How To Prepare For The 2021 CrossFit Open

Updated: Feb 23

Whether it is your first CrossFit Open or you are a seasoned athlete, you still need to prepare for the 2021 CrossFit Open. We have summarised the 4 main things you need to be doing to prepare yourself to smash the 2021 CrossFit Open.



With the 2020 season up in the air and a total shake up (due to COVID-19) we are excited to see how the 2021 CrossFit Open season looks.


CrossFit has said "The 2021 season will begin with a three-week CrossFit Open that starts on March 11 with worldwide registration starting on Jan. 7."


The main notable difference will be going from a five week/five workout open to a three week/three workout open! This means you may have less chances to prove your fitness so you need to be on the ball and make sure your fitness peaks during those three weeks of the CrossFit Open 2021.


Other changes to the 2021 CrossFit Open Season include:

  • New worldwide quarterfinals that will include approximately 10% of Open athletes competing online from their local gyms.

  • The return of the Affiliate Cup with affiliate teams competing around the world to advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals, and Games.

  • In addition to masters and teenage divisions, a new adaptive division to ensure all members of the CrossFit community have a chance to compete and win.

  • Ten in-person semifinal events hosted by CrossFit partners across six continents, ensuring at least one athlete from each continent qualifies for the Games. Each event will operate under strict safety protocols, including contingency plans for an online competition, depending on local conditions and restrictions.

  • A “last chance” qualifier for athletes who narrowly missed the cut in semifinals.

  • A live and in-person Games finals the week of July 26 for all qualifying athletes and teams in Madison, Wisconsin, with online contingency plans, if needed.

We are looking forward to the return of the Affiliate Cup and teams who were sorely missed at the CrossFit Games this year as well as the Semifinals (which closely resemble the legendary regionals that Crossfitters loved).


Looking at the Season Calendar can give you a good indication to how much time you have left to prepare for the CrossFit Open.



This means that athletes d0n't have much time to prepare for the 2021 CrossFit Open.


Preparing your body and training your mindset are essential to crush the competition or to have more fun in the CrossFit Open 2021 season. Here are our top 4 tips to smashing the open come March 8th.


1. Build your Aerobic Capacity


Building your capacity to do work over a longer time period is absolutely essential to the open. The majority of the workouts are low skilled, including movements like burpees, box jumps or pull ups so it's more about the work you can do, the capacity you have and getting the reps in.


Work on your cardio basically! More rowing, running and the dreaded assault bike will pay dividends for almost every CrossFit Open event. We all have seen how Mat Fraser prepares for the open... he does assault bike intervals, pretty much what the average crossfitter avoids!


The more volume you acquire now, the better you will feel in March for the first CrossFit Open Workout. We suggest 20-30 minute EMOMS of a specific calorie or distance as well as interval training to really feel the benefit quickly. Try these workouts to build your aerobic capacity before the 2021 CrossFit Open.


With these workouts, it is all about pacing yourself and settling into your rythm for the long workout. Start off slow and if you can get faster as you finish the workout but its all about holding your pace throughout.


30 Minute EMOM (amend targets to be at a difficult but achievable number)

Minute 1: 15 Calorie Row

Minute 2: 20 Calorie Bike


1800m Run

3:00 Rest

1200m Run

2:00 Rest

800m Run

1:00 Rest

400m Run


You can follow people like Chris Hinshaw who gives out free aerobic capacity programming and advice or many other CrossFit programming websites that can help you work on your aerobic capacity ahead of the CrossFit Open.


2. Work on the Level Up Skills


When I talk about the level up skills I mean the skills or movements that you need to take yourself to the next level in your CrossFit career. I.e. your Double Unders, Muscle Ups, Handstand Walks/Push Ups and your Pull Ups. CrossFit Open workouts will tend to have one or more of these movements to test the amateurs from the experienced CrossFitters.


Mastering these movements will help you gain thousands of places in the worldwide rankings. Even one muscle up, one metre handstand walk or one double under will push your score higher than a lot of people.


These milestone movements are usually what makes the CrossFit Open so much fun. You have all seen videos of someone's first muscle up and how the rest of the box cheers them on.


Work on your strength and mobility and even your rhythm, whatever it takes to achieve your level up skills


Working on your double unders? Check out this video!




3. Keep Injury Free


Preparing for the 2021 CrossFit Open Season will be a lot easier without an injury that takes you out for 1 month of the 3 months preparation time you have. That and it doesn't hurt!


Work on your pre-hab, mobility, warming up and your cool downs to ensure you keep injury free and can train and peak at the right times. If you have any niggles or tweaks, deal with them immediately instead of waiting and it becoming a more serious injury.


This includes focussing on your recovery and nutrition and dialling back those snacks and candy that can stunt your progress.


Not only that but make sure all of your muscles are activated before training, ensuring that if you have a knee or back issue that you work on warming them up more, even if that means spending more time in the gym. Your health is a priority here.


Check out our full guide on how to recover from CrossFit workouts here to dial in your recovery over the next 3 months.


4. Follow and Stick To a Program


Find a CrossFit Program that works for you and stick to it. Whether you follow an online CrossFit Program or speak to one of the coaches at your box to find the right program to work on your weaknesses, following a program will help give your training purpose.


Not only that, it will keep you accountable and help you work on the 3 other points above. A CrossFit program can also help you work on your volume, improve your recovery and track your progress throughout the 3 months of preparation.


There are a load of free CrossFit programmes out there so keep your eye out for ones that suit your needs whether you need to get stronger, work on your engine or a skill based program.


Working towards a goal is hugely motivating so keep the 2021 CrossFit Open in mind every time you step into the gym. Think of the why, why are you improving your fitness, why are you investing this time and energy into yourself.


Registration for the 2021 CrossFit Open is live! Register today here!


The CrossFit Open is a great way to measure your fitness progress and get involved in something fun and inclusive. Make sure you prepare for the 2021 CrossFit Open the right way and take these 4 points in mind when planning out your preparation, programming and workouts ahead of March!

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