What is the Open?

The CrossFit Open is a Worldwide CrossFit Competition sponsored by CrossFit Headquarters. Once a week for five consecutive weeks, CrossFit Headquarters will release a workout. All registered athletes will then have roughly four days to perform said workout under the supervision of a certified judge, and to submit their score to CrossFit Headquarters through their on-line portal. Following the submission deadlines, the results will be posted on-line on the CrossFit Headquarters leaderboard, giving participating athletes the opportunity to see how they fared against other athletes in the gym, in our greater CrossFit community, within our Region (Northeast), the US, and across the world. At the end of the five weeks, the final scores will be aggregated, and the top 20 male athletes, top 20 female athletes, and top 15 teams in each region will be invited to compete in the CrossFit Regionals competition in Canada later this Spring.

How Does This Affect Me/Our Community?

CrossFit TT will be participating in the open as follows: Each Friday, we will program the Open workout released the evening prior. That’s right – everyone will be doing the Open workout each Friday. In the event that the workout isn’t appropriate for our entire community, or that the workout isn’t consistent with the goals of a particular programming track, we’ll offer a scaled variant of the workout for each program track. This will allow everyone to participate while still working towards their underlying goals and objectives.

Athletes who plan to register for the open, and who’s goals involve participating in the Open as a competitor will have two opportunities to perform each week’s workout. In addition to Friday’s workout, CrossFit TT will also be offering athletes the opportunity to Test the workout under the supervision of a certified judge each Sunday morning. This will allow competitors to practice and refine their strategy on Friday, and to incorporate any necessary changes on Sunday.

It’s important to note that at CrossFit TT, we don’t solely celebrate the accomplishments of our competitors during the Open. This year, CrossFit TT will be tracking the performance of each athlete who participates in an Open WOD with us. Each Friday, we’ll be tracking all of the personal breakthroughs seen in each class throughout the course of the day. Each breakthrough will be recorded and recognized on a plaque, which will be hung proudly on the wall for everyone to see at the end of the Open. Want your name on the plaque? Do something you’ve never done before during one of the workouts. Get your first double under in a WOD. Do your first handstand push-up. Complete a workout you never thought you’d be able to do. Get your first toes-to-bar, Pull-up, or Rx. Attend all five workouts, and do the best you can do. You set the challenge – we’ll help you achieve it, and will recognize it together when you do.

In this regard, the Open isn’t just about Competition. More than anything, it’s an event that brings our community closer together. Because each workout presents each of us with the opportunity to do something or to challenge ourselves in a new way, and because we track these success, each week presents an opportunity for all of us to celebrate each of our individual accomplishments and breakthroughs.  Because we change the format slightly by including the opportunity for Sunday testing, and because the leaderboard tracks our performance as an affiliate, and because we’ll honor those who challenge themselves, we get to celebrate our collective accomplishments as a community. And because all of these things tend to and to bring us closer together, our community will get a little tighter along the way.

I’m not sure I’d like to Compete in the Open, but I’d like to participate. How can I help?

There are a MILLION ways you can participate in the the open this year. For starters, you can do just that – participate. TO do so, you don’t need to sign up for anything other than any Friday class between 2/27 and 3/27…and to come to each of those classes with an open mind. If that has you nervous, or isn’t consistent with your goals, that’s ok too, and there are plenty of other ways you can be a part of the celebration. You can help by becoming a judge. In order to submit an official score, all competitors will need to be observed by a judge who’s completed the CrossFit Open Judges course. Anoyne can complete the course. It doesn’t take too long (about an hour), and it only costs $20. If you’d like to become a judge, or have already taken the course, and would be interested in helping out, let us know – we’ll add your name to the list of judges so that competitors can coordinate with you to schedule their workouts (here’s a link to the judges course. Don’t get discouraged – the ‘tests’ are notorious for being incredibly vague and ambiguous. Don’t get frustrated if you have to take each module a few times to get it right).

If the thought of judging intimidates you, you can also just participate as a spectator. The atmosphere in the gym on our Sunday morning test sessions is pretty spectacular It’s nothing short of inspiring to watch your friends, peers, and colleagues achieve things they never thought possible. We’d love for you to experience the action for yourself by coming to watch.

If that’s not your speed, you can still become involved by attending the release party each week. Every Thursday night at 7:00, we’ll have an impromptu pot-luck party prior to watching Headquarters release the workout on the CrossFit jumbotron at precisely 8:00 PM. It’s a lot of fun, and is a great way for everyone to participate in the festivities – we’d highly encourage all of you to attend…and to encourage Kris and Bryan to have Citizen Cider sponsor each our our release parties. Whattaya say, boys?

I’ve Heard that the Open is Different This Year. What’s Different, Why, and How?

How The Event Is Different: Historically, the purpose of the Open has been twofold. It’s served as the first step in the qualification process for the CrossFit Games, a CrossFit Competition that’s billed as the “Ultimate Test of Fitness.” Additionally, the Open has served a vehicle to galvanize a global sense of community amongst CrossFit athletes. To drive global participation, the workouts, although challenging, have featured movements and standards that traditionally have allowed a majority of affiliate members to participate without having to scale or modify the prescribed movement standards.

In the early years of the sport, it was conceivable that both objectives could be fulfilled with a single event or contest. However the sport’s rapid evolution over the past few years has made such aims mutually exclusive – workouts that serve as an effective litmus test for Games-level competitors are by definition inaccessible to most anyone, even those who regularly train at a CrossFit affiliate. If the Open is going to serve as an effective tool to qualify the best athletes from each region for Regionals and the Games, then the movement standards, weights, and time domains in the Open workouts will have to more closely reflect those athletes can expect to see at Regionals and the Games. Accordingly, Open workouts in-turn become less accessible than they’ve been previously.

To address these mutually exclusive aims, CrossFit Headquarters have made the following changes to the Open format:

  • Each workout will feature a scaled option. Much like we offer different programming tracks, each Open workout will have an Rx option, and a scalled option that’s designed to accommodate less experienced athletes, or those who struggle with specific movements. Each week, athletes can choose which variant they want to do according to their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • To encourage folks on who might be ‘on-the-bubble’ of being able to complete a workout without scaling, Unscaled workouts will carry more weight on the leaderboard than scaled workouts.
  • Athletes who scale a workout will not be eligible to compete at Regionals.

How what we’re doing at CrossFit TT is Different: We’re making some changes of our own regarding how we participate in the Open as an affiliate this year. For starters, we’re going to provide not just lone scaled workout option, but one scaled workout option for every program track. This will enable all of us to participate in a fashion that’s consistent with our long-term goals and objectives. Second, we’ll be celebrating, tracking, and honoring everyone’s personal breakthroughs in addition to those seen on the leaderboard (see the above section on our community). Finally…we’re going to have fun with this – more fun than we’ve ever had before. Unlike last year, we won’t be encouraging everyone to register for the Open so much as we will be encouraging everyone to participate in at least some of the festivities. That’s what the Open is all about: that’s what we’re all about. We look forward to sharing it with you.

How can I Register for the Open?

Registration for the CrossFit Open is done through the CrossFit Games Site. The Cost is $20.00; this fee is administered by CrossFit HQ, not each affiliate. If you’d like to take the judges course, that link is also available here.

Should I Register for the Open?

That’s a tough one – so tough that we’ve dedicated a separate blog post to answering just that question. If you skip it (please don’t), just know this: Not registering for the Open doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in the Open.