Many boxes around the world are in full preparation for the 2018 CrossFit Open, which begins in February. But those athletes who are fairly new to CrossFit are often found in the corner scratching their heads and asking “What is the Open?”
The CrossFit Open is a worldwide event and the first stage in a 3 part journey to eventually find the Fittest on Earth™. A 5 week, 5 workout competition, the Open is held in CrossFit affiliates and home gym garages around the world where each week a new workout is released online. All athletes entered will compete in exactly the same workouts and have a limit of 5 days to submit a score after each one. Those scores are then accumulated into the biggest spreadsheet you will ever see and gives you a global ranking in many different categories relating to your gender, age, country and even state. From these results, top athletes are chosen to represent their region and competition eventually culminates in the CrossFit Games – showcasing the top 40 men, women and teams from around the world. For most of us though, the Open is where the fun of participating is at. And while the Open is considered a test rather than training – scaling options, as always, make the CrossFit Open a test which can be accomplished by most CrossFit athletes.
By now, the newbies in the corner have stopped scratching their heads in confusion and are shaking in terror! Worldwide competition? Fittest on Earth? Same workouts for everyone? No. Way! Count me out. And to be honest there are still many experienced CrossFit athletes who react that way.
The pressure of trying to beat others, not only in your own box but around the world can sometimes be an athlete’s focus regarding the Open. At CrossFit 4504, we are well aware of this and have seen the detrimental effects of athletes who place too much pressure on themselves. Yes it’s a test. The events are designed to be challenging. But at CrossFit 4504, we’re not placing emphasis on HOW you do, but WHY you do. Like the thrill of completing the Open workouts at the same time as over 300 thousand other athletes around the world! Or the excitement of knowing that the athletes who will eventually be crowned Fittest on Earth had to complete the very same workouts you did. And ultimately, the satisfaction in realising how much physical and mental strength you’ve gained just by participating and watching the growth of other athletes in your box.
This last point is something we’ve expanded on within CrossFit 4504 and our aim is certainly to have as many of our members as possible participating in this year’s Open. To work towards achieving this, we’ve taken a slightly different approach and will be placing our athletes into randomly drawn teams to encourage inclusive fun instead of individual pressure. Our focus is not to compete against others around the world. Our focus is not to compete as individuals against other members of our own box either. Rather, we want our members to focus on themselves and what they can achieve. All of them can become involved in our open challenges as well as the workouts. All of them can gain points for their team just by dressing up or cheering on a teammate. All of them can have a go – whether it be RX, scaled or a modified version of the workout.
Does it matter if they can’t do a pullup? No. Does it matter if they can’t do a jumping pullup? No! Does it matter if they give it a go but miss anyway? YES!! This is exactly what we encourage our members to do every single day. To try. It’s human nature to try and to fail. That is how we learn. The coaches at CrossFit 4504 don’t care if you try and fail as long as you can maintain technique and movement standards. If they think for any second that what you are trying is unsafe or unsuitable, they won’t let you do it. The CrossFit Open is the perfect platform to try for that elusive pullup or muscle up. Try a box jump. If it works, do another. If it doesn’t, scale accordingly.
The satisfaction and strength you gain just by having a go is the real focus of the CrossFit Open. Sure, the fact that Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser have to finish the same workouts as us Everyday CrossFit Hacks is way cool. But really, it’s about testing yourself. Giving it a go….honestly, you will surprise yourself. The members of CrossFit 4504 will push themselves to higher limits during the Open. Our coaches will support them through every workout while making sure they maintain the high standard of technique and movement we’ve become known for. Our teams will cheer on their teammates with pride and passion and will cheer on other teams with that same enthusiasm.
The atmosphere at CrossFit 4504 during the CrossFit Open is electric. We can’t wait to introduce our newer members to the inclusive team experience we’ve created and watch them battle it out. For themselves. Their own strength and character. With the encouragement of everyone around them.
So good luck to everyone participating in this year’s CrossFit Open. We encourage you all to have a go, get involved and enjoy being a part of this annual worldwide phenomenon.