Why Do The CrossFit Open?

With the CrossFit Open less than a month away. Let’s start with the basics.

What is the CrossFit Open? The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and it starts with 18.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order that they appear. The workouts will be released every Thursday during the five weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website. After the workout is released, any athlete who has registered for the Open will have until 5 p.m. (PT) on the following Monday to submit their best scores online.

What is the Purpose of the CrossFit Open? The Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region. While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each region to move on to Regionals, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. For our members, it can add meaning and purpose to their training, while also bringing our CrossFit Lōzen community closer together.

The Open is the time of year where we see many of our members achieve important firsts: bodyweight snatch, muscle ups, toes to bar, handstand push ups, double unders, etc.

Most importantly, the Open will also give you some interesting data on your performance in the gym, which can be a realistic guide for setting benchmarks and goals for the following year.

That sounds great, but why sign up? I’m not going to the Games…. Only a very small percentage of athletes will make it to Regionals, let alone the Games. While I can understand the sentiment of “Why bother?”, I really encourage you to think about participating, because you will be part of a very big international event that represents your affiliate. Every affiliate in the world takes part in the Open, which is amazing, and we don’t want you all to miss out on all the fun!

It also helps us improve as an affiliate. For instance, if we see that the majority of the gym can’t do chest to bar pull ups relative to every other gym in our region, then we will work on bringing up that skill in our gym for the next year. It’s much easier to stay motivated during the Open (and with CrossFit) if you are actually committed to tracking your progress during (and after) the Open. Yeah, but I don’t know, I’ve done this for a few years already. What’s the point? If you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year or more, all it takes is a little competition to really bring out the best in you. It’s easy to lose “intensity” in your workouts if you are never pushed past what you think you can do. It can also be a harsh reality check if you’ve been coasting in class this past year or not really sticking to standards for the sake of speed. All those times you wrote RX’D next to your name on the whiteboard, maybe it wasn’t the case. Perhaps your takeaway will be that you need to count your reps properly, work towards virtuosity in your movements, or at the very least full range of motion on your reps! If you have been interested in doing a local competition, then participating in the Open is absolutely your best opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be judged and compete in a CrossFit event. While you may not make it to Regionals, the excitement of doing the same workout as Games athletes, is a really fun element added to your weekly workouts. (I also dare you to not get addicted to Leaderboarding with fellow gym members.) Finally, consider that the Open is simply a snapshot of your fitness at one point in time. Maybe you are rehabbing an injury, just coming back to the gym after a layoff. The easiest thing is to make an excuse and not participate. The Open can be the catalyst to get you back on track!

What about me? I’ve Only Been Doing CrossFit for Two Weeks! Even if you are a complete beginner you can participate in the Open. Every Open workout will feature a scaled workout option. We also encourage scaling during the workouts if necessary to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun workout, just as we would in any regular class. Think of this Open as an opportunity to set a performance baseline for CrossFit. I promise you that you will be amazed at your progress if you continue with your CrossFit training and retest the following year. Data = Training Progress What’s most useful from participating in the Open is having a complete record of your past performance(s). From your first class to writing down your training results is a huge (if not the biggest) component for seeing consistent progress in the gym. Besides providing a nice reality check about your overall skill and fitness level, you’ll find that reviewing all the past data is beneficial for goal setting. For instance, if I want to become better at CrossFit there are some basic takeaways from my past Open results. Using my own data, I can note my strengths (i.e. Thrusters and Rowing) and my weaknesses (i.e. Chest to Bar Pull ups). I’m still waiting for the Thruster ladder… fingers crossed!

Make today great,