I think James may have done a post about this in the past, but between the last 8 years of blog posts and conversations I’ve had with him, things start to blend together, and without the old blog to reference, I can’t be sure……., so here’s my take.
I should start by saying ever since the first CrossFit Open in 2011, I’ve only repeated a workout (during the Open) a handful of times, I’d estimate less than 5 times total (not including the 2017 Open). Upon repeating my first couple of workouts, I quickly realized two things. While these things don’t apply to everyone, they certainly apply to me.
1.) I do a pretty good job pacing workouts to my potential on the first attempt. This isn’t always the case, especially workouts that are a bit more tricky to gauge, such as the ones that have multiple points in a workout to achieve and receive time bonuses.
2.) My body doesn’t recover quick enough to reproduce an equal output on the exact same movements in 2 days time. Every time I’ve repeated a workout my muscles feel significantly more fatigued than the first time.
Because of these two factors I’ve repeated workouts fewer and fewer times as the years have gone by. But this year I’ve already repeated 17.1 and 17.2, and as I write this, I’ll be preparing to repeat 17.3 in a couple of hours! This year has been a little different for me, while my scores haven’t been good enough to contribute to Team Sweat Shop, I’ve been repeating workouts because I’ve been really curious as to what outcome adjustments in pacing and breaking up the sets plays on my performance. My hopes are to not only have a better understanding of what yields the best performance for me, but also to hopefully learn strategies to help others.
At the end of the day everyone is different. Some have the primary goal to simply complete each workout of the CrossFit Open, so one time is all they need! Others may repeat to get the best score possible because they are competing to make it to the next round of qualifications. There may be others that simply want the best score they could possibly get, regardless of whether they are in contention to making it to the next round. Whether it’s one-and-done, or a repeat, both take courage and discipline and we should all be supportive of each other, regardless of which category we fall into!