Should You Compete in The CrossFit Open If You've Just Started CrossFit?

CrossFit Open 2013

Since I’m new to CrossFit when the trainers started talking about the CrossFit Open, I just tuned it out. I assumed that it’s only for the big time CrossFit athletes. And just thinking about it felt intimidating.

If you are also new to CrossFit, you probably can relate to some of what I was thinking:

  • I’m just a beginner, I’m not ready to start competing. I’m not fit enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not fast enough to compete.
  • What’s the point in competing if I haven’t got a chance, I’ll just get my ass kicked? Or worse…
  • What if I come in last? *Gulp*

I’ll be honest, before CrossFit, I’ve often viewed competition as something I need to feel I can have a chance of placing in if I want to participate in it, otherwise what’s the point? I’m just going to get my ass kicked. I would then tell myself, I’ll work hard and compete next time. Rinse. Repeat.

But since starting the WODs, I now compete everyday against myself and the clock. I also sometimes compete against others. In one of my first regular WODs I had a friendly rivalry with a guy who I did Basecamp with. He heckled me before the workout, so I set my mind to beat him. And I did. I felt like a rockstar.

Competition can bring out your best.

Every time I hit one of my personal bests, it lifts me up for an entire day. And others share my excitement – from the high fives of celebration from other members, the prideful congratulations from the coaches or the amazement of friends and family. Personal bests are a communal celebration.

Whether you come first or last everyone is there to support you

I love this footage from last year’s CrossFit Games as it highlights that supporting each other is the CrossFit way even at the top level. It’s during heat one of the Women’s Double Banger event. All the competitors, except one had finished and they all gather around and cheer her to the end. (skip to 7:30 to see it).

The CrossFit Open is no different.

It’s an opportunity to participate in a Worldwide event that will be sweated and celebrated on a local level. While there will be leaderboards at CrossFit Sanitas and online, it’s about striving for your own bests and pushing yourself that little bit harder. For that reason alone, I’m going to compete.

Still on the fence? Here’s how it works:

  1. A workout is released each week for 5 weeks. Like every WOD, the coaches will provide full modifications based on your fitness level.
  2. Each Friday you’ll complete that weeks’ Open workout in your WOD. So all you have to do is show up on Friday and you’ll be competing!
  3. If you miss Friday, the workout will also run again at 10am on Saturday.
  4. You can either register officially at, or you can just put your name on the Open Whiteboard at Sanitas. You have until 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, March 10 to sign up officially and submit your score for the first workout. Each week from then, you need to submit your score by 5pm PT on Sunday.
  5. Get fired up! Get and give support from members while they compete and strive for their best.
  6. Share and celebrate your achievements with other members after the workout and over the 5 weeks.

So get those high-fives ready, it all starts this Friday.

See you there!

Jaime, Member Services.