Tuesday 2/20

Weighted Pull Up

50 GHD Sit Up for time

I'm not sure if you've heard or not, but the Open is just around the corner!

Come join us Thursday night at 5 pm for the first announcement party of the year, when we get to learn what 18.1 will be along with the rest of the CrossFit world.


Monday 2/19

3 5-minute rounds for max reps at each station:
 From 0:00-2:00, run 400 meters then double-unders
 From 2:00-3:00, handstand push ups
 From 3:00-4:00, pull-ups
 From 4:00-5:00, 35-lb. dumbbell hang squat cleans   
Rest 5 minutes between rounds

From Adrian

When I started CrossFit Sac I was 31 years old and 155 pounds. I didn’t have any expectations when I joined, I just wanted to try something new. Also, my friend tried to explain a Burpee to me and said they were awful. I didn’t believe him. I was wrong. But, I have since come to love burpees. Weird.


Anyhow, a lot of things have changed about me. I’m now 7 years older, 20 pounds heavier, stronger, and faster than I have ever been in my life. But, that’s not what I want my transformation story to be about. In 2016, after 4 years of doing CrossFit, I fell into a trap that a lot of athletes fall into. I had the mindset that, since I worked my tail off at the gym 6 days a week, I could eat and drink whatever I want. I was wrong. After my dad passed away from cancer I got freaked out and scheduled a checkup with my doctor. She ran my labs and almost everything was OK. She said I had elevated blood-glucose levels and that I was borderline pre-diabetic. For those that care, my A1C was 5.9. I was in denial, I mean, I’m a CrossFitter, I work hard 6 days a week. I don’t get diabetes.


I thought my A1C measurement was a fluke, so 6 months later I asked my doctor to run the labs again. This time my A1C was 6.0, legitimately prediabetic. I was so angry at myself. Despite knowing the risks of poor nutrition, and understanding good nutrition vs bad nutrition, I was repeatedly making the wrong nutritional choice. No one to blame but myself. I needed to take a step back and be more aware of what decisions I was making and why. I initially joined CrossFit Sac back in 2012, while I wasn’t a member when I was prediabetic, all the lecturing from Dave and encouragement from Amy from the early days stuck with me. The coaching I had during this time was useless, which is partly why I left and rejoined CrossFit Sac. I knew that just being around this community would inspire me to make better decisions.


It turns out that I had to change a lot of my habits, it’s funny how bad habits accumulate without knowing it. I stopped drinking alcohol (it’s been almost a year), I cut out all baked goods (including bread), and I strive to eat only whole foods without any added sweetner. This was a hard transition but I approached it like how we all approach a chipper workout. I started with one thing and then started chipping away at the rest. First I cut out alcohol (Spoiler alert: That sucked). Next, I cut out cake and cookies. Then pasta, and finally bread. It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off. Within about a year my A1C dropped from 6.0 to 5.5, squarely in the friend-zone. I couldn’t have done it without the help from the coaches at CrossFit Sac, I appreciate the relentless focus on nutrition, it’s more important that you think. Self-improvement is hard, but it’s easier if you have people in your corner.

Saturday 2/17

Open 16.3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches (Men:75#, Women:55#)
3 bar muscle-ups

*** REMINDER ***

9 AM class only on Saturday for our Open dress rehearsal. Even though this workout is the workout on the board, remember that there is a scaled option if it's needed AND there are different options depending on age brackets. Take a deep breath and come on in!

Friday 2/16

15 Min AMRAP

16 DB Walking Lunge @ 45/30
2 Rope Climb

From Tracy

I discovered CrossFit Sac in February 2015.  I had heard of CrossFit, but assumed it wasn’t something that I could do.  I had this misconception that this was not something one started in their 40’s and you had to be in tip top shape to do something this hard. Not to mention that CrossFit would leave me injured according to news reports.  

I was so wrong!

I was prompted to consider CrossFit as I found my fitness routine was not keeping up with the rigors of endless hours of research for my grad school program.  

I have lifted consistently since I was a teenager, as I discovered it helped me maintain a healthy weight.  I knew the joys of weightlifting, but my routine at that time left me unmotivated and I could quickly talk myself out of going to work out.  

