CrossFit Open Workout 20.1 Tips From Top Athletes And Coaches

Check out these tips from coaches and athletes for the first workout of the 2020 CrossFit Open!

The 2020 CrossFit Open kicked off on Thursday night, and now CrossFit Open Workout 20.1 is officially here. 

Last night, CrossFit Games veterans Rich Froning and Scott Panchik battled through Open Workout 20.1 with an epic head-to-head performance during the  live announcement. Panchik ended up edging out Froning for the victory, and both athletes finished the workout under the time cap. In addition to going to head-to-head and before the workout, Panchik announced that he would be joining CrossFit Mayhem for the 2019 CrossFit Games. 

CrossFit Open Workout 20.1

10 Rounds

  • 8 Ground-to-Overhead (95 lbs for men, 65 lbs for women)
  • 10 Bar Facing Burpees 

Time Cap: 15-minutes

Ground-to-Overhead entails using a snatch, muscle snatch, clean to press, or whatever means possible to get the bar from the ground to the overhead position. 

Every year during the Open, coaches and athletes engage with the community by putting out their best tips for each Open workout. For the first workout of the 2020 CrossFit Open, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite sources to tackle Open Workout 20.1.

[2020 CrossFit Open Ultimate Guide]

CrossFit Open Workout 20.1 Movement Standards


The ground-to-overhead movement presents the athlete with two options: Either a snatch or clean & jerk/press to get the bar to an overhead position. Every rep begins with the barbell on the ground, and dropping the barbell from overhead is okay, however, it must settle before the next rep.

The movement will only be counted if there is a clear lockout overhead. A full lockout means that the hips, knees, and arms are fully extended, and the barbell is directly over or “slightly behind the middle of the body.” 

Bar Facing Burpees

The burpees in this workout need to start with a two foot takeoff from the starting position, and the athlete needs to get fully over the bar. If the athlete touches the bar on the way over from the burpee, then they will have to do it again. The athlete has the option to jump or step back to reach the bottom position in each burpee. Athletes must use 18-inch plates, and the burpees must be performed perpendicular to the barbell.  

The rep will be credited when both feet have touched the ground on the other side of the barbell. 

CrossFit Open Workout 20.1 Tips

Check out four of our favorite tips from top athletes and coaches to crush Open Workout 20.1.

1. Cole Sager — Pace It Out!

Sager provides a very in-depth video breaking down Open Workout 20.1, and sharing his tips and advice.

To start out the video, Sager highlights the importance of a warm-up for this workout. He emphasizes warming up your back, hips, and shoulders because this workout will require a lot of bending over and hip extension. After that he suggests getting warm and sweaty. This means getting your heart rate up.

The biggest piece of advice Sager gives is that “smooth is fast.” What this means is it is going to be important to not come out too hot in the beginning and burnout before the time cap!

2. Jacob Heppner — Warm-Up Your Lower Back

Heppner really emphasized warming up your lower back properly before this workout. He mentioned that this could easily be an area that is overlooked, but with all the hinging during the ground-to-overhead and with the burpees, this is going to be important.

He also said to make sure to warm-up the forearms and get the heart rate going, as this will be a huge key during the warm-up as well.

3. Brute Strength — Grip Tips 

It is very simple in terms of what is needed to tackle this workout: Tape, wristbands, a pair of shoes, and the bar! That is about it.

Brute Strength suggests limiting the use of chalk during this workout. This workout is seriously grip intensive, so they suggest getting some tape on your thumbs to help with that. They references that Froning only chalked twice, and the bar is pretty light. So to help with the grip intensity of the workout, they say get some wristbands and that should do the trick.

4. CrossFit Invictus — Break It Up 

Bern Prince and Justin Wright from CrossFit Invictus offered some solid beginner and intermediate strategies for 20.1. Breaking this workout up will save your grip and keep your heart rate down.

After the first five rounds if the pacing is feeling good, then they say push it for the final rounds and finish strong. If your heart rate spikes too early, this isn’t going to be a fun workout. Steady will win this race.

There you have it, Workout 20.1 has been announced, and athletes are off to the races. Score submissions for this workout will close on Monday, October 14th at 5 p.m. PT.

Featured images from Cole Sager, Brute Strength, and Jacob Heppner’s YouTube channels.