CrossFit Open Workout 19.3 Recap

CrossFit Open workout 19.3 was seemingly designed to separate the wheat from the chaff and that elicited a mixed reaction around the community and in my box.   Workout 19.3 was a chipper consisting of 200 feet of overhead dumb bell lunges, 50 box step ups, 50 strict hand stand push-ups and 200 feet of handstand walking with a 10 minute cap.  What really got people going at my box was the scaled version of this workout; the strict hand stand push-ups were scaled to a 5 inch elevation from the floor.  Many, many people were upset that the scaled workout even included a modified form of strict hand stand push-ups.  My box did a great job by offering a third, coach’s choice workout that replaced hand stand push-ups with 50 hand release push-ups.  I performed the Rx workout and only made it a quarter of the way through the box step-ups so I never really had any concerns about not having any strict hand stand push-ups under my belt, but in general, there seemed to be 2 aspects regarding this work out that irked people:  1) the inclusion of strict hand stand push-ups for the first time ever, and 2) the scaled workout offered via CrossFit, Inc.  First, last year’s CrossFit Open workout 18.4 included hand stand push-ups with a new standard whereby the individuals heals had to surpass a mark on the wall determined by the person’s height and generally, throughout competitions kipping your hand stand push-ups is the option provided.  With inclusion of strict hand stand push-ups this year, the standard that nearly everyone had been working toward over this past year simply went out the window and that left people P.O.’d.  Second, the scaled version of 19.3 simply left a lot of people out of this workout.  This seems to be in direct conflict with CrossFit’s rebranded message of inclusivity and bringing fitness to new, diverse populations.  Here’s my take on it all:  1) there are clues everywhere (CrossFit literature, website, workouts, etc.) that people should train strict body weight movements.  These “clues” are even summarized in Greg Glassman’s “Fitness in 100 Words”.  So in this regard my attitude is, “suck it up buttercup” and let us get to work on conquering strict movements.  From the affiliates perspective however, I would be totally frustrated with the lack of communication from CrossFit headquarters regarding movement standards and I can understand the manifestation of that frustration through this workout.  2)  I personally think CrossFit, Inc. totally screwed up with the scaled version of this workout by not offering push-ups in place of modified hand stand push-ups.  In this regard, workout 19.3 seems in direct conflict with the mission of CrossFit and the CrossFit Open which is to bring the largest community fitness event to the most diverse group of people across the world.  That being said, there was still a whole heck of a lot of people, all around the world, participating in some form of this workout!  At this point though, 19.3 is in the books and man, I cannot wait to see what workout 19.4 is going to be!

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