I signed up for the CrossFit Open!!! Yay!!! Wait… Shit… Now what? I have no clue other than what my coach and fellow athletes have been telling me. They keep telling me it’s awesome and lots of fun, but I don’t really know what it’s about. What is it and what does it entail? The easiest thing to remember is, it’s just another WOD.
The Open is the first stage in the journey to the CrossFit Games. This five-week, five-workout competition is held in the winter in CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms around the world. Workouts are released online each Thursday, and athletes have until the following Monday to do the workout and submit their scores. Anyone who’s at least 14 years old can sign up, and join in the first stage of the CrossFit Games season.
Don’t want to go to the Games? Great! Only the top 1% of CrossFit athletes go to the Games and if you’re reading this, I love you, but you’re probably not going to the Games. So why participate in the Open if you’ve little (very little) chance to go to the Games? It goes back to the standard question for all CrossFit athletes. Why not?
The Open is the ultimate everyday athlete test for the unknown and unknowable, the standard of CrossFit training. Plus it’s a great way to see how far you’ve come in a year since the last Open. So now you’re signed up and know what it is, what’s going to happen?
On Thursday evenings Dave Castro will be his asshole self (we love him) and announce the fun he’s planned for that week. As a community we all will tune in and watch some of the top athletes in the sport go head to head with the just announced workout. Nobody knows what it is ahead of time so the Head-to-Head is an amazing feat to watch. Many boxes around the world will do their own celebration/workout after watching the live broadcast. Then the fun starts.
All athletes have until Monday evening to do the workout and submit their scores. Athletes performing the workout are judged by fellow athletes in their box or videos are recorded and submitted for judges around the world to judge and analyze for the athletes final score. Now athletes have to be adults (I know, this is tough) and know what the workout entails and what is required for said workout. Judges ALSO have to know what’s going on and know the movement standards for all the movements in the workout. (It helps when the athletes doing the workout also judge and vice versa)
No box is alike and doing the Open WOD is different at all boxes. At my box there is a specific day for our athletes to do the WOD. There are specific time frames for each athlete to sign up to do the WOD and find a judge to help them do the WOD. There is no group warm-up so athletes have to be adults and manage themselves. Coaches do not go over movement standards and do not brief the athletes. The athletes take care of themselves and get the work done. (Adulting is tough)
In the end, you do a workout where you get to push your limits with one of your buddies judging your reps. It’s basically no different than a regular day at the box, you just get called out on your movement standards a lot more and there’s no coach to guide you through it. You then get a chance to judge your buddies reps and then laugh, chug a FitAid, and have a good time afterward with your box community while cheering on the rest of the athletes at the box.