Del, 60, started CrossFit in 2009. He is a three-time Games athlete and owns South Tahoe Crossfit. He has coached multiple athletes in the AGOQ and the Games. This year his goal is to be on the podium in his new age group. 


[Del and the admins of the FB Group ‘CF Masters‘ – nearly 24k members – kindly allowed us to reproduce this post – part of a weekly series they are posting on their page in the run-up to the Open]

When Angela [Group Admin] asked me to write something explaining how I prep and coach for the Open my first thoughts were to write about competitive athletes. With over twenty thousand peeps in this group, I feel the competitive athletes are the minority in this group so I’m going to try to write this more for the average CrossFitter preparing for the Open. It’s 4 months away now. If you honestly want to make a commitment to getting better this year now is the time to commit.


It drives me absolutely crazy when I see athletes doing what they excel at all the time. This is a terrible formula for getting better. How many times have we seen videos on this page of athletes posting videos of massive lifts? Do we ever see the same people posting videos of a HSPU, Ring Muscle Up and Burpee workout?

As an athlete, you really need to address what the problem areas are and come up with a plan to fix it. At the same time letting go of your wheelhouse moves to focus primarily on your goats. Every day spent trying to get your 500lb deadlift to 510 is a wasted day if you still have weaknesses. I love writing down my plans to conquering a movement than making a progression to make these moves my bitch. I know a lot of you do class workouts and can’t pick what’s in the workout. Everything I’m going to talk about can usually be done in 15-20 minutes after class. I’m positive if you ask your coach if it’s ok to stay after and work on your goats they will be cool with it. If not maybe it’s time to find a new gym.

Let’s say double unders are just killing you. Doing a million double unders probably won’t fix this. You have to look at what’s actually happening in a double under. The first part is a jump. So let’s do a 5 min emom of 10 perfect jumps. The second component is the wrists. Most gyms have the jump rope handles with the short cables and wiffle balls attached. If not they’re 15 bucks online. Try doing 10 rounds of 30. No jump just focus on the timing of the wrists. Trying to build up to 300 in a row. This is fantastic training for the wrists. Then after a few weeks of training, both components go back to trying double unders and I promise they get better. This is a 3 time per week progression.

HSPU/ pull-ups/T2B/ Muscle ups are obviously tougher movements. Even so, if you get your mind right these can be in your arsenal before the Open starts. That’s if you have decent skills and the willingness to work your butt off between now and then. If you can do a C2B then I’m convinced that if you do bar mu progressions 3 times a week for 6 weeks you will have them. If you can get onto the wall in a handstand and hold it for 20 seconds you should be able to get a hspu in 6 weeks with the right progressions. It’s just dedication and the will to work hard. I get it. It sucks to work at what you’re bad at. However, it’s way better than waiting for them to announce HSPU in the Open and you’re frantic trying to learn them in a week. I would love to dive deeper into progressions but I’m worried about going over the word limit and boring you to death. If you have questions PM me.


Now is the time to shed some weight if you need too. Losing even 2lbs makes such a crazy difference in body weight movements. If done right you won’t lose any strength and in most cases, you will get faster on your Oly lifts. I prefer cutting the weight right now. I don’t want to be cutting in the last few weeks before the Open. There are so many resources these days for weight loss. I personally prefer flexible dieting with macro counting. It’s not as restrictive as say Paleo so it’s way easier to stay on track. I personally use Stronger U. I know Mike Doehla is always available on this page and is more than happy to answer nutrition questions if you ask him. RP, WAG, Black Iron and many others all have great programs but overall they’re quite similar. Honestly though if you lose the weight that you need to lose, and are eating quality foods, then whatever way you did it is the right way for you. When you really think about the Open workouts 80% or more are gymnastics, medium weight barbells and conditioning so lean is good.


At this point, most of your off-season strength work should be transitioning to more gymnastics while still doing strength maintenance. I’m not a fan of 100% effort workouts. Typically I go 100% 4 times a month. So now I’m doing a lot of emoms and 85% effort workouts. If I do go 100% it’s typically in an under 10-minute WOD. As we get into the new year I ramp up my conditioning. If you have the goats we talked about earlier NOW is the time to work on them.

Hope this helps some of you. Good luck this year.

Thanks to Del and the CF Masters Admins for sharing this. Make sure you join the group to catch other Masters sharing their Open Prep!


Check out the other athletes in the Meet the Masters  and Meet the Teens series


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