Crush The Open 24.3 Rx With This Strategy

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  The Open 

It's the final workout of the 2024 CrossFit® Open, and this workout is a total surprise that no one saw coming. In the end, no heavy barbell made an appearance, but instead high volume, high-intensity gymnastics. In this article, we're going to deep dive into 24.3 CrossFit® Open strategy and share all the top tips and tricks you need to get your best score yet.

With quarterfinal spots on the line, it's time to step up and show what you're made of. Let's dive in and conquer the 24.3 CrossFit® Open!

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

24.3 CrossFit® Open Overall Strategy

This workout is going to have a few variations on the best strategy depending on your gymnastics abilities as a whole, and your gymnastics abilities under fatigue. 

First off, remember that there are actually 2 parts to this workout. Those first 5 rounds of chest-to-bar pull-ups and thrusters is a deceptive trap, especially if you're not confident about going unbroken in the second part.

For 99% of athletes, pacing is key here. Treat this phase almost like a warm-up, keeping it controlled and steady. It might feel slower than you'd like, but that's the smart play, unless bar muscle ups aren't in your skill set yet.

Think of the first half of this workout as an elevated, longer, and more challenging version of Fran. Then, you're essentially diving into a heavy Fran with bar muscle ups (minus 10 reps). So, bear that in mind as you tackle the workout.

We’re going to break Up our strategy into 4 distinct athlete levels:

  1. The athlete can perform chest-to-bar pull-ups but has not yet achieved bar muscle-ups.
  2. The athlete can perform chest-to-bar pull-ups and may possibly execute a bar muscle-up or two, or might experience the OPEN MAGIC and achieve their first bar muscle-up.
  3. The athlete can perform chest-to-bar pull-ups and has some guaranteed success with bar muscle-ups.
  4. The athlete can perform chest-to-bar pull-ups and has very solid execution of bar muscle-ups.

Strategy for a Level 1 Athlete:
(If you can’t do bar muscle ups) 

In 24.3, your first 5 rounds are where you make your mark. Your primary aim: nail a lightning-fast tie-break time by the end of the 5th round.

If you're opting for singles on chest-to-bar pull-ups (unless you regularly knock out more than 5-6 unbroken in a workout), consider going unbroken on thrusters or pushing the pace with 2 quick sets.

This strategy is key to keeping your time down and smashing that tie-break goal.

Strategy for a Level 2 Athlete:
(If you’re likely to get your first BMU or can do 1-2)

Your ultimate focus in this workout? Nailing that muscle up! Just one BMU can catapult you ahead of thousands of athletes who don't manage it.

Even if you're confident in hitting just one bar muscle up, your tie break time still counts, so don't go slow, but play it tactically.

Your key is setting up for success in the latter part of the workout by staying composed and keeping your heart rate in check. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to shake your arms out and get focused.

You should never be flirting with failure on any movement. Opt for small sets or even singles on your chest-to-bar pull-ups, and break your thrusters into manageable chunks like 6/4 or 5/5.

A smart approach to sizing your chest-to-bar sets is to ensure you're never exceeding 50% of your maximum working capacity.

For instance, if your max set is 10 but your max working set in a workout is 6, stick to sets of 3 or less.

When you reach those heavy thrusters, resist the urge to be a hero. Break them into 2 or 3 sets to conserve energy for the bar that truly counts—getting that bar muscle up!

Strategy for a Level 3 Athlete:
(If you can definitely do a bar muscle up under fatigue)

Your primary goal is to reach those bar muscle ups and maximize your performance on them. Forget about the tie break; each successful bar muscle up will skyrocket your placement on the leaderboard.

So, your strategy revolves around pacing out the initial 5 rounds to keep your heart rate in check and strategically manage arm fatigue.

For chest-to-bar pull-ups, aim to break them into 2-3 sets per round, keeping each set manageable to preserve your grip strength, stave off arm fatigue, and maintain a steady heart rate.

Ensure each set doesn't exceed 50% of your maximum working capacity. It's alright to start off slow, as it'll help you rest less between bar muscle ups in the latter part of the workout.

When it comes to thrusters, you can opt to go unbroken or break them into 2 sets, as long as you're maintaining around 80% effort overall.

Upon reaching the second barbell, consider breaking it into 2 or even 3 sets, depending on its weight for you. This strategy sets you up to start racking up those valuable bar muscle up reps efficiently.

Remember, every rep counts. Focus intently on your technique and the specific cues you use to ensure you nail each attempt. It's all about maximizing your efficiency and making every movement count towards your success.

Strategy for a Level 4 Athlete:
(If you’re super confident with consistent bar muscle ups)

Let's dive into the heart of this workout, starting with the second set of 5 rounds. Your success here hinges on how well you set yourself up to minimize rest during the latter half of the session. 

Forget about the tie break time; it's not a concern for you. You've got the ability to tackle BMU sets even when fatigue sets in, and that's your ticket to winning.

