Why CrossFit Affiliates Should Support The Open

2019 has brought us two Opens and has some CrossFit Affiliate owners wondering if they should participate. The Open brings with it a lot of extra work for sure, especially if affiliates host a Friday Night Lights or Saturday Main Event. Recruiting and certifying judges, tabulating and approving scores and other administrative tasks add numerous hours to an owner’s already busy schedule. But, before abandoning the Open all together, I encourage affiliate owners to consider the following reasons to carry on and support the CrossFit Games Open at their box. 

Nobody Else Has The Open!

The Open and the CrossFit Games are the ultimate manifestation of primary tenets of CrossFit specifically, that fitness is “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains'” and CrossFit “measurable and repeatable.” And, the Open and the Games (the test of fitness) are unique to CrossFit. As Affiliate Owners look for ways to differentiate themselves, on of the best ways is via the Open.

I believe it is extremely important that CrossFit Affiliates stand the ground on the definition of “fitness”especially given the rapidly expanding world of bootcamps, Orange Theory’s, F45s, Pelotons, Soul Cycles and social media influencers, most of which promote aesthetics ahead of fitness. Fitness is what we deliver, and we do it better than anyone else. And the Open is an excellent, effective and fun way to test our progress every year. No one else has anything like the Open, nor can they, primarily because their methodologies are not “measurable and repeatable.”

We Learn From The Best or, We Fail At The Margins Of Our Experience

Honda automobiles spends $100’s of millions a year to fund Honda racing initiatives, especially in Formula 1. Honda’s racing success yields significant branding benefits, but more significantly, the research and development necessary to be successful in racing lead to innovations in mass-market automobiles. 

CrossFit Games athletes continue to push the boundaries of human capacity every year. The tools, tests, experiences and training methods of the best athletes have trickled down into the equipment, education and programming that benefits CrossFit affiliates, including Air bikes, ski ergs, mobility programs, EMOMs, skill specific drills and exercises, strength & endurance programs and even injury experience. 

As the best in the sport continue to improve – at the tip of the spear – we in the community will benefit from the investment they make in training and coaching.  The CrossFit Games is our “Formula 1” and the athletes are our “racing teams” from whom we gain tremendous knowledge and inspiration for our communities. 

We Have Standards

Virtuosity of movement is a desired outcome for most CrossFit affiliates. It is a distinguishing characteristic of our methodology that validates our professional approach to fitness. When our clients try another fitness program, they are often aghast at the lack of movement quality and the absence of standards. 

The Open movement standards and judging requirements are the ultimate representation of our pursuit of virtuosity.  While stressful for some, the message is always received: CrossFit cares about movement standards.  And that is a powerful message given the plethora of online fitness programs and boutique bootcamps. 

Memorable Life Experiences Are Binding

Most of us remember our first pull-up or muscle-up, or a Spartan Race, marathon or CrossFit competition with our friends. These are “break-through” life experiences that stay with us forever and create positive associations with the people or places where they happened. 

The CrossFit Games Open is 5 awesome opportunities to create memorable life experiences that members will associate with their affiliate and community.  Everyone will remember their 1st Open workout and their 1st completed Open. And, they’ll cherish the accomplishment. 

Additionally, the overwhelming community support during the Open often provokes extraordinary effort that helps many athletes break-though mental barriers to achieve things they never thought possible. And, the usual over-emotional reaction permeates the entire community – creating a memorable life event for everyone around. Those events are invaluable for any affiliate.

Nobody else has the Open. We do.

Craig Howard
Founder, Owner & Coach

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