by Geoff Rand

While it seems like just a few months ago when Katrin Davidsdottir and Matt Fraser took their places at the top of the winner’s podium, the 2017 CrossFit Games are right around the corner.

The 2017 CrossFit Games season kicks off with the CrossFit Open’s first workout being released on February 23, 2017.  The next 4 Open workouts will be released every Thursday, ending on 3/23.


What is the CrossFit Open? 

The Open is a series of five weekly workouts that tests your ability and establishes your worldwide ranking compared to other athletes in the same division.  Ultimately, your ranking in the Open determines if you qualify for the Regionals, and the best from Regionals go on to the CrossFit Games.

What are the divisions? 

There are divisions for anyone ages 14 and up, including a new 35-40 age bracket in the Masters Division this year.  And, there are multiple scaled divisions so anyone at any age or ability is able to compete.

What can I expect in the Open? 

Expect to be challenged, and to push beyond what you believe are your limits.  Each year I see athletes at CFF get their first double unders, pull ups, muscle ups, or lift heavier or do more reps than they thought they could, all because of the Open.  The competition and camaraderie brings out the best in all who compete.  While we have no idea what they will come up with this year, here are the five Open WODs from 2016.

I’m not a Rich Froning or a Camille LaBlanc-Bazinet, why should I compete? 

While only the best of the best ultimately make it to the Games, we all can benefit from competing in the Open.  The Open workouts will bring out the best in you and you likely will push yourself harder and further than you would in a day-to-day WOD.  The encouragement from the coaches and other athletes cheering you on is highly motivating.  Your ranking lets you know where you stand among your CrossFit peers across the globe and is a yearly check in on your progress as a CrossFit athlete.  The Open gives you a taste of what a CrossFit competition feels like and you might find you even enjoy CrossFit competitions after trying out the Open.  My personal favorite reason for competing in the Open is since each competitor has a personal judge, you never have to count your reps.

I’m in, what do I need to do?

Log on to and register prior to February 23.  The cost is $20+tax.

Fill out your online profile and then sign up at the front desk for a heat time each week.

Each competitor is responsible for posting their scores prior to each week’s deadline (Monday evening) in order for their score to count.  Note that CFF has until Wednesday night to validate your score entries, so don't freak out if it's not validated by the competitor entry deadline.

Watch the weekly WOD release every Thursday and be familiar with the movements you are expected to perform.  There will be a short demo of the standards prior to your heat.

Where do I need to be? 

CrossFit Frederick will be running the Open WODs on the Saturdays of 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, and 3/25.  The Open heats will be run from 7AM to 10AM, with the Box opening at 6:45AM.  A heat signup list will be posted each week.  While we will do all we can to accomodate everyone, please understand our goal is to be finished by 10AM.  This means you should be in the Box early, not expecting to walk in at 9:45AM and just jump in.   Heats will be run on a first come, first served basis.  Competitors should arrive prior to their heat time and be warmed up and ready to go.  Regularly scheduled WODs during the Open will be cancelled on those Saturdays.  Yoga will still be offered at 10:30AM on Saturdays during the Open unless the logistics of that Saturday's Open WOD cause an unusual length of time to be needed to conduct the heats.  A decision will be made weekly on this after the Open WODs are announced.

While it is expected that competitors competing in the Open at CFF will sign up for one of the heats each Saturday that we are running the Open WODs, we understand unavoidable conflicts can occur.  If you absolutely cannot make one of the heats on a given Saturday, contact Amanda to figure out an alternate plan.

What else do I need to know? 

Drop ins may compete at CFF in the Open for any of the WODs.  Fee is $10.  Please arrive early to fill out a waiver.

It is a good idea to practice the exercises in the upcoming Open WOD prior to each Saturday.  Many athletes use the Friday before the WOD to work on anything they need to practice prior to being tested.  Competitors may utilize any regular time CFF is open as “Open Gym” time to prepare for the Saturday Open WOD.  Note that coaches may not be available to assist you with your preparation, and you’ll need to stay out of the way of regular classes.  This open gym time is working on your own.

Bring your family and friends to cheer you on!  It’s so motivating to have people cheering for you and this is the chance for those who maybe only see photos on Facebook to see how much of a beast you are in person.

The CrossFit Open is challenging but provides a tremendous source of satisfaction in both your personal experience of pushing past your limits and in seeing how you compare to hundreds of thousands of other athletes around the world.  So are you ready?