The Top 10 Best Things about the CrossFit Open

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10. The Workouts

The team at CrossFit HQ never ceases to impress with their creations of workouts that are challenging, yet accessible to all levels of athlete, whether they are working out in a box, a garage or even outdoors. Open 11.2 remains my favourite workout ever: an AMRAP of light deadlifts, hand release push-ups and box jumps.

 9. Advice around the Open

There is TONS of media posted around the Open. There is a weekly CrossFit Open update show, videos from movement gurus such as Kelly Starrett, Carl Paoli and Diane Fu, top Games athletes and articles from websites such as Tabata Times suggesting the best techniques and strategies to tackle the WODs. The Open is a great opportunity for you to learn tactics from some of the most renowned coaches in CrossFit, sharing the same tips with you as they give to their elite, Games-level athletes.

8. The anticipation of the workout release

Each Open workout will be released at the same time, every Thursday from 27 February to 27 March. They are announced with the same amount of build-up and fanfare as the announcement of the winner of Strictly Come Dancing (yeah, I just compared the CrossFit Open announcement to Strictly Come Dancing. I love that show and you get what I’m trying to say…) It’s fun to get wrapped up in it all! You can even get a Games widget which counts down to the first day of the Open:

 7.  Being able to compete against athletes from all over the world

The CrossFit Games Leaderboard is a beast in itself:
On this page, you can keep track of the results from every WOD of every athlete and every team participating in the Open. You can see how your scores stack up to an athlete on the other side of the world, or a friend of yours that’s competing in your hometown.

6. Finding out all the different ways you can make Fran suck more

2011 and 2012 brought us a 7-minute 3, 6, 9 Fran ladder of thrusters and chest to bar pull ups. 2013 brought us the absolute mindf*$k (sorry for the language, but it was awful) of 13.5: complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of 15 thrusters, 15 chest to bar pull ups. If you got to 3 rounds, your time extended to 8 minutes and you could carry on with the WOD. If you got to 6 rounds in under 8 minutes, time extended to 12 minutes etc, etc. Spicy hot sauce. Who knows what 2014 will bring us, but I’ve already purchased my Benylin for the inevitable fit of Fran Cough.

5. Hitting a PB during an Open WOD

Whether it’s a new 1RM snatch, stringing together chest-to-bar pull-ups or that holy grail of CrossFit, the muscle-up, getting a PB is always a great feeling, but getting a PB in the buzzing atmosphere of an Open WOD is in a world of its own.

4. Testing your movement quality

We always bang on about movement quality… Are you hitting depth in your squats? Is your chin COMPLETELY over the bar in your pull-ups? Are both feet touching the bar at the same time in your toes-to-bar? Is your head through and arms locked out in your push press? For every Open WOD, you will have a judge who will make sure that each and every rep is to the movement standards given by CrossFit HQ, so there will be no question as to whether or not you’re hitting clean reps every time.

3. The CrossFit ‘Adverts’

From Danny Broflex to a random guy named Nicho, they’re hilarious. Looking forward to what they come up with this year.

2. Having a benchmark to look back on next year

Every year, CrossFit HQ repeats an Open WOD from the year before (or does a slight variation of a previous WOD). CrossFit is by definition a measurable, observable and repeatable fitness. So each year you participate in the Open, you’ll be able to look back on your previous year and see how much you’ve improved. For the 2013 Open, I couldn’t do double unders to save my life. 13.3 was a 12 minute AMRAP of 150 wall balls (‘Karen’), 90 double unders and 30 muscle ups. I finished Karen in 7 minutes and spent the rest of the WOD tripping over my  rope. Having finally got double unders down, I can’t wait to see how I perform in this year’s Open WOD with double unders.

And the Number 1 Best thing about the CrossFit Open is….

1. Doing an Open WOD at your box with all of your friends

The best part about CrossFit is, and always will be, the community. So the Number 1 best thing about the Open is doing each WOD surrounded by all your friends and fellow athletes pushing you and cheering you on right up to the last minute and the last rep. Every Friday evening, CFSL will do that week’s Open WOD together (‘Friday Night Lights’), similarly to how we did the Battle of London qualifiers. Come along and join in the fun!

So, what are you guys waiting for? Get signed up!

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