Tagged as: crossfit open

Why you should sign up for The Open

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to encourage my athletes to sign up for The CrossFit Open. The overwhelming response received has been negative. Let’s be honest here, none of us like to lose. Paying money to have your fitness (or lack thereof) revealed to the world doesn’t sound like a great idea unless you’re Rich Froning or Sara Sigmundsdottir. Nonetheless, your fears are unfounded and here’s an answer to every excuse I’ve heard to date:

IMG_7701“I’ve just started CrossFit, I’ll do it next year.”

“Observable, Measurable, and Repeatable,” you’ve probably heard this phrase a bunch of times from your coach or seen it in HQ literature. This lies at the very heart of the ethos of CrossFit, and it especially becomes relevant during the Open. Essentially, an Open WOD is no different from the workout you do everyday at the gym. The difference lies in the information and ranking surrounding the WOD. You will have hundreds of thousands of athletes’ workout data that you will be able to compare yourself against. This is an incredible tool that you can use to mark your progress. This should be exciting for any beginner, especially because the first year you do CrossFit you’ll see some incredible gains. Imagine repeating 17.1 in six month’s time and seeing that you not only can do it RX but now lie midway in the global leaderboard! Assuming that your goal for starting CrossFit was to become a fitter, stronger, sexier version of yourself, why would you shy away from an event that will give you concrete proof of your undeniable progress in achieving that goal?


“I can’t do muscle-ups.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been doing CrossFit for literally ages, and I only got muscle-ups in the past year. Sure, it puts a damper on your overall score–but so what? Since I got muscle-ups, my life hasn’t changed whatsoever. Girls are still repelled by my chat, and I’ve been told from reliable sources that I’ve lost followers on Instagram due to my CrossFit incessant posts. Getting a muscle up is not everything you think it’s going to be. Beware of the poison chalice.


“It’s too expensive.”

Really? You spend over a hundred pounds monthly on your gym membership. You have several pairs of Nanos, Metcons, lifters, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and enough rogue t-shirts to clothe an African village. You’ve dabbled with Progenex (don’t worry I won’t tell your mum). The open is like any other CrossFit-related expense, and it costs the equivalent of a drop-in at any box in the world. You don’t want to fund Castro and his glock habit? That’s noble of you, but then again, you would also have to stop buying all the other Crossfit paraphernalia. Ask yourselves: is a life without CrossFit accessories a life worth living?


“I have an injury to my __________.”Nic Denby

If you’re training everyday with an injury, scaling and adapting workouts around it, I see no reason why you can’t do the Open. I had three hip surgeries and worked out in the Open 3 months after my last surgery. I scaled everything to my ability at the time, but I still showed up. There will be people competing who have real disabilities and would scoff at your excuse. You should never put yourself in harms way for the sake of a workout, and I’m certainly not advocating that. However, there’s a difference between a niggle and an actual injury. If you’re suffering from a broken heart, remember there will be pizza, and pizza is love.


“I won’t be here every weekend.”

If competing every weekend is the be all and end all for you, there are tens of thousands of boxes around the world where you can complete the Open WOD. If you want to travel somewhere and not CrossFit, that’s fine too. For the majority of us, CrossFit is just a fun hobby so missing a workout or two shouldn’t affect your decision to sign up. I don’t think I’ve participated in the full five weeks any year due to work or travel commitments. We might disappoint our Lord and savior Greg Glassman and his prophet Dave Castro, but that’s the risk we have to take.


IMG_7704Whatever your concerns about signing up for The Open, you ultimately need to ask yourself, “What is the downside?” The downside is that you need to take a risk by exposing yourself to the World. However, nothing great was achieved without taking risk. You may surprise yourself with a higher than expected position on the leaderboard or you may realise this is the kick up the bum needed to train more. Maybe the benefit is not physical but social and you end up making a bunch of new friends. No matter what way you look at it, The Open can only be considered a positive experience.



Rowing Seminar (Open prep)


The Open is fast approaching and there’s a few movements we can guarantee will feature: thrusters, pull-ups, burpees (eurgh) and, of course, rowing. Last year it was rowing, deadlifts, wall-balls and HSPUs in week 3. The year before it was rowing and thrusters in week 5. We don’t know when, and we don’t know with what combination of movements, but it will happen.


With only 5 rowers we don’t get to practice our rowing technique as much as we would like, so in the run-up to the Open our resident rowing expert, Tim Harley, is going to run two seminars specifically to prepare you for the challenge of the Open.IMG_6768

Tim has been rowing since he was 15 and after falling in love with the sport, went on to row and captain various state crews back in Australia. He’s also competed at Youth Olympics and Henley Royal Regatta and has 5 years of elite experience at University, State and National levels. So, safe to say he knows a thing or two about rowing. Take a look at all the pictures here; they’re not stock photos, these are all pictures of Tim in action.

