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Lessons from the Open


Chris Hinshaw says it best: “The Open workouts are a test, and the purpose of a test is for an athlete to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.”

Success in an Open workout is never guaranteed as they are meant to test your limits and sometimes it’s not the limits you anticipated.


You may be physically competent but how is your mental game? BMT or big match temperament is the ability to perform well under pressure.  When the moment arrives, you allow your skill and preparation to take over and not your subconscious (doubting) mind.  A big match temperament requires that you develop self-confidence, self-awareness and emotional resilience.

It also means playing your own game and not letting anyone or anything get into your head.  BMT is required for successful performance in any high-pressure situation and many accomplished athletes and teams have come unstuck without it.  Some days you might have it and other days maybe not so much but it is a skill we can all practice.


You see these words in the gym and they’re not just for decoration; they are CrossFit’s First Fitness Standard.

  1. Cardiovascular endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Power
  6. Speed
  7. Coordination
  8. Agility
  9. Balance
  10. Accuracy

You are as fit as you are competent in EACH of these ten recognized general physical skills.

CrossFit’s Second Fitness Standard is being able to perform well at any imaginable fitness task.  For us, this translates to being able to perform well across any number of variables including movements/modalities, rep schemes, time domains and work/rest periods and any combination of these variables.

The Third Fitness Standard is training all three metabolic engines.  Briefly, your body has three primary metabolic pathways or engines that power your physical activities – the type of pathway your body uses will depend on the intensity and duration of the physical task at hand.  Think Fran versus Murph – they both feel very different and each will make use of the metabolic engines in differing priorities. Well-rounded fitness requires that you train and develop all three of these pathways.

True fitness is a broad concept and is not just about how heavy you can lift.  Can you go fast? Can you go long? Can you go long and fast?  And did you hit full range of motion along the way


For many, the Open is where we get that first pull up – it may be ugly but damnit you got your chin over the bar!!  It’s where we go down that dark metabolic hole (21.2 anyone?).  It’s also the opportunity to push harder than you would ordinarily push yourself in class to find and stretch your boundaries.  We love to celebrate the new PB’s and personal achievements that the Open brings.

But the Open also shows us where our weaknesses lie.  It is important – if you want to improve as an athlete – to work on these.  It might be double unders, overhead mobility or pulling strength, whatever you have identified – your coaches are a great resource to help you get better.  Get in touch with Coach Sean via email to set up a meeting to discuss a plan on how you and CFJ can help to tackle your goats (weaknesses).

Thank you to all our members for your patience during the Open – it’s a great community and team-building event but it does throw a spanner into our regular training and programming.  We look forward to seeing you back in regular class, hopefully all fired up and motivated for the rest of the year!

By: Coach Lisa

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