Sign up For the CrossFit Open!!

2/13/15 Upcoming Programming Cycle: The CrossFit Open

The next phase of our Programming Cycle starts in about two weeks as we taper towards the CrossFit Open. This will be the primary testing phase of our programming cycle.  While we do hit regular benchmarks throughout the year (i.e. 1 RM Back Squat, 1 RM Snatch, “Fran”, “Cindy”), this is the time to see how our members perform with classic CrossFit workouts.

The 2015 CrossFit Open will commence with the 15.1 workout on Thursday, February 26th. Here is the full schedule:

15.1: February 26 -March 2

15.2: March 5-9

15.3: March 12-16

15.4: March 19-23

15.5: March 26-30


What is the Open?

The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and it starts with 15.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order that they appear. The workouts will be released every Thursday during the five weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website. (More about Announcement parties in an upcoming post.)

The announcement will take place at a different affiliate each week, and two athletes (or more) will perform the workout live. After the workout is released, any athlete who has registered for the Open will have until 5 p.m. (PT) on the following Monday to submit their best scores online.


The Purpose of the Open

The Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region.

While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each region to move on to the Regionals, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. For our members, it can add meaning and purpose to their training, while also bringing the CFNYC community closer together. (As a coach, I still have celebratory posts from members who achieved their first Double Under or Chest to Bar Pull up during an Open workout on my Facebook Wall.) Finally, the Open will also give you some interesting data and feedback on your performance in the gym, which can be a guide for realistic benchmarks and goal setting for the future.


That sounds great, but why sign up? I’m not going to the Games….

If it makes you feel any better – neither am I!  But I’ll still sign up for this year’s Open, as I have since it started in 2011. Only a very small percentage of athletes will make it to Regionals, let alone the Games. I understand the sentiment of “Why bother?”, but I encourage you to think about participating because you will be part of a really big event that represents your affiliate. Each year, we’ve had awesome participation in the Open (504 STRONG! (a.k.a. CFNYC breaks records for the Open way back in 2012)) and we hope to have even more of our members participate this year. Every affiliate in the world takes part in the Open, which is amazing, and we don’t want you all to miss out on the fun!

As I’ve mentioned in previous programming articles, the coaching staff uses your performance data to determine how and why the programming should change for the coming year.  For instance, if we see that the majority of the gym can’t do chest to bar pull ups relative to every other gym in our region, then we will work on bringing up that skill in our gym population.  Or as we did last year, we noticed that our members struggled with the strength workouts compared to the more conditioning based workouts, so we added a heavy emphasis on squatting and other strength work this past year.

What about me? I’ve Only Been Doing CrossFit for Two Weeks!

Even if you are a complete beginner (yes, those of you that finished Elements last month), you can and should participate in the Open.  Every workout will feature a scaled option, which means that this will be the most inclusive CrossFit Open yet.  We also encourage scaling during the workouts if necessary to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun workout, just as we would in any regular class. Think of this Open as an opportunity to set a performance baseline for CrossFit. I promise you that you will be amazed at your progress if you continue with your CrossFit training and retest the following year.

What about me? I’ve been doing CrossFit for a few years…

Another reason to participate in the Open, especially if you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year or more, is that a little competition can really bring out the best in you.  It’s easy to lose “intensity” in your workouts if you are never pushed past what you think you can do.  It can also be a harsh reality check if you’ve been coasting a bit the past year.  All those times you wrote RX’D next to your name on the whiteboard, maybe it wasn’t the case.  Perhaps your takeaway will be that you need to count your reps properly, work towards virtuosity or at the very least full range of motion on your reps.

If you have been interested in doing a local competition, then participating in the Open is absolutely your best opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be judged and compete in a CrossFit event.  While you may not make it to Regionals, the excitement of doing the same workout as Games athletes, as well as those CFNYC members who are trying to make it to Regionals, is a really fun element added to your weekly workouts. (I also dare you to not get addicted to Leaderboarding.)

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Coach Shannan finishes 13.1 – the burpee and snatch ladder – as the rest of the gym stops to cheer for her – an awesome moment during the 2013 Open.

 Data = Training Progress

Finally, what’s most useful from participating in the Open is having a complete record of your past performances, and this applies to everyone at our gym. From your first Elements class to blog reminders about posting your WOD scores and times on the blog or BTWB, writing down your training results is a huge component for seeing progress in the gym.

In 2014, I did the Power Snatch and Double Under workout, despite not doing double unders for months, and I thought I was going to do terribly on the WOD.  I was feeling very much out of shape. Looking at my Open profile, I can tell you I scored 307 reps.  When this workout first appeared in 2011, I did it twice and scored 188 and 249 reps.  This information confirmed things about my overall improvement, that I didn’t necessarily believe at the time.

Besides providing a nice reality check about your overall skill and fitness level, you’ll find that reviewing all the past data is beneficial for goal setting.  For instance, if I want to become better at CrossFit there are some basic takeaways from my past Open results. I can note my strengths (i.e. 2014 Deadlifts and Box Jump Workout) and my weaknesses (i.e. Pull ups – any year, any workout).  I’m still waiting for the 10 minute Kettlebell Snatch AMRAP – fingers crossed for 2015.

I can also tell you with certainty, that my scores were relatively embarrassing in 2011 (3 years after I had started CrossFit) and less so in 2014.  Progress!


OK, I’m convinced! How do I register?

On the CrossFit Games Web Site, you will see a big hyperlinked banner in blue that looks like this:

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Once you click that hyperlink, you’ll be directed to a login page where you will be prompted to enter your existing CrossFit ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account. You’ll also be prompted to select your division, which is going to be either “Male” or “Female”, your location, and agree to the competition rules and waiver.  You’ll also be asked to pay a $20 registration fee.  This fee goes towards running the competition, and your Open scores will be stored under your profile for years to come. Note: we will not be able to validate or review any score that is not registered under our affiliate, even if you do the workout in class, so please make sure to sign up.

To complete your registration, make sure you join our Affiliate “CrossFit NYC” and then also select our Team “CrossFit NYC”, shown here:


You must join the affiliate CrossFit NYC before you can join our team.  You must select our team prior to the conclusion of 15.1. No changes will be made to team rosters after that date. No exceptions. (CrossFit Games rule, not mine). 

There will be a Masters division for athletes who are 40 or older. These athletes will be automatically entered into one of five age divisions—40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60+. In order for Masters athletes to advance to the next qualifying stage of the Games—the Masters Qualifier—they need to finish among the top 200 people worldwide in their age division. The online Masters Qualifier will be held April 23-27, and the top 20 from this competition will be invited to the CrossFit Games.  Last year, we had two athletes qualify for the Masters Qualifier.  If you think that you will be in the running for this part of the competition, please email me

Lastly, don’t worry about signing up for RX’D or Scaled Workouts.  Every one competing in the Open has the option of performing a scaled version of the workout in any given week.  Just keep in mind that doing one scaled workout will take you out of the running for a chance to compete at Regionals.  And if you are a complete beginner, this is great news! It ensures that the experience will be even more inclusive then it has been in the past. 

In upcoming posts, we’ll detail the Upcoming Events that will happen during the CrossFit Open, as well as the basics of how the class schedule will change, how to submit your scores in class and online, and anything else you might need to know about training during the Open . Until then, please support CrossFit NYC and join our Affiliate Team!