Written by Sarah Loogman

        The Open is upon us!! In 28 days, the largest scale fitness event in the world will kick off for athletes all around the globe. For a very elite few, this is the start of the CrossFit Games season, but for the vast majority, the CrossFit Open is a way to measure improvements, set global markers and generally interact and connect with the worldwide CrossFit community.


        Misconceptions about this event sometimes obstruct daily gym-goers and everyday exercisers to make the commitment, but here’s our response to your every excuse and why we believe you should register for this worldwide event and get yourself on the leaderboard: 


“I’m not good enough.” 

Yes, you are. With last years introduction of the Scaled division, the Open has become even more accessible to athletes of every level. Even so, there may be limitations and challenges you encounter in one of the workouts, but your efforts may surprise you when you are called to it. I’ve seen many individuals achieve their first muscle up, first double-under or PR a lift when the spirit of the Open comes around. You may become inspired by other participants and may even inspire someone yourself. Not convinced? Read this testimony from Greg Lambert who placed next to last in his first CrossFit Open. 


Greg Lambert placed 70,616th place in the 2014 CrossFit Open.

“It’s not like I’ll qualify for Regionals or the CrossFit Games.” 

For less than 1% of those who participate in this event, the Open is a stepping stone to the CrossFit Regionals and for an even lesser few, to the international CrossFit Games. If you’re a part of the other 99%, you are with the majority. Very few competitions in the world allow everyday citizens to share a leaderboard with the most elite and it is this exact quality that makes the Open such a special community event in which we all share. Participating in the Open may give you a greater appreciation for what the best of the business are able to accomplish or it may even open your eyes to your own unfound potential in the sport. Being a part of the Open doesn’t have to imply that you are attempting to or expect to compete among the elite. What it is, on the other hand, is an acknowledgement and tribute to an incredible community of people with a common, underlying goal – to be better humans. 


Less than 1% of those who participate in the Open will move onto Regionals, and even fewer to the CrossFit Games. The Open, on the other hand, allows the entire community to share in a shared passion and brings everyone together in the spirit of fitness.

“I’m not ready. I’ll do it next year.” 

If you wait until you feel “ready,” you’ll never do it and if/when you ever do, you’ll wish you had done it sooner. The nature of CrossFit is that there will be always something that you can improve on and always something that you feel needs work. If you wait until you feel that you have mastered “that” thing, there will only be something else you’re chasing after instead. 


“This is just fitness, I’m not here to compete.” 

We agree that fitness does not need to be, and in fact for most people should not be, a matter of fierce competition. There is a fine line between fitness for health and elite level competition and it’s important to recognize your goals and the steps that you should be taking in order to get there. But signing up for and participating in the Open does not mean that you have to stray from your fitness and wellness goals or that you are suddenly expected to accept the greater risks of an “athlete.” The Open sets measurable standards by which to evaluate your current and growing level of strength, conditioning and skill that shows your comparison not only to the masses but also against yourself, year after year. This sort of quantitative data may result in you setting greater goals for yourself and striving for more. 


“I don’t have time.” 

The Open consists of 5 workouts over the course of 5 weeks, each event with an allowance of four days to complete as many times as you want, wherever you want, whenever you want. Even if you can’t perform these workouts at your local gym, there are permissions to do these workouts even from your own garage gym with a video camera. Watch this video of a guy who did an Open workout on a mountain top in Bhutan with a bamboo stick and stones. 


Each workout of the Open is released in a live announcement on the CrossFit Games website. Watch athletes go head to head just minutes after the release, including top level elites and specially selected “regular” athletes, too.

“I can’t afford it.” 

Registration for the Open costs $20. That’s one less cup of Starbucks coffee per week between now and the release of the first workout. That’s one less meal that you eat out instead of cooking a meal at home. That’s just a little more restraint on your online Amazon shopping spree or collecting your pocket change over the next few weeks that usually ends up in your vehicle’s cup holder or in the dirty laundry. That’s one less impulse buy at Target or a few less energy drinks on your way to work. That’s not buying your sixth pair of Reebok Nano’s. You get the point. It would take very few, painless sacrifices to financially commit to the CrossFit Open. The small price to pay should be well worthy of the investment you are making into a grand opportunity that is fun, exciting and inspiring in ways that will undoubtedly enrich your life. 