The sessions will run on the following days in 9 Malcolm Place:

  • Friday 17th February – 17:30
  • Sunday 19th February – 9:30

The sessions will be limited to 10 people (2 per rower), and will contain a warm up, plenty of rowing technique, as well as tips, tricks and strategy before you put them into practice in an Open-style workout. Each session will have a different workout, so feel free to book in to both if you want the extra practice.

Even if you don’t plan on entering the Open, these sessions will be invaluable for improving your rowing technique and performance, and a rare opportunity to learn from an expert in the sport.





The 2017 CrossFit Open at CrossFit London

CrossFit games 2017If you’ve no idea what the Open is, have a read here to find out what it’s all about.

But for those in the know, here’s all the details you need to know about this year’s Open at CFL


The first workout is officially announced during the night of Thursday 23rd February, and runs for 5 consecutive weeks.

What Classes:

We will be running Open WOD classes every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the duration. These classes are clearly marked on the schedule as “Open WOD.” Any other “Level 2” class will not be running an Open workout.


  • 7:00 – Kat
  • 8:00 – Kat
  • 12:00 – Joe
  • 17:00 onwards – Friday night Throwdown


  • 12:30 – Rosie


  • 12:30 – Carolyn


  • 12:00 – Kate

You can also perform the workouts in Self Training, however, you will need to abide by the Self Training rules and conditions, and you must have a suitable Judge (CFL coach or someone who has completed the Online Judges Course). Your judge does not need to be signed up for Self Training, only the person doing the WOD.

Friday Night Throwdownscreen-shot-2016-02-10-at-16-09-19

As ever, Friday nights will host the main event Throwdown and the biggest event of the year for CrossFit London. It will take place every Friday evening for the 5 weeks of the Open in 10 Malcolm Place and the back room of 9MP (for wall balls and ring MUs).

There will be two classes that you can book into, but do not worry if you show up late or early to either, they are just to give your coach an idea of the running order. Heats will be organised in advance of the class; if you need to arrive or leave at a specific time let the coach in charge know and they will put you in a suitable heat.

The final week will host the traditional fancy-dress workout and social. More details on this to follow.

During the Open the Free Taster at 17:30 will move to 9MP and 18:30 Heavy Metal Club will move to Wednesday evenings at 18:30).

For anyone wanting to do a normal class on Fridays, the 6:30 Metcon, 7:30 Oly Lifting and 18:30 Level 2 will run as normal.

Do I have to pay CrossFit HQ to participate?

Yes and no. If you want to have your score registered and be in with a chance to progress to Regionals or, more importantly, be in with a chance of winning one of the CFL awards, then you will have to pay the $20 sign-up fee. If you want to join in without paying the $20, you can still book into the scheduled class and participate as normal.

Is it different from the regular L2 classes?

Yes. There will be a group briefing, a specific warm-up and then the workout, however your workout will be judged with someone counting your reps and checking your standards. All athletes and judges will be explained the movement standards and workout rules, as well as suggested tactics. Your judge’s decision is final on any and all no-reps.


If you come to an Open class expect to judge at least one other athlete’s workout. This is a integral part of the Open and part of the fun of competing. If you’re particularly worried about the judging process, CrossFit HQ offers an online training course for $10. This certification is only necessary if you want to judge someone in Self Training outside of a class, but it’ll be useful for the Open or for any other CrossFit competition, as well as giving you a better insight into movement standards in general. 

I’m not strong enough/got the right skills/not been doing CrossFit long enough!

There are both RX and Scaled categories, so it caters for all athletes. And in that atmosphere you’d be surprised how much more you can push yourself; the Open has been witness to many first muscle-ups and double-unders. In true CrossFit style, the person who finishes last gets the biggest cheer. And even if you’re coming in last, you’re still ahead of everyone who didn’t bother.


You may have already noticed that the Level 2 programming has a weekly past Open WOD. This will give you the opportunity to test some of the previous years’ workouts, and give you a flavour of what to expect this year. Have a look at past WODs here.

Rachel is running her weekly Skills class on Thursdays at 18:30 in the back room, taking you through all the skills you’ll encounter in the Open.

We can pretty much guarantee that rowing will feature in the Open, so look out for details on a special Rowing Seminar in February. It’ll cover rowing technique, strategies, and how best to tackle the potential types of workout that might come up.

For now, sign yourself up, but if you still need a little inspiration, have a look at this video of the 2014 Open.