Now, unless you're operating at the level of a semifinals (INDIVIDUAL) athlete, it's wise to break your chest-to-bar from the get-go. Sure, you'll likely blitz through the first part of the workout, feeling strong and steady for rounds 1, 2, and 3.

But beware—rounds 4 and 5 will sneak up on you. You might think you're halfway there, but in reality, you're only a third of the way through in terms of effort. Ease up the pace more than you think necessary.

Seriously, take it slower than your instincts prompt you to.

Even consider splitting your thrusters 4/3, unless you're a BMU wizard pulling off 20+ unbroken. The front half of this workout is a mirage; treat it like it doesn't even exist.

And as for the second half? Same story. Our aim is to get you through it feeling primed to tackle 5 rounds for time. If you're already on your knees, gasping for air in the first round of the second half, then we know we pushed too hard in the opening segment.

Movement Limiters & Quick Fixes

Our Top Tips Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Whether you're aiming to nail your first rep or looking to improve your efficiency, I've got some key tips for you.

Tip 1: Get Your First Chest to Bar
  • Use the "Glide Kip SL Tarzan swing hybrid" technique.
  • Jump up with full body momentum, swinging legs forward.
  • Aim for effectiveness over textbook form to achieve the first rep.
Tip 2: The Box Drop-In Method
  • Utilize a box or J hook for a solid setup.
  • Jump into a hollow body position and initiate a big kip.
  • Let momentum carry you to chest-to-bar success.
Tip 3: Conserve Energy with Singles
  • Execute fast singles to conserve energy.
  • Maintain a rhythm to sustain energy throughout the workout.
  • Minimize fatigue and protect hands by avoiding unbroken sets if necessary.

Still struggling with your chest-to-bar pull ups? Check out on 5 Biggest Chest to Bar Mistakes to find out how you can crush them.

Our Top Tips Bar Muscle Ups

6 Steps to Bar Muscle Up Progression

1. The hollow body position:

Jump up onto the bar, and establish a solid hollow body position while hanging. 

2. The extended (arch) position:

Your back should be slightly arched, with your feet behind you and together, staying tight throughout your core and quads.

3. Scoop legs & lever back:

From the arch position, move to scooping your legs through (back under the bar) and then levering yourself back.

4. The hip pop: 

As your knees and legs are lifting into the air with the elevation, think about aggressively popping your hips.

5. Slide hands around the bar:

Relax your grip, let both of your hands slide around the bar at the same time.

6. Fast sit-up & lock out arms:

Engage your core, and allow that torso to really pivot over the top of the pull-up bar, then locking out your arms at the top.

Want to see each position in more depth? Check out our video on "Bar Muscle Up Breakdown" and we'll help you to nail each step one by one.

Struggle With Both C2B & BMU?
Try This!

If you feel like you have the strength, and been working on your gymnastics, then you could be missing this ONE trick to getting your first bar muscle up.

Before you head into 24.3, try this drill. You'll thank me later. 

How To Attack Your Pacing for 24.3 Open Workout 

Now, when we talk about pacing, it all boils down to your objectives and the tiers we've outlined.

In each tier, you'll want to establish clear goals – whether it's aiming for the quickest tie break time, nailing that elusive first BMU, or pushing to complete a certain number of rounds in the second part, and so on.

Here’s how you should pace your workout depending on what level you are:

Level 1 Athlete:

If you're a level one athlete, then this one's all about sprinting to that tiebreak marker.

So, it's absolutely crucial to maintain a sustainable pace for the later rounds. There's no sense in blazing through round 1 in a minute only to find yourself struggling to keep up by round 5.

While the primary goal is hitting that tiebreak mark, remember that it's a 5-round sprint. You've got to approach each round with the mindset of being prepared to tackle rounds 4 and 5 just as fiercely.

It's all about finding that balance between speed and endurance to ensure you're firing on all cylinders until the very end.

Level 2 Athlete:

If you're a level two athlete, the goal here is to limp your way through the first part to make sure you are FULLY recovered.

Expect to take plenty of breaks. Forget about fretting over that tiebreak time for now. Remember the goal is to get one or two bar muscle-ups so that you can shoot up the leaderboard. This will be the big differentiator between the athletes.

Now, let's say you're grinding through the workout, and the muscle-up just isn't happening for you. Don't sweat it.  You automatically switch gears to Level 1 mode. Once you've done it once, you can always redo it and adopt a different strategy.

It's all about getting back in the game and giving it your absolute all to secure the best tiebreak time possible. 

Level 3 Athlete:

If you're a level three athlete, we are moderately focused on pacing in the first, but still moving slowly to stay very recovered so we can comfortably knock out singles on the BMU without big, long rests.

You'll want to break up that first part quite a bit, but not super slow that you're left with no time on the clock. Remember, your tiebreak isn't the priority here, so it's crucial to ensure you're adequately recovered between sets.

