When was the last time you tested yourself? I’m talking about really pushing your limits and attempting something you weren’t even sure was possible? The truth is that growth occurs right in this sweet spot where we get out of our comfort zone knowing there is a possibility of failure.
And there is no better time to test your mental fortitude and physical capacity than with the CrossFit Open which is coming up in March! Whether you are a seasoned Crossfitter or new to the game let’s start by breaking down the CrossFit Open with the when, what, where and how.
The CrossFit Open is an worldwide online CrossFit competition that is really the first step of qualification for the CrossFit games. It was originally created through an online platform to truly find and crown the fittest on earth. This setup allows anyone around the globe to complete workouts in their home garage or gym and with video review they can move to the next stage.
Historically it has been 5 weeks of competition with one workout released every Thursday night. You have until Monday afternoon to complete the workout and can make as many attempts as you want before uploading your score on the leaderboard. You must have a judge validate your score and if you think you may qualify for further competition you need a video of every workout.
This year brings a slight change and the Open will be 3 weeks long, as CrossFit HQ is adding a second layer of competition. Now I know what you may be thinking, why would I sign up if I’m not a competitive athlete?
Well let me put it this way. What’s the difference between running 3.1 miles around the block at your house versus signing up for a 5K where you race in person? Or better yet what’s the difference between going head to head against your workout buddy during a CrossFit class and coming to open gym doing the same workout solo? I’ll tell you the answer: Intensity and buy-in!
Competition brings out the best of us and pushes us to limits we didn’t know we were capable of. That’s likely why you chose CrossFit in the first place. You saw greater results by going to a class, doing a workout that was scored, and chasing your peers in training.
Signing up for a competition will take this to another level. By knowing that you will post the score to a leaderboard you are going to push harder to maximize your score. While this isn’t necessary in day to day training this is a great opportunity to test yourself and get out of your comfort zone. This will likely push you more mentally than physically which has a huge carryover to the rest of your life.
The more “buy in” you have the more effort and results you will get. Dropping $20 and knowing your score will go on the leaderboard will instantly create the greater buy in. While sure you could just “do the workouts” and not sign up, but you will be way more likely to not finish or hold back when the workout gets tough.
In addition to the buy in, you are going to have a judge to help you hit standards with range of motion and proper movements. It can be easy to get caught up in class WODs moving fast to where we may not hit full depth, lock out a movement, or complete proper standards. This is a great opportunity to check yourself and be held accountable. Your judge is not meant to make you feel bad or insult your movement. Instead this is a great way to check and see if you are moving properly. After all hitting full range of motion and standards will in turn give better results in training!
While testing yourself and pushing the limits has its benefits there is also a great opportunity to evaluate where you are at as an athlete. You can modify the leaderboard in so many ways such as your ranking across the world, region, age or even occupation. When you perform the Open every year this allows you to track your Fitness to see what’s going well and what areas you could improve upon.
Because this is the first stage of qualifying, the Open is historically filled with a great test of overall fitness which will allow you to evaluate what holes in your game you can spend more time working on to be a more well rounded human. For example you may crush the workouts with a heavy barbell and conditioning, only to fall off on some of the gymnastics work. The global leaderboard gives you an opportunity to step out of the four walls of your gym to see where your fitness stacks up.
And remember this isn’t meant to compare yourself to others, only to be able to track progress and make improvements in the future!
The other great part of the open is there will be modifications. So whether you are the new kid on the black or have done the Open for the past 5 years there will be a workout for you. And the beautiful thing about the open workouts is they will challenge you in new ways.
While we want to keep training with a desired focus to make improvements, when it comes to testing and competition this is a great opportunity to try new things. Year after year we see athletes hit new personal records or get their first muscle up due to the push from the Open.
The Open at Omnia
Not convinced yet? Well by far the best part about the open is the COMMUNITY. There truly is something about shared suffering and working hard for something. And what better way to do that than with your fellow Omnigos.
At Omnia we will be programming the Open Workouts as the class WOD on Friday’s, so it will make getting them super accessible. In addition we will be doing “Friday Night Lights” where individuals can throw down in a friendly environment with all your friends cheering you on.
If you have done CrossFit for any amount of time you know that the methodology behind the programming is powerful, but the magic is really in the programming. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to push and challenge yourself alongside your closest friends!
Head over to CrossFit.com to get signed up today! Open stars March 11th.