A Beginners Guide To The CF Open

Each week, for five weeks, a workout will be released beginning Thursday October 10th Thursday nights at 7pm on the CrossFit Games website (here).

Here is what you should and shouldn’t do, to get through each event.



I want to be clear, the face-off event between the two athletes on the live announcement of the workout IS NOT the demonstration video. The demonstration video will brief athletes, judges, affiliate owners and managers on exactly what all the details and movement standards are for the workout. While we will cover these standards at the gym, this video will outline the expectations well in advance of you actually doing the workout so you can mentally prepare for them. Plus, this will help alleviate any confusion about the workouts, the movements, judging standards etc, and the more prepared you are in this regard, then the better you will perform. It is scientifically proven that the more “no reps” an athlete receives, the lower their score will be. The demonstration video will help you not get “No Repped”


Regardless of your fitness level, having a goal for each one of the workouts will give ALL athletes something to shoot for, and give them the internal motivation that they need to achieve what they set out to do. All of the events will be mentally challenging on all of us for all kinds of different reasons and setting specific, actionable, realistic goals will be your only saving grace to keep you moving and working hard when your body is trying to convince your brain to stop. After you set that goal, have a plan for how you will achieve it. For example, how will you break up your sets? What will be your rest times? What are the milestones and timelines on the event? All of these should be crystal clear in your mind and you should be laser focused on this plan, and committed to this plan in order to achieve that goal you set. And of course, us coaches are happy to help with coming up with a game plan for you!



This is HUGE mistake that athletes get caught up in all of the time. The mindset that you should have is this: “I am doing this workout one time…PERIOD.” If you do an event with the mindset that you will do it again, you’ll get to the part of the workout where it will begin to hurt and you will immediately think “I am not going to go to that place mentally and physically that I need to reach my goal because I want to be fresh for when I try it for real”. The only time that an athlete should re-attempt a workout is when something avoidable prevented them from reaching their goal, OR if that athlete is in a “bubble” situation where a very small number of reps is the difference between them reaching their goal or not. Doing Open workouts multiple times trying to post higher scores is TERRIBLE for your fitness for reasons far beyond the scope of this article…just trust me, do them multiple times, and your fitness will go backwards; do them once, and your fitness will go forward…I promise.


All of us will have the butterflies for sure, that is unavoidable….but, relax for a second, take in the moment, take a deep breath, smile, high five your judge and thank them in advance for helping you get through the event. Make sure your shoes are double knotted, your draw strings are tied, your equipment is pre-chalked, and pre-checked. Don’t be frantic…smile and have fun.


This one always gets me – athletes that are jerks to their judge. News Flash people: your judge is a fellow CrossFitter, they are volunteering their time, they are judging you to help you…not hurt you. They are the only voice that you will hear in the chaos of the event so from 321…GO to 321…REST, they are your best friend. They will get you through the workout with the proper movement standards so you can reach your goal the RIGHT way. They aren’t your foe, they are your friend. If they say no rep, it because you are going fast, trying to reach your goal, they still love you, but you missed the movement standard…period. They can see your movement, you can’t, and they are the one with steady breathing and a normal heart rate, so don’t challenge them if they say “No Rep.” Just throw that rep out, and replace it with a good one. At the end of the workout give them a high five, and tell them thanks.


Get to the gym well before your heat time, watch other athletes go, and cheer for them the right way (More to come on that in a second). This is a great time to help people get through the event, and a great time to meet people from the gym that may workout at a different time than you. Form bonds and friendships, that is what the Open is for and that is the best part about the Open!!!!


As mentioned above, most athletes have a plan, a set number of reps per set, a pace on certain movements to recover while moving, milestones, etc. that they have thought about before their workout. If they are 15 reps in and drop the bar, normally they don’t need you in their grill screaming and yelling at them to pick up the bar. They may simply be executing on their work/rest management plan that they lined up before the workout so they can achieve their goal. If you are screaming and yelling at them to go bananas on their bar, you may, in fact, be motivating them to break their plan of attack and you may actually cost them. I am not saying to not cheer…I want you to scream your head off and you will, I promise, but it should be positive, encouraging, and helpful. Stand to the side of athletes, or behind them and cheer, not in front of them. While some athletes like the in your face motivation style, lots of athletes don’t like to be in that highly uncomfortable place and have someone staring them down at the same time.


8. LEADER-BOARDING ETIQUETTE: Sometimes in the heat of the moment we can get really excited about an accomplishment we witnessed and immediately want to tell the world on social media with a post like “Oh my god Hank just got 119 reps on 14.1!!!!” But this might make Hank uncomfortable. So, before posting an athlete’s score or video of them doing a workout simply check with them first…this goes for texting out their scores to others as well. Love it or hate it, in today’s Open climate, if an athlete is trying to qualify for regionals then they will most likely not want to put a target score out there for all the other competitors at other gyms that are also trying to qualify to beat. Most people won’t care if you share their score, but others might, so simply check with them first.


Every year this happens – an athlete will go through the pain and hard work of completing one of the workouts, fighting for every rep – and then forget to submit their score online. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS submit your score before the deadline (5pm on Monday).  In addition to just plain forgetting, sometimes athletes will intentionally avoid submitting a score because they aren’t proud of it. This is a huge mistake! If you don’t submit your score, you will never see your true results in the competition or have a benchmark to go off of in the future, because you won’t be able to submit a score online for the rest of the Open workouts.


Being fat was the best thing that ever happened to me

Written By: Mario Ashley, MBA, Owner Naples S&C

Growing up, I was the cute short chubby fat kid. I’m grateful for that.

You see unlike many of my athletic friends playing sports, I had to confront diet and exercise at a very early age. It started in middle school where I learned how to cut weight in order to be eligible to play Pop Warner football with my friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I hated it at the time. I had to grow up faster than my peers. I had to learn what it meant to eat healthy. I was forced to limit my portions and even drink Diet Coke.

Now in my mid-30’s I have many childhood friends who are extremely unhappy because they are overweight and out of shape.

I believe the perception of those who don’t work out is that it’s easy for FIT people to workout and eat “right.” Coming from the FIT guy who was the fat chubby kid, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This places us, the fit people,  in a tough position. We want to be able to post about things we are doing in training but if we do it too much it looks like showing off.

You’ll rarely see me with my shirt off, and I seldom boast about my ability to Snatch 225lbs, Deadlift 475lbs, Bench 315, run a mile in 6:45 seconds, and walk on my hands over 100ft (that’s me boasting), because as proud as I am about these accomplishments, I know someone may look at that post and become more depressed about their current situation.

In reality, we are no different. In fact, if I were to stop working out and stop caring about what I put into my mouth, I would turn into the little chubby fat kid again. This time it wouldn’t be so cute.

In reality, we are no different. In fact, if I were to stop working out and stop caring about what I put into my mouth, I would turn into the little chubby fat kid again. This time it wouldn’t be so cute.

I believe it impossible to be entirely fulfilled and happy without some degree of health and fitness. To me, fitness and health are essential in developing ultimate happiness and fulfillment. And the only difference between being fit and being overweight is that fit people DECIDE to make daily positive lifestyle choices.  They don’t let emotion, the way they feel, predicate an opportunity to take care of themselves.

They DECIDE to workout today even though they’re tired, even though they’re sore, even though they’re stressed.

They DECIDE to go to the gym because they said they were going to. 

They DECIDE to wake up at five o’clock in the morning to workout but it is likely they won’t workout at night.

They DECIDE to make an effort to eat healthy because no amount of exercise can overcome a bad diet.

And for nothing more, they know that those decisions long term will produce lasting benefits that give them the opportunity to have the quality of life we all deserve.

Athlete Spotlight- Delianys M.

Hometown: Clewiston, FL

Age: 28

Profession: Law Enforcement

What did you do for fitness before CrossFit? Did you play any sports growing up? Before CrossFit, I’d go to a local gym, lift weights and run. Growing up I played tennis.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I wanted to try something different because I needed motivation, Google assisted me in finding the perfect box for me.

What was your first workout and how did it go? How did you feel after? I don’t remember my first workout, it was a blur but I do remember afterward feeling great and motivated.

Favorite CF Movements: Deadlift

Least Favorite Movements: Pull Ups

Favorite Cheat Meal: Hibachi

Favorite Healthy Meal: salmon with broccoli and mushrooms

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I’d like to someday coach Tennis for a local high school team.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I can do a handstand and my running has improved.

What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit?  I don’t feel as tired anymore.

Any advice for people just getting started or new to CrossFit? Don’t be intimidated by other peoples skill level, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Tennis, fishing, and traveling.