Is Your Box Embracing the Open?

the Open

My legs burned and I thought of about seven different ways to murder the barbell in front of me.

And yet, I reached down to grip it again after I failed my first 115-pound squat Clean. The judge at my side was yelling encouragement as I readied myself for the lift. My ears roared with the sound of the entire Box cheering me on as I Cleaned the bar and squatted it, grunting as I rose.

The Open at my Box is celebrated through a something called Project Teamwork. Everyone who signs up for the five-week Open competition at the gym will be put on one of five teams. And I was honored enough this year to be chosen as a co-captain for one of those teams.

With that responsibility, I had to complete 16.2 at our reveal party on Thursday night, March 3, along with the other female team captains. I showed up at my Box a little before 8 p.m. with no idea what was in store. When the workout was announced, I was resigned to the fact I would be doing it scaled — I’m still working on getting my toes-to-bar.

Eventually, I was the last captain standing. But I wasn’t alone. The entire gym