What is it? How does it work? Why do we do it? Why should you do it?All those burning questions and more. Answered below.
Ok, so what the heck is it?
The CrossFit Open is the annual official kick-off of the process for ultimately qualifying for The CrossFit Games – CrossFit’s annual competition to
get the most shirtless people in a stadium at once crown their fittest male and female athlete. Each year, roughly around the end of February, The Open starts and works like this. EEEERRRRRYONNNE in the whole wide world, can sign up for and compete in The Open for a smooth $20. Why is that kinda cool? Because instead of just comparing your score on the *un*official board – you get to put up a score on a workout, once a week, for five weeks on a board against roughly 324,307 people from 174 countries (official tallies from last year). IT’S THE COOLEST!
Each Thursday night at 8 pm, for five weeks (starting February 23rd), CrossFit puts on a show to release the workout. That workout must then be completed by anyone who wants to post a score before the following Monday BEFORE 5 pm PT (aka 8 pm in Philadelphia)!!!!!!
Why do we do it and how does it work in the basement of dreams?
Each Thursday night during the open, we’ll cancel the 7:30 pm class and stream the announcement (BYOPopcorn or adult beverages – though kindly remember – if you start to stage your own little private Open by drunkenly climbing on things – we will gently toss your candy ass out). We’ll also stream it online and in a CFCC tradition, have a rotating panel to discuss the workout and athletes beforehand! After it’s announced, we will have a themed face-off of CFCC athletes doing both the RX and scaled options (and coaches in the final week!) who will take on the just announced WOD (probably around 8:30 pm). Then we’ll all go home, dream about thrusters and toes to bar, and then come back on Friday to WOD all day during classes.
OK, this sounds slightly ridiculous. I get anxiety every night already when JPap starts texting me about how I’m going to do in the regular WOD – how do I know I can even do it?
One thing that CrossFit has done well in the past few years is making The Open more inclusive.
Here are multiple categories:
RX – as prescribed
Scaled – approachable for ALLL
Masters (35+) RX and scaled – IANNNNNNN
Teens RX and scaled – MAPLEEEEEEEE
Seniors – JPAPPPPPPPPPP
Regardless of your ability level, there’s an Open workout for you, and we’ll coach you through it. And we say this because sometimes workouts require us to scramble a bit to cover the logistics. For example, walking lunges or bar muscle ups (#2016wasrough). We are at the mercy of the CrossFit gods, so we’ll make sure to prepare everyone, be safe, have fun, and get classes done on time.
The way The Open works is that you’ll have a judge! Judges are used to upholding the standards of CrossFit movements and make sure that you do all of your reps. Everyone at some point will either be judged or judge others. They make sure your toes actually touch the bar on toes to bar, you lock out your deadlift, you get below parallel, etc….. but MOST importantly they cheer like hell for you. Because we all KNOW what we’re going through during these workouts, so the judges are your sherpas on this vision quest.
I don’t know, I already bought 6 pairs of Reebok nanos, why should I give CrossFit $20 more?
Probably the best part of CrossFit is the community aspect of what each gym/box tries to cultivate. Doing The Open is a small way of sharing that with the rest of the world and for a few days a year, it’s pretty cool to think that you are doing the same workout as people in Cincinnati, Cape Town, Berlin, and Beijing. Some are doing it in their garages, most in affiliates like ours, and some while getting chased out of a globo-gym by really confused people – and some, really badly..
It’s also a way to challenge yourself across a wide range of movements. You’ve been training in class everything necessary to compete in this type of arena. It’s finally game day! As they say, the hay is in the barn.
Strength and conditioning are both tested using the Olympic lifts, power lifts, kettlebells, gymnastics, plyometrics, and there’s even rowing. Nobody knows what the workouts will be (though that doesn’t stop CrossFit nerds from losing their collective minds whenever the Ryan Seacrest of CrossFit, Dave Castro, posts absolutely anything on social media – NOTE – WE HAVE DUMBBELLS, LOTS OF THEM).
So, give it a shot, come pack the gym on Thursday nights and cheer on our brave souls, then come in on Friday and give it hell. You’ll be glad you did.