The Open Without Dave Castro – Easier, Harder, Same?

Written by:

William Imbo

Last updated:

Since 2011, Dave Castro has been at the helm of the CrossFit Open. Not only has he designed every grueling workout, but he’s also managed to create a spectacle behind the Open that’s kept athletes engaged for the last ten years. 2022 will be the first Open programmed by someone other than Dave Castro.

Just a few weeks ago Castro posted on his Instagram page that “the tests are ready” (referring to the 2022 Open workouts). In a video that accompanies the post, Castro states: 

The workouts for the Open this year are going to be something special. I think they’re going to be tests that everyone enjoys. And the reason we’ll enjoy them as a community is because they’re going to test you and push you further than I think we’ve pushed and tested people in the past. They’re uniquely fun and at the same time very painful. And there might even be a new element or two in one or two of the tests. 

Shockingly, shortly after that post, news broke that Dave Castro had been fired by CrossFit CEO Eric Roza. Many questions surround the move, but just a few weeks away from the start of the 2022 CrossFit season, many are left wondering how that move affects the Open. Will CrossFit use Castro’s workouts? Or, will this be the first Open programmed by someone other than Dave? 

In a message sent out by CrossFit, GM of Sport Justin Bergh writes:

Our Top Pick
Transparent Labs Bulk Pre-Workout Supplement

Based on our testing, this is the best pre-workout for most people. It’s packed with stuff like Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine and Boron, which all promotes muscle building.

  • Moderate dose of caffeine
  • No artificial sweeteners or colors
  • 60-day money-back assurance
  • Lacks creatine
  • Sweetened with stevia
See on Amazon See on Transparent Labs

Finally, we’ve heard that workout programming is at the top of everyone’s mind. That our athletes train for the unknown, and not for specific tests that never change, is unique to our sport. We understand the responsibility to honor both the test of fitness and the athlete experience and that the programming at each stage of competition has to be appropriate to the capacity of those athletes. For now, know that it is and will remain in the hands of an extremely experienced team, led by Adrian Bozman. Closer to the Open, we’re excited to discuss more of the thinking that goes into programming, and we’ll continue that conversation throughout the season.

Why not use Castro’s workouts? 
For one, using Castro’s workouts may limit the ‘new programmer(s)’ on what they can do in the later stages of the season (Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Games). 

Using Castro’s workout will also delay many in the community from accepting the changing of the guard. Dave Castro was a very polarizing figure. He was loved by many and hated by plenty. CrossFit cannot expect to begin a new era in the sport while benefiting from the previous leadership. 

Does this mean the 2022 CrossFit Games will be ‘easier’ than usual? For the time being, we’re leaning in that direction. The days of CrossFit being represented by a puking clown are probably long gone. 

From Bergh’s statement, it seems that the Open will be programmed by a group of individuals rather than just one person. CrossFit CEO Eric Roza has previously stated that Castro’s former position was one of “collaborative leadership”. Our take is that Roza is expecting this new team to program the Games, not just as a way to find the Fittest on Earth, but also in a way to support CrossFit’s growth plans. 

Now are the days of a sport and fitness regimen trying to put forth a more professional image. As such, a more inclusive and less grueling Open seems fit for the course. By no means do we expect the Open to be easy, though. Simply, we expect it to be ‘easier’ than what would have been had the CrossFit community faced what Castro referred to as ‘something special’ and ‘very painful’.  


About William Imbo

William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

Leave a Comment