I decided to give CrossFit Sac a try.  

The onramp classes were nice, as they were one on one.  It gave me a chance to practice certain lifts before joining larger group classes. Once I started regular classes I was hooked!  I had discovered a whole new world of fitness.  

Historically, I would head to the gym, put on my headphones and ignore the world as I lifted.  CrossFit Sac had me coming to class early to chat with fellow members and commiserate over sore body parts.  I quickly embraced the world of CrossFit. The community and family of people of CrossFit Sac are incredible.

As I approach my 3rd CrossFit Open I can’t imagine what my life would be like without CrossFit Sac.  I look back at my log and can’t believe how much strength I have gained, the great people I’ve met, and the overall fitness levels I have achieved.  The bonus is I’m almost done with grad school and I haven’t grown out of my pants.

Thursday 2/15

4 Rounds each for time:

10/8 Cal Row
30 Double Under
10 Toe 2 Bar
10 Chest 2 Bar Pull Up

Rest as needed between rounds


Saturday we'll be hosting our annual Open dress rehearsal, where we take an open workout from the past and sort of walk it through the same way it was done then. We do this in order to allay any concerns of some of our new Open participants and remind people how things run on these days.

Please be sure to arrive no later than 9 am on Saturday as we'll be going over the workout, movement standards, and basic flow for the day then. Heats are likely to start by roughly 9:30 or so and go until everyone has had a chance to hit the workout. 


See you Saturday!

Wednesday 2/14

4 Rounds for time:
20 Overhead Squat @ 115/75
20 Box Jump @ 30/24

With the Winter Olympics well underway I thought our readers might find this interesting. 

Pay specific attention to the importance of strength, the Olympic lifts and especially overhead squats. 


How Much Do Olympic Speed Skaters Squat

BY NICK ENGLISH - BARBEND.COM | FEB. 05, 2018, 3:14 P.M. (ET)

The following piece comes from  BarBend.com.

As we head into the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, we’ve been spending a lot of time wondering about how these world class athletes train to reach the pinnacle of their respective sports.

Different winter sports emphasize different qualities, of course, but when it comes to raw power and full throttle speed, speed skating is a league of its own.

How on Earth do America’s Olympic speed skaters develop such fast, powerful bodies? We asked their strength and conditioning coach. BarBend sat down with U.S. Speedskating’s Tyler Dabrowski, CSCS, USAW, to learn about just how important strength training is to speed skaters.

How Much Do Speed Skaters Squat?

A lot, relatively speaking: Dabrowski says that ideally, his male athletes can squat 2.5 times their bodyweight, and he prescribes plenty of accessory movements as well.

“We will do hip thrusts, sometimes single leg hip thrusts, especially when the athletes hit a plateau,” he says. “We’ll often do the same exercises for three to four weeks and then change it up, but we have numbers on athletes: what’s their back squat, their trap bar deadlift, their conventional deadlift.”

And what’s the ideal deadlift? For a male athlete he’ll aim for 2.7 times bodyweight and for females 2.5 times, though Dabrowski emphasizes that this is for his most elite category, his ideal athlete — and of course, an athlete’s strength shouldn’t interfere with their speed.

“We’ve had cases where the strongest and most powerful athlete in the weight room have tested off the charts in the gym but they’re not making the Olympic team, so in cases like that we may back off on the weights and work on skating technique” he says. “It’s not always the strongest and most powerful in the weight room, but we still try and raise that bar as much as possible.”

Olympic Weightlifting and Speed Skating

It turns out there’s some crossover between another Olympic sport: weightlifting.

“We’ll use Olympic lifts and hang cleans for the triple extension piece, to try and increase their speed and power and try and transfer that out on the ice,” says Dabrowski. “They’ve got to push through the hips, glutes, quads, and ankles, so we’re trying to get that in the weight room and transfer it out on the ice.”

