It’s in our Twitter and Instagram feeds, and written about in Facebook posts. It’s scribbled on white boards in the gym, and seems to be on the lips of so many gym members and coaches. But what is it? What is this thing called “the Open”?
If you’re new to CrossFit, or just still unsure about what all’s involved with taking part in the CrossFit Games Open – affectionately shortened to the Open – we’re here to help you understand just what the Open is, and why we like to make a big deal out of it.
What is “The Open”?
The Open is a five week, worldwide competition that is “open” to everyone in the world, both CrossFitter and non-CrossFitter alike, who wants to participate.
WAIT! Before you shriek and run for the hills, or, less dramatically, simply tune out the rest of this article, understand that this is not the intimidating, you-have-to-win-or-you’re-a-loser kinda of competition that’s reserved only for the overly-zealous Type-A gym goers. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
Over the course of the five weeks, CrossFit.com (“HQ”) will release a new workout to be completed, and each workout varies from week to week in terms of movements, time-limits, and weights. There’s an RX’d, or “prescribed,” version of the workout, and a scaled version. No one knows what the workouts will be in advance, but you can rest assured that all the movements are things you regularly encounter inside our regular programming. So, essentially, the workouts are like every CFDC class you’ve ever been to.
When is the Open?
The Open will commence at the end of February, and during the following five weeks, CrossFit HQ will release a new workout each Thursday night, and participants have until the following Monday to complete the workout and submit their scores. The first workout will be released Thursday, February 25, and participants will have until the following Monday (February 29) to submit their scores online.
For CFDC, each Open workout will take up most of a weekend. We make a big deal of the Open, running special heats of each workout on both days of every weekend for all five weeks of the competition. Every CFDC member who signs up for the Open will be able to sign-up for a specific heat in advance of the weekend, selecting when (Saturday or Sunday) and where (H St or 14th St) they want to perform the workout, and which scaling option their opting to do that week (yes, you can switch back and forth between RX’d and Scaled versions from week to week). You’ll get special prep and mobility to do the day before your workout, and a special warm-up designed to specifically get you ready for that week’s Open workout. You’ll also get your own coach/judge to help count and guide you through the workout, and you’ll get lots of cheering from other members. It is, without a doubt, a very unique atmosphere that will help you get the most of your workout.
Where will CrossFit DC do the Open?
Both gyms for all five weekends. We’ll run heats of the Open workout at H Street on Saturdays, and at 14th Street on Sundays. Heat times will be based on the length and complexity of the workout, and so will necessarily vary from week to week. However, the first heat on Saturday will get started at 12:30pm, while the first heat on Sunday will start at 11:30am. For those of you who would rather pass, don’t worry, we understand: we’ll still hold regular classes on both days, although our schedule will necessarily change slightly during the course of the five weeks (more on that to come).
Why do we, CrossFit DC, do the Open?
In the not-so-distant past, when CrossFit had only been around a short while, those in charge of the online programming decided to invite everyone out to the original CrossFit Gym, the “ranch”, for a weekend of competition appropriately entitled the CrossFit Games. Over the years, as CrossFit became more popular, those wanting to participate increased dramatically, and the folks in charge decided they needed a system to limit the number of participants. The Open is now part of that process, serving as the first step towards participating at CrossFit’s premiere competition, the CrossFit Games (now held inside multiple stadiums in Carson City, California). Those individuals and teams who prove themselves worthy during the Open will be invited to regional events (unimaginatively called “Regionals”), from which only a very few will be selected to compete at the CrossFit Games. That’s the historical side of things.
Of far more importance is the fact that the Open now serves as an annual benchmark of your strength and conditioning adventure in CrossFit. We’ll specifically address why we think everyone in the gym should compete in the Open in Part 2 of our 2016 Open blog series. For now, however, we want to go back and reiterate something we pointed out above: all five Open workouts include a Scaled version. This means that those pesky Double Unders, perturbing Chest to Bar Pull-Ups, and petrifying heavy weights will be toned down to something extra accessible. Just don’t go getting your hopes up that they’ll scale the burpees down to something tame and non-taxing.
We’ll provide more details in the weeks to come about just how the Open workouts will go down within our own gym walls, but rest assured, you will not be alone in this endeavor. OH, and they’ll be a big party at the end to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. Good incentive, huh?
How to Sign-Up
(1) make the jump to the CF Games registration page;
(2) create an account (or sign-in using the same login info as year’s past);
(3) pay the $20 fee; and, finally,
(4) select which CFDC home you want to be associated with this open season:
“CrossFit DC” (14th St); or
“CrossFit DC Northeast” (H St).
Oh, and don’t forget to join that gym’s team! Everyone is eligible to be on the team, and we want everyone on the team.
Next Week: we’ll address just why we think every member of CrossFit DC should consider doing the Open, but in the meantime, if you haven’t checked out these Facebook and Instagram posts from other CFDC members, make some time to do so:
Wait…I know that 2016 is a leap year, but February 30? 😀