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The CrossFit Open is Here! – Strategy, Skill and Efficiency Tips for The Next 5 Weeks

From having a few conversations with Ben Dziwulski from WODprep, there’s nothing that gets him more pumped than the Open.

Now there’s only a few things that you can control with the Open coming up so close. Ben made a great point in the run up, “You’re not going to get stronger in the next three weeks. You’re not going to increase your aerobic base in the next three weeks. Skills are what can separate you from thousands of spots from somebody.

Sometimes you think to yourself, “Well, I’m nowhere near being able to do 5 Handstand Pushups.”

Just know that when you’re breathing heavy and you’re under fatigue, there’s something to be said if you can perform just ONE handstand push-up. Ben believes that’s where everyone should start. Just be able to do ONE.

The CrossFit Open walking lungesSource: RX'd Photography
Good luck in the Open this year!

What a great way to build momentum with yourself.

Part 1: Where do I start?

You know that feeling that lingers in the back of your head when you think about your hardest movement showing up in an Open workout? What are those movements for you?

That’s the first step. Identify those exercises

I’ve put together some resources for you that you can revisit at any point. Think of this as a home base for the tools you need to equip yourself for this year’s Open. Even if you’re not participating, you can gain tremendous value from some of these nuggets.

I love Ben’s material because it helps you get from 0-1. If you’re driving, cooking, or doing something else — here’s an audio version for you to listen to.

#25 – Practice and Master Your Skills To Stay Ahead Of The Curve w/ Ben Dziwulski


  • If you only have 5 minutes, and you want to learn more about Double Unders — fast forward to (22:10).
  • If you only have 5 minutes, and you want to learn more about Muscle Ups  fast forward to (29:40).
  • If you only have 5 minutes, and you want to learn more about Butterfly Pull Ups and Chest to Bar  fast forward to (41:00).
  • If you only have 5 minutes, and you want to learn more about TTB  fast forward to (49:10).

I had him back on the show for another conversation where we started with Pistols (3:19) and Handstand Walking (12:30).

#28 – Open Prep: Strategy and Efficiency Tips w/ Ben Dziwulski

Part 2: What is the ONE thing you can focus on?

My coach used to make me focus on ONE thing every single week. With cleans, it was being able to get my elbows through faster. And that was it. Be able to sync that concept with the rest of the moving pieces before you decide to tackle another moving piece.

You certainly don’t need to take it that far, but instead of feeling like you have to work on all the progressions. Take just ONE little snippet of something that’s relevant to you right now.

Here are the visuals that relate to a lot of the concepts we talk about in the audio version above:

Part 3: Strategy and Efficiency Tips

I’m going to leave you with a few bigger picture concepts to listen to. Don’t let the Open score define your self worth. Use this as an opportunity to have fun and put yourself into a competitive environment with yourself. Appreciate all the little details and the art of moving the needle forward.

#28 – Open Prep: Strategy and Efficiency Tips w/ Ben Dziwulski


  • (24:22) – Getting into routines and rhythms before your Open workout
  • (22:52) – Don’t change everything
  • (29:20) – Adrenaline, pressure, pacing – and knowing when to go balls out
  • (38:15) – Breathe like Rich Froning
  • (43:00) – Developing a gameplan for a workout in your warmups
  • (50:30) – Pulling through the pain
  • (53:00) – The leaderboard

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