Exercise Science and Sport Management

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This retrospective study collected video recordings of a random selection of eighty men and women (n = 160) completing all five tests of the 2020 CrossFit® Open. All competitors were ranked within the top 10,000 overall but were sub-divided based on whether they ranked within the top 10% of their respective divisions. To examine the effect of sex and rank on pacing strategy, video analysis quantified the overall repetition completion rate on each test, as well as per minute (or round) repetition completion rates for each test’s individual exercises, quantity of failed repetitions, break times, and transition times. All per minute (or round) data were aggregated into first- and last-half or total test average, slopes, and coefficient of variation. Sex and rank analyses of variance were performed on averages, slopes, and coefficients of variation for each variable calculated over the first and last halves of each test, except test 5 (total only). The top 10% of men were 17.5% faster (p < 0.001) than everyone else in tests 1, 3, and 5. The top 10% of women and remaining men were ~9.5% faster than remaining women in tests 1 and 3. In test 5, the remaining men were faster than top 10% of women (~11.2%, p < 0.001), and both were faster than the remaining women. In tests 2 and 4, the top 10% of athletes were 9.7% faster (p < 0.001) than remaining athletes, and at the same time, men were 7.7% faster (p < 0.001) than women. Analysis of each test’s components revealed the top 10% of competitors to be faster and more consistent in most areas, while men were generally faster than women in gymnastics components and more consistent with their pace for resistance training exercises. These data provide insight into the differential factors linked to success in the men’s and women’s CFO divisions.

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This article received funding through Kennesaw State University's Faculty Open Access Publishing Fund, supported by the KSU Library System and KSU Office of Research.