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5 reasons to do the CrossFit Open

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The most wonderful time of the year is rapidly approaching! The CrossFit Games Open starts on February 22 with the announcement of the first of five workouts. This will be the eighth CrossFit Open, and my seventh. Why do I keep signing up every year?

I don’t have the best muscle ups or the best engine, and I’m certainly not going to Regionals, so why do it? Well, here’s why I do and you should too!

Everyone’s doing it.
Okay, I know in high school this was the number one reason NOT to do something, but seriously — everyone is doing it. Tens of thousands of CrossFit boxes across the world will be taking part in the open, as well as most of your friends here at EVF. We do all the workouts together during class on Saturdays. We’ll run heats of 8 to 10 at a time, so when you’re not working out, you have the opportunity to cheer people on and make new connections with people through mutual suffering! What’s better than that?

All the workouts can be scaled.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing CrossFit for 3 years or 3 months; everyone is capable of completing a version of the workout. Even if you don’t have pull-ups, double unders, a functional overhead squat, or whatever it may be, there will be a workout for you. Each week when the workout is released, there’s a scaled workout released along with it. The RX division might be completing a 95# overhead squat, but you’ll be performing a 65# front squat. That’s just an example, but you get the idea.

You will do something you’ve never done before.
Ah, the magic of the Open. No matter what your level, you will surprise yourself. The Open naturally adds a level of excitement and competition that isn’t always there during your regular classes. When that clock starts and the adrenaline starts flowing, you’ll be amazed at what you’re actually capable of. You might get your first pull-up or double under or snatch a weight you never thought you could. We had someone last year who had never snatched 75 pounds before, and she proceeded to hit it 9 times in one workout!

It raises the bar, individually and collectively.
Each year after the Open, there’s a noticeable uptick in motivation at the gym. People realize what they can do and that they’re a lot stronger than they thought. This is always evident in the effort put forth during regular classes. I notice people challenging themselves more with the weights and movements, and pushing themselves and each other harder during metcons. If you’ve been feeling under-motivated or like you’ve plateaued, I’ve found the Open will push you through that and up to the next level.

It’s fun.
At the end of the day, it’s just exercise — and why do it if you’re not having fun? Open Saturdays are high-energy and motivating. The community vibe is at its best and the gym is LIT! You don’t want to miss it.

Remember to sign up for the Open no later than Monday, February 19 in order to be eligible for a team! Email questions and team requests to for Upper East Side and for Columbus Circle.