“I’m too nervous/scared.”

You’re not alone…we all are. This will be my fifth year participating in the CrossFit Open and I still get a gut check just thinking about it. It’s scary to put yourself out there on a leaderboard and it’s nerve-wracking not to know the events beforehand. But being vulnerable means allowing yourself to discover – maybe the discovery will be about yourself, maybe it will be about others – but you will and it will be worth it. There will be hardships and discouragement but there will be also moments of incredible triumph, pride and a sense of accomplishment. Don’t live your life, or fitness, along the easy path just because it’s the most comfortable – it’s also often very boring. Chase after experience and success of many sorts will find you. 

        If you think you have another excuse, share with us in the comments and we’d be happy to tell you otherwise! If, however, we’ve already proven your concerns invalid and you’re ready to commit, register for the Open here and let us know, too! 

Comments ( 9 )

  • Greg Kloeppel

    So what do I do when a workout has jump ropes and I am not able to string together 10 in a row and when I do, my ankles are trashed and I can’t do anymore anyway?

    Do I just stand there while the other competitors are knocking out DU’s?

    I get all of the encouragement and not making excuses and sure I am making one. But this is my reality. I’m barely hanging on to 3 workouts per week trying to get healthy. And even with the Master’s scaled workouts, there are movements/weights that I cannot perform at this time.

    I am a accomplished Ironman triathlete so I know what it means to suffer and to keep at it when things get tough but I’m having a hard time seeing that the open will be a positive experience for me like finishing IM was.

    Give me that push to see value for me in signing up.

    • Cheri Gaul

      Finishing IM-that accomplishment started with a first run and then setting bigger goals to get better. You constantly tweaked technique,gear,hydration,nutrition,sleep until you reached optimal levels to complete that larger goal.
      The Open is the same process and you will have everyone that is there encouraging you all the way. You are in the process of getting better at CrossFit and that sometimes involves making challenges bigger to have something to teach for.
      Sign up! If you keep your ego out of the way you’ll have fun!
      Before you think “easy for you to say” I’m an almost 55 yr.old grandma that competes Scaled and am thrilled when I’m in the 50% range.
      You’re welcome

    • Bryan

      One rep is better than none, and puts you on the leaderboard.

  • lu

    Greg, I did an RX workout last year and I couldn’t do one of the movements (bar muscle ups). I tried until time was up. 🙂 It happens. If you are hurting, yeah, you stop and be proud of the reps that you did.
    && Go Masters!

  • Kari Ruth

    I didn’t sign up for the Open last year but was a member at an affiliate gym. I did all of the Open workouts (most twice). I didn’t know enough about it to even sign up last year. I have learned in this last year or so that some workouts I excel (more weightlifting) and others I struggle (more gymnastics). I didn’t sign up for the Open imagining I’ll place in the top 50%, I signed up so I can see where I’m at and next year I’ll be able to see and track my progress. I figure if my affiliate is doing them anyway I should jump in and throw my name in. Crossfit is competitive. Most days I’m competing against myself. It’s $20. Just try it.

  • Gege

    My excuse : I’m too shy and I’m not feeling confortable when People look at me

  • Jeff

    Why only 4 days for a workout? Why not provide a full week or at least 6 days? Announcements on Thursday night make it inconvenient. Announce it on Monday or Tuesday and then scores should be in by midnight Sunday. Also where does the $20 go to?

  • Charles

    The CrossFit Open is just an elaborate marketing scheme used to make millions of dollars off of us. They are using the typical marketing strategy of appealing to your emotions and pulling on your heartstrings. Not being the sucker that falls for that is my excuse!

    • Jim

      Let’s suppose you’re right, and it is just a marketing gimmick. That still won’t prevent you from enjoying the camaraderie, and possibly achieving something that you haven’t done yet. And, if you’re like most people, myself included, you probably waste $20 on a regular basis anyway. This is once a year, and there’s so many stories of people reaching goals that they never thought possible, just by trying harder than they would have, had it not been for The Open.