CrossFit Open 20.5 Tips From Top Athletes And Coaches

Partition, please!

The final workout of the 2020 CrossFit Open is officially underway. On Thursday night, Reebok CrossFit One in Boston, Massachusetts hosted the CrossFit Open Workout 20.5 live announcement and CrossFit Games veterans Patrick Vellner and Annie Thorisdottir went head-to-head.

The evening was sponsored by the first Sanctionals™ of the 2019-2020 season, the CrossFit Filthy 150, which will kick off later this month.

Each week throughout the Open, we’ve been sharing some of the top tips from Reebok CrossFit Games athletes and coaches surrounding tackling the specific Open workouts. For 20.5, there was a lot of speculation about how the 2020 Open would wrap up. Now if you missed the announcement, here’s what Open Workout 20.5.

CrossFit Open Workout 20.5

For time

  • 40 ring muscle ups
  • 80 calorie row
  •  120 wall ball jumps 

Women: 14-lb ball to 9-ft

Men: 20-lb ball to 10-ft

CrossFit Open Workout 20.5 Movement Standards


  • Begin hanging from the rings (arms fully extended and feet off the ground.)
  • If  you are doing consecutive kipping muscle-ups, a change of direction below the rings is required.
  • A rep counts when the elbows are fully locked out in the support position. 
  • You have to pass through some part of a dip before reaching lockout.
  • Kipping is allowed, but swings or rolls are not permitted.
  • No part of the foot is allowed to rise above the rings during the kip.


  • The monitor on the rower must be set to zero calories at the beginning of each row.
  • Athletes can get help in resetting the monitor to zero if they split up the row into multiple sets during the workout.
  • Credit will be earned for the calories displayed at the time the handle is let go. 
  • If the athlete is working up to the 20-minute time mark, credit will be earned for the calorie on display when the clock reaches 20. 

A note on video submission: 

Athletes submitting video submissions for review must be prepared to submit two separate videos:

  1. One of the workout following the typical video submission standards .
  2. One specifically showing the calories on the Concept2 rower monitor. The display of calories on the monitor should be clearly visible throughout the workout, and the athlete should be visible getting on and off the rower. When submitting videos, send only the first video (full workout) in accordance with normal video submission standards. CrossFit may require the second video (rower calories) and will provide further details at that time.

Wall Ball Shot

  • The medicine ball must be in the support position in front of the body at the start of each rep.
  • Squat: Hip crease below the knee. Squat cleaning is permitted as long as the ball starts on the ground. 
  • The rep counts when the center of the ball hits the target (or above.)
  • A “no rep” occurs when the ball hits below the target, or misses the wall. 
  • If the ball falls on the ground from the top, the ball has to settle before moving onto the next rep. 

More on 20.5 movement standards on

Top 3 CrossFit Open 20.5 Tips

Cole SagerGet The Flywheel Going 

Sager breaks down each of the movements with very specific tips. What we liked most about his advice this week, is that he really dials into the small things that can make all the difference in this loaded workout.

In terms of tackling the 80 calorie row, he said ask yourself this question before getting into it: What will allow you to have the highest average pace possible? He then suggests getting a few quick hard pulls in before getting settled. 

Dan Bailey — How To Partition

As you are well aware by now, 20.5 allows you pick how you want to do the workout! Bailey talks about a bunch of different ways you can break this workout up, but recommends doing smaller sets back and fourth.

The thing with smaller sets is that although there is time lost in transitions, there is a lot less time lost in terms of resting. Before diving into the workout, Bailey said to do one round with a bigger set and then another round with a smaller set and figure out how fatigued you are. 

Jacob Heppner — Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

We’re all different! Heppner really taps into how he plans to tackle this workout and it will probably be completely different then the guy next to him, and that’s okay. He also mentions how a lot of the movements in 20.5 can be done unbroken, but should you really do that?

He said probably not, and that is because you have to consider how fatigued you’re probably going to be as a result of going unbroken, and the rest time will come back to haunt your time. 

Now that we’re off to the races with 20.5, we’re eager to see how the 2020 Open Leaderboard will shape up over the next week. 

Feature image from Cole Sager and Dan Bailey YouTube channels.