What is the CrossFit Open?
The CrossFit Open is the first stage of three stages of competition building to the 2018 CrossFit Games.
It’s the large end of the funnel for sure: Last year nearly 400,000 from around the world participated in the Open.
That’s roughly eight times how many people ran in the New York City Marathon this past November. It’s followed by a Regionals competition (May 18 to June 3) and the Games (August 1-5 in Madison, Wisconsin).
What does it consist of?
The Open starts on February 22 and goes through March 26. It consists of one competition workout per week for five weeks for a total of five scored workouts.
For example, one previous CrossFit Open workout from 2012 was simply this: How many burpees can you do in 7 minutes? The number of burpees you recorded in 7 minutes was your score for the week.
Workouts are announced via live broadcast on Thursday evenings. You then have to get after it and get the workout done and your score uploaded to the Open site by Sunday evening.
It costs $20. Here are instructions on how to enter.
Here’s the complete rulebook.
Do I have to belong to a CrossFit affiliate?
You don’t. As long as you can submit a video of you performing the workout (a judge with check your performance and score) you can be in the Open, no matter where you are on the planet. That said, performing the workouts at a registered affiliate can offer more support and judging can happen on the spot.
How hard are the workouts?
The RX Open workouts are not for the average beginner. Consider last year’s third workout: Only 1.4% of 324,000 were able to complete it. For instance, if you were a male ages 18-34, you’d need to be able to squat-snatch 265 pounds after doing a lot of heavy squat snaches (not to mention chest-to-bar-pull-ups) to get there.
But scaled versions are offered and beginners are encouraged to join in.
What are the chances of qualifying for the CrossFit Games?
Consider that in 2016, 324,000 entered the Open. Big funnel! This number got pared down to 260 athletes — including teams. This fraction of a fraction then got to fight it out to see who got to compete at the Games.
This year it’s expected that 500,000 will enter the Open. This offers some perspective on how hard it is to repeat winning the Games championship two times, the way Katrín Davíðsdóttir did.
In 2017, 380,000 entered the CrossFit Open. Of that, 640 made it to the Games (including those on teams, in the teen division, Masters, etc).
A much better way to look at the CrossFit Open is using it to gage your fitness level and get in some cool workouts.
What’s a good strategy to use when competing in an Open workout?
First of all, listen to your coach to make sure you know how to perform the movements to standard. If you are doing squats, for example, a judge is going to “no-rep” any squat that is too shallow and not deep enough.
Here’s another tip: Don’t blow yourself up in the first round of a workout.This one comes from one of the legends of the CrossFit universe, former S.W.A.T officer Greg Amundson. Amundson was one of the first adopters of CrossFit back when it was just one small gym in Santa Cruz, Calif. He took it up after he realized that the standard bodybuilding regimen of exercise he was taught at his police academy had left him wheezing in a fight with a parolee. “My heart pounded wildly as I was gasping for air.” CrossFit training changed that dramatically and Amundson became one of the top CrossFitters and coaches.
What’s a sports psych tip I should rely on to get my best performance in a workout? “Make a plan and stick to it,” Amundson says. Be realistic with how your fitness squares with the intensity and duration a workout and plan on bits of rest so you don’t crush yourself in the first round. The key is to be disciplined, Amundson says. “Don’t let the excitement of competing throw you off your plan.”
How to prepare
Want to get a jump-start on next year’s CrossFit Open? Here’s a list of resources that will get you on the fast-track mentally and physically.
How to get started training with little or no equipment: Spartan Bodyweight Training Plan
How to eat: Spartan Meal Plan.
How to live: Spartan Way of Life.