This year, CrossFit HQ have made promises to communicate how the season will look with as much advanced notice as possible. With the republishing of the equipment list and season schedule from now all the way through to the CrossFit Games, it looks like they are living up to that promise. With more information at our disposal, coaches and athletes can start predicting what workouts will come up over the next few weeks in 2023.
If you’re unsure how the CrossFit season works, you can read more about the changes that have been made to the structure in our article here.
But first, our predictions. We must lay out the information we do know; the equipment list, the structure of the season, and past workout plus the patterns of those workouts - and finally, who’s programming the workouts. We all know when a coach programs a workout, like any artist they add their finesse to the art.
BUT, before we dive in. Do you want to join our exclusive group where we help you get your best Open score yet, by giving you first access to specific Open workouts and strategies by our expert head coach, Dr CJ? Yes?
What’s in the equipment list?
As mentioned, CrossFit HQ have listed out 14 pieces of equipment needed to complete the season. Now, baring in mind that includes The Open, the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals it ultimately makes it harder to predict what will come up and when.
But, here’s the list:
- Medicine Ball
- Bumper Plates
- Pull Up Bar
- Wall Space
- Floor Space
- Jump Rope
- Plyo Box
- Climbing Ropes (not the Open)
- GHD (not the Open)
This equipment list might seem short but don’t forget about our favorite movement; burpees and their super fun variations are also included. Plus - HSPUs, lunges and composite movements such as burpees box jump overs to create an endless list of possibility to make the CrossFit season.
It’s why we love it really. Just be grateful the assault bike has yet to make the roster.
Who’s programming this year’s workouts?
From the very beginning, Dave Castro has infamously programmed the CrossFit season and has been renowned for leaking out clues on his Instagram hyping up athletes across the world with speculation to what torturous workout will be coming their way.
However, Adrian Bozman, the CrossFit Director of Competition, took the reins last year for one year only due to Dave Castro "leaving" CrossFit HQ temporarily.
Previously, Castro has constantly changed the programming by making the Open more accessible and entertaining with new movements and standards being introduced each year. It could be said that with the introduction and collboration of Bozman, we could see CrossFit going into a new direction to be seen more established, standardized and more recognized globally. Who knows. Time will only tell.
With that being said, how much can we factor in the past workouts is yet to be seen, until then, we can still enjoy Castro's clue on IG.
Red arrow pointing left, has to be a throwback, right? RIGHT?! Well, let's see...
What workouts have been in the past?
Traditionally, with the old 5 week CrossFit open structure, you would typically see;
- One low skill, mainly bodyweight, engine-based workout accessible to all
- One heavy barbell based workout
- One high gymnastic skill based workout
- Two workouts involving a mixture of all the above
However, if you’ve been in the sport for a number of years, you will have encountered the scenario of starting up at the rig or heavy equipment unable to complete the movement OR you’ve definitely been time capped. It’s also a right of passage when it comes to CrossFit.
From what we can gather, the Open is more focused on workouts that everyone can do therefore, less technical movements, and more engine work involving a variety of disciplines. It’s only when you get to the quarterfinals you start see higher skilled movements such as pistols, RMUs, and heavy barbells come into play.
It’s to be expected that the athletes who are able to make it to this level are able to RX the movements proficiently. If not, they’ll find themselves dropping down the leaderboard pretty fast.
Will there be any repeats?
Here’s the complete list of CrossFit Open workouts that have been repeated since 2011 until present (2023).
- CrossFit Open 11.1/14.1
- CrossFit Open 11.6/12.6/18.5
- CrossFit Open 12.4/13.3
- CrossFit Open 14.2/15.2
- CrossFit Open 14.5/16.5
- CrossFit Open 16.2/19.2
- CrossFit Open 16.4/17.4
- CrossFit Open 18.4/20.3
In the last 12 years, there’s only one workout that’s been repeated 3 times and that’s 11.6 which was - in (+3) ascending reps, 7AMRAP of 3 thrusters/3 c2b. It’s safe to say that it’s unlikely for this to make an appearance (but not impossible).
With no workouts having been repeated in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 plus with 2023 being an odd numbered year, if you’re superstitious, then the chances of this year having a repeat workout is pretty high. You only have to look at 2020, and 2022 for inspiration.
