April 5, 2014

What's the point of the Crossfit Open?

The Crossfit Open is an annual competition open to everyone with the goal to find the "Fittest on Earth." Participants include kids in middle school all the way up to athletes in their 70's. In the 2014 Open, over 200,000 participants signed up from every corner of the world. This is my third year taking part in the Crossfit Open. Sunday at my gym is Open workout insanity when we all come in and go head-to-head. It makes for exciting rivalries, screaming spectators, and new friendships.

The Open is a test of where you are. If you aren't going to make top 48 in your region, your score is just a reflection of your current level. It's not going to affect your career, it's not going to change your family life, you may not even remember your score after a few months.

The Open is a chance to bond with the other members of your box. It is a time to learn new skills like muscle ups, double unders, or chest to bar pull ups. The Open is a time when you get to test how you've grown as an athlete for the past year. You can determine your strengths and weaknesses by examining your placement on the leaderboard across the five workouts.

In the Open, you have no chance to scale, modify the movements, or change loading, switch movement order, or decrease the number of prescribed reps. You have no choice, but to see the gaping holes in your game. Everyone knows generally whether they like heavy barbells or gymnastics movements. They claim to prefer short or long WODs. Some Crossfitters love lung burners and others mysteriously won't show up if they see a workout posted online that has a problem movement for them.

I love the Open because it stops Crossfitters from cheating themselves. It exposes weaknesses, it forces participants to honestly assess themselves. Plus, we get to compare our scores with 200,000 Crossfitters around the world. During the Open, I am reminded that Crossfit has global scale. No matter where I may be living, I can find Crossfit. This culture of Crossfit that has had such positive impact on my life is everywhere.

I compete to express myself through Crossfit and to share this love for the sport with others. The Open is a celebration, come join the party!

How the Open has Grown


  1. I missed joining the Open this year since I just started with CF, but I'm looking forward to joining it next year. I'm nervous (already!) at how I will fare in the competition!

  2. The great thing about the Open is that you get to find out where you need to improve. There's no scaling, and no hiding behind modifications. No one cares what place you get but you. It's a time to enjoy the community around you and to make new friends.