Maybe you recently right-swiped on a self-proclaimed ‘CrossFit Aficionado’. Maybe your bestie told you they couldn’t hang on Friday because they had a CrossFit-Friday-Night-Lights event. Maybe you just joined a box and heard longtime members buzzing about Open Season.
Whatever the reason, you’re here because you’ve got questions about the 2022 CrossFit Open. Welcome! You’ve come to the right place.
Read on for insight from professional CrossFit athletes, a rundown of the 2022 CrossFit Open workouts, and tips for safely trying them out for the first time.
Founded in 2000, CrossFit is an exercise regime defined by constantly varied, high intensity functional movement. Think gymnastics, cardio, and weightlifting all in one.
If you’ve ever turned on ESPN in August, odds are you caught some part of the CrossFit Games — a 4-day fitness event that crowns the Fittest Woman and Man on Earth. (Yep, the wonderful world of functional fitness trademarked that phrase).
Well, the CrossFit Open is the first step toward narrowing down the field of competitors to figure out who gets to compete for the title on the main stadium (er, turf) come summer.
“You must complete this stage to be eligible and continue with competing in the season,” explains 6-time CrossFit Games athlete Kristi Aramo O’Connell, co-host of popular CrossFit YouTube channel and Qalo athlete.
The season (aka, narrowing down process) progresses in the following way:
- The Open
- The CrossFit Games
Dubbed the largest fitness competition in history, the CrossFit Open allows anyone — regardless of fitness level, ability, age, gender, or training age — to compete.
“It’s a way to measure your fitness against others from all around the world,” says 6-time CrossFit Games participant and 2021 Fittest American Woman, Haley Adams.
But don’t read it wrong: The CrossFit Open isn’t *just* about competition and eventually crowning the fittest on earth.
“To different people, the Open means different things,” says Aramo O’Connell.
Some people use it to get a qualitative understanding of how much fitter, stronger, or more mobile they are this year compared with years past.
Some people use it to connect with fellow CrossFitters across the globe.
And some people use it as a way to have fun! “It’s also super fun to throw down with a group from your gym, since everyone is doing the same workout,” notes Adams.
Since the first ever CrossFit Open in 2007, the event had many formats, workout counts, and occurred at different points during the year.
The 2022 CrossFit Open was a 3-week competition that took place between February 24th and March 14th.
Each week during this time block, a workout was released on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. EST via a YouTube livestream event. Then, athletes had until the following Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST to execute the following:
- Attempt the workout according to the standards released by CrossFit.
- Submit the score online by the deadline.
- Upload a video of themselves doing the workout, or have a registered judge or affiliate owner validate (aka, vouch for) the score.
Historically, the CrossFit Open used a variety of gymnastics movements, Olympic lifts, monostructural cardio, and powerlifts to test people’s capacities across a number of different time domains. Put simply, the CrossFit Open used to be a time of year that put special emphasis on the ‘varied’ in CrossFit’s definition of itself.
In 2022, however, most athletes and coaches would argue that there was slightly less of a variety.
Long-term CrossFit reporter Justin Brian noted for the Morning Chalk-Up that the 2022 Open featured the narrowest margin of time caps in the history of the Open, as well as the lowest load in history. Plus, none of the workouts included any monostructural movements nor any Olympic (barbell) lifts.
But it was a wonderful test of general fitness or general physical preparedness (GPP), per experts.
All three of this year’s Open workouts tested your ability to keep moving under fatigue by combining a series of different movements.
So, what were the 2022 CrossFit Open workouts, exactly? Read on to find out.
CrossFit Open Workout 22.1
The season opened up with a mid-length, lower-skill triplet made up of wall walks, dumbbell snatches, and 15 box jumps.
“This workout measures capacity and how long you’re able to hold onto an aggressive pace and keep moving,” says Adams.
- 15-minute AMRAP of:
- 3 wall walks
- 12 dumbbell snatches
- 15 box jumps
AMRAP is an acronym for “as many rounds as possible.” The goal in any AMRAP is to make your way through as many rounds and reps of the prescribed ‘cycle’ as possible, within the time frame delineated.
Tips for doing this workout
The goal of this workout is to not (!) stop (!) moving (!). So, you want to do variations of the movements that allow you to continue to move and groove.
