It’s that time of year again! No, it’s not Christmas…it’s time for the CrossFit Opens! The annual five-week long competition that draws together athletes from around the world to compete and support each other and set a benchmark for the year to come. But what is the CrossFit Open exactly? Who is it for? And why should you sign up? Hopefully we’ll be able to answer all those questions today.
What Is The CrossFit Open?
Quite simply, the CrossFit Open, is simply a five week long online competition that marks the start of the CrossFit Games season. Athletes register online and each Thursday at 8pm EST, a new workout is announced. Athletes then have until Monday at 8pm EST to complete and submit scores for the workout announced on Thursday. Workouts can be completed at home or in CrossFit affiliates.
Who Are The CrossFit Opens For?
Everyone! The Opens are what make CrossFit such an incredible sport to be a part of. In what other sport is the everyday athlete allowed to compete with the elite of the elite. Think of it like playing in the playoffs for the Superbowl alongside Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots. While the latter is unlikely to ever happen, in CrossFit, just that happens. While the Opens are the first step in qualifying for the CrossFit Games, they are open to anyone, anywhere and bring together athletes from around the world to compete and come together as a community. It’s a wonderful, amazing, thrilling, and humbling experience to complete the same workouts as athletes who will be on the floor at the Stub Hub Center in Carson this summer. If you do CrossFit, the CrossFit Opens are for you.
What Comes After The CrossFit Opens?
The CrossFit Opens are the marker for the start of the 2016 CrossFit Games season. After the opens, the top 20 men and women in each region will go on to compete against other athletes in the “Super-Regionals,” held during April and May. From the Super-Regionals, the top 5 male and female athletes earn their ticket to Carson to compete in the 2016 CrossFit Games.
What’s The Deal With Masters And Teenage Athletes?
There is no age limit on the Opens. However, you must be at least 14 by the Monday (submission day) of the first week of the opens in order to participate. While there are certainly no age limits on the opens, there are different divisions that people can compete in. The age divisions are as follows (they are also divided by gender):
While the top 20 individual men and women get an invitation to regionals in April, the masters divisions work a little differently. Following the open, the top 200 masters athletes in each division will be invited to participate in a second, four day online qualifier known as the “Masters Qualifier.” After the Masters Qualifier, the top 20 men and women in each age division will be invited to the CrossFit Games in July. As for the teenagers, the top ten boys and girls in each age division will be invited to the CrossFit Games after the open.
I Can’t Do Muscle Ups Or Double Unders…Can I Still Do The Opens?
Of course! The great thing about the open, is that it’s accessible to all and provides us with an opportunity to push ourselves to be the best we can be. While the Rx workouts released each Thursday can be particularly intimidating, the open has also created a second scaled division to accommodate athletes who wish to compete, but aren’t quite able to Rx the workouts yet. Each week, when the workout is released, a scaled version is released as well. From here, athletes can decide whether they can perform the workout as Rx, or wish to scale it. Scaled athletes will be ranked on a separate leaderboard and cannot earn a spot in the regionals, but will still be able to compete with thousands of athletes from around the world and push themselves to a new level of fitness.
How Do I Know Whether To Sign Up For Rx Or Scaled?
You don’t have to decide now, and in fact, you don’t even need to decide in the first week to commit to Rx or scaled for the entirety of the open. Instead, as each week comes and each workout is released, you can make the decision to perform it as Rx or scaled. Stay tuned for more articles as the workouts are released, to help you make the decision of Rx or scaled.
What’s The Deal With Teams?
While CrossFit is mainly an individual sport, there is another aspect of CrossFit that allows athletes to compete as a team. When you register for the opens, you will register to be on your box’s team, most likely managed by your affiliate owner or head coach. Each week, as athletes from the gym submit their scores, the top three scores will contribute to the gym’s total score and overall ranking in the world/region. The top three contributing athletes can vary week to week, and every score helps the affiliate to receive a better overall ranking. At the end of the opens, the top 10, 15, or 20 teams (depending on your region) will advance to the regionals, where the top three male and female athletes will compete to earn their ticket to the affiliate cup at the CrossFit Games in July. Competing as a part of your gyms team is an incredible experience and a great way to be a part of your box’s community.
How Do I Sign Up?
Right here. Click the link above, and it will walk you through the steps to sign up for the open. It’s quite simple, and 100% worth it.
Why Should I Do The Open?
One word, “community.” You should do the open to be a part of something bigger than yourself and to be a part of the worldwide fitness community known as CrossFit. The tough workouts, the fun, the excitement, it’s all a part of these incredible five weeks we call the open, and something that is truly an honor to be a part of.
Kaylyn Wiese has been CrossFitting of more than five years and has been competing against athletes from across the country since age 16. She currently coaches and trains in Boston at CrossFit Coolidge Corner and is a sophomore at Boston College studying business and data analytics. Find her on Instagram @kaylynwiese and Twitter @kaylyn_wiese.