Open Week 2 – Fair or Foul???

Posted: March 18, 2013 by Uncle D in CrossFit Games

Crossfit Games Open Week 2 –
Open week 2 is in the books.
In ten minutes perform as many reps as possible of –
• 5 shoulder to overhead at 115 lbs
• 10 deadlift at 115 lbs
• 15 box jumps on a 24” box.

I scored a 225. My goal was 240. I wasn’t terribly disappointed but wasn’t thrilled either. It was enough to move me up 55 places in the overall rankings and not only keep me in the top 20% worldwide but move me into the top 17% giving me a little room to breathe.

However, I want to talk about a slightly different topic for this post. It relates to the open but only loosely to my performance. If you came to the box to watch the workout you probably noticed a lot of people stepping up on to the box, this was legal as long as the movement standards were kept, which was both feet on the box knees and hips fully extended. After doing the workout on Sunday, Meg made the comment that it should have been box jumps. No stepping allowed. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but as time has progressed I find that I agree whole heartedly.

Crossfit is supposed to be hard, and the open is supposed to be a true broad spectrum test of an athlete’s capabilities. Yes, Crossfit is scalable and should absolutely be so, but in no way, shape, or form, should an open workout use a function that would be considered scaled at any normal workout. I would probably be ok with allowing stepping off the box just to reduce the possibility of injury. If you haven’t heard there have been some Achilles injuries from the landing on high rep count box jumps, so it is an area where caution could be warranted. However, on the way up it should be a box jump. Yes you may get a badly scraped shin if you miss, but that is a whole different animal then a blown Achilles. So if you made burpees have to jump to a six inch target so folks don’t short the top of the burpee, why are step-ups ok?

Just to be clear I did step up on the box throughout my workout. And to be further clear my score would have suffered if I had to jump up on the box every time. And yes it’s easy for me to say now it should have been box jumps only. But let’s face it lessons are often only learned after the fact. I’m not trying to be some holier than thou, “THE SANCTITY OF CROSSFIT IS RUINED!” blogger. But I do feel it’s a topic that is worth discussing and thinking about in greater depth. Maybe I’m off base here, maybe it’s totally fine that step-ups are allowed, be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable and all that good Crossfit mantra. Honestly step-ups could be totally cool if they were weighted, man…, can you imagine, your forearms would have gotten smoked in that version of the workout.

But something about that workout bothered me and I hadn’t been able to put my finger on exactly why I felt…. odd, unsatisfied…. I don’t know, even now it’s hard to really classify. True I didn’t reach my goal, but that wasn’t it. After the first workout I was really disappointed after my first attempt and then thrilled after progressing on my second, both were short of my hoped for goal. That’s what an open workout is supposed to be. Not that this version wasn’t hard even doing the step-ups, it was, but for better or worse I feel a little bit dirty, like I cheated, and I don’t love that.

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this one……

P.S. Mad Props to all who box jumped the whole time! Hope your calves recover soon! 🙂


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