It’s that time once again–the CrossFit Open begins this week, with the first workout announcement happening Thursday, February 23rd at 5:00pm. For those of you who are new to the gym, the Open is the event with the largest participation worldwide within the CrossFit community. It is the first stage of reaching The CrossFit Games, the annual tournament to determine the fittest in the world. Workouts are judged or videotaped and submitted online for scores to be ranked. Since a very small percentage of participants will make it to Regionals, and even fewer to the Games, why do so many CrossFitters choose to participate?

The Open is not only a competition to get to the Games, it is a competition with oneself to measure progress. It is a chance to push yourself more than you would in an ordinary class, to define your strengths and weaknesses, to set new goals, to learn new skills, and to be held to the same standards and share the same experiences as some of the best athletes around the world. There are no qualifiers to participate–it is truly an open competition. And it’s a great way to build community with your fellow gym-mates. 

The Open is designed to be accessible to all ability levels. Each workout is programmed with an “RX” or prescribed series of movements as well as a scaled option. You are free to choose which option is best for you each week–if you can do all movements as prescribed for one workout but don’t have the necessary strength or skill to “RX” another WOD, you are always able to perform the scaled option and still be included in the competition. 

We will be hosting the CrossFit Open every Saturday, with the gym opening at 8:30am so that participants can start warming up. The first heat will start at 9:00am, and we will have sign-ups available on the whiteboard once the workout has been announced so that you can add your name to a time slot. We highly encourage you to stay as long as possible so you can watch and cheer other gym members on. The community aspect of the competition is one of the things that makes it so fun!

Because we will be hosting the workouts on Saturday, we will temporarily be moving the community classes to Sundays at 9am and 10am. Please use this time to bring a friend if they are a first time CrossFitter, as the CrossFit Open is NOT the appropriate place for a beginner. Additionally, we will not allow any side training during the CrossFit Open on Saturdays, as we will need the entire gym space for participants, spectators, warm-ups, and judges. 

As you may have already noticed, our focus during this time in the gym will be devoted to the CrossFit Open. During this time, instead of having a pre-and-post workout test, the Open itself will be the test!!! Building off of our “Karen” and “Fran” cycles, we will work on movements and skills that are expected to appear in the Open, such as deadlifts, overhead squats, jerks, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and dumbbell movements. We will modify the movements we’re practicing as the competition progresses, so that we can be ready for what we think is coming in the remaining weeks. 

While we highly encourage you to sign up and join us, if you choose to participate, be smart about it. Don’t hurt yourself for a few more reps in a workout, don’t spend your whole week resting (although we do recommend tapering off toward the end of the week), and don’t redo workouts multiple times to gain a couple reps. Enjoy the ride, don’t stress about it, and keep going in your regular training.

If you are interested in registering for the open, you can register here: Be sure to chose “Grassroots CrossFit” as your affiliate and “Team GRCF” as your team, and if you need help, shoot us an email or talk to us during class so we can assist. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible for 2017!