Preparing for the 2019 Open(s)

Things look a little different this season. No Regionals, no rule book yet, a possible second Open in the Fall, and a growing collection of sanctioned events are just some of the changes announced thus far. The Sport of Fitness is very much in flux. We expect the actual Open workouts to be equally unpredictable; over the past three years, we’ve seen lunges, dumbbells and handstand walks added.   There are a lot more questions than answers, including:

  • Will the HSPU standard return? Is the tape box coming back? Maybe the movement will be scrapped altogether.

  • Do Wall Balls make a comeback? Do we get another 1RM lift?

  • What new movements will show up?

Because the primary role of the Open is no longer to qualify athletes for Regionals, the workouts could be wildly different from what we’ve seen thus far. Frankly, we have no idea.  For all we know, HQ could come out and tell affiliates to buy Low Bangers for this year’s Open.

The Gains Lab Open Prep Framework

Our Open prep framework relies on the cornerstones of past competitions: Olympic lifts, double unders, chest-to-bar pull-ups, toes to bar and muscle ups. Changes tend to stick around, so we expect handstand walks to return. Dumbbells aren’t new anymore, so we think there’s a reasonable chance of more difficult DB exercises, such as squat snatches, DB OHS, and devil presses.  

The 50+ WODs in this framework will challenge you in lots of different ways.    Some are ascending weight, dynamic-rep challenges that require you to think about strategy and pacing.  Others, you’ll just need to grind it out.  This framework is not a strict program with stages and phases.  It is designed to be flexible based on your specific goals and adaptable to your current training. That means: 

  • You can do it exactly as written, or you can pick and choose. Work on weaknesses, or have fun with strengths.

  • Make this your primary Open prep, or use it to augment your gym’s programming.

  • Scale as needed to achieve sustainable intensity. MetCons are ineffective if the weight is so heavy that you need 90 seconds between reps. On the other hand, advanced athletes need advanced challenges.  Increase weight.   Scale HSPU to strict or deficit HSPU.   Replace DB Snatches with DB Squat Snatches, and so on.

Once you get signed up, we’re always available to answer questions and provide guidance.


Regardless of how you like to train and what your goals are, we think there is something in here for just about everyone.  Whatever you’re looking to achieve this Open, we can help you get there. There are a few ways to get the 2019 Open Framework:

  • Sign up here - 50 Days of Gains for just $40. That’s lots of fitness for under $1 per day. This is a one-time payment. There are no recurring charges.

  • Sign up for the Capacity or Strength program. When you sign up for Capacity or Strength, you not only get outstanding programming to develop those aspects of your fitness, but we’ll include 50 Days of Gains as well.

If you’ve got additional questions, send a email to