What to Expect From Rogue Programming in Year 5

October 20, 20237 min read

Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

The Rogue Invitational is back for the fifth consecutive year. Competition starts Thursday night October 26 from Round Rock, Texas at Dell Diamond and runs through Sunday, October 29. We don’t have any information yet about the programming, but based on the previous four years, there are several things we can “project”.

8-10 Scored Events

Let’s look year by year at the number of events per day, which serves as a good starting point:

YearNumber of DaysNumber of Scored EventsScored Events per Day
2020 (online)263

Presuming there’s only one event on Thursday https://www.instagram.com/p/CyT03v9AmOM/ , that leaves three days in which it’s safe to expect a minimum of two events per day. It seems unlikely that there wouldn’t at least be one day with three events, and seems just as unlikely that there will be more than three events every day. So 8-10 with a 1-2-3-2 or 1-2-3-3 split feels most likely.

Time Domains

To keep it simple, Rogue generally doesn’t go very long with their events. In their entire four-year history they’ve gone longer than 15:00 twice, and longer than 20:00 once. The break down in the time domains less than 15:00 is fairly well balance though: 

Time Domains2019202020212022

There are at least two tests in the 3:00-7:00 time domain every year, and I generally believe that the best CrossFitters in the world are masters of that time domain. You have to know how to hurt for longer than you want to if you’re going to win those. 

The next most frequently programmed are the 10:00-15:00 range. To me this is the classic range for metcons in affiliate, love to see it show up in a good balance here. 

And lastly, each of the past two years there have been two short tests. Typically one of these is a lift, the other has been an elimination style event the past two years. Both are very fun and very Rogue. 

Go Ruck and Sandbags

Running with a Go Ruck has been featured every year the competition has been able to happen in person. They are a sponsor again this year https://www.instagram.com/p/CyduMUOgEaS/ and it’s safe to assume that we’ll see them in action. While the outfield has been used in the past, in the form of the hill, it would be cool to get the athletes running laps around the diamond in a rounds for time style workout. Think “Madison Triplet” from the Games in 2017, with a Ruck, but instead of leaving and going out of sight during the run, they stay within the confines of the arena the entire time. 

Sandbags are a very common feature at Rogue, particularly in years with live competition. 

YearEvents with Sandbags
2020 (online)0 (d-ball though)

Now, those events have been extremely variable, and the sandbags have ranged from playing a significant role, to having relatively no impact, on the events they’ve been included in. Nevertheless, it seems to be a given that a sandbag, and likely multiple will show up.

Personally, I’d love to see the cyclone bags from 2019 or the turtle bags from 2022 make a return. 

Heavy Clean and Jerk

While Rogue has developed a reputation for being a “heavy” test. In particular, the heavy Olympic lifting test has been decidedly one dimensional with regards to the Snatch vs the Clean and Jerk:

YearGoing Heavy
2019Squat Clean Ladder
2020 (online)Max Clean and Jerk
2021Bella Complex (Clean+S2OH+Front Squat+S2OH)
2022Log Clean and Jerk

Snatch For Reps

While the Clean and Jerk has dominated the programming on the “heavy” front, snatches do show up every year at Rogue, only for reps:

YearSnatch for Reps
201960 db snatches at 100/70 lbs
2020 (online)Between 130 and 260 snatches at 95/65 lbs
2021Between 3 and 12 Squat Snatches in the Duel at 205/145
202260 db snatches at 100/70 lbs

Muscle Ups and Handstand Push-Ups

When it comes to gymnastics, there are two things in particular that have reigned supreme at Rogue, muscle ups (especially rings) and handstand pushups (always strict). 

YearMuscle UpsHSPUs
201925 RMUs27 strict deficit
2020 (online)none40 strict hspu
202130 RMUs60 strict hspu
202240 log BMUs49 RMUs27 strict deficit

Many people are wondering, and waiting, for a handstand walk of some kind to show up at Rogue. To me, more interestingly is that there have never been chest to bar pull-ups at Rogue. 

But What If…

What if this year they changed it up? What if we saw: 

  • A heavy snatch
  • Light weight clean and jerks
  • Sleds instead of sandbags
  • Chest to bar pull-ups and handstand walking
  • No ring muscle ups or strict handstand push-ups

I wouldn’t bet on those things, but if they were going to flip the script on what we’ve come to expect, that’s what we would see. 

As it is, I’d expect to see mostly 10-15 minute workouts. Heavy test, elimination style test, long test with Ruck, and a few grunt test style workouts in that 5-10 minute range that will hurt if you want to win them. 

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.


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