If you’re like me, you know your scores on the CrossFit Open WODs, and you looked up what ranks those scores got you. But what does 71,786th out of 153,305 mean? Not much. The games website lets you drill down some, but I need to see it all. I collected all 802,164 scores from over 150,000 athletes in this year’s games and took a look.
To refresh you memory …
10 minute AMRAP
30 double unders
15 power snatches (55/75)
(click on any of the graphs to zoom into a full res version)
The first thing you see are huge spikes at the end of each set. The weight didn’t go up in 14.1, so these aren’t lifts people got stuck on. There are probably two main reasons people end up at these very popular scores. Some people run out of time as they’re trying to switch from the rope to the bar or back. The bigger reason is probably that people push to finish round numbers and complete sets. It feels good to finish that last snatch and collapse on the floor with a 225, but squeezing in even one double under could set an athlete apart from that 2,943-way tie. Also, it looks like 424 people spent their 10 minutes and succeeded in getting (probably) their first double under. Congrats!
3 minutes to complete 2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
each set of 2 completed rounds, add 3 minutes and increase reps by 2
The women’s results are dominated by the ability to do a chest to bar pull up which stymied 9,179 women, or nearly 20% of the entire field making for a very short 10 rep WOD. The men’s results reflect lots of “just lemme finish this set” pushes we see in the spikes at the right edge of each band. The exceptions are reps 40, 88, 144, and 208. 180 athletes stopped at one of those scores even though they had just earned 3 more minutes to keep working. Some days enough is enough.
as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
10 deadlifts (95/135)
15 box jumps
15 deadlifts (
15 box jumps
…. increasing deadlift weight and reps(by 5) each round
14.3 was the only WOD of the Open with increasing weights and the results reflect it. The first 90 reps didn’t slow too many people down, but things got heavy in the 4th and 5th sets and the crowd fell off quickly. The elite athletes stack up nicely in a smooth curve depending on how much time they had left to hit those 205/315’s.
14 minute AMRAP
40 wall-ball shots, 14/20 lb. to 9/10-foot target
30 cleans, 95/135 lb.
So, can you do a muscle-up? 22,052 (17%) athletes made it through the cleans but couldn’t get up on the rings, making it by far the biggest factor for both genders. Toes-to-bar also proved problematic for 6% of women meaning 14.4 was just a quick spin on the rower. You can see goal setting pretty clearly in the men’s cleans at 160 and 170.
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
note that lower scores are better on 14.5.
Finally, a nice clean distribution. A WOD for time is a totally different animal. The median man finished in 18:36, just a minute ahead of the median woman at 19:28 meaning that 65/95 are pretty fair weights to compare the genders on thrusters. We do see some spikes on round numbers, especially at the 30 minute mark. 87 athletes finished at exactly 30:00, but only 19 finished at 30:01. That’s probably a combination of meeting a goal and wishful thinking when they scraped themselves off the mat and looked at the clock after that last burpee.
I got into this out of curiosity, but I hope this kind of analysis plays into the Open WOD programming from HQ. Most of this years workouts probably did a good job differentiating between the regionals-caliber athletes because the tail at top end is generally nice and smooth. The huge spikes in the meat of each distribution mean that a lot of the average athletes are getting lumped together or stuck on movements they can’t do with time to kill.
Let me know if you would like to take a look at the data or have suggestions for the next analysis. Good luck to those athletes going to regionals, we can really see how many hurdles you cleared to get there.
– Sam Swift. I’m a post-doc in the business school at Duke, a data-scientist, and 2 years into CrossFit at CrossFit Carrboro. I’ve got more posts in the works, follow me @swiftsam. Scraping and visualization code here on github.