CrossFit Open 20.3 Tips From Top Athletes And Coaches

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

At this point you’re probably well aware that CrossFit Open Workout 20.3 is a repeat from Open Workout 18.4.

On Thursday, 20.3 was presented by the Norwegian CrossFit Championship, and featured Norwegian CrossFit Games athletes Kristin Holte and Nicolay Billaudel. Additionally in Australia, CrossFit Games athletes James Newbury and Madeline Sturt battled through 20.3 during the live announcement presented by the Down Under CrossFit Championship. 

Now that we’ve seen quite a few top athletes dive into 20.3 — and since it’s a repeat from 2018 season — we’ve gathered a pretty awesome list of tips, advice, and tricks from some of the biggest names in CrossFit to provide insight on how to crush 20.3. Before we get into the workout tips below, here is Open Workout 20.3 once more, and the movement standards. 

CrossFit Open Workout 20.3

9 minute time cap:

  • 21-15-9
  • Deadlifts (225/155)
    Handstand Push-ups


  • 21-15-9
  • Deadlifts (315/205)
    50 Foot Handstand Walks (25 feet down, 25 feet back)

As always, athletes start on a 3, 2, 1 countdown before beginning the workout.

CrossFit Open Workout 20.3 Movement Standards

Mark For Handstand Push-ups/Handstand Walk

  • Athletes must create a heel mark on the wall for the handstand push-ups. 
  • There must be a floor mark to judge the handstand walks.


  • Every rep must be started with the barbell on the ground.
  • Hands have to be outside of the knees. A Sumo deadlift is not permitted.
  • Arms have to remain straight throughout.
  • A rep counts when the hips and knees reach full extension and the head and shoulders are behind the bar. 
  • Collars have to be placed outside of the plates.
  • Two separate barbells are allowed. 

Handstand Push-Up

  • The handstand push-up begins with the arms locked out and the heels in contact with the wall, hips are open, and the body is in line with the arms. 
  • Heels have to be above the pre-marked line.
  • Only the heels are allowed to be touching the wall at the start and end of every rep.
  • At the bottom, the head has to come in contact with the ground for  it to count. 
  • If the head and hands are on different surfaces, the surfaces have to be made level.

Handstand Walk 

  • Before beginning, the area has to be marked in 5-ft segments. 
  • Do not walk more than 25-ft in one direction without turning around.
  • The handstand kick-up occurs behind the mark.
  • Stepping over the line or landing with the hands over the line is a “no rep.”
  • If the athletes comes down from the hands at any time, they must restart from behind the last line that they successfully crossed. 

Top 4 CrossFit Open Workout 20.3 Tips

1. Cole Sager — Discipline.

CrossFit Games athlete Cole Sager is back at it again serving the YouTube world with another great tips & advice video. In his video, he gives a solid breakdown of the movements, but of course starts the video off stressing the importance of a proper warm-up!

Once Sager jumps into the workout itself he really emphasizes the importance of staying disciplined. The workout has very clear and has concise standards for the handstand push-up marks, so be sure to be with it and disciplined throughout! 

2. Dan Bailey — Pace It Out!

Bailey actually missed this workout in 2018 when he had to drop out of the Open due to injury, so this time around we’re excited to see the CrossFit Games legend tackle it on! Right away, Bailey said how important it is to not go out too hot.

He suggests pacing it out! Another big takeaway from Bailey’s video, and a common thread in a lot of the athletes’ tip videos was to carefully read the movement standards. The handstand push-ups and walks will get you if you’re not disciplined with the instructions.

3. CrossFit  Invictus — Set Your Back!

Each week Bern Prince and Justin Wright provide live commentary during the announcement and then jump right into some beginner and intermediate strategies for tackling the workout.

Their main tip is to set your back no matter who you are. They state, on the deadlift, you can maybe get away with not setting your back during the first portion of the workout, however, you will feel it on the second (and heavier) deadlifts, so pay close attention to form.

4. Brute Strength — Don’t Come Out Too Hot!

The biggest thing that these guys remember from this workout in 2018, is you don’t want to come out attacking this thing like it’s just Diane. It is easy to come out hot in this workout, but the key is being strategic with it and pacing it out. The next thing they really emphasized is to make sure to read the rules!

A common theme in these videos, but really, you don’t want to mess around with missing a key movement standard or detail with this one.

Now, let’s dive into 20.3 shall we?

Featured image from Dan Bailey and Cole Sager YouTube channels.