The Olympic lifts also help to strengthen the posterior chain, improve muscle recruitment in the hamstrings and glutes, and reduce quad dominance, which can be a common problem. Dabrowski also finds weightlifting useful for speed skaters because of its strong emphasis on mobility: more flexibility in the hips means a more efficient ability to push forward, particularly around corners.

Then there are weightlifting accessories.

“The overhead squat has more of that flexibility and mobility, it’s really about total body stabilization and it’s such a great movement to teach as far as bracing the core, getting the hands overhead in line with the ears, and keeping everything over the ankles,” he says. “You can see a lot of flaws when someone does an overhead squat. If their arms are coming forward, we may need to work on opening the chest. So it’s a diagnostic tool.”

Finally, the Olympic lift are one way speed skaters try to hone explosiveness, along with other plyometric exercises like box jumps.

Knowing When to Step Back

But the most important piece of the puzzle is between the ears: understanding when an athlete’s stress and fatigue levels are affecting his or her physical performance.

“These guys are here five to six days a week, it’s their full time job, so we really try to manage the stress,” says Dabrowski. “We have meetings with other departments, nutritionists, athletic trainers, and sports psychologists to talk about the athletes and see where we should focus our efforts.”

This goes double with some of the younger athletes who also need to balance their training with school commitments or other jobs.

Surprisingly, one of the ways stress is measured is through jump testing: if an athlete is having trouble reaching 90 percent of their max jump speed, the coaches feel relatively certain that the athlete needs “a conversation” about their sleep and diet.

The Takeaway

We certainly haven’t covered all of an Olympic speed skater’s training. We didn’t discuss how they train out on the ice, and in any case every athlete’s programming is individualized to the athlete’s history, anthropometry, and age, and their training may exclude some of the exercises above. But our conversation has confirmed one of sports’ most important rules: squats improve just about everything.

Tuesday 2/13

3 rounds for time:
400m Run
12 Deadlift @ 155/105
9 Hang Power Clean
6 Push Jerk

Buckle up CrossFit SAC'ers, this one hits you right in the feels. 


A majority of the CrossFit transformation stories that you hear about have to do with a significant change in a person’s physical health, i.e. weight loss or curing a chronic disease, while they are all motivating and inspiring, I wanted to focus on my transformation that happened on the other end of the health spectrum. When I talk about my CrossFit transformation I would be ignorant not to mention how much my physical health has improved (because it has vastly) but that isn’t the transformation that I find myself to be the most proud of.

If you were to meet me 2-3 years ago, you probably would have met the same sarcastic, sleepy, girl who thinks she’s funnier than she actually is but the girl you would have met was losing a battle with herself and invariably unhappy and borderline miserable. Of course I still wore a smile and cracked stupid jokes at any chance I got but I had grown to hate the person that I was and I was letting my depression and anxiety slowly take control of my life and my physical health. Fast forward to today, after a year at CrossFit SAC I’m still sarcastic, still sleepy, and still not that funny, but I am finally happy. It is no coincidence that as soon as I joined CrossFit SAC it felt like everything was finally turning around. Becoming a part of the CrossFit SAC community turned out to be exactly what I didn’t know I needed in my life. Crossfit has given me a sense of pride and confidence that I have never known before, it has ingrained me with a drive to constantly push myself to be better, but it has also allowed me to feel a sense of happiness that I didn’t know existed. When I look back on who I was pre-CrossFit SAC and the destination that my life was heading towards, it scares me but at the same time it humbles me because it reminds me that CrossFit SAC is the reason that I’m still here. Many people don’t realize how big of an impact they are making on people’s lives but there is something very profound about the community, the members, and the coaches of our gym and the motivation, inspiration, and love that they make you feel whether you want it or not and that is something I am so very grateful for. 


To everyone who has ever pushed me to finish a WOD, encouraged me to make a bigger jump on a heavy day, or given me a fist bump on SugarWOD, thank you. You guys have helped me in my journey of bettering myself and you guys have been the foundation of my transformation.



(the one that’s usually asleep somewhere on the floor)

Monday 2/12

Dynamic Effort Lower

10x2 @ ~50% of 1RM
Box Front Squat

Pause Front Squat

2x20 Ring T-Row
2x20 Reverse Flye
2x20 DB Bent Over Row


One of the bingo squares for the Open this year is to submit your transformation story for publication. Here's the first one I received. 

