should you scale or rx the crossfit open

The CrossFit Games Open is coming.

That sentence is enough to strike fear into the heart of a seasoned CrossFitter, and yet we all do it every year… for fun, no less.

But if it’s your very first Open you might be wondering “should I scale the workouts or go RX?” The discrepancy between the movement standards is pretty sizeable, although that is to make the Open accessible to all, whilst leaving the elite to thrash it out at the top of RX.

Should you at least give RX a go, though? Five CrossFit coaches – of different experiences of coaching and competing – tell us their thoughts. You can make your mind up from there, but don’t forget your score still counts whether you RX or scale, and you can switch it up from workout to workout.

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Main article image by Strong Media, all other photos from the respective coaches.

crossfit open workout 16.5

They say time is a healer, which is why women decide to have another child, or someone decides to run another marathon. “It wasn’t so bad, was it?”, they muse, as their brain busily hides away the worst bits for self-preservation reasons.

As I type this, it’s actually many, many moons from the final CrossFit Open workout, and whilst the memory has faded somewhat of the actual workout, I haven’t forgotten the fact that workout 16.5 was the worst workout I’ve ever done. I knew from the moment I heard what the workout was that we wouldn’t get along well in the slightest, but after fighting a virus through the rest of the Open, I wasn’t going to give up at the last hurdle.

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sam briggs interview

Whether you’re into CrossFit or not, I find it pretty unlikely you haven’t heard of the incredible British athlete Samantha Briggs, also known as The Engine – or Biceps Like Briggs if you’re into social media. Sam has won the CrossFit games, being crowned as the Fittest on Earth in 2013; she’s won the Open qualifiers twice; and she recently set an indoor rowing world record of 500m in 1:33.4. Just this week she had the highest worldwide score for Open workout 16.3, with a massive 158 reps.

Even before I began CrossFit I was a fan of Sam’s – her ridiculous endurance engine and work ethic easily transfers to other sports, inspiring athletes beyond the box. I was super excited to catch up with Sam on her active rest day just before 16.3 was announced; we covered everything from how often Sam trains and how she measures progress, to who she rates for this year’s Games and how she sees CrossFit progressing in the UK.

Read on to find out what life as an elite CrossFitter is really like and what Sam’s top three tips for CrossFit progression.

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16 point 2

This weekend, along with the rest of the CrossFit community, I completed the second workout of the Open – 16.2. Whilst it’s unlikely I’ll be reaching the CrossFit Games (at least.. this year) I’m still loving being a part of this supportive community. I mean, how many other sports do you see where opponents are so supportive of each other?

I’ll be posting  series of mini blog posts over the 5 weeks of the Open. Whilst these will be too late to offer any advice to anyone completing the workouts (workouts are released late Thursday night and scores need to be submitted by Monday – your best bet is to follow elite CFers on Instagram to see what they have to say about strategy) I’ll still be able to reflect on the workout. What did I learn from 16.2, and how did I get on? View Post

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