To Repeat, or Not to Repeat….That is the Question

 In CrossFit, Daily WODs, News & Events



I’ve posted about this in the past at other boxes I’ve coached at.  The topic of whether or not you should repeat an Open workout deserves some attention. I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts and some thoughts of others in the CrossFit community.

For the most part, I’m not a fan of repeating Open workouts. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Let’s say you do get a few more reps. Now what? Did you improve your fitness by doing the workout again?
  2. On the other side, what if you don’t beat your previous score? Now you’re really messing with your pride and may begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. I don’t’ think it’s a healthy thing at all.
  3. Do you repeat your regular weekly workouts? Hell to the NO! Why would you put yourself through that torture again?
  4. Lastly, if you go to a competition outside of the gym, you don’t get do-overs. You get one shot.

I believe there are certain circumstances where it is appropriate to repeat and I say hell yeah! :

  1. If you have a legitimate shot at making it to the next level and competing at Regionals.
  2. If you completely botched your first attempt because you had an emergency bathroom break or the clock wasn’t set correctly. You know who I’m talking to. 😉
  3. If you were getting sick and wanted to attempt it anyway. Keep your germs out of the gym yo!
  4. If have something to prove to yourself but you HAVE A PLAN to beat your first score. I call this ego. 😉 But hey, it’s your world.

Side note; botching, choking, aka bombing a workout, does not mean your head wasn’t right, “I wasn’t feeling it” or “I shouldn’t have done A, B and C” the day before the Open workout. In my opinion, that was just a missed opportunity to be awesome. They are excuses, not bombs.

Here are a few perspectives from some CrossFit HQ athletes and coaches:

MIKE: Redoing Open Workouts is definitely a bad idea unless you know you duffed one badly. If you were on the verge of death and had to have a mid-workout chat with Pukie for circumstances not related to the workout, or if you came off the night shift and hadn’t slept in 35 hours, you might consider a do-over. In those cases, however, I’d suggest the workout shouldn’t have been done in the first place. But if you’re just obsessed over a few missed reps, it’s time to move on. The most common sentence after any CrossFit workout is as follows: “I could have gotten a few more reps.” But you didn’t, so start focusing on next week. Don’t be that guy or girl who does a workout three times and gets the same score each time.

PAT: Repeating workouts can help you learn about strategy, as well as teach you how to push closer and closer to your personal threshold. Different strategies can result in different scores for different people. Until you actually try them (by repeating a workout), you can’t know for sure which is best for you.

CrossFitters without a lot of competition experience are often surprised by their own performance when pushed to their limits. What they once perceived as impossible turns out to be manageable … just very uncomfortable! If you finish a workout and you’re not 100 percent sure that it was the very best you could do, repeating the workout solely with the goal of beating your previous score can teach you a lot about your true limits.

MIRANDA: The Open is the one stage of the CrossFit Games season where redoing the workouts isn’t just permissible, but it’s part of the competition. 

Redoing the workouts can be a good strategy if your goal is to do well in the Open (even if you’re nowhere near the top 48 in your region) or if you have a slim chance of qualifying for your Regional. Let’s be honest, two to three burpees meant a HUGE shift in your placement on Open Workout 12.1! For some people, pushing for a few extra reps may be worth the turmoil.

That said, you shouldn’t repeat the workouts if your goal is to make it to the Games. Hit it once and hit it hard, because spending five weeks repeating the same five workouts is a terrible way to prepare for Regionals and the Games. You shouldn’t let your training suffer just to move from seventh to fifth in the Open.

Happy Open season and have a great week!


Written by Connie Keathley

Connie Keathley

Connie is a Coach at Four Barrel CrossFit. Her coaching credentials include CrossFit Level 3, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Movement & Mobility, Gymnastics, Advanced Gymnastics and Endurance. She is also a Level 1 USAW lifting coach. She’s coached and trained under 9-time USAW National Champion Olympic Weightlifter, Chad Vaughn as well as Olympic competitors Ursula Garza and Matt Bruce. She’s trained people from age 3 to 81, and has always had a heart to help others! Being a CrossFit coach has given her the avenue to do so!

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