The 2016 CrossFit Open


The 2016 CrossFit Open is around the corner – 31 days to be exact! What is the CrossFit Open you may wonder? Every spring, the world is invited to participate in an “open” fitness competition. In this five week competition, there will be one workout announced each week that is to be completed in an affiliate (judged by a CF coach) or at home (filmed to be judged remotely). After the workout is scored, athletes will submit their results online where they will be ranked by category and region. The top ranked individuals and teams will then move on to compete in a regional competition, and from there, it’s on to the CrossFit Games.

We hope everyone at CrossFit NorthGate will rally their inner contender for what lies ahead! The CrossFit Open is a fun and challenging opportunity for all skill levels to test themselves for the first time or for returning participants to compare their accomplishments against last years’ standing. For a few, it’s a shot at moving on to the regional and for the best of the best, a chance to go all the way. We asked some members to give us the flavor of their personal experiences and they all came back with versions of: DO IT!

Michael Stockinger (Stock to you) participated in the 2011-2013 Open and returned in 2015. He is anticipating 2016 with confidence in his mechanics and the ability to execute movements with finesse.

One goal I have is to show up the 32-year-old me. At 33-years-old I’d like to completely destroy the 32-year-old Stock – I mean screw that young punk! Something Coach Parker said last year during the open also stands true: “Hey look, we’re never going to be ‘good’ at CrossFit, but let’s look good doing it”. I really liked that. My goal is to look like I know what I’m doing and to look good doing it.

Teri Hardeman earned a spot to the SoCal regional on a team in 2014. Her goals for this year include conquering bar muscle ups, linking up ring muscle-ups and strict handstand push-ups. She has already achieved two out of her three goals and hopes for the last goal before or during the Open.

Teri says, I would love to help us qualify a team for regionals this year! The competition out there is getting really tough, but it is always a goal going into the open.  She loves the way the gym atmosphere changes during the open. It becomes something everyone can talk about from week to week – it helps you meet new people and learn where everyone else is coming from. It’s so much fun having the little bit of extra pressure of someone counting your reps and everyone cheering you on. I think the Open brings everyone together for tons of fun.

Katie Enfield, who qualified and went to the 2014 regional on the NorthGate team, recalls how the experience forced her to focus on her weaknesses. Typically, I hide from the lifts that I don’t feel most comfortable with, but it made me face them head on. That was a valuable experience for me. Katie looks forward to participating in this years’ open for the shared purpose of being a total badass gym!

Bill Cileo relishes the fact that he completed the open after one year of recovery from back surgery and still finished within the top 50 of his division. When asked for sage advice to newcomers of this year’s open, Bill, like everyone else said the virtually same thing: do it! You’ll make gains, no matter where you are on your journey. Bill adds some proverbial wisdom: tomorrow is an opportunity, not a guarantee. Just as you decided to take control of your health, it is also fun to test yourself and see where you are!

Stock also encourages beginners to be OK with where they are. The open isn’t just for seasoned CrossFit athletes, I did my first open in 2011 when I only had about 5 months under my belt. I could barely do anything Rx and in one workout I only did three reps. It was pretty disheartening, but those three cleans kept me in the open and moved me on to the next workout. It was also a PR!

Most importantly, Teri reminds us that we are in the presence of friends. I feel that, with the excitement and everyone’s support at the gym during the Open, you are pushed through the physical pain, past what’s comfortable. You will be surrounded by your friends and lifting partners, and be totally encouraged by what you can accomplish.

So who’s in? The CrossFit Open runs from February 25th to March 28th. You can register online. Choose CrossFit North Gate as your affiliate, and CrossFit NorthGate as your team. We will be programming this years workouts every Friday, so you’re going to do them even if you don’t sign up, so you might as well jump in with both feet! Looking forward to a fun and exciting competition this year!

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