From Hannah

I started CrossFit in November 2013 as a last-ditch effort to lose weight and get in shape so that I could eventually do a Tough Mudder with my husband. I have never been athletic, never participated in sports, I was very overweight, (I hate that picture from my first Opens, but it’s important to keep it around so that I can see how far I’ve come), very unhappy with myself, inactive, and woefully unaware of how to approach nutrition. I was a mess. But I knew that things would only get worse if I continued to do nothing, so doing nothing was not an option. 

Dave guided me through my first intro. He was patient and very kind. It’s a terrible feeling to be enormous and out of shape and to have someone who looks like Captain America patiently explain how to do a push-up on a bench. Dave never made me feel like I was too far gone to belong at the gym. He even brought me a juice box when I was ready to pass out. How nice was that? I finished my intro in 24:09. I thought to myself, “CrossFit? Barbells? Weightlifting? This isn’t for you. Don’t do this.” But I decided to ignore that thought for a little bit, to work through the intro classes, and decide from there.   

My first official workout was Filthy Fifty. I asked if I could watch instead of participate. I left early.  My first six months at CrossFit involved being as socially and physically uncomfortable as humanly possible, three times a week. I didn’t know anyone. It seemed like everyone else was way fitter than me, they were all best friends outside of class and took their shirts off during the workout to reveal perfectly chiseled abs and backs, while I couldn’t even tell the difference between a push press and a push jerk. The first thing I figured out was that I had to change the way I was eating if I wanted to make it through the classes. I was so focused on weight loss and the traditional approach of calorie restriction that by the time I arrived for class at 6:30 pm, my hard boiled egg, and apple for breakfast and my lunch time salad were not serving me. I started preparing grilled chicken and vegetables for breakfast and lunch. I also stopped eating out at restaurants so much. Pretty soon, my friends and family were commenting on my weight loss. 

I re-tested my intro after one year and finished in 5:15. That’s pretty much my proudest moment to date because it showed how far I had come. It proved to me that my hard work was paying off in dividends.

My performance at the gym gradually started picking up as well. I’ll never be an “elite” athlete, but I’ve come a long way from where I started. (I’ve also realized that it’s completely foolish to think of my peers in terms of being “elite” or not. None of us are going to the Games. That’s a separate thought piece for a different day.) 

Eventually, my weight loss plateaued and Mike D. suggested Zone. By then, I had lost thirty pounds. I printed the guide, bought a food scale, and started thinking about proteins, carbs, and fats in terms of “blocks.” Zone turned out to be the perfect solution for me because it’s a precise guide of what to eat, and you get to eat lots (and lots) of vegetables. Boom! Another 15 pounds lost. I was also able to ramp up my attendance from three nights per week to four, and eventually five. Now I can work out six times a week if I feel like it - and totally survive. 

It’s dreadfully easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. It really puts a damper on my experience when I start to focus on people who joined the gym after me and who have lost more weight/can lift heavier/do muscle-ups/run longer (everyone can run longer than me). Then, I stop and consider that I went from being an extraordinarily unhealthy woman  who had never been active, and had no self-confidence to someone who has lost 50 pounds and whose doctors L-O-V-E her blood tests. I look at our workouts and understand the intended stimulus. I know how I should scale weights and movements to either back off or turn up the hurt. I can even tell you the names of the metabolic pathways. I know that the voice in your head that tells you to stop, doesn’t get a vote. I know that no matter how terrible a workout may be (Hotshots 19 in 106 degree weather) the gym has a 100% survival rate. 

So, nope, I don’t take my shirt off. Nope, I’m not a member of the hot mom bod club. I’m still proud of myself, though, for all that I’ve learned and achieved. I’m happy to be a member of the CrossFit SAC community. 

Saturday 2/10


See you at 9:30 at the park at the end of Myrtle.

