Bobby Dee's Open Tips Aren't About The Barbell

jessica and james.png

By Storms Reback

Bobby Dee, the renowned head coach of RAW Strength and Conditioning, has earned a reputation for getting the most out of his clients. Three of the athletes he trains competed in the CrossFit Games last week, so he's definitely among the best coaches on the planet. When he doles out free advice, it pays to listen.

[instagram url="" hide_caption="0"]
"If you want to do well in the Open, you obviously have to be extremely fit," Dee said.

We asked which specific skills he thought are most important to develop in order to compete in the Open. His answer was surprising. 

"Beyond that I would probably choose gymnastics proficiency over absolute barbell strength. If you can be proficient in your gymnastics in a way that allows you to showcase your fitness, then that's probably the most important skill for that stage of the competition. There's no point in being really fit if you struggle with your gymnastics because then you can't show how fit you are because you're going to be limited by your skill. Although everyone wants to post videos of heavy deadlifts and max snatches and clean endurance and things like that, I'd prioritize gymnastics proficiency and general aerobic fitness to get a good score in the Open."

He also believes that those who previously played team sports stand a much better chance of succeeding at the Games than those who've only done individual sports or CrossFit.

"I coach quite a few athletes who may have been very high-level gymnasts or weightlifters and people who are only CrossFitters and they do okay in the Open and some of them might make regionals, but they don't do that fantastic at the Games," Dee said. "The Games really tests your overall athletic ability. The people who do well in the Games generally have a very diverse sporting background in either team sports, where you've got to move in multiple planes of motion."

[instagram url="" hide_caption="0"]
Dee used Rob Forte of Carrum Downs, Australia, as an example of an athlete whose focus on CrossFit hampers him at the Games.

"He has won pretty much every regional in Australia for the last seven or eight years," said Dee. "But he gets to the Games and he doesn't do very well because he's very good at CrossFit but he's not really good at running, swimming, and biking. He's really good with the barbell, he's good with pull ups, and he's really good with gymnastics, but he's not good at pushing that big snail thing that they had last year or dragging a sled or doing a sprint or handstand walking 100 meters. If I was his coach, I would hardly get him to do any CrossFit. I would say, 'Rob, this year, we're working on running, swimming, and odd objects. You're going to be carrying a sandbag. You're going to be doing farmer's carries. You're going to be doing dead balls. You're going to be pulling sleds with ropes. And you're going to be pushing prowlers. But you're only going to touch a barbell once or twice a week."

When Bobby Dee speaks, you listen.

FloElite's best content, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloElite mailing list today.

"Pocket Hercules" Naim Suleymanoglu Has Passed Away

George Long-USA TODAY NETWORK Naim Suleymanoglu (TUR) places first in the men's 60kg weightlifting event during the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games at Olympic Weightlifting Gymnasium.

Legendary weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu, also known as Pocket Hercules, has passed away at the age of 50.

FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/18/17


FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/18/17

IWF Recommends New Individual Olympic Qualification Process

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Lasha Talakhadze (GEO) reacts during the men's 105kg weightlifting competition in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Rio Centro - Pavilion 2.

With the recent controversy in clean competition being a heated topic of discussion in the weightlifting world as of late, it’s no surprise the IWF Sport Programme Commission (SPC) is taking action. 

FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/17/17


FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/17/17

Could 2018 Be The Most Exciting Team Competition In Games History?

Mayhem 2016

Since Dave Castro’s big announcement after the 2017 Invitational, shrinking team size from six to four members, the margin of error has significantly decreased. Teams now have to make difficult decisions on who’s staying and who’s going. 

FloSports Weekly Viewing Guide: Nov. 14-Nov. 20

Justyn Knight.jpeg

In our weekly programming rundown, we highlight the best live coverage and original storytelling coming up across our network of sites. If you have Apple TV or Roku, you can watch all of these live events and documentaries on your TV at home. This week's slate of events is highlighted by the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which will be streamed live on FloTrack on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Invictus's New Free Book Reveals Unexpected Banned Substances

invictus book.jpg

Invictus recently published an ebook called "12 Banned Substances Every Athlete Needs To Know Before Competing," written by Invictus master coach Calvin Sun. The ebook provides athletes with information regarding unexpected banned substances that might be in commonly-used medicines or supplements. 

Get Motivated For 8 Weeks Of Sucky Workouts

Heppner Whiteboard

You're going to need some motivation to get through these gnarly workouts that Jacob Heppner has put together for you. 

Olympic Champion Kianoush Rostami (IRI) May Miss Worlds

Daniel Powers-USA TODAY Sports Kianoush Rostami (IRI) during the men's weightlifting 85kg final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 2.

Olympic champion and Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami has been refused a visa by the United States. 

FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/15/17

Brenda Castro at Granite Games 2017

FloTraining Workout of the Day 11/15/17