Aim to tackle the first part at around 80% effort. This approach strikes a balance between pushing yourself and leaving enough in the tank for what lies ahead. Keep that intensity controlled and stay mindful of pacing to set yourself up for success down the line.

Level 4 Athlete:

If you’re a level 4 athlete, the plat is to build on the level 3 strategy.

We're still not flying through the first part, but giving it an 80% effort should reduce your tiebreak time.

We need to approach this first half cautiously to avoid burning out in the second half and to maintain quick thrusters and sets of BMUs. It's all about preparing for part 2 rather than focusing solely on part 1.

Once you hit part 2, you should know if you can take the bar muscle ups unbroken or in 2 big sets. By this point, your grip will be fatigued with a high heart rate.

The strategy remains the same: keeping calm and chipping away will allow you to get further and faster than the competition.

ClimbIng The Leaderboard:
How To Nailing Your Breathing 

Breathing on the Thrusters

Breathing during a thruster is important. You want to inhale deeply at the top of your rep, then brace your core as you descend into the squat.

As you powerfully drive up, exhale to generate that force. Master this rhythm for maximum efficiency and control in your thrusters.

When it comes to breathing, there are two thruster techniques: slow or fast. Either one is fine, but for the 24.3 CrossFit® Open workout, I would lean towards the 'fast technique' because it minimizes our time under tension and maintains a swift pace for each rep, especially if we're dividing the thruster sets.

What’s the Difference Between a Fast or Slow Thruster Technique?
Fast Technique

When it comes to nailing the fast technique, you want that solid lockout without any unnecessary pauses at the top.

Don't sprint through it, but keep the momentum flowing - no need to linger too long. It's all about finding that perfect balance for maximum efficiency.

Slow Technique

The slow thruster technique is pretty similar to the fast thruster, but with one distinctive difference: it incorporates a pause with a deep breath at the top. This slows you down but helps regulate your breathing and prevents your heart rate from reaching its maximum.

Breathing on the Gymnastics

Breathing during gymnastics is HARD.

Don't get caught up trying to sync your breaths with every movement. Keep it simple and stick to a normal, deep, slow(ish) breathing pattern – think of it like you're out for a run or knocking out burpees.

If you try to match your breathing to every gymnastics movement, you'll find yourself short of breath and your heart rate skyrocketing. Trust me, you don't want that.

So, keep it chill, stay in your rhythm, and let your breath flow naturally. Your body will thank you for it.

Finding that Extra 1% By Getting Into The Right Mindset

Focus On “Doing The Next Thing”

Forget about the big sets or watching the clock. Just concentrate on what’s in front of you and just doing that one thing. Keep “chipping away”. It's all about that gradual progress, so don't stress if you're a bit slow out of the gate. Trust me, patience pays off big time.

Believe In Your Training

You've put in the work, honed your skills, and you're ready for whatever comes your way. Sure, this particular workout might throw some curveballs, but remember, you've tackled similar challenges before.

The Muscle Ups and Second Bar Will Be Heavier Than You Think

This will feel like a reality check. The muscle-up and the second bar will be tougher and heavier than you bargained for. Expect the unexpected, and you won't be caught off guard.

Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, be kind to yourself. This is no walk in the park. We're all in this together, and it's okay to struggle. Give yourself some leeway, push through the tough spots, and power through. I bet you will be doing better than you think. You've got this.

How To Recover From The 2024 CrossFit Open! (and Workout 23.4)

Take care of your biceps. This is crucial.

With all that pulling and eccentric bicep loading in your workouts, you've got to show those guns some love. Seriously, it's non-negotiable.

Load up on water like it's your job, stretch those muscles like your flexibility depends on it, and maybe even try a little light foam rolling (yep, I said it). Trust me, your biceps will thank you, especially if you're gearing up for a retest.

Now, onto those legs. After all that hard work, you’ll need to prioritize them. Flush 'em out by taking a leisurely walk or hopping on a bike for a gentle ride.

If you’re not sure if you drank enough, take a bottle with you on your walk. Better to be safe than sorry after this workout.

Key Takeaways

This workout presents varied challenges depending on your gymnastics proficiency and endurance under fatigue. 

In wrapping up, nailing 24.3 in the CrossFit® Open demands a smart blend of skill, strategy, and recovery savvy. It's all about knowing your level, pacing wisely, and bouncing back strong post-workout.

Remember, the first part of the workout is like an extended and more demanding version of FRAN. So, take it easy to conserve energy for the heavier second part.

Whether you're gunning for a lightning-fast tie-break time, gunning for that first bar muscle-up triumph, or aiming to squeeze out every last rep, your approach matters. 

Don't forget the importance of mastering breathing techniques, keeping that mental game strong, and showing your muscles some TLC afterwards.

With these nuggets of wisdom, you're primed to crush 24.3 and show the Open what you're made of.

Let's do this!

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.

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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