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CrossFit Open: The Worldwide Kick-Off of the CrossFit Games

Updated: May 30

Are you ready to challenge yourself and push your limits? Then the CrossFit Open is the event for you!

The CrossFit Open is not just a competition, but a worldwide phenomenon that unites athletes from all over the world. Every year, thousands of participants, from beginners to experienced CrossFitters, push themselves to the limits of their abilities and give it their all.

In this article, we dive deeper into this topic and tell you what makes it one of the most exciting events in the fitness calendar - and why you shouldn't miss it!

What is the CrossFit Open?

The CrossFit Open (usually just called "Open") is an annual online competition series held worldwide. More importantly, they are the first qualification stage for the CrossFit Games.

During the competition period, which typically lasts three weeks, a new workout is published every week and must be completed by participants from all over the world.

CrossFit athlete training in a CrossFit box with a barbell.

Special features of the CrossFit Open

  • Accessibility: What makes the Open special is that anyone can participate, regardless of their fitness level. This opens the door to a wide range of participants - from amateurs who have just started CrossFit to experienced athletes.

  • Community spirit: The CrossFit Open fosters a strong sense of community as millions of participants around the world experience the same challenges at the same time. This creates a unique atmosphere.

  • Benchmarking: The Open offers everyone the opportunity to compare their performance with that of other CrossFitters worldwide. This is a very good motivation to achieve personal bests and improve from year to year.

  • Versatility of the workouts: The workouts are known for their versatility and test a wide range of fitness skills - from weightlifting to gymnastics to conditioning exercises.

These elements make the CrossFit Open a challenging event that is eagerly awaited every year.

Personal and community development

For many participants, the Open is an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. They provide a measurable basis for tracking progress and setting goals for the coming year.

At the same time, the Open strengthens bonds within CrossFit boxes as everyone comes together to support and cheer each other on. The stories of personal bests achieved during Open workouts are proof of the special magic of this event.

When is the CrossFit Open? How do they work?

Woman filming a CrossFit athlete doing wall balls.

The CrossFit Open usually takes place once a year and marks the start of the CrossFit Games season. The exact dates may vary, but traditionally the Open starts at the end of February or beginning of March and lasts three weeks.

During this time, a new workout is published each week, which must be completed by the participants within a certain period of time and submitted online as a result.

Timing and planning of the CrossFit Open

  • Publication of the workouts: The workouts will be published every Thursday during the Open. Participants then have the whole weekend to complete the workouts. This must be done in the presence of a certified judge to validate the results.

  • Results Submission: After each workout, participants must submit their results to the CrossFit Games website by the following Monday. Results may need to be verified by video.

  • Leaderboards: The results of all participants will be summarized in a worldwide leaderboard. This allows comparison with other athletes on a global, national and regional level.

  • Flexibility in completion: Although the workouts are published at a specific time, participants can decide for themselves when to complete the test within the submission period. This allows everyone to fit the Open into their own schedule, regardless of other commitments.

In short, the fixed structure and timing of the CrossFit Open help to make it a globally synchronized event. They unite the global CrossFit community and motivate each participant to test and push their personal limits.

For many in the CrossFit community, attending the Open every year is an integral part of their training calendar. After all, the Open is a perfect opportunity to measure progress and challenge yourself.

How has the CrossFit Open changed over time?

Two CrossFit athletes lying sweaty on the floor after a workout.

The CrossFit Open has evolved considerably since its inception, both in terms of organization and participant involvement.

Expansion of the participant base

Originally, the Open was primarily geared towards elite athletes. However, over the years, CrossFit has introduced different divisions, including age groups, adaptive categories and scaled options to include more people and make the event more accessible.

Technological improvements

The way in which results are submitted and verified has improved through the use of advanced technology and stricter verification procedures. This has helped to increase the integrity and fairness of the competition.

Changes to the structure

Until 2020, the Open always lasted five weeks and included five workouts. In 2021 it was then four weeks/workouts and since 2022 they have only lasted three weeks and therefore include three workouts.

How can I take part in the CrossFit Open?

For most elite athletes, participating in the CrossFit Open is the first step towards the CrossFit Games. For many, however, it is above all an opportunity to be part of a global movement and to compete with the community worldwide.

If you take part in the Open, you have nothing to lose. You will definitely gain experience and confidence. And you'll know what you need to work on afterwards.

Participation costs

The registration fee for the Open is usually around 20 US dollars. This amount can vary slightly depending on the country, but is generally quite affordable and usually includes a free T-shirt. The fee covers the administrative costs and also contributes to the further development of the platform.

Registration procedure

  1. Visit the official website: The first step to registering is to go to the official CrossFit Games website. Here you will find all the information about the CrossFit Games and, of course, the Open.

  2. Create an athlete profile: If you don't have a profile yet, you need to create one. This includes information such as your name, your age and your affiliate gym if you train at one.

  3. Pay the fee: Once you have set up your profile, you can pay the participation fee. This can be done via credit card or other online payment systems.

  4. Confirmation and preparation: Once you have successfully registered and paid, you will receive confirmation of your registration. You can then start preparing for your first workouts so that you are fit for the Open.

Which CrossFit Open workouts are particularly famous?

A CrossFit wooden box with a kettlebell and a medicine ball on top.

The Open are known for their challenging and often unexpected workouts. Some of them have achieved an almost iconic status over the years and are often used as benchmarks.

Famous CrossFit Open workouts

  • Workout 17.1: This workout included a combination of dumbbell snatches and burpee box jump overs and was really brutal for the participants' cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

  • Workout 20.5: This was a unique workout to date because participants could choose their own strategy for splitting up the tasks. It combined ring muscle-ups, rowing and wall balls, which tested strategic planning and physical endurance.

  • Workout 14.5/16.5: This infamous workout was the first open workout that had no set time limit. Participants had to complete 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 repetitions of thrusters and bar-facing burpees as fast as possible. Intensity and mental toughness level 1000!

  • Workout 18.2 und 18.2a: A unique combination of a time-based workout with dumbbell squats and bar-facing burpees plus a 1-rep max clean immediately after. This double workout tested both the anaerobic capacity and strength of the participants.

What sets Open Workouts apart

Open workouts are special because of their intensity, the tactics required and the emotional and physical challenges they present. A simple workout with just a dumbbell and burpees (such as 24.1) can be more challenging than a high-skill workout.

Open workouts, especially in CrossFit boxes, encourage discussion about strategies and results and often serve as recurring challenges to measure progress.

It is also a tradition that the Open workouts take place live and are performed directly afterwards on site by selected, well-known CrossFit Games athletes. In the past, there have been exciting battles between greats such as Rich Froning, Matt Fraser, Annie Thorisdottir and Samantha Briggs.

Why the CrossFit Open is more than just a competition

The CrossFit Open is an exciting start to the Games Season every year. They are more than a competition; they are an annual event that brings together the best aspects of fitness, community and personal challenge.

They motivate you to push your limits and help you grow on both a personal and physical level.

Whether you're competing next time or watching from the sidelines, the Open offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won't want to miss.




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