact, cost you more time if you have to stop and stare at your bar before getting right to work.

A great place to start when deciding what this might be is roughly your 5k pace, possibly a teeny bit slower.

When getting started on the row, your #1 priority is to get your rower up to speed as quickly as possible. Make sure to drive the legs and prioritize the lower body on your first big pull to avoid fatigue of the grip/biceps.

Do one big pull followed by ½ and ¾ pulls to get your flywheel spinning as soon as possible. The damper should be at its normal number; there is no need to bump it up.

Our recommended damper range is 5-6. 

When deciding row paces, see this example below:
  • A 1:50 pace finishes your row at 1:06 
  • A 2:05 pace finishes your row at 1:15

If you have ever rowed before, you know that the effort between these two paces is tremendously different. I am not saying you have to row, either. The effort between the two is significant, but it’s only 9 SECONDS difference.

Yes, that may add up over time, but the trade-off may be that you take an extra 5 seconds to pick up your bar because you rowed too hard and your heart rate got too high, which can also lead to you taking an extra 2-3 breaths before your double unders. 

Long story short: 9 seconds (just the example) slower on the rower can set you up for 15-20 seconds better transitions and an overall lower effort for the rest of the workout.

Use the rower to your advantage

Row Transitions in Open Workout 24.2

Row transitions are easy places to lose a lot of time if you aren’t careful. Keep your straps loose enough to allow your feet to move.

Don’t waste time tightening and loosening your straps every round. We’re a big fan of the one foot in, BIG PULL, other foot in, BIG PULL, and go technique.

Every meter is going to count in this workout and you want yours to start accumulating as quickly as possible. 

The rower is your friend in this workout. While we want to get up to speed quickly, we can use the end of the row to start a slight recovery for the deadlift.

No need to sprint through the finish of the row, let the calories roll a bit and take a breath before getting off the rower so that you are able to get right off the rower and start your deadlifts with little to no transition time.

Maximize the middle portion of your row stroke and avoid leaning too far in at the catch (front) or too far back at the end of your pull.

If you’re somebody who knows that they get a lot of back fatigue, keep your row technique (body positions) more upright through your strokes.

Keep your grip loose and relaxed and on the outside of the rower handles to save your grip for the bar work and double unders. 

Deadlift Strategy in Open Workout 24.2

This workout may become grip-limiting for some, so to set yourself up for success, use a mixed grip on the deadlift right from the beginning. 

Your deadlift sets are going to be dictated by 2 things:
  1. How comfortable are you under hinge fatigue
  2. Maintaining your overall effort at no higher than 80%.
    You should aim to do these reps in 1-2 sets unless this deadlift weight is more than 75-80%.

In this case, aim for 4/3/3 or the best method to get on and off the bar quickly. Singles will not be your best bet on this workout, the workout is too long, and deadlifts are not a big enough portion of the workout to make it worthwhile.

Pacing the Deadlift Reps

You should not approach these reps at a slow pace.

There is no reason to hold the bar longer than you need to at the top. You should absolutely not be grinding reps out unless you’re in the final stretch of the workout and trying to finish off the last one to two reps of an unbroken set.

If you struggle to get those final couple of reps at the beginning of the workout, break into two sets.

Be mindful of how you set or drop your barbell on the final rep of a set or final rep before you pick up your rope, keep it controlled and don’t let it bounce all over. Use bumper plates!

That extra little bounce will save you some energy over the course of 20 minutes. If you can, get both hands on the bar at the same time and try not to do the “one hand then the other hand set up.” This weight shouldn’t be too heavy for most athletes, so they’ll need a perfect set-up to get those reps moving. 

We do not recommend a belt for this workout as it will significantly increase your transitions and inhibit your ability to keep breathing. 

Deadlift Transitions in Open Workout 24.2 

Keeping transitions in mind for 24.2, you’ll need to self-assess your strengths and weaknesses.

If Double unders are NOT a strength:

Then do not rush through your deadlifts break them into 2 to 3 sets.

If Double unders are easy for you:

Then get your deadlifts done in one set so you can speed through your double unders and get right back to the row. UNLESS doing 10 unbroken deadlifts is going to push your effort over the 80% range and into the redline zone - then you need to break them into 2 sets. 

Double Under Strategy for Open Workout 24.2

We’re not about to let you forget that TRANSITIONS ARE KEY, so make sure you set your rope down in a way that will allow you to pick it up and immediately proceed to the next round.

A U-shape on the floor is best with the rope BEHIND you so that you can step in, grab your handles and get to work. No need to waste extra seconds having to step over your rope to get started.

Taking this extra half-second will be worth it! 

If double unders are your thing:

For all of you double-under pros out there, people who know they’re moving on to Quarterfinals or Semifinals, you should go immediately into your first double-under rep without an extra jump or two and aim to go unbroken on all rounds. 

