CrossFit Open Guide

In Just a few hours Dave Castro begins the worlds largest fitness event, for 5 weeks, every Friday our members will take part in the CrossFit Open

This is the 1st step in a 3 step process to find the fittest human on the planet.

This may be up for debate between fitness communities, but the test is simple. Over 5 days give a test pool of athletes fitness, strength and skills tests of the unknowable and untrainable across multiple time domains.

The person that on average performs the best is crowned "Fittest on Earth". This test is hard to ague.  

As the only official CrossFit affiliate in the Worthing, Adur, Horsham area we embrace the CrossFit Open and cant wait to see what the next 5 weeks have to offer.

We take the first step in this 3 step process to heart, bring our community together and test ourselves against ourselves, from one year to the next. Its not about you vs anyone else. 

What to expect in class:

1 - This is your chance to be the best that you can be in terms of the score that you are capable of producing.

2 - The workout will only be programmed on Fridays, so unless you can’t make that slot and need to do it some other time then some of our members have taken the judges course and will support you in your attempt. 

3 - Each Friday class we will be going over a full warmup, mobility pieces that you might need and some ideas about pacing and expectations. Because we don't know what the open will offer, the class may run short or it may overrun.

Here are some great tips, Mike at Second City published these 4 steps below. He is a good friend and a worthy advisory in the CrossFit area. So all credit goes to him. 

1 - Deal with the low hanging fruit

Limit your stress levels for the next five weeks to set yourself up for success.

Stay consistent with your nutrition. 

Now is not the time to completely overhaul your nutrition habits, and five minutes before your heat is definitely not the time to start experimenting with a new pre workout drink!

  If you usually eat your lunch at 1300 on a Friday, then eat your lunch at 1300 on a Friday - stressing over moving it backwards or forwards is not going to do you much good.

Get your sleep sorted.  Sleep in a cool, pitch black room without electronics and turn screens off at least 30 minutes before putting your head on the pillow.  

Understand that your Thursday evening meal is probably the fuel that will carry you through your Friday evening workout.  Plan accordingly and stick with what you’re already eating if you know that you feel good and perform best on that.


2 - It is going to be uncomfortable on some level

Once your strength and skill levels reach a certain point, CrossFit as a sport becomes an endurance sport.  Up until that point it might be a strength sport or a test of neurological skill.

If you are working on your strength levels then the Open workouts might call for multiple reps at a high percentage of your max.  That will become uncomfortable physically and mentally.

If you are working on your skills then the Open workouts might cause you frustration.  That might become uncomfortable psychologically.

If you can link skills together and have enough strength then you’ll be doing more reps.  That will become uncomfortable physically.

If you are in the middle ground somewhere then you may get frustrated by your body’s refusal to do something that you know you can do.  That will become uncomfortable mentally.

The more that you accept that there is going to be discomfort and the more you expect it, the better able you will be to deal with it.  If you hope and pray that it doesn't get uncomfortable, the more you are going to be shocked when it does get uncomfortable and the more you will feel that discomfort instead of being able to push through.


3 - Will you rise to the challenge put in front of you, or will you fall to the level of your preparation?

That’s a loaded question because everyone will fall to the level of their preparation.

Just like John Wooden said:

"Sports don't build character, they reveal it."

If you haven’t been touching your chest on the bar when doing chest to bar pull ups in training, then when the pressure is on and there’s a judge next to you, do you think it’ll magically start happening?

If you know your wall ball doesn't quite cross the line on every rep, or that you consistently avoid going below parallel, do you think that being held to those standards is going to impact the rest of your workout well?


4 - Have realistic expectations of yourself

On Thursday night / Friday morning, you’ll get to see the workout demoed by some of the top performers in the sport.  They’ll probably make it look quite easy and they’ll probably look like they're in control of their pacing strategy.

If you think that you’ll be able to use their strategies and pacing then you’ll very likely be in for a rude awakening about 1-2 rounds into the workout.

When you see Sam Briggs breaking sets of 20 thrusters into 10 and 10, its probably for a good reason, and in terms of maximising your score, it probably means that those larger sets are really only for the elite.  If Rich Froning breaks a set of 15 bar muscle ups into 3 sets of 5 then maybe you can learn from that.

Your expectations of your performance should be framed by relating the Open workout to workouts that you have done previously in terms of movements used, number of reps done and the total working time.

Above all, remember that we're all in this to have fun together.  So bring your team shirt and get ready to make loads of noise in support of whoever is performing the workout - those people will be cheering just as hard for you when it's your turn.