Why I Hate the Open (but Participate in it Anyway)

I have participated in every year of the CrossFit Open. This will be my eighth year of dreading what 5 pm on Thursday will bring for five weeks between February and March. I'm not writing this to brag, but rather to relate to any and everyone in the gym. I know what it's like to sign up and have no idea what to expect. The first year of the Open, I had a score of 1 in the third workout and I was stoked because I had to PR my clean to get that one rep. During the last workout of that same year, I got a score of three because I couldn't do chest-to-bar pull-ups and there was no scaled division.

I know what it's like to be excited about the Open. The last workout of the second year was a repeat of the last and I could eek out some chest-to-bar pulls and PR'd! I remember dying inside during the announcement of 12.4 (12 min AMRAP of 150 wall balls / 90 double unders/ 10 muscle-ups) and then having it repeated the next year (and PRing!).

I've done the Open while being 8 months pregnant and had to deal with the disappointment of not being able to do the final workout of 14.5. And then participating in the 2015 Open and being reminded that I had not fully recovered from pregnancy. 

I have participated in every year and have hated it at some point. Don't get me wrong, the Open gets better every year. The addition of the Scaled Division in 2015 means even more people can participate and I love gathering around the gym TV with other athletes Thursday nights to hear what torture Dave Castro has planned for us. However, the Open gives me so much anxiety because it makes me try harder. This year will be even worse because I know that I'm not as fit as I was last year.

However, I'm still going to participate. Is 2018 going to be the year I crush the Open? Probably not. But this year's Open can also serve as a benchmark for next year, so when 18pointwhatever is repeated, I might PR. As much as I am dreading the five weeks between Feb 22nd and March 26th, I also wouldn't miss it for the world. 

Friday 2/9

5 Rounds for time:
17 Wall Ball
35 Double Under


*** REMINDER ***

Saturday's class will be at 9:30 at the part at the end of Myrtle

blog image - talk and complain .jpg

Thursday 2/8


For time:
21-15-9 reps
Clean @ 135/95
Ring Dip


*** REMINDER ***

Saturday's workout will take place at the park at the end of Myrtle at 9:30.

We've got another oldie-but-a-goodie for you today folks. 

This is a classic CrossFit benchmark, and also one of the workouts that lives on our Leaderboard. Come on in and give it a shot!

Wednesday 2/7

15 rounds:
20 Second max effort row

*** REMINDER ***

Saturday's workout will be at 9:30 and take place at the park at the end of Myrtle, hope to see you there!

four traits of successful athletes.jpg

Tuesday 2/6

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 power snatches
10 overhead walking lunges
1 rope climb, 15-ft. rope

Men: 95 lb.
Women: 75 lb.

The initial draft is over, but that doesn't mean you've missed out on all the fun. It's not too late to register for the Open and get selected in the next round of picks.

Click here to register for the 2018 Open!

Monday 2/5

2 Rounds for time:
50 L Pull Up
50 Ab Mat Sit Up

Friday 2/2

6 Rounds for time
10/7 Cal Row
10 Toe 2 Bar
20 Double Under

The Intramural Draft is going down tomorrow! Will you end up part of the Hogweights or Flex appeal teams? Maybe you'll be a Buns & Guns member or the WOD's will be ever in your favor with the Hungergains. 

No matter what team you end up on, remember that the Open is ultimately about pushing yourself to do your best. As long as you give it the best you've got each go 'round you should be proud of what you've accomplished!

Thursday 2/1


For time:

100 Pull Up
100 Push Up
100 Sit Up
100 Squat

Are you signed up for the Open yet? If not click here to register!


From CrossFit.com

JANUARY 25, 2018


By Emily Beers

People of all levels rise up during the Open.

Almost a year has passed since Open Workout 17.2, but Theresa Grandel still clearly remembers the moment she unexpectedly found herself on top of the bar.

“I was so happy. Just so happy. It was super amazing, and I had this big smile on my face because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it,” Grandel said of performing her first bar muscle-up. She accomplished the feat at the age of 41 during the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open.

Going into the workout, which started with 2 rounds of 50 ft. of weighted walking lunges, 16 toes-to-bars and 8 power cleans, her goal was simply to finish the two opening rounds as quickly as she could. Grandel didn’t think a bar muscle-up was within her grasp, she admitted. 

