Gotham Gets Ready for the CrossFit Open

Gotham Gets Ready for the CrossFit Open!

The 2021 CrossFit Open, one of the world’s largest participatory athletic events, is now upon us with athletes being allowed to register for the event as of January 7, 2021.

 As most CrossFit Gotham Athletes are aware, the Open is the qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. But more importantly, any athlete, no matter what age, background, experience or skill level is encouraged to participate as a way to compare themselves with others within their own box, city, age group, or whatever, and as a way to set goals and push towards individual fitness goals.

This year’s CrossFit Open begins on March 11th, and consists of three workouts over a three-week period. A new workout will be announced each Thursday (March 11, 18, and 25), with athletes submitting their scores on through the following Monday at 5 p.m. PT each week (March 15, 22, and 29).

 Due to COVID-19 however, this year’s CrossFit Open will have a different format in that it will feature a flexible option so that athletes can compete either at their box or at home, should they face local closures or have health concerns. In addition, for those athletes not competing at a box, CrossFit announced that there will be two divisions: basic equipment and equipment-free.

The CrossFit Open from home equipment option will require the athlete to have the following:

  • A dumbbell*
  • A barbell and plates*
  • A plyo-box*
  • A jump-rope
  • A pull-up location

*Weights and heights have not been specified yet.

For athletes without access to equipment, CrossFit will offer “a gearless version of each Open workout,” for which only a clear space to work out is needed.

Notable changes for the 2021 Open and/or Games season include:

  • New worldwide quarterfinals that will allow for approximately 10% of Open athletes to compete online from their local gyms. 
  • The return of the Affiliate Cup with affiliate teams competing around the world to advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals, and Games.
  • In addition to masters and teenage divisions, a new adaptive division will ensure all members of the CrossFit community have a chance to compete and win. 
  • Ten in-person semifinal events hosted by CrossFit partners across six continents, ensuring at least one athlete from each continent qualifies for the Games. Each event will operate under strict safety protocols, including contingency plans for an online competition, depending on local conditions and restrictions.
  • A “last chance” qualifier for athletes who narrowly missed the cut in semifinals.
  • A live and in-person Games finals the week of July 26th for all qualifying athletes and teams in Madison, Wisconsin, with online contingency plans, if needed.

Previous Open Workouts:

The Open challenges athletes with a series of varied, high intensity, functional movements based on a combination of gymnastics, weightlifting and agility. The workouts themselves typically involve Olympic lifts – such as clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts and thrusters, gymnastic movements – handstand push-ups, pull-ups, and muscle-ups – together with burpees, box jumps and rowing.

Historically, some of the most common Open movements are as follows:

  • Gymnastic Movements:

Highly likely to be part of this year’s Open: Toes-to-bar, chest-to-bar pull-ups.
Likely to be part of this year’s Open: Handstand push-ups, muscle-ups (bar or ring).

Athletes take note that toes-to-bar have been included in almost every previous Open. Therefore, practicing and perfecting this movement can be the difference between completing the workout scaled or Rx.

  • Cardio:

Highly likely to be part of this year’s Open: Burpees, double-unders.
Likely to be part of this year’s Open: Rowing.

Athletes take note that double-unders have been in every Open and are often paired with a second barbell movement.

  • Weightlifting

Highly Likely to be part of this year’s Open: Thrusters, snatches, wall ball shots. 

Likely to be part of this year’s Open: Deadlifts, cleans. 

In this area, Athletes should focus on form and technique.

So, CrossFit Gotham Athletes, in a country that is currently facing both a pandemic and an epidemic of diseases related to poor health and fitness, the next few weeks offer every member no matter what age, level, or skill set the opportunity to take their fitness goals to the next level.  

If you are a new CrossFit Athlete, the Open lets you assess your current skill level so you can measure it over time to see how you have improved.  For those not so new to CrossFit, the Open will give you the opportunity to test yourself against another box member, your favorite CrossFit athlete, and most importantly against Jason.  There is no downside in competing in the Open, and you just might surprise yourself.

Just remember, there is a reason why people are passionate about the community aspect of CrossFit: It works.

Best of luck,

Professor Robert J. Romano


 2021 CrossFit Season Calendar

Date Event Location (Format)
January 7 Registration starts
Week of March 8 Open – Week 1 Local gyms, athletes’ homes (online)
Week of March 15 Open – Week 2 Local gyms, athletes’ homes (online)
Week of March 22 Open – Week 3 Local gyms, athletes’ homes (online)
Week of April 5 Quarterfinals – Individual  Local gyms (online)
Week of April 19 Quarterfinals – Teams Local gyms (online)
Week of May 3 Masters/Teens Qualifier Local gyms (online)
Week of May 24 Semifinals – Week 1 Worldwide (in-person*)
Week of May 31 Semifinals – Week 2 Worldwide (in-person*)
Week of June 7 Semifinals – Week 3 Worldwide (in-person*)
Week of June 14 Semifinals – Week 4 Worldwide (in-person*)
Week of June 28 Last-chance qualifier Local gyms (online)
Week of July 26 CrossFit Games Finals Madison, Wisconsin (in-person*)

*With online contingency plan, if needed

Again, registration for the 2021 CrossFit Open will begin on Jan. 7, 2021. The first workout of the Open will take place on March 11, 2021.