The Open, by Kayla


In this guest post, Coach Kayla gives a little insight and perspective on the Open. Enjoy.

Congratulations to those of you who registered for the 2014 CrossFit Games Open and attempted/completed workout 14.1 and 14.2! For some, the Open is a brand spankin new thing! For others, this could be the second, third, or even fourth year being involved! Ask anyone who is a veteran to competing in the CrossFit Open, and they will tell you there is pattern to what movements and what time frames will be chosen. Granted, predicting what the workout could be is always a doozy, but it can be fun!

Movements MOST people can do. There’s a reason that 170,000 people sign up. And there is also a reason that there are qualifiers. It’s not likely that deficit handstand pushups or pistols or anything extremely heavy will pop up in an Open workout. Yes, occasionally we see muscle ups, but if we look at the pattern over the last few years, they put them towards the end of the workout so there is a chance you may not even get to attempt one. (Remember the goal here is in fact to get there to attempt one).

Movements that are easy to judge. Body weight movements such as burpees, chest-to-bar pullups (making sure that chin is over), box jumps, toes-to-bar, etc. are all easy to judge as well as any weightlifting movement involving shoulder-to-overhead, cleans, and snatches.

Tackle your goats. What’s beneficial about the Open is targeting strengths and weaknesses. Then, there is having an understanding that everyone has weaknesses and the only way to improve those is to avoid confrontation at all costs…don’t even look at that movement written on the board…..kidding!!!! Practice!! Dedicating a little time and effort into a weakness is how to convert that weakness into a strength. In some cases we might even experience a strength turning into a weakness over a longer time domain, so the idea is not to just practice that movement fresh, but also practice that movement fatigued.

*Don’t want to practice that movement in the workout because it will hold you behind? Practice after class, before class, or in open gym. Bam. Problem solved.*

Re-re-repeat. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Every year the Open has repeated a workout from the past or has done something very similar to the years prior. We all know that the first workout of ground-to-overhead paired with double unders was also the first workout back in 2011. For those who competed in the Open back then this was a chance to retest, or in some cases, redeem oneself. The beauty of CrossFit is that it is measurable. Recording workouts, scores, times, and maxes is all beneficial because you can actually see strong points in the journey and also notice some areas that need work. Take Brooke Ence for example…believe it or not Ms. Ence hasn’t always been a professional exerciser. Back in 2011, she struggled through the 10 minutes getting caught up in her double unders which left her with a score of 105 reps. Last week, Brooke completed the same exact workout with a whopping 255 reps! She was relentless with her practice and it has clearly paid off. Who’s to say that we will not be seeing 14.1 as 16.3?

Let us not forget that the purpose of the Open is to bring the community together in the spirit of competition to do what CrossFitters do…exercise!

Happy CrossFit Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor…..just kidding, reading too much Hunger Games lately.