“After the lunges and toes-to-bars and cleans, I took a nice long break to mentally prepare. The coaches were all there watching, and I decided to just go for it. On my first try, I got up there. It wasn’t pretty, but I got up there, so I didn’t care how nice it looked,” she remembered.

“It was one of the happiest feelings in my life.”

Every year, the Open is full of moments in which ordinary people find themselves achieving things they thought were impossible. Such moments are hard to create on a regular training day, Grandel explained.

“It’s the competition that did it. When the adrenaline was pumping, it initiated something inside of me,” she said. 

The same thing happened to Jen Copus last year. The 48-year-old, who trains at CrossFit Bloomsburg in Pennsylvania, snatched 95 lb. for the first time during Open Workout 17.3. She had no idea she was capable of hitting that lift, and a year later Copus said she still gets excited when she thinks about that moment. 

“The spirit of the Open is amazing, and it helps you do things you never thought you could do,” she said. “Every year, I’m always able to do so much more than I think I can.”

Colin Farrell, a coach at Potomac CrossFit in Arlington, Virginia, said watching people exceed their expectations is one of the most rewarding parts of the Open.

“Athletes are forced to go a little harder or attempt things they never would. Sometimes newer athletes are intimidated to give (the workout) a go. … But during the Open, they make the jump and are often really surprised how strong, fast and capable they are,” Farrell said. 

People rise up, he explained, no matter what level they’re at or how old they are.

“We encourage our veteran athletes as well as our new guys (to participate) because the Open is—especially since the introduction of the scaled division—an incredibly egalitarian event,” he said.

“We see people set new PRs during the Open and then proceed to hit (lifts) for multiple reps. I specifically remember, during 16.2, multiple athletes PR-ing their squat clean, then knocking out 10 to 12 reps of it. First muscle-ups, stringing double-unders together—it happens every year, and it will happen this year. I can’t wait.”

Even if you’re not a competitive person by nature, the Open will help you go beyond perceived limits, said Joe Vaughn, owner of CrossFit Mousetrap in Orlando, Florida.

“The body is often much stronger than the mind will allow, so having a group of friends cheer and motivate you through a grueling workout somehow unlocks some hidden capacity,” he said.

Copus said confronting her fears and overcoming a challenge makes the Open particularly rewarding.

“I want to throw up before every Open workout. I really do. It’s scary, and you absolutely do have to find the courage to dig deep. But it’s the best feeling in the world to be courageous and know you’re pushing through. I always know I’m going to be so proud of myself at the end. That’s an indescribable feeling,” she said. 

This year of competition will be Copus’ fifth. A veteran now, she admitted she was apprehensive during her first Open experience.

“I remember walking into the gym and my husband and I had only been doing CrossFit for a few months, and we felt like everyone was younger than us and there was no way we could handle it. But we scaled it and got through it,” she said. 

Getting through that first year helped Copus unleash something she had forgotten about, she explained.

“Inside of me, in my mind and my body, I found a competitor. And that competitiveness and getting to be part of something that was bigger than just my gym, it really inspired me.”

Although the worldwide Leaderboard is a reminder that you’re competing against thousands of others around the world, the Open really is a personal journey—a reflection of the work you have put in all year. 

So whether you’re a 20-something elite athlete who is striving to qualify for Regionals, a 48-year-old veteran like Copus, a 35-year-old rookie like Donnie Ellis or a finally eligible 14-year-old like Thea Boucher, valuable lessons abound during the five-week event.

14-year-old Thea Boucher (Thea Boucher)

The first step is figuring out what you want to get out of the Open, Copus said. She admitted she’s still setting her intention for this year.

“I finally have my pull-ups now. It took me four years to get a pull-up, but they’re coming, so I have to decide this year if I want to see how well I can do in the scaled division in my age group or go Rx and challenge myself more,” Copus said. “Whatever I decide, my goal is just to do the best I possibly can. It’s going to hurt, but the sense of accomplishment I know I’ll feel at the end is far greater than the pain I’ll be in during the workout.”

