Each year hundreds of thousands of athletes signup to compete in the CrossFit Open. It’s an annual 5-week competition consisting of 5 weekly workouts (WOD) where CrossFit athletes can compare their fitness aptitude against the world.
For many, it’s an exciting and engaging community event. For others, it’s a chance to fuel the competitive spirit in all of us. It’s also the first step to the annual CrossFit Games.
CrossFit Inc. is notorious for being very secretive about each Open. Namely, the workouts. The Open’s architect, Dave Castro, is known for sharing ominous clues for each WOD, which has spawned the phrase “Dave Castro is a Prick”. Many CrossFit fans will find Ronnie Castro the more palatable of the two Castro’s.
Each year CrossFit fans scramble to prepare themselves for the Open. What’s new this year? WOD Fever has the rundown.
History of the CrossFit Open
CrossFit competitions began in 2007, with the first CrossFit Games held on Dave Castro’s family ranch in California. At the time, it was referred to as “the Woodstock of Fitness”.
Each year the competition grew. In 2009, the CrossFit Regionals was added.
In 2011, the CrossFit Open began and introduced the sport of functional fitness to the entire world. Now each spring, beginning in late February, hundreds of thousands of athletes gather to bring their best to the scoreboard. The Open serves as the first competition to qualify for the CrossFit Regionals, which awards highest scoring athletes a seat in the CrossFit Games
2018 CrossFit Open Statistics
Since its beginning, the Open has seen a meteoric rise. The worldwide competition launched with little over 25,000 competitors, growing nearly 60% each year to over 500,000 in 2018.
The statistics clearly show; the CrossFit Open is growing, and not slowing down. Already potentially the largest competition in the world, the Open is primed to reach 1 million contestants in the near future.
Mainstream media and perceptions of fitness often stereotype gender roles as men being “gym rats” and women pursuing cardio and yoga. However, CrossFit has attracted a very diverse audience. Women are particularly strongly represented, more so than most other sports or fitness activities.
CrossFit and the CrossFit Open embodies a strong sense of community, and a genuine scientific and evidence-based philosophy on building healthy, strong, beautiful bodies. An ideal that isn’t necessarily embraced by mainstream fitness wisdom.
Open Workout Schedule
The Open is a 5-week global competition running February 22 to March 26. Each week a new workout (WOD) is released on Thursday evening to be completed over the weekend. Participants have until Monday at 5pm PST to submit their scores online. Judges at your CrossFit Box are responsible for capturing your score each WOD. If you are a garage gym’er, CrossFit requires video evidence to be submitted with your score.
The 2018 CrossFit Open WOD schedule is as follows:
At the end of 5 weeks, scores are totaled up. The top 10 to 30 athletes from each region advance to the CrossFit Regionals. There are 17 Regions this year, split up on weekends in May through June.
The full Regional schedule and more information can be found on the official CrossFit website.
Scaled or RX?
CrossFit prides itself on being able to accommodate anyone, no matter their age, starting point, or health limitations. Any workout can be “scaled” to be tailored to an athlete’s fitness level. This is no different with the Open.
The Open offers two options for each WOD; “RX” and “Scaled”. RX is the prescribed rules for the WOD, and the higher standard athletes are scored upon. Scaled generally offers lower volume, weights, or easier movements. To get max points for a WOD, an athlete must complete the RX option.
Ultimately, it is a personal choice. Athletes should consult both their coach and consider their personal goals. For the sake of competing, many choose to pursue the RX route. For the sake of intensity and a broader training goal, scaled might be a better option.
New Movement Rules
With the launch of the 2018 CrossFit Open, Dave Castro announced a new set of movement standards. Constantly growing and changing, new standards have been added to dumbbell snatches and burpees.
- Switching hands mid-air is still allowed
- Switching hands must be done after dumbbell is below the face
- Athletes can no longer “step down” or “step up”
- Athletes must move both feet at same time
The change to dumbbell snatches won’t make much of an impact. The standard revision to burpees will force it to remain a challenging dynamic movement and taxing on the hip flexors and legs.
How to Prepare for the Open
It’s difficult to know what’s coming. The WODs aren’t released until each Thursday evening, kicking off 4 days to complete and log your score. Your best bet is to consider your strengths and weaknesses and assess what opportunities you have to improve technique or form. The Open is a great opportunity to test your fitness level.
Some good uses of your time:
- Practice Technique
- Mobilize Often
- Eat Smart
- Test Yourself with 18.0
In the meantime, we can all be entertained with the endless speculation for 18.1 and on. Check out Dave Castro’s Instagram for the latest hints and wild comments.
The CrossFit Open is an exciting annual event that kicks off the CrossFit Games season. It’s an opportunity to both test yourself, have fun with your CrossFit community, and ultimately enjoy the pursuit of health and fitness.
Motivation. Information. Preparation.
We want to make every WOD your best WOD.
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