What is the Crossfit Open?

If you know anyone who does Crossfit, you may have noticed a change in behaviour over the past few weeks. They may have suddenly become more unproductive than usual on a Friday afternoon. There may be photos popping up on their facebook of them doing workouts with ‘fabulous’ facial expressions (even more than normal).

For those of you that haven’t heard me rambling on about the Crossfit open yet (meaning you probably haven’t hung out with me in the last month or so), I thought it would be good to do a post about what the open is and what these “14.1” “14.2” etc numbers refer to.


Rewind about 1 year.  I will introduce you to my first experience of the Crossfit open.

I had just started at Crossfit Central Wellington. I somehow managed to jump past the newbie class and into the big kids class (something to do with coming to a few sessions years ago… I must’ve really talked myself up, I had no idea what I was doing) and there was this thing called the “open” coming up. The coaches were encouraging everyone to get involved, that it was a heap of fun and everyone would be able to to the workouts.  I love fun and if everyone was doing it, why would I not sign up?

After talking to my good friend Steph who was also relatively new to Crossfit at the time – I signed up.  Still not really sure what it all meant, but I went along with it anyway.

As I was still very new to Crossfit and didn’t have many friends there yet I hadn’t really talked to anyone much about it.  All I knew was to turn up on Saturday and do a workout. So, pretty much a usual Saturday. On Friday I got a text from my friend Steph telling me what the workout was. I wasn’t sure how she knew what it was, but that was nice that she told me. It was a little bit exciting knowing that all around the world people would be doing this workout.

The workout was:

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 burpees
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

So, that’s what I was going to turn up and do on Saturday. I hadn’t really ever done a ‘snatch’ before but it looked ok from the demo video – lift the bar straight up above my head? Sure, I can do that. I knew the coaches would be there to help us with it, so I wasn’t too worried.

Come Saturday morning, the box was a hive of activity (I think we may have had over 100 people signed up?!). There were heat sheets and judges, it was all very professional (and exciting!).  Like a mini competition in your own gym. And you know me, I love competition! Some people were strategising their workout; working out how long it would take them to do each part of it and where they wanted to get up to.  It was all quite intriguing!

When it was my heat I went and did my workout. I had Courtney as a judge, who is my sisters friend so it was nice to have a friendly face. Can I just say, holy that was a lot of burpees. Damnnnnnnnnn!

There were photographers and people cheering (people I didn’t even know!) – it was a VERY cool atmosphere.

I almost finished the 2nd round of snatches, which turned out was an ok score for a newbie.

And that was it – I had done my first ‘Crossfit Open” workout!  1 down – there was 4 to go.

Over the next 4 weeks I would be tested with all kinds of new challenges. An example of this was in week 5 when ‘Chest-to-bar’ pullups were prescribed. These are like a regular pull-up, but you must pull yourself up higher and get your chest to touch the bar for the ‘rep’ to count.  I had never even done a pull-up, let alone a freak’n chest-to-bar!

But – wait for it – I managed 7 of the suckers!!  Needless to say I was pretty happy after that!!

One of my first chest-to-bar pullups in 13.5 last year... You have to start somewhere!

One of my first chest-to-bar pullups in 13.5 last year… You have to start somewhere!


Not trying to “yay me” all over the place here, but that really represents what the open is about. It’s about people pushing themselves to their limits – not anyone elses.

Blah blah blah – I’m bored of typing now, and there’s far too many words on this page already… so just quickly..

The Crossfit Open – what is it?

  • The open is a 5 week Crossfit competition performed anywhere, all over the world (you must meet the movement standards and be judged). The workouts are simply named after the year and what workout they are (eg: 14.1 is the first open workout of 2014, 14.2 is the second etc..)
  • The workouts are released each week here at 1pm on Friday (hence why Crossfit people may struggle at work after this point).
  • You have until Tuesday morning to complete the workout and can do it as many times as you want during that period.
  • You submit your score online and are ranked against your region (Australia for us) and worldwide.
  • The top 48 male and females and top 30 teams in each region are offered a place in Regionals.
  • If you are SUPER awesome (aka, super human crazy being) and make top 3 at Regionals, you can then go and compete at the Crossfit Games, in Carson California.  For us mere mortals – we get to watch all this awesome action online (check it out here ).
And when it's over you lie down :)

And when it’s over you lie down 🙂

That was a quick insight into my first Crossfit Open experience and what the open is – a heap of fun and a good way to learn what you need to work on! One year on and knowing a lot more about it, my experience of the open is much different. More to come on this when I can be bothered typing it 🙂

In the mean time, 14.5 is released tomorrow and I really hope it’s not burpees and thrusters like everyone is predicting! (Yuck!!).


Jane xx


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