Our predictions for the CrossFit Open Season 2023
From the equipment list there are two notable mentions. The floor space and the kettlebell.
This is the second appearance for the floor space that made its rookie year in the quarterfinals 2022 with shuttle runs being introduced alongside rope climbs.
Logistically, it would be a bad move on CrossFit HQ’s part if they were to add shuttle runs into the Open. With many boxes around the world having a finite amount of space to get the majority of their memberships through the shuttle runs, it would be a total mood killer for Friday Night Lights. From our perspective, these are making a return to the quarterfinals and possibly semifinals.
Secondly, the kettlebells. The new kid on the block. If in lockdown, like me, you had limited equipment to get your CrossFit fix, then you’ll know the dumbbell and kettlebell far too well. Kettlebells are a great all rounder for all athletes are like BUT does that mean it’ll be in the Open?
Controversially, with weights listed at (16 kg, 24 kg, 32 kg) and no specificity to who will be getting what weight, I’m leaning towards heavy dead man carries or deadlifts. 16kg for scaled, 24kg for female and 32kg for male. As these two movements are generally classed as lower skill, the weight being on the heavier side could be a limiting factor for them making appearance in the Open.
Finally, if you haven’t picked it up already, a new wall ball standard was released at last year’s CrossFit Games for the ladies. Instead of the 9ft target with the 6kg ball, females will now need to hit the 10ft target aka same as the men. If you’ve not been practicing this new standard, you’re going to be in for a shock this Open. I can confidently say, it will be programmed in to catch people out.
To keep it simple, here’s how we see the next few weeks playing out:
The CrossFit Open will likely focus on traditional combinations like the following;
- Medicine Ball
- Wall Space (Wall Walks and HSPU)
- Plyo Box
- Jump Rope
- Barbell + Bumper Plates
- Pull Up Bar (T2B, Pull ups, C2B, BMU)
Quarterfinals - our thoughts...
In no particular order, we’re saving 7 pieces of equipment for the 3-6 workouts that could show up in the quarterfinals and include the Open list on top to make up the gruelling test for the fittest athletes in your local gym.
- Floor Space
- Rings (RMU)
- Plyo Box
- Climbing Ropes
High skill, advanced movements that are totally possible to make an appearance include strict HSPU, shuttle runs (as mentioned), high rep box jump overs and we’d even like to see pistol squats make it onto the floor again.
Finally, the inclusion of a heavy barbell always differentiates the athletes who can compete at the highest level to those who just excel at the cardio workouts. That’s one thing that always remains the same.
CrossFit HQ have to ensure the athletes advancing to the next round are capable of not only putting on a good performance at their continent’s designated location but also truly find the best of the best to punch their ticket to the CrossFit Games.
That’s not to say we’re predicting it all to be heavy weights and high skill movements. The workout length also needs to be factored in. If we were to place our bets, we would predict a couple of shorter length workouts - max 8 minutes and a couple longer tests ranging around 20 minutes.
One last thing to say, CrossFit have mentioned the following but sneakily omitted from their promotion...
*Climbing ropes and GHDs will not be required for the Open but will be used during later stages of online competition. Please note that only standard Rx'd weights for dumbbells and kettlebells may apply to the Open, and the heavier implements may be programmed in later stages of the season.
Does that mean ropes climbs and GHD are in for certain for the quarterfinals? Common. sense would suggest so.
And for the semi-finals predictions? Well, let’s see, shall we?
This year’s CrossFit season is heating up like no other and it’s going to be the most exhilarating yet. The jury is out on whether we’ll see new movement standards and new movements all together however, this year’s training should have put you in a great place to hit the ground running (pun intended).
The question is - do you agree? What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments below and let us hear your thoughts.
With the endless list of possibility of what CrossFit HQ and Adrian Bozman lay out for us, you never know what’s going to hit us on Feb, 16 2023.
Don’t forget, every week, WODprep will be releasing the latest strategies, tactics and top tips so that you can have your best year yet. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
In the meantime, good luck! You got this!
The only links you need for the 2023 CrossFit Open:
Blog: 23.2 Open Strategy Re-do
YouTube Video: CrossFit Open 23.1 Strategy & Tips
YouTube Video: CrossFit Open: 5 Stages of 23.1
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