For most Rx athletes who can do 50 reps, plan on doing a big set and using your trip as your rest. There’s no need to plan a rest break and add an accidental trip, adding valuable time.

If double unders are a limiter:

If you cannot do 50 UB, don’t redline, don’t hit a PR unbroken set, and take a 30-second rest. Keep the same general pacing feel to dictate your sets and control your breathing.

If this is a challenging aerobic piece for you, you might want to take a break to control your pacing. 

Movement Limiters:
What Could Hold You Back

There are 3 main limiters to this workout.
You will experience one of these, so here are our thoughts on each one:

  1. Grip Fatigue:

    This is not the most common, but it is definitely a component not to be ignored. Keep a relaxed grip on the rower handle, utilize your hips and legs and good technique to keep your arms from doing too much work, relax your grip on your jump rope handles, and keep your double unders a wrist-driven movement rather than a shoulder-driven movement. 
  2. Back Fatigue (low back blow-up):

    Split the deadlifts early, and maintain a more upright rowing posture the whole time instead of moving through the big hinge/lean forward and lean back. 
  3. Aerobic Fatigue (breathing):

    Go slower than you feel like you want to start the workout. The row is going to be your pacing opportunity to control your workout.Keep that 80-85% in the front half of the workout. It is going to feel too slow, but that same pace will turn into 90-95-100% effort in the back half.

Optimize Your Breathing in CrossFit® Open 24.2

To maintain your composure and your ability to push through the second half of this 20 minute AMRAP, maintain a deep normal breathing pattern for all movements.

Focus on breathing normally and avoid hyperventilating or taking too many fast breaths. Keep it even, and keep your cool. 

Breathing with Double Unders:

This should be smooth and not timed up with your jumps. It is too fast. Also, make sure not to hold your breath or brace too hard; keep the jump relaxed. 

Breathing when Rowing:

Try not to take a deep breath in the catch (when you are hunched over), breath on the way in and exhale as you start your drive phase. 

Using the Mind To Get The Best Score In 24.2 CrossFit® Open

Stay calm, this is a long workout that isn’t won in the first 3 mins or 3 rounds, it’s about staying smooth with good form and minimal transitions.

Focus on resting where you can - that might be the row, that might be the double unders (for some athletes maybe) in order to stay calm as you chip away at your rounds.

Doing this will allow you to be ready to push or maintain the last part of the AMRAP and stay strong to the end. 

Breaking this up into 3 parts can help; 

  1. This is my pace:
    Here’s where you can settle in and find your calm moment in the triplet, think about which movement that’s going to be for you.
  2. Moving into the back half:
    Keep my transitions tight, and push a little harder to maintain my pace and sets.
  3. Final push:
    Time to empty the tank.

On your final push, this is the time to MAXIMIZE your score. There are going to be a few different approaches depending on which movement you’re working on in the final minute.

If you end on the rower your plan is - FULL SEND! Every single meter counts in this workout including your rollover once the clock beeps at 20 minutes. Give this everything you’ve got. 

If you’re going to end on the double unders stay calm to minimize trips.

Trying to go faster may result in too much time lost with a costly trip in those final seconds however,  If you’re somebody who knows they can confidently speed up your reps, know that it comes with a risk, but can pay off. 

If you saw this workout and panicked at the thought of the double unders - take a big, deep breath. Trust your training.

If you trip or when you trip stay calm, tell yourself it’s ok. (Because it really is!). Take a breath and don’t anxiously rush into trying to make up lost seconds, make sure you are composed and then get back into it. 

How to Recover from CrossFit® Open 24.2 Workout

This workout may not leave you hurting as much as last week in the end, but it's a lengthy one with considerable volume.

After completing it, make sure to maintain an upright posture and consider doing an easy cooldown on the bike.

To alleviate any discomfort in your lower back, try movements like the cat-cow stretch, elevated pigeon pose, or drape over a GHD (a favorite of the WODprep team).

You can also hang from a bar to decompress your spine.

If you're planning to redo the workout, avoid running and jumping exercises and instead focus on calf stretches and gentle movements while steering clear of those patterns.

Key Takeaways 

This is an aerobic workout at its core. For most, it will be how you transition and how well you pace. For some, this is a double unders workout through and through, and all of your decisions should be focused on being recovered and fresh and ready to hit big chunks of double unders.

We talk about back fatigue quite a bit in the workout, but we truly believe it won't be the biggest challenge. For 99% of us, we will start too fast, so do your best to mitigate that with the advice above.

Finally, use the rower as your pacer. A hard row (for you) vs a slow row (for you) might only be a 5-7 seconds difference, but it could set you up for success with transitions, with overall fatigue (or lack thereof), with heart rate control, and with comfort in the other two movements.

Trust your training. You got this!

Key CrossFit® Open Links You Need:

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24.2 CrossFit® Open Rx Workout & Standards

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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