To Redo or Not To Redo

March 15, 2013


Is redoing the workout a bad idea?




Top image by Cheryl Boatman


One of the unique elements of the Open is that you have four days to complete the workout and post your score, and you can redo the workout as many times as you want. The ability to “redo” can be great or it can be distracting, depending on who you are and why you’re competing. We asked the editor of the CrossFit Journal, Mike Warkentin, and Games competitors, Miranda Oldroyd and Pat Sherwood, to weigh in.

Is redoing the workout a bad idea?
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.