If you’re a longtime CrossFitter or gymnast, you might be able to do the workout exactly as written (known as ‘Rx’ or ‘prescribed’). That would mean using a 30- to 50-pound dumbbell for snatches and a 20- to 24-inch box for box jumps. (CrossFit does not prescribe certain weights for nonbinary and other-gendered individuals).
But if you haven’t done all the movements above, you’ll want to scale.
If you don’t feel comfortable in an upside-down position, or have shoulder mobility issues, you can shorten the range of motion of the wall walk and walk your hands in only a few inches. You could opt for dumbbell Z-press or pike push-ups.
“I would recommend someone scale the dumbbell if you aren’t able to consistently go unbroken,” says Adams. (Unbroken is CrossFit speaks for doing all the reps in a row without setting the weight on the ground).
“The box jumps shouldn’t be an issue to keep moving for most, but if they are an issue, lower the box,” she suggests. You can also opt for box or plate step-ups.
Once you pick your movement variations and start your timer, try to avoid going out guns blazing. “Your intention should be to set a pace and keep moving smoothly until the end of the 15 minutes,” says Aramo O’Connell.
CrossFit Open Workout 22.2
The second workout of the 2022 Open Season was deadlift burpee couplet, with a sneaky rep scheme for a total of 100 reps of each movement… if you can.
“22.2 is a tough combination of strength and stamina mixed with cardiovascular capacity,” says Aramo O’Connell.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
- bar-facing burpees
- 10-minute time cap
Note: At face value, this workout may not seem that hard to complete under the time cap, but less than 1 percent of the people who signed up for the Open this year were able to complete all reps under the 10-minute time cap.
Tips for doing this workout
Everyone can do a burpee (or burpee variation). The only thing that will change person-to-person is how fast you do them and how much you rest between reps.
The deadlift is the part of the workout that will require some personalization. The workout told advanced CrossFitters to use a 225- or 155-pound barbell. If that’s more than 50 to 60 percent of your 1 rep max, however, you should lower the weight.
As Adams put it, “The deadlift should be challenging, but the weight itself shouldn’t be the issue.” It’s the cumulative volume that should be the issue.
CrossFit recommends scaling the weight down to 135 and 95, respectively. But feel free to lower the weight even more if needed. If you don’t know what weight to choose, Aramo O’Connell says, “A good rule of thumb for this workout is that you should be able to do 7–10 touch-and-go reps comfortably for multiple sets in a row at this weight.”
Oh, and if your lower body range of motion is limited, you might consider using weight plates to raise the deadlift bar off the ground slightly.
Pro tip: Keep a white board with the rep scheme right beside you. Or, ask your friend to count your reps for you!
“The rep scheme is so hard to remember!,” says Adams, who says a judge (read: friend!) can be helpful for making sure you don’t do too many.
CrossFit Open Workout 22.3
Workout 22.3 takes shoulder and lung burn to a whole new level.
“It tests work capacity, higher skill gymnastics, and the push-pull combo,” says Aramo O’Connell. “It is a great test to see who has the capacity to maintain skill and strength over time.”
- 21 pull-ups
- 42 double-unders
- 21 thrusters (weight 1)
- 18 chest-to-bar pull-ups
- 36 double-unders
- 18 thrusters (weight 2)
- 15 bar muscle-ups
- 30 double-unders
- 15 thrusters (weight 3)
- 12 minute time cap
Note: The weights increase as you move throughout the workout.
Tips for doing this workout
Hands down, this is the most challenging workout of the three. If you haven’t done a pull-up, chest-to-bar, or bar muscle-up before, Adams recommends against trying this workout. Instead, she suggests learning the movements in a lower intensity setting first.
Another option is to do the scaled version of the workout instead, which has you moving from chin-over-bar pull-ups to chest-to-bar pull-ups.
If you can handle the higher level gymnastics skills, have at it! “Just be sure to break the reps up from the start because the shoulder will start to blow your shoulders up,” suggests Adams. No shame in small sets!
The CrossFit 2022 Open may be over, and the best athletes in the sport may now be making their way through quarterfinals and semifinals, and eventually, the CrossFit Games.
But these workouts are good tests of fitness any time of year.
So, whether you’re a devout CrossFitter who sat out the 2022 Open Season, or a beginner who’s simply interested in the event, give these workouts a try.
Trust, they’re both more challenging and more fun than they look.