Top 5 Worst CrossFit Open Workouts

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That was some good clickbait huh?

Anyways, since you’re here. Below is a completely subjective list of my personal top five worst CrossFit Open workouts. These are based solely off of personal experience and ones that stick out the most in my memory. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around since the CrossFit Open inception, taking part in some fashion every single year since. Some in this list are because of the movement combination, some are from how I felt afterwards, some are because I had a good day and pushed myself beyond what I thought I could personally do. I’m sure there are some of your “love to hate” workouts and I’d love to hear what they are.

5) 16.2

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:

25 Toes-to-Bar

50 Double Unders

15 Squat Cleans (M=135lbs, F=85lbs)

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 Toes-to-Bars

50 Double Unders

13 Squat Cleans (M=185lbs, F=115lbs)

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 Toes-to-Bars

50 Double Unders

11 Squat Cleans (M=225lbs, F=145lbs)

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 Toes-to-Bars

50 Double Unders

9 Squat Cleans (M=275lbs, F=175lbs)

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

25 Toes-to-Bars

50 Double Unders

7 Squat Cleans (M=315lbs, F=205lbs)

Stop at 20 minutes.

16.2, What can I say, just look at it. Gross… Toes to bar to start, let’s fry your midline, spike your heart rate with some jump rope and put you under a ton of tension on the bar. There’s nowhere to hide in this workout. I remember getting through the third bar and looking at the clock thinking “I have plenty of time”, finished the toes to bar and realized I had very very little time. It was one of those workouts where you just lie on the ground afterwards and contemplate all the decisions you made leading up to this point and asked yourself “but why?”

4) 15.3

As Many Reps As Possible in 14 Minutes

7 Muscle-ups

50 Wallballs

100 Double Unders

A personal peak. Never have I done so well in an Open workout and never ever ever ever ever ever will I get even close to that point again. Stars aligned, serendipity or call it whatever you want. I had a great workout that day. It left me writhing on the floor for quite a while after while everyone was walking around cleaning up wall balls and jump ropes. I just squirmed around on the ground thinking my inside was about to become my outside. The combination of copious wall balls, double unders and muscle ups left your shoulders completely taxed. Not to mention, with your shoulders under constant tension, you had to use your legs more on the wall balls, making them fatiguing quicker than normal. Switching mentally back and forth between leg or arm dominant and trying to save a little in the tank to get to those double unders for quick reps left me in a puddle on the floor.

3) 13.5

15 Thrusters (M=100lbs, F=65lbs)

15 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

-If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes.

-If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes.

-If 270 reps (9 rounds) are completed in under 12 minutes, time extends to 16 minutes.


That time I blacked out. Well not exactly, I’m sure medically I was fine. But I distinctly remember hearing people yell to keep going, not being able to see them and a very strong vinette closing in to where all I could see was a little bit of the bar as I flopped like a fish to throw my chest into it for one more rep. Time called and collapsing to the floor. No idea what the score was or how I did. I just remember 6 years on now, it being just terrible. Couplets and triplets are where fitness lies in CrossFit and this was bar-none one of the worst.

2) 12.1

As Many Reps As Possible in 7 minutes.


This workout begins from a standing position. The Athlete will move from flat on the ground to touching an object with both hands that is 6 inches above their max reach. Score is total reps completed.

While the CrossFit open started in 2011, 2012 was the first memorable workout. 7 minutes of burpees, how hard could it be?? Terrible, just terrible. You think “man I’m pretty good at burpees, I can do this”. This was the first time of the 6” standard where you had to reach for an object 6” out of your reach. This ensured you were coming to full extension, or at least jumping the same as everyone else. Burpees are difficult because you’re going from a prone position on the floor and coming to a fully extended position overhead. There’s not really another movement like it. Back then, we were all still figuring out how to snatch, do muscle ups and the thought of handstand walking was absurd. This workout was so simple, yet so devious. It truly pushed you beyond what you thought was possible for yourself. #neveragain.

1) 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

10 Power Snatches (M=75lbs, F=55lbs)

3 Bar Muscle-ups

Okay, full disclosure, while this workout was tough it’s not on the list for difficulty. It’s slightly contradictory to the click baity title. I put this on here because I was witness to so many amazing accomplishments that day. There were SOOOO many of you who got their first bar muscle up during this workout. It was truly amazing to see. For me, it’s what the open became. A place to see people push themselves, create memories, share in the struggle of finishing something they thought wasn’t possible. It’s a chance to form bonds that wouldn’t have a place to blossom anywhere else.

Well there you have it, my personal top 5 CrossFit Open workouts. What did I get wrong? What is your top five?

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