The CrossFit Games Open is a five week online competition where athletes from boxes around the world can test their skills, stamina, speed and strength in the largest event of its kind. I’ll probably be heavily criticised for saying this, but I liken it to competing alongside Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah in qualifiers for the Olympics… imagine that! Elite CrossFit athletes train for this, the CrossFit Games, and the Open is our chance to join them in the race to get there, whether we have a hope in hell’s chance of beating them or not.
Last year, I entered the Open, somewhat naively, thinking that I would be able to at least attempt every movement. To sum up last year’s event: I bombed.
This year, however, with the introduction of a “scaled” option for each WOD, I knew I should have been able to submit a score for each of the five workouts. In truth, I did better than I thought I would, submitting a score I was (for the most part) proud of every week.
Here’s a recap of my Open experience
Week 1 we had toes to bar, deadlifts and snatches, followed by a clean and jerk 1RM. This was probably my favourite WOD straight out of the gates… I love toes to bar, and anything with a barbell is a winner for me. I was happy to have RXd (used the prescribed weights/movements). I scored 65 reps, and clean and jerked 57.5kg for a UK position of 977th and 677th for each, respectively.
Week 2 was probably my worst nightmare of a combination, with two moves I’ve always struggled with; overhead squats and pull ups. The RX involved chest to bar pull ups, which there was no way I was going to get, so I went in at the scaled option. Surprisingly, despite flexibility being a huge issue for me, the overhead squats were the least of my problems and it was the pull ups, which are still pretty bad, which stopped me from progressing to a higher score. I managed 19 reps in total, for UK 1,932nd place. My lowest score.
Week 3 was set to challenge the masses, opening with muscle ups, followed by wallballs and double unders. The majority of Open entrants scaled this WOD to the combination of just wallballs and single unders. I had two attempts at this WOD, as fluffed my first go up somewhat. I’m pleased I did as I hit 74 more reps second time round for a score of 651 and 1,215th in the UK.
Week 4 came along with another challenging movement for a lot of people, handstand push ups paired with heavy cleans. Again I took two attempts at this WOD, the first scaled (push press and cleans) and the second trying to get handstand push ups from the floor (I’ve only ever done them to a couple of ab mats). Try as I might I just couldn’t get myself up to full extension. This frustrated me more because I knew I could handle the heavy weight of the cleans, but wouldn’t have the opportunity to prove myself on the board if I couldn’t do the handstand push ups first. Feeling a little deflated, I submitted my scaled score of 102 and got 1,126th place in the UK.
Week 5 was another WOD right up my street, rowing and thrusters, Despite my flexibility issues, I do enjoy thrusters, and it’s no secret that rowing is one of my favourite things in WODs (something that people think I’m weird for at the box!). It was a tough workout for sure, but I finished in 13:49, for 707th place in the UK – my best overall score for the entire Open.
How I’d sum it up
Over the five WODs I came out at 808th in the UK, 2,592nd in Europe and 32,173rd worldwide, which I think puts me roughly in the top 50%*, perhaps even higher in the UK. Something I’m actually very proud of.
* It’s really hard to tell because you can’t see how many people actually completed all five workouts without clicking through every page. If anyone knows a quick and easy way please do let me know!
Last year I said I wanted to finish without a zero score, this year I did just that. Whether I’d have managed that without the scaled options is quite clear to see, but I can still take comfort in that I am a lot further on in my CrossFit skills and ability than I was in February and March 2014. Next year my goal is to RX every workout… if I can.
I’d better get muscle-upping!
Did you enter the CrossFit Open? What was your experience? Did you overcome any hurdles, or achieve any new skills/PBs? I’d love to hear from you!
Photos by the wonderful Lauren Elizabeth Dodd Photography. Wearing Reebok CrossFit Nano 3, Reebok CrossFit leggings, Sweaty Betty tank and “be strong to be useful” crop, and Jawbone UP.