The Open is the first step in a three-part process to find the fittest CrossFit athlete in the world. In an effort to do so, the director of the CrossFit Games, Dave Castro, announces a total of five workouts over five weeks. He announces one workout per week starting on the last Thursday of February. The evening of February 22, the first workout will be announced and you have until Monday evening to complete it.
I’m not going to the Games…Should I do the CrossFit Open?
Whether you should do the open or not comes down to how you define yourself as a CrossFitter: Are you doing CrossFit to compete in a sport? Are you doing CrossFit as a training methodology for overall health and fitness? Or are you somewhere in between? Lets define each so we know how to categorize ourselves.
I want to compete in the sport of CrossFit
If this is your answer, then you should absolutely do the Open! You are at a physical level that allows for you to be able to handle the announced workouts RX while maintaining good movement standards and avoiding injury. It is THE worldwide platform for you to put your training to the test, and see how you stack up against the competition.
I do CrossFit for my Health and General Fitness
If this is your answer, then you should likely not sign up. You will still participate in the workouts every Friday during the Open, without having to worry about going outside the realm of what you are capable of that day, and you’ll save $20 and can just see how your score compared by just looking it up. The RX standard for the Open is challenging. The competition demands that you are capable of linking several muscle-ups, comfortable snatching, cleaning, and deadlifting heavy weights, and have a training ability that allows for tolerating high levels of workout volume.
For example, in 2016 and 2017 there was a workout at started with 55 deadlifts at #225/#155. To be able to safely execute this workout, that percentage should be a maximum of 60% of your 1 rep deadlift. This means men and women would have to have a listed 1 rep of #370 and #255, respectively. The general population of people doing CrossFit for health would not have these listed singles, or even if they do, 55 deadlifts at this range would lead to a higher risk of injury.
I feel like I’m somewhere in between
If you fall somewhere in between these two and you are still unsure of whether to sign up or not, ask yourself a couple questions:
- Will I have the discipline to scale the workout as needed based on what is good for my long-term fitness? If the answer is yes, then sign up, and get after it. (Tom is a good example of this from last year… he’s not a competitor, but has been able to RX the Open for five years. Read here about why he skipped an entire workout in last year’s Open)
- Am I capable of doing the open, RX or scaled, but I am worried I wont do as well as I want to? Definitely do it. Do not fear failure.
Whether you sign-up or not, still come to the gym on Friday night for drinks, food, and to support your buddies as they competitively exercise.
Lets get after it!