In December 2005, The New York Times ran a story about the budding CrossFit craze. The reporter interviewed some of the original CrossFitters and chronicled their fitness accomplishments, which were considerable. But the part of the article that grabbed the most attention was the opening anecdote: A first-time CrossFitter named Brian Anderson had experienced a true mess-you-up moment--he had ended up in the emergency room after his baptismal WOD. Repeated kettlebell swings had torn up his lower back to the point that he could barely stand. In intensive care, he was told he had rhabdomyolysis, a condition wherein muscle tissue breaks down to the point that it starts poisoning the kidneys. Rhabdomyolysis is rare as a result of athletics; ultramarathoners sometimes get it, but ER doctors are much more accustomed to finding it in cases of crushed limbs or massive third-degree burns. Anderson didn't need dialysis, but he spent six days on an IV drip in intensive care, followed by two months of physical therapy for his back.
The final workout of the 2019 Open featured a descending ladder of thrusters and chest-to-bar pull-ups, totaling 105 reps of each movement, with a 20-minute time cap. Last year, 18.5 presented athletes with an ascending ladder of the same two movements, so it’s no surprise that nearly the same percentage of Open participants decided to tackle the final Open workout as prescribed in 2018 and 2019. Read on to see how the community fared with this year's rep scheme.