Open Letter

Dear Members:

Last year, we made a big push to get everyone signed up for the CrossFit Games Open, as part of a competition for largest affiliate team.

We narrowly lost to a hospital in Illinois, where the corporate gym is a CrossFit affiliate, and the CEO therefore required the hospital employees to sign up as part of the team. Final tally: 520 them, 504 us.

This year, our plan was to not give a crap.

Instead, we wanted to use the time and energy we’d have spent pushing registrations on simply running the box as well as we could. We’ve scheduled enough Open WOD classes to give everyone who wants to compete a chance to do so at the highest level of judging standards, and otherwise have kept as many regular WODs as possible running in parallel. And though most of our coaches have mentioned the Open, we haven’t promoted it in a serious way.

Despite that, we’re somehow again currently in first place for this year’s ‘largest Open team’ competition, and have been since the start of registration. With less than a week to go – the competition ends this Sunday, at 5pm – we’ve realized it’s probably worth our all trying at least a little bit. Because if we lose now, we’re all going to look like dicks.

If you haven’t done so already, please go sign up for the Open. It only costs $20.

If we win, we will:

1. Buy everyone drinks at a ‘BIGGEST IN THE F***ING WORLD’ party to celebrate.

2. Give free tickets to Regionals and the CrossFit Games to any member who wants them.

3. All be winners. Winning!

Sign up. Thanks,

Josh, Hari & Court


  • Andrew

    Love it

  • dee c

    when is the deadline for registration?

  • Where is Coach Will?

    Coach Will deserves some credit for this. Threatened us with Burpees – rewarded us with Paleo treats. All the morning classes have been registered since week 1!!

  • broke

    why do ppl actually need to pay 20 bucks to sign up for sth that really doesnt create any cost? glassman is making more than $2,000,000 from ppl posting reps on a website.

    • Hari Singh

      For members of CFNYC, the advantages of signing up, assuming we win (and noting that we are in the best position to win):

      Free ticket to the Regionals for any CFNYC member who wants to attend
      Free ticket to the Games for any CFNYC member who wants to attend

      Overall, the Games have actually lost money. There are tremendous costs in maintaining the website, providing free content, etc. CFHQ has a long history of minimizing the “rent” it charges affiliates. That in turn has helped keep the cost of membership low, and enabled affiliates to thrive.

      You absolutely do not need to sign up. It is entirely optional.

    • Jason W

      There is a non-trivial cost to developing and running the website for the games. I believe they’re running on AWS these days, so assuming five developers, AWS costs, CDN costs, bandwidth costs for uploading/downloading video as well as production costs for content, it’s probably not the money maker everyone thinks it is.

  • Best post ever.

  • Nerissa

    Okay, I signed up for the Open. I have put Crossfit NYC as my Affiliate. Now on the Team section, do I need to Join Crossfit NYC Team also? Or is that optional?

    • reisbaron

      That is for the competition team members. We only need to assign CFNYC as our affiliate and we’re good.

      • Hari Singh

        Actually, I think you do need to request to join the CrossFit NYC team, which is the “Open Team” as opposed to our in-house team.

      • Andrew

        FYI. I didn’t select a team, just the affiliate. When I looked back later I had been added to the team and had to remove myself

        • Hari Singh

          Everyone in our affiliate is put on our Open team, which is not the same as our competition team.

  • for newbies?

    for newish members, is it worth signing up? there are some skills i just don’t have – for example, i just can’t get double unders yet. if the open wod has double unders, i won’t be able to continue. better to hold off until next year?

    • Hari Singh

      The open has traditionally consisted of a sequence done for total reps in a given time.

      12.1 was 7 minutes of burpees
      12.2 was 10 minutes of power snatches that started with 30 reps for men at 75 lbs and with the empty bar for women, the weight went up quickly, and many people did not get the 31 rep at 135 for men and 75 for women.
      12.3 was an 18-minute AMRAP of 15 box jumps, 12 shoulder-to-overhead at 115/75 and 9 toes-to-bar
      12.4 was a 10-minute AMRAP that started with 150 wall balls, followed by 90 double unders, and 10 muscle-ups
      12.5 was a 7-minute progression of thrusters at 100/65 and chest-to-bar pull-ups

      Virtually everyone was able to get at least one rep in every event, and many people got pretty far before either reaching an exercise that they could not perform (for example, more than 99% of the people did not make it to the muscle-ups, so whether they could actually do a muscle-up or not was a moot point.

      The question of whether you do the Open or not is strictly personal. There are women on the CrossFit NYC competition team who got only of 3 reps on the final WOD, because they could not do a single CTB pull-up. For them, it was an inspiration to attack their weaknesses.

      If you skip the Open, you will not stunt your progress. If you participate, you will have the chance to be professionally judged. Here are my thoughts on my first Open:,582/

  • T-Money

    I’ve been encouraged to sign up for the Open by both coaches and blog posts (yours and others that you have linked to), but it’s never really been explained to me who should NOT be signing up for the Open. One coach said I really should, but I’ve been doing Crossfit for about 5 months and am still in the Beginners class. I basically can’t do anything as prescribed, usually reducing weight or rounds (like 4 rounds of Barbara this week). I’m still doing banded pull-ups, I can’t kip well, I can’t string together double-unders, I can’t do a muscle-up. So I should definitely NOT do it, right? Why are some people then telling me I should?! Clarification would be very helpful! Thanks

    • turtlegirl

      1- Why not?
      2- Open wods are like chalk or lifting shoes or having a cute girl/guy look at you while you wod: they make you push harder, lift heavier, go faster.
      3- When someone googles you, your name will show up as a crossfit open athlete. In my case, that was the first time in my life my name+athlete were in the same sentence.
      4- A year from now, when you’re less of a newbie, you’ll be able to see where you stand.
      5- You might learn a thing or two on top of getting a good workout (I did my first snatches -or something like that- on 12.2 a year ago)
      6- There are probably many more reasons…but again…..why not?

    • reisbaron

      “I’m still doing banded pull-ups, I can’t kip well, I can’t string together double-unders, I can’t do a muscle-up”

      All of the above is true for me, and I’m in my third year of Crossfit, signed up for my third Open, and I couldn’t be more excited. The Open gives you a reference point for your progress, and a taste of competition that pushes your performance. It’s a great feeling to complete these WODs, no matter what level you are. Take this first workout for example. You can do burpees. You can do snatches with a PVC if needed. Next year when you’re in an actual competition, or repeating an Open WOD, you can look back and see the result of pushing your envelope in 2013, and how much more you can do in 2014. The Open is for *everyone*.

    • Andrew

      To build on the other responses. It’s a good way to see where you stand. I was less than 2 months into Crossfit during the games last year. The first workout I could only get 70 burpees in the 7 minutes. I still look back to that to measure where I am, for example when we did the 3 minutes of burpees recently I was able to get over 50.

      On another note, go to some of the non-beginner classes sometime. You’re not that far behind the regulars and it will give you the incentive to push harder.