Coach’s Corner: Takeaways & Thoughts to Improve for the 2019 CrossFit Open

The dust has finally settled after the 2018 CrossFit Open, and we finally have an idea of the athletes that are moving on to Regionals. In what’s been regarded as one of the toughest CrossFit Opens to date, we were curious what a CrossFit trainer who competed, worked with, and judged multiple athletes thought about the Open.

[Coach’s Corner is a strength sport focused Q & A that’s brought to our readership with Andre Crews, Head Trainer and Owner of 150 Bay CrossFit in Jersey City, NJ.]

In this episode of Coach’s Corner, we sit down with Andre Crews from 150 Bay CrossFit in Jersey City, NJ, to learn more about what he thought about of this year’s CrossFit Open. We asked Crews about trends he saw from different level athletes and what different populations can do to take their competitive edge to the next level.

Athletes Who Competed Scaled

The first group of athletes we talked about were those who competed scaled, but want to eventually move into competing in the RX division. Crews points out the main focus of development for this athlete should be overall strength. He mentions that if you look at all of the workouts, the main difference between scaled and RX is the amount of weight used.

Crews recommends performing more compound movements to build a stronger foundation of strength through the use of linear periodized workout programs.

RX’d Athletes Who Want to Place Better

Our next group of focus were the athletes who competed in the RX division, but didn’t place how they wanted to. Crews gives a direct example on CrossFit Open Workout 18.3 where he states most of his members got through the double-unders and overhead squats with ease, but couldn’t get through the muscle-ups.

For this group, Crews recommends improving and dialing in on your gymnastics skills. Things like ring dips, tempo pull-ups, and handstand variations are a great place to start.

Competitive RX Athletes

The final group we discussed are RX athletes who were competitive at local levels, but want to take their game to the next step up, possibly Regionals level. Crews himself falls within this category and points out that the difference between his skill level and the Regionals level athlete is work capacity/conditioning.

That being said, Crews recommends really honing in and hammering down on conditioning. Rowing, biking, and muscular endurance workouts are going to be one of the best ways to start.

Feature image from @andrecrews Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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