In the last few days nothing else has been talked about: the changes for the 2024 season there are so many and there has been no shortage of controversy. Especially regarding the numbers of athletes advancing to the next stages, starting with the 2024 Open.
In fact, Dave Castro in his Week in Review program (video that he publishes weekly on his YouTube channel), spoke about the reason for the shortening of the Open weeks.
For those who don't remember, until 2020 the Open always took place over 5 weeks. This meant participants had at least five workouts to complete.
From 2021, however, the Open became shorter and took place in just three weeks, significantly reducing the number of workouts.
Dave explained that the reason for this choice was a survey conducted by the CrossFit team, in which it emerged that starting from the third week the number of results obtained decreases drastically.
In other words, after the third week, it was common for participants to become discouraged and stop participating in the tests:
“In past years, when there were five weeks, we analyzed the engagement data and, obviously, the first week had the highest number of registrations. Each week, test completion slowed or decreased. Then in the fourth and fifth weeks, the amount decreased dramatically. So, this fact alone supports the idea of a three-week Open,” Dave said in his Week in Review.
However,, the decision still divides opinions, with many favoring a longer Open, arguing that with just three weeks it is difficult to truly analyze all the skills of CrossFit.
Following Dave's statements, the team at the American news site The Barbell Spin has conducted an in-depth analysis taking into account the five years of 5-week Open and the last three years of 3-week Open.
In this way, they verified that there is actually a 7% drop in results every week or so in the five-week Open.
First training session of the Open
Another interesting point raised by the American team concerns the first round of the Open. According to them, this test is the big “guilty” whether participants continue or not.
This is because, usually, the first wod introduces new movements. They cite Open 21.1 as an example, where the Wall Walk followed by double unders was introduced.
For many, double rope jumping is a high level movement, so this can be considered as a reason to give up.
However, that's not necessarily a rule: in some years, like this year's Open, Shuttles Runs have been included in the second week.
Just think that Open 23.1 is defined as one of the toughest tests ever.
For this reason, the idea that early training affects participants' consistency may be more valid than the actual length of competition weeks.
Another interesting investigation conducted by the American site shows that Dave's statement may not hold up: in the Five-week open the last training represents approximately 80% of the results obtained.
In Three-week open, the percentage is around 75%. However, this year we had a bright spot where the second and final weeks had pretty much the same number of results.
Another important thought: the athletes after the Open will have five consecutive weeks of quarterfinals. Consequently, a three-week Open could be more positive for the body's recovery time.
After all, five weeks of Open, followed by five weeks of quarter-finals, constitute a real marathon.
Not to mention that whoever gets to the bottom has to face a tough semi-final. In this complete scenario, a shorter Open might seem more reasonable.
However, for those who sign up to test themselves and for fun, and who usually don't proceed to the next stages, this effectively means two fewer weeks of testing.
And you, what is your opinion on all this?