The Most Interesting Statistics from CrossFit Open Workout 18.1

One of the best parts about a sport that’s as popular and numbers-driven as CrossFit is that you can get some very meaty data from the hordes of athletes who compete worldwide in the Open. It’s not hard to find out by clicking around the leaderboard that well over 150,000 people tried their hand at 18.1, but what do we know about their ages, their location, and who actually managed the Rx weight?

Thanks to the “Beyond the Whiteboard,” series we’re going deeper. The 18.1 analysis was just published on the Games website by Jonathan Kinnick of Beyond the Whiteboard. Kinnick lectures in economics at California State Polytechnic University and owns his own CrossFit® box — here are some of the most interesting findings.

There Are More Master’s Athletes Than Ever

This year saw a 3 percent increase in the percentage of Master’s athletes competing when compared to the overall Open pool from last year: 44 percent of 18.1’s competitors were over the age of thirty-five.

Eighty-four percent of the Master’s competitors were under 50 years old and three percent were over 60 years old.

Most Competitors Are in North America

A little over 60 percent of the scores came from the East, South, Central, West, and Atlantic regions. The largest contingent outside of North America was Europe with 12.9 percent of entries, and just 5.1 percent of scores were submitted from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East combined.

[This year’s Games have totally different Regions compared to previous years. Read our article for a full breakdown on what changed.]

Men Were Significantly More Likely to Rx

While men had heavier weights (50 pounds versus 35 pounds) and more calories to burn on the rower (14 calories versus 12 calories), 85 percent of men wound up using the Rx weight versus 60 percent of women, and on average the men completed one more round of exercises. (Nine to ten rounds versus eight to nine rounds.) Teens and Masters of both sexes were about as likely to Rx as one another, with 62 and 64 percent using it respectively.

We’re looking forward to uncovering more insights about the Who of CrossFit as the Open progresses and we receive more stats from Beyond the Whiteboard each week.

Featured image via @bicepslikebriggs and @prestonsmithphotography.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.