There has been a buzz in the gym from those who already know what to expect, but this “call to action” has been a tradition of mine to help motivate those who might NOT know what the CrossFit Open is all about.
I won’t bore you with the complete history of the CrossFit Open and how it has evolved over the years…but just know that since 2009, I have seen some things, and know some stuff…(one of those things being high fashion…obviously…)
The CrossFit Open is traditionally the first step of competition that leads to the CrossFit Games. It is 5 weeks of competition in which workouts are announced on a Thursday evening, and gyms/athletes have until Monday evening to do the workout with whatever means necessary, and submit a score online.
The levels of competition have changed over the past few years to include different stages of competition, and varying criteria for individuals and teams to qualify for the higher levels of competition. One does not simply, “Go to the games…”.
Since 2011, the format would consist of:
The CrossFit Open
The CrossFit Games
The CrossFit Open is, and always has been performed at the gym level. We will dive more into this momentarily…
Out of the CrossFit Open, the top male athletes, female athletes, and gym teams would advance to the regional competitions. Typically over the course of a weekend, the regional competition would showcase harder workouts and thin the crowd of competitors to a very elite group who would advance to the CrossFit Games.
The CrossFit Games used to be hosted in California, but was recently re-located to Madison, Wisconsin. The Games is essentially “The Super Bowl” equivalent for the “sport” of CrossFit. The competition lasts 4-5 days, and athletes are put through multiple workouts to test their capacity across broad time and modal domains.
There are, and have always been arguments about the legitimacy of CrossFit as an actual sport, but over the recent years, the gap between “recreational CrossFit” and the “Sport” of CrossFit, has increased substantially. The CrossFit Games typically showcases this trend the best.
This year, there were some pivotal changes made to this competition process.
The CrossFit Open is still here, but the Regional competition level has been removed. CrossFit HQ is essentially outsourcing their qualification process to big name events that previously were unaffiliated with CrossFit HQ. Individuals can qualify for the CrossFit Games based on their performance in the Open, but also by winning pre-determined CrossFit sanctioned events throughout the course of the year. Some athletes were upset about the removal of the regional competitions, but the justification from CrossFit HQ was that there was too much emphasis being put on a mere 5% of gyms who produce talent good enough to advance to the higher levels of competition, and it was time to bring the emphasis back to the roots of CrossFit.
Candidly, from the perspective of my gym, I do not believe that emphasis ever deviated in the first place, and that brings me back to the CrossFit Open.
Every year I tend to wait until last minute to try and get people hyped about the Open. Mainly so people don’t have much time to think about it, but also because I love talking about it and getting people excited for it. What I have found is that creating dialogue about the Open as it looms closer, the momentum we create propels is into something that is organic and intangible at our micro-gym level. As mentioned before, that was the point of all the changes in the process from HQ, but we have been doing this since 2011. From where I am at, as gym owner and as a coach, nothing has changed with my message and my approach.
If the above info is confusing to you…or means nothing to you, thats ok…
If you take anything away from this write up, let it be these following items:
*I do not care if you have been an athlete at my gym for 1 day or 1 year, YOU CAN, AND SHOULD DO THE OPEN!
*The cost to OFFICIALLY participate in the Open is $20. The $20 goes to games.crossfit.com, and this fee is NOT mandatory if you want to participate. The ONLY perk to paying the $20 is it gives you the means to create an online profile, and enables you to post your scores from week to week which will display your ranking on the global leaderboard which can be viewed online from week to week.
*ALL OF THE WORKOUTS CAN BE SCALED AND MODIFIED. This is nothing new…think of how regular workouts are scaled on a daily basis, the open is the same, and I will guide you through every workout!
*My preference is that EVERYONE who signs up be affiliated with the gym team. There is literally NO WAY you or your score will bring the gym down, or affect our results as a gym, so don’t attempt to use that as an excuse to not sign up and/or participate.
*I understand the Open falls during a time where people have travel obligations or other things going on, but from the minute a workout is announced on Thursday evening up until the last possible moment to submit a score on Monday evening, I will absolutely do everything in my power to ensure everyone that signed up for the open has an opportunity to get their workouts in. Even if you sign up for the open and miss a week of submitting a score, your scores in other workouts can still be submitted!
*If officially signing up for the open (Paying $20) doesn’t sound appealing, YOU CAN, AND STILL SHOULD PARTICIPATE! We will be hosting the workouts with in-house events that will take place on Saturday mornings as the workout of the day through the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open. If you can’t make it to the gym on Saturday, but typically come to class on Thursday evening, Friday, Sunday Open Gym, or Monday…I will still find a way to have you do the workout…think about it…you are at the gym anyway, and if that is your normal time…you might as well do the open workout of the week!
The first workout is announced THIS WEEK on Thursday the 21st, and the deadline to officially sign up and submit a score for week 1 is Monday evening at 6pm. I will make another post about how our events will run this year, but in the meantime, if anyone is looking for ways to help, as always, I will need a handful of people to take the Online Judges course so I can have some official judging help for our in house events. Again, this is not mandatory, but is very helpful! The cost of the judge’s course is $10, and is actually a very good resource for those looking to brush up on the movement standards I hold you accountable for year round. If you are still undecided, or have more questions, feel free to message me or catch me in the gym and we will chat. Make sure you follow all social media outlets and the website for updates as this first week and the entire Open rolls on!
I will wrap this up, because a picture is worth 1000 words, and to further drive home my key points, I went ahead and created some of my own visuals on why YOU should sign up for the CrossFit Open.
What better way to get that point across than with the use of some popular memes…
WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN UP AND PARTICIPATE IN THE CROSSFIT OPEN: