The CrossFit Open is a chance for anyone to see how they stack up against the world in “the sport of fitness.” The five-week event is a worthy challenge — even for those who don’t consider themselves CrossFitters — as it tests strength, endurance, and mental toughness. If you want to improve your rank and earn cred with your buddies, you’re going to need workouts that train all of those attributes.
“We call it GPP, general physical preparedness,” says NorCal CrossFit founder and CEO Jason Khalipa. “You want a blend of strength, conditioning, cardio, you name it.” Khalipa should know. He’s a seven-time competitor in the CrossFit Games, and won the event in 2008. Today he and his staff coach thousands of other aspiring competitors at NorCal’s five locations.
The CrossFit Open consists of relatively short workouts, usually 15 to 20 minutes at the longest, Khalipa says. But don’t underestimate them. “Everything’s designed to hurt more in the Open, frankly,” Khalipa says. Because the Open workouts are usually scored by how many reps [or rounds] you can complete during a given time span, they’re challenging for even the very fit. “The better you get at CrossFit, the harder it gets because you can move faster. There’s no reason to stop. In fact, you need to keep going for the entire duration if you want to do well.”
Training the ability to eke out a bit more work under pressure is key. “A few reps makes a big difference in the Open because there’s so many people doing it,” Khalipa says. “Every single rep counts.” To prepare your body and mind for the grind, and get used to working against the clock, Khalipa recommends performing workouts known as EMOMs, which stands for “every minute on the minute.” Essentially, you start working whenever the clock strikes zero.
The following six short-but-intense EMOM routines will help teach you to push for those extra reps, train the gymnastics-inspired exercises that are almost certain to show up in the Open, and best, improve your overall fitness.