What is the CrossFit Open and why you should enter?

CrossFit Chiltern
What is the CrossFit Open and why you should enter?

Thursday 11th March 2021 sees the start of the annual CrossFit Games season with the announcement of the 1st workout of the Open.

What is the Open?

The Open was launched back in 2011 initially as a first stage qualifier for the CrossFit Games. This is the competition to find the fittest male and female on earth. If you have not seen any of the CrossFit games documentaries then lockdown is a great chance to catch up. They are an amazing source of inspiration.

Since 2011 The Open has become much more than a qualifier. It is a chance for the worldwide CrossFit community to come together in one big competition. This year it will last for 3 weeks with workouts being each Thursday starting the 11th of March. Everyone involved will complete the workouts and log their scores on the worldwide leaderboard.

This year we have even more reasons to join than ever:

It does not matter what age you are.

There are qualifying categories from 14-15yrs all the way up to the 60+ category.

Everyone is fit enough to take part.

 Each year there has been two categories; Rx & Scaled these were programmed with workouts that were designed to push you to achieve more than you would do if you were working alone. In each year we have seen people achieve PRs on their lifts, their first muscle up, pull up, handstand press up, toes to bar etc. The workouts are designed to allow you to get to a certain point before you have to achieve more difficult weights and/or movements so it pushes everyone who participates.  This year to make it even more inclusive CrossFit has added 2 additional categories, Foundations, and equipment free. The Foundations is to allow people newer to CrossFit to compete no matter what their skill level. The at equipment free has the same idea but gives us an opportunity to still compete even if we are locked down with no access to gym gear.

The great part of the Open is that you can see the workout before you choose which level of workout to compete in. The higher the level you choose the higher up the leaderboard you can go, but you can mix and match each week. For example, if week 1 was burpees and wallballs and you felt you could do this Rx then you can compete Rx this week, if week 2 had Muscle Ups in the Rx, Pull Ups in the Scaled and a jumping pull up in Foundations you could choose Foundations if you are not close to a pull up. Then for week 3 there may be a weight you cannot do Rx but could do the Scaled version. Therefore, you could do scaled for week 3. You would get a ranking on the worldwide leaderboard based on this, completing a workout Rx will automatically put you above scaled and scaled puts you above Foundations. Mixing all three still allows you to rank on the leaderboard.

Motivation and Inspiration

The biggest reasons to compete are motivation and inspiration. Signing up early to the Open means you are committing to completing these 3 weeks of competition. In the same way that having a big exam or deadline creates a motivation to work the prospect of a competition will give you that same drive. Just plodding on with training day to day does not give anywhere near the same feeling. I had the same feelings when I competed at golf. If there was an event on the horizon it was much easier to have the drive to practice. You can use this time pressure to create more intensity in your training and also nutrition.

Represent your Box.

This is what I love about the Open. The chance to see CrossFit Chiltern’s name on the leaderboard. Not only is a large percentage of our membership competing a good way of gauging the strength of our community. It also has an influence on our position on the leaderboard. There are multiple leaderboards that affiliates rank on. It is not just the fittest athletes that can make a difference. We can also climb the leaderboard for cumulative score. This means the more athletes we get to participate the higher the leaderboard we can rank. Last year it was remarkably close between us and other local CrossFit affiliates. Let us push on this year and beat the bigger more established boxes than ourselves!

Remove your ‘not sporty’ tag.

I absolutely hate the label ‘not sporty’. Having coached kids for over 20 years I have heard this phrase on multiple occasions. It is simply not true. Just because someone has yet to discover an activity they enjoy does not make them ‘not sporty’. When we are kids we are often limited to a few sports that require similar attributes, if we do not have these attributes then we assume that it is some fault of our genetics. Maybe we just have not found something we enjoy. CrossFit gives every single person an opportunity to strive to be better. We all start at our own baseline when we begin CrossFit and we all can get better. One of the goals of the Open is to measure how far we have come as individuals each year.

Locked Down or in Box we are doing it!

We do not know yet whether we will be competing from home or the box. But either way we are going to put on the best showing we can. I know how much harder it is to push yourself either to train or to train hard when at home. I am certain that the motivation of competition will help.

Intramural Competition

Every year we host Limitless Open in conjunction with the CrossFit Open. This is an in-house team competition to give even more incentive for everyone at CrossFit Chiltern. A chance to earn points by working out, completing individual and team challenges and by being a strong member of our community. This year may be a slightly different experience, but I will do my best to foster that same camaraderie and spirit we have had in all our previous years. This year more than ever we need to show support to each other.

I urge each and every one of you to commit to entering the Open. A small financial commitment to give you a great incentive to push yourself forwards. Lockdown has been an excuse to get off the exercise train. Use the Open as your motivation to get back on!

Visit https://games.crossfit.com/ to enter. Check out my next episode for a quick guide on how to best prepare for competitions and events.


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