Ellis just started CrossFit in August 2017. Since then, he has lost close to 60 lb. through diet and exercise, and he signed up for the Open for the first time. Considering the life changes Ellis has experienced in the last six months, he’s excited just to be competing, he explained.

“I never would have thought I’d be able to compete when I started in August,” said Ellis, who will compete in the scaled division. “I don’t really have any performance expectations. It’s all just a learning experience for me.”

He added: “I spent so many years doing nothing for fitness that this is just about proving to myself that I’m capable of doing it.” 

Donnie Ellis before and after beginning to train CrossFit (Donnie Ellis)

Boucher, too, is just thrilled that she’s finally able to compete. Though she started CrossFit at 11, she is just this year old enough to register for the Open. Her goal is simple: to gain competition experience for the future.

“I want to compete at the CrossFit Games at some point in my life, so being able to see where I’m at in the Open now will help give me an idea of where I stand compared to other girls my age,” she said. 

She continued: “I just want to give it everything I’ve got. And then hopefully next year when I have more experience, I’ll place well. But this year the goal is to do as many workouts as prescribed as I can.”

Beyond individual competition goals is the atmosphere that’s created when a host of people get together to work out and overcome obstacles. Most gyms make a big deal of the five-week competition, using it to drive community spirit and showcase the accomplishments of their members. Friday Night Lights events are common, as are in-house competitions that focus on fun and participation. 

And after all the reps are logged, something about the Open’s post-workout euphoria makes people more social. If you visit any CrossFit affiliate or garage gym during an Open workout, you’ll see smiles wider than normal as people stick around to judge, cheer on other athletes and socialize with friends.

The camaraderie that forms during the Open is Matt Munson’s favorite part of the annual competition.

Munson coaches an athlete. (Matt Munson)

“I always look forward to the Open, not only because of all workouts, standings, (and) competi-tors, but every year we all meet on Thursdays for the WOD to be announced, potluck-style. This year, it will be held at my in-laws, who are also coaches at the box. I can’t wait to hang out with everyone and strengthen our community,” said Munson, owner of CrossFit Bloomsburg. 

Vaughn has a similar perspective.

“The Open is my favorite time of the year. While I love it when members crush the workout or PR, my favorite (part of) the Open is the social dynamics that take place. The newest and slowest people often get cheered for louder and more than our most fit. A wide range of levels come together to accomplish the same goal,” he said.

“Bonds are created (during) every Open WOD, and I absolutely love watching it take place.”

Is the Open for you?

Only if you enjoy exceeding expectations, being encouraged and supported by friends, having fun, and reaching new levels of fitness and health.

So, if you’re reading this, the Open is definitely for you.

Wednesday 1/31

15 Min AMRAP

5 Squat Clean @ 155/105
5 Bar facing burpee

accountability continuum.jpg

Tuesday 1/30

For time:

Sumo Deadlift High Pull
Overhead Squat

Monday 1/29

Dynamic Effort Upper

10x3 Banded Bench @ ~50% 

Bench Press 5-5-5

Accessory work

I've heard people say "these workouts aren't hard enough" or "I need more volume in my training" when referring to different programs they've tried within CrossFit. Whenever I hear that it's always a bit surprising, and it makes me think of a few questions I'd like to ask them.

- What's your Fran time? 
- What's your Helen time?
- What's your Cindy score?
- How fast can you finish Nasty Girls or Nancy?

The reason these questions come up is that it's not uncommon for athletes to be able to perform CrossFit workouts as prescribed (Rx). Sometimes once they can they think they've reached some sort of pinnacle where now they need some super special program to be able to continue to improve.

This is typically not the case. 

What they need is more of what's caused them to reach the fitness they have. They need to move well, to do it often and to do it with INTENSITY.

The 1-mile run is an Olympic event. Not because it's impressive that people can run for a whole mile, but because it's impressive how quickly they can do so. 

Think about how this applies to your own training. Commit yourself to showing up with a good attitude and working REALLY FRICKING HARD during that workout. Then go home and shake it off and come back tomorrow. 

This is the key to continued success.