Why hello! Welcome to Part 2. Did you miss Part 1? No worries, I kept a copy for you right here. While that post was about what we’re going to do in the gym between now and the Open, today we’re going to talk about what you can expect from the Open itself once it begins on October 10.
When you register for the Open, you’ll be put into a division based on your age and gender (sorry folx, you still have to pick one…). Each division is given an Rx and a Scaled version of the workout, and you’re meant to choose one or the other to perform for submission. For better or for worse, the Rx and Scaled scores are measured on the same leaderboard within a division, and therefore Rx scores are “worth more” than Scaled scores, no matter what. It’s not the best system in the world but it’s the one we’re presented with.
For a lot of athletes, they’re faced with the decision to do a workout Rx or Scaled. Say the Rx version has bar muscle ups in the middle of it, and you don’t have those yet. You can do everything else leading up to it though, so what you might do is the Scaled workout on Friday night in front of the crowd, and then come back on Sunday, get through as much of the Rx version as you can, and submit that Rx score. It is admittedly a weird aspect of the Open, but it is how a lot of athletes choose to play the game.
A good reason to put in an Rx score, whatever it may be, would be because these Open workouts are new benchmarks, some of which may be programmed again some day. In 2015, 15.4 was a couplet of handstand push-ups and cleans, with an 8-minute time cap. In 8 minutes, I was able to perform 1 handstand push-up (it very well may have been my first). My score for that workout was 1 rep. We tested it again in 2018 and I got 66 reps. It is insanely gratifying to see that score of 1 and replace it with 66. (We’re probably testing 15.4 next week so now I need to top 66!)
Allow me to set the scene. It’s Thursday night. You’ve been waiting for the announcement all day. Fundamentals is winding down at 8:30. Athletes descend upon the gym, beverages in hand and dogs in tow. I start a Facebook Live feed and our very own Brittany Burke takes the stage and announces the workout to a chorus of oohs and aahs, and maybe some groans. A few brave athletes, who have been warming up in the wings, step in and perform the workout to the cheers of their adoring fans. It’s a tradition we started two years ago, and it’s turned into a highlight of the season for many. We hope that if you can’t make it down here in person, you’ll at least tune in and support the athletes from the comfort of home. It’s a really fun night. Amy got her first pull up during the 18.3 Thursday Night Throwdown and it was one of the greatest moments this gym has ever seen.
What might be even better than our Thursday Night Throwdown is our Friday Night Lights, a tradition we started 3 or 4 years ago. The biggest, fittest party of the year! We even have a DJ! We cancel the evening classes, trading them in for heats of athletes performing the workout all night, until everyone that wants to go has gone. While working out in front of a crowd is definitely not for everyone, those who enjoy it don’t get a better opportunity all year. If it’s not your thing (and believe me, you’re not alone), you’ll have a blast cheering on your fellow athletes from the side. There may be another special guest or two dropping in!
Open Gym over the weekend is packed! Some folks do the workout a second time if they think they can improve their score. Some folks will do both the Scaled and the Rx versions just for fun. Either way, the vibe all weekend is pretty great.
One of the unique aspects of the Open is that if you’re submitting your scores, your work must be judged and verified by someone else. Which means that you can pick a friend and they can count your reps for you! As the athlete, this lets you focus on what you’re doing and forget about counting, and you get your own personal cheerleader as you go! As the judge, you’re a cheerleader, but you’re also tasked with holding your friends to the movement standards of the workout. This can be a challenge for many, because who wants to tell their swolemate to go back and do something again in the middle of a workout? It is a necessary part of the equation though, and I will be asking everyone to judge at least once throughout the weekend.
Definitely not. The Open is 100% voluntary, but I truly believe there is something wonderful and unique about participating in a worldwide event with hundreds of thousands of people. Even better than that is the experience of doing this with all your peers at JPCF. We’ve witnessed some pretty great stuff the last few years: folks surpassing their expectations, folks achieving things for the first time. It’s a great time of year. Even if you don’t want to do the workouts at all, you should still absolutely come to Friday Night Lights, just to hang with friends and watch some fitness. The vibe is unreal.
Every January for the past 4 years, JPCF has been the home of the Quidditch Cup, a super fun Harry-Potter-themed competition that focuses on skill-building. The QCup started as Open Prep; a way to incentivize skill work leading up to the Open, which has always started in February. Since it was announced that the Open would be moving to October, a lot of folks have been asking if the QCup would follow. I’m happy to announce that the QCup has outgrown the Open and is staying right where it is in January. Instead, we’re going to take a swing at a brand new competition for the Open. To be honest, I don’t even have a name for this thing yet, but here’s the gist:
You can expect a full blog post in a few weeks when more of this stuff is figured out. But I wanted to let you know sooner rather than later that this was in the works.
As always, let us know if you have questions. The Open is a really fun time, and played a huge role in my falling in love with CrossFit. Stayed tuned for more fun stuff as we get closer!