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To Do the Open or Not ?

Published by Admin on February 28, 2014


To Do the Open or Not….
Written by Nuno Costa

The 2014 CrossFit Competition Season starts this week! The first stage of the competition is the Open, where one workout will be released each week for five weeks. You may hear your coaches encouraging you to sign up for the Open so that you can test your fitness and compare yourself to everyone else worldwide, but is that enough reason for you to do it? This blog post is not intended for our competitors, but rather for our regular group members.

Here is a short and sweet top 10 list of why I encourage you to sign up for the Open this year.

1. Join the hundreds of thousands of CrossFit participants worldwide in this amazing sporting event. Last year we had 138,000 participants and I guarantee we will have more this year – will it be 250,000?

2. Compare yourself to others in the gym here at Invictus (both locations). Maybe there’s someone you’ve been training with for a while now and we want to see how you compare yourself relative to these five workouts. You can also create a custom leaderboard on the CrossFit Games website, which allows you to filter various data fields – so you can see how you stack up against the other Invictus athletes.

3. Measure where you are on a bigger stage – not only will you be able to see where you rank in Southern California, but you can also see where you rank worldwide!

4. Perhaps you have done the Open the past couple of years and you have set a goal to finish in the top 50% of the participants this year. Each year they’ve repeated a workout, so you can see how you’ve improved in that specific workout.

5. Maybe you just started doing CrossFit in the past 6 months and you have no idea what the Open is and want to just do it because everyone else is doing it.

6. You’ve been to Friday Night Lights at Invictus the past few years and have been inspired by everyone that has participated and want to be a part of it this year too.

7. You have a crush on someone at Invictus and you want to impress them.

8. You are addicted to CrossFit, you can’t get enough of it and this is just another thing that you can do to talk to your friends about, since you can’t have a full conversation about anything else anymore.

9. You drank so much coconut water the past year, have been attending the OLY classes and have been getting better and better at CrossFit recently and can’t wait to show off your fitness.

10. You have all this WOD Gear that you bought in the past year – wrist straps, OLY shoes, knee sleeves, nano’s, headband, gymnastic grips, etc and you gotta put it to good use somehow.

All in all, the Open is going to be a super fun five weeks of competition! It will give you a break from our regular programming and give you some benchmark workouts that you can always go back and re-test at a later date. You may even see them come up in our group classes at some point. It doesn’t matter how competitive you are going to be – just do it for the sake of doing it. You may have to scale some of the workouts – who cares, just do it anyway. You may not do as well as you expect, or you may surprise yourself and do really well, either way it doesn’t matter – just have fun with it. We compete because we can! As adults we lose the opportunities we once had as kids to play. Get signed up and have fun with it this year!

Staying in CrossFit

Published by Admin on February 28, 2014


Staying in CrossFit
Written by Invictus Member Amy Baird

"Many think that I do CrossFit because of my proximity to Melissa. That is true, to a degree. She definitely helped me get started when I could barely do a squat. I had absolutely no mobility in my hip flexors, where my squat looked more like a good morning. I was utterly mortified of coming to class where the majority of people were extremely fit.

But the truth is, I kept doing CrossFit because of the people in my gym. When I finally got up the courage to go to class, I was grateful to find more veteran CrossFitters that were willing to take me under their wing.  (A shout out here to Lauren T., Angie & Nathan H.) They offered to share weights, bars, etc. with me. They invited me to work out with them, told me when they attended class, and text me when I didn’t show up to call me a “slacker”. All of this made me feel welcome, wanted, and part of the group… even though I was extremely pathetic and nowhere near their caliber of fitness.

Two years later, I can squat!  In fact, I’m excited to say that I get complimented regarding my mobility for front and back squats. (Although everyone can improve with squats, and I am definitely NOT the poster child of perfect squats!) My point is that I can do them confidently and without help. Quite a difference from two years ago when I could barely bend anything.

My Plea

I plea is with the veteran CrossFitters in every gym across the country : Take the time to put a newbie under your wing.

I realize it may slow down your workout. And you might not get everything that is programmed done. But the benefit is this: you could literally change their lives by encouraging fitness. Two years later and three sizes smaller, my life is infinitely better. In addition, I have new friendships for life with people that helped me battle my way to fitness and continue the journey.

Functional Fitness

In the end, it’s about developing healthy, fit bodies that can function well. Functional fitness is about living life to the fullest possible level.   Now because of CrossFit, I can keep up with my nieces and nephews, I can stand up from a chair without using my arms, I can go skiing and not take as many breaks, I have more muscles to protect my bones from falls, I handle stress better, and I have a higher probability for life expectancy.  My ability to “do life” is dramatically better than five years ago.

Checking the Ego

I can only speak from my experience here, but I’ve been fortunate to be around CrossFitters that have a noticeable lack of ego. There will always be those that have to beat you and will drop their weight so they can. But in its essence, it’s about you beating you. There’s nothing like dramatically improving one of “the girls” workouts from six months ago. And for those people who get that, CrossFit is addictive.

A Call Out to The Veterans

If your workouts have gotten stale or you just need something new in your workouts, might I suggest looking outside of yourself to encourage another person!

Things to consider when you have newbies in your class. 

1) TIPS – Most people that are new to CrossFit feel intimidated, to say the least. They likely feel like an idiot and out of place. So be careful about sharing “your tips”. They could have the opposite effect of actually making someone feel more ignorant. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share information. I’m saying be careful of “how” you do it.

2) There’s a reason there’s an instructor in every class. If you feel like someone needs a little extra help than you can provide, bring it to the instructors attention discreetly. Likely the instructor will want to know, and will work to pair that person with the right individual in future classes.

3) Just say Hi!  I’m always amazed when people that come regularly don’t talk to you and leave and still haven’t said a word. It means a lot to me when people learn my name and greet me with it when I see them again. Names can be hard to remember but the majority of people will not be offended if you ask for their name again. It’s better to be known than ignored.

4) Say Good Job!  It makes me feel good when someone comes up to me after my workout and says something positive. That somebody noticed that I was working hard.

5) Notice when people make gains. There were many times in the last two years that I felt like I was clawing my way through each workout. So it means the world to me when somebody after class mentions to me that they noticed how far I have come. And even if I felt like I did horrible that day, it makes me want to fight on.

In the end, I just want to challenge those people that been doing CrossFit a little while to intentionally look outside of themselves to the new folks. The onus is on you and me to continue to build the strong community across it has become."