By: Kaitie Neratka
It’s that time of year again..The CrossFit Open 2022 is just around the corner!
Three weeks, three workouts. A community tradition that isn’t just for the CrossFit pros.
While the open is the starting line in finding the fittest female and the fittest male in the world, like the CrossFit WODs you do every day, the open is designed to be all inclusive. Meaning anyone at any CrossFit level can participate!
Yes, that means you who just started Crossfit yesterday, You who modify your workouts to meet your level of ability, You who “doesn’t compete”, You who says I’m “too old for that kind of thing” …..Can do the open!
But before I convince you why you can and should do the open let me give you a rundown of what the Crossfit open is. The Open workouts are identified by their year and the order in which they appear. For example, this year’s workouts will be named 22.1, 22.2, 22.3. The workouts will be released every Thursday during the three weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website, Youtube and several other media platforms.
While the open is the starting line to finding the fittest man and woman on earth, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. It can add meaning and purpose to your training while also bringing your gym’s community closer together. The Open is the time of year where we see many people achieve important firsts: bodyweight snatch, muscle-ups, toes-to-bars, handstand push-ups, double-unders, etc.
Most importantly, the Open will also give you some interesting data on your performance in the gym, a baseline, which can be a guide for setting realistic goals for the following year.
Now the open is not the kind of competition where you need a particular level of skill or experience, it’s not going to be at some other location or big event. It is an individual test, in house meaning at Iron Legion, of the work you have put in over the past year and something you can measure progress year after year.
Every single person who does CrossFit has their own reason as to why they started but the reason as to why they kept coming is always one of two maybe both reasons.. The community and/or the push they needed to get out of their comfort zone. Everyday we learn to push our bodies a little more past their limits and every day we come back for a little more. CrossFit never tells you “you’re to old” or “you’re too weak” or “you’re too young” to do this sport. CrossFit is the most adaptable, forever evolving sport, welcoming everyone at any age, level, mindset etc. The CrossFit Open is no different!
Now, that you have an understanding of what the CrossFit open is and what it is about let me tell you about what to expect when you do the open this year at Iron legion.
1.The open workout will be a gym workout anyways. If you come to the gym on Friday during the weeks of the open, you will be doing the open WOD. So why not participate?? Now, take it a step further and hop in on the fun and be a part of a team!
A TEAM ??
Yes, a team! This year at Iron legion we are doing teams of three (pending number of those signing up) split as evenly as possible by yours truly, with one RX member, one fitness member, and one scaled member. You will be scored individually and placed on a leaderboard for top 3 winners each week and then with combined scores giving your team their standing on the overall team leaderboard. Scoring will be based on effort and not skill so everyone each week has an opportunity to place high and earn big points for their team!
Now, before you say well “I don’t want to let anyone down”. Let me ask you this?? If you WERE on a team and one of your teammates had a low score and didn’t earn you a lot of points would you say to them “wow you let us down, why did you even join a team???”
Of course not!! You would probably tell them all the ways they kicked ass and surpassed what they thought they could do and tell them how awesome they are!!!
So what makes you think anyone would say or think that about you?? That’s not how the CrossFit community works and that’s not how our Iron Legion community works!
Which leads me into building and supporting our gyms community. On Friday nights throughout the open we will have a “Friday night lights” atmosphere. While you can totally do the open workout at your regularly scheduled AM class time, for those wanting to really experience the energy of the open (I encourage you too) we will be holding heats on Friday night. There will be sheets posted where you can sign up for the heat time you want to workout. You will have a judge to count reps and hold you accountable to the skills you are performing and log your final scores. I don’t know about you but anytime I don’t have to count my own reps, I AM ALL IN!!
Hands down, this is the time you will see the most PRs and will probably even realize you are fitter than you have let yourself believe.
Let’s face it, yes you show up during the week but you also have day to day jobs, kiddos, other obligations that may leave you not always wanting to give it your all each workout. And that’s ok!
But this also sometimes holds us back from taking it to the next level in our abilities or you just flat out think you can’t do something, so day after day you jump right into scaling, which is also totally ok! BUT that’s why the open is so great, because this is where you can give yourself permission to step it up and go for it!!!
After all, Until you measure, you don’t know. Measuring in the Open will allow you to measure against thousands of other people if you choose (register at crossfit.com) or just yourself. But you will also be able to establish a baseline and then next year when you do the open, you will know where that line is and you will know how you have progressed over the next year of training.
Performance. Don’t worry about not being able to do the skills. CrossFit HQ are no dummies, they want worldwide participation so they will design the workouts to be affiliate friendly. This does not mean the workouts won’t be hard and leave you on your back in a pool of sweat, but they will allow for everyone to do the workouts and to finish…. Well maybe, can’t make any promises you will finish–that’s on you.
And to make sure EVERYONE can do the workouts we will be adding our own additional scaling if necessary to the prescribed Open RX and Open Scaled Standards. So. there.
Yes, it’s fun to check the rankings and to see how you match up to other athletes around the world (if you register online, not required to do our Iron Legion teams) but it’s also fun to stay in house and join a team with fellow members that you grind it out with every day. It’s fun to support and cheer for them! It’s fun to watch your buddy get their first pull up or PR that snatch they have been fighting for, for months! It’s fun to have your friends cheering and pushing you to get one more rep against the clock!! It’s even fun to share that post open beer or two after you crush your workout!
The energy is just different and simply put… the CrossFit Open is just freakin FUN!
Honestly and finally, You should do the open because you deserve it! You make the commitment every day to show up and be a better you! You follow the programming that is literally designed around the open. And after the workouts, after you see how you did, how you felt, it’s at that time you will take a look at yourself and be like wow look how far I’ve come! You will probably set new goals for the next year, decide to train harder or more consistently, you will eat better and drink more water, and i’d say best of all you will connect with your coaches and community in ways you may not even realize existed.
Y’all! Do the open, be a part of a team and let’s get after it! There is literally nothing to lose!
Kaitie Neratka is a CF-L1 and Head Coach at CrossFit Iron Legion. She manages the Iron Legion Nutrition Program and helps athletes reach their nutrition goals with 1-1 coaching. Nutrition and fitness are her passion.