Should you retest workouts?

CrossFit open workout training auckland city
To know if you’re getting better, you must test and retest areas of your fitness. When it comes to the CrossFit Open, athletes especially feel the urge to retest workouts. Should you retest? It’s all about balancing risk versus reward.

“I definitely could have done better!”, “I could have pushed harder.”, “I could have paced it out better.” Is this you after an Open workout? 

Benchmark workouts like the CrossFit Open allow many of us to test ourselves, learn where our limits are and demostrate what we are capable of, both as individuals and as communities as we join together as a gym to compete against thousands of other athletes. 

If done right, competition is such a great physical and mental challenge which push us to do better and be better. If given the chance to retest ourselves, it’s not uncommon to start asking ourselves whether retesting is worth going through the pain tunnel again.

No doubt that elite level athletes seeking a CrossFit Games spot will retest some or all of the workouts. Even professional athletes might retest if improving by just one second means having the opportunity to continue their season. What about the rest of us? Our careers are definitely not on the line. So, should we retest? 


We really need to consider our overall goals over our ranking on the leaderboard. Why? Because we don’t have control over where we stack up on the leaderboard. When we determine our success by where we end up against thousands of other athletes, we put ourselves under great stress. We need to redefine our notion of success in a competition on the basis of factors that we can control. 

So what else is there outside of placing in a leaderboard? Much more of course!

  1. LEARNING – Let’s start with learning as probably one of the most important factors of success in a competition. Many of us love to be seen as experts when it comes to giving advice in a specific workout. The reality is, we are forever students and we will only improve by failing and making errors. So embrace every learning opportunity a workout has to offer. Maybe you’ll learn a new movement or link toes-to-bar together for the first time.
  2. EFFORT – Another measure of success to help you gauge your performance is your effort. Have you given 100% at every rep or could you have taken less breaks? Only you know the answer. If you have put everything you had out on the floor, then you know your score was the best you could do and worth all your efforts.
  3. FUN AND HEALTH – Let’s not forget having fun and staying healthy. Consider why you are doing CrossFit or similar type of training in the first place. Are you doing it as a competitive sport, or for long-term health and fitness? Are you doing the Open workouts because of the community, or because you want to test your capacity for fitness in comparison to others around the world?

Also, consider the effects on your health and mind when you retest a workout. How sore will you be afterward? Would this negatively affect your health and recovery? What if you don’t achieve a better score the second time? Will you still be accomplished and happy with your result?


Now that you have new parameters to define your success in a workout, it’s much easier for you to decide if we should retest, especially the Open workouts. Remember your why and enjoy a happier, healthier Open experience!

Coaches are great guides when it comes to assess risks and rewards of repeating a workout. We are here for you!

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