The CrossFit Open and the CrossFit Mattoon Intramural Open – Demystified:

The CrossFit Open – Maybe you’ve heard of it, and maybe you’re like many of our newer members who have no idea what I’m talking about. But it’s time to get to talking about it!

You may have heard of the CrossFit Games, and though the Open has historically been the “Road to the Games”, this year, things are being done a little differently! You can read here to get some more details on the Open or to register (DO IT!), or you can use the links at the top of the linked page to read about this year’s addition, “Sanctionals” or the Games event itself.

But as far as what will affect us at the gym: The Open is an event wherein athletes across the globe compete in this 5-week worldwide competition beginning on February 22nd and concluding on March 22nd. Not just “some” athletes, but last year, there were 430,000 who participated by signing up for the Official Open! That’s not even counting how many hundreds of thousands participated in their gym’s intramural Open!

Starting on February 21, a workout will be released every Thursday evening (7pm our time) for 5 weeks. At the live workout announcement, we will likely get to see some elite athletes doing the workout, and maybe even some beginners! It’s a lot of fun to watch and see how they strategize. We’ll hang out at the box watching the announcement on 2/21. You should come, too.

You may have noticed that our programming sometimes contains workouts such as “11.3” or “12.4” – these past Open WODs are a great benchmark for looking at your progress throughout/over the year(s) as the WODs magically reappear in our regular programming. And it’s fun to just see the leaderboard and be inspired by all the people from all walks of life who choose to be part of The Open. Nothing like seeing the story of an 85-year-old completing her first Open WOD!


We are continuing with the intramural bandwagon this year (one of our business mentors, the amazing Chris Cooper, came up with the idea, which you can read about here) and will be holding FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS every Friday for five weeks beginning 2/22. If you’re a morning or noon WODster and can’t make the Friday night event, don’t worry – every class on Friday will do the Open workout! But if you can make the Friday evening event, DO IT! Bring your friends and family to watch – it’ll be a great time. We’ll have the gym open at 5:30, do the whiteboard review at about 6, and you can strategize with your team (more on teams in a bit!), warm-up, and hang out before we get started with the heats. We will plan on class running more like from 6pm – 7:30 (some WODs will push the finishing heat closer to 8) pm. Heats will be running throughout that time, so if you can’t be there right at 6, no worries! You’ll also get the chance to judge/count reps for/cheer for your gymmates – this is one of the best parts!

In addition to the scaled/masters options given by CrossFit, we will also have a “novice” WOD option, just like in regular class, for all of the newer athletes or anyone not yet at the scaled division – yes, ALL OF YOU can do this!!!! This workout will be no different than a usual WOD, just a wee bit more exciting! There will be a second date (either Saturday or Sunday) for those of you who couldn’t WOD on Friday. We aren’t planning to open this up for “redos” – we would never “redo” a super intense workout in programming any other time for many reasons, and there’s no need for it during the Open either. As fun as the Open is, there’s no reason to make drastic changes that will affect the rest of the week’s training!

You do have the option to sign up at (pick our affiliate as your home gym – here’s a step-by-step on how to do it: ). It costs $20, and it is a sign of commitment – kind of like RSVP’ing to class on ZP for all to see – it’s skin in the game! But it’s not a requirement to participate in our Intramural Open. Those of you who aren’t yet able to do full-depth squats, if you’re close, keep working on it so you can be judged according to official Open standards. If it’s not yet safe for you to do this though, keep at it, and be ready next year! Those who aren’t signed up on the CrossFit website above will be judged according to their best range of motion in each given movement.


This year’s captains are … for the GUYS’ TEAM (yes, it’s guys v. girls!) Adam and Mark – and for the ladies, Jessi and Jody!

The teams will not be exact in size, but regardless, the overall winner will be decided via points average rather than total points, so it’s ok that the numbers may be a little off-balance. We will be releasing more info as to any themes we do each week, plans for after the workout (yay, potlucks!), etc.

Your team will be responsible for coming up with a team name, and we would LOVE to see some t-shirts made – but if enough people request it, we could instead do a whole gym Intramural Open design and shirt. It’d be fun to represent that you were part of this. Last year’s winners’ banner will be hung soon – whose is next!?

We know all the reasons you can talk yourself out of participating. But really, half of what you love about CrossFit is, admit it, that it gives you the butterflies, the need to pee, or the nervous poops. Or maybe protein gas … anyone??! (No names mentioned here!)

Have fun with it! Being an adult is hard – this is a great way to remember what it’s like to be goofy and carefree. Whether you’re completely new, are working around an injury, whatever it is, we have a place for you here. It’ll be fun, and every year, you’ll fondly remember the previous years’ shenanigans.

We will be having an “19.6” event and afterparty, and it will be a blast! It’ll be in the weeks following the last event on 3/22.

Here’s an excerpt from the referenced Catalyst post for those continuing doubters:


I can’t do the weight/movements. What do we do in a regular CrossFit class when you can’t use the Rx weight? We use less weight. It will be the same in the Open, and this year there’s no reason to stop when the weight gets heavy.

For example, last year’s burpee/snatch ladder:

  •   Last year: stop when you can no longer snatch the weight.
  •   This year: continue to use a lighter weight as long as you like. Your score doesn’t count the non-prescribed reps (but who cares?) We want a solid workout anyway. If you can snatch 45lbs for 30, but can’t hit 65lbs, you’ll just do another round at 45lbs. Your score tally will end, but the clock won’t, and neither will the cheering.

I’m too new. Use this year not as a test, but as a foundation for next year. We’ll coach you through the movements, just like any other CrossFit class.

I don’t want to compare myself against other people. No problem. Don’t check the leaderboard.

All that yelling and cheering is intimidating.  Everyone’s nervous. Everyone’s excited. Everyone has to pee right beforehand. And we all just want to see you try really, really hard. We’ll clap just as loud for the first rep as the hundredth. If you’ve never had a support system this strong – heck, if you’ve never had fans before – this may be a little scary. But after the workout, it will feel like your sixth birthday party.

I might do okay. Then I’ll have to set higher expectations for myself, and live up to them. Yes. That’s why we’re all here.


We can’t wait to see you all of you step out and do something new, different, and FUN. Be on the lookout for more info. This will be one of the best things we do all year – don’t miss out!


Your CrossFit Mattoon Tribe Leaders

Here’s again how to sign up for the official CF Open through HQ:

Make sure you make a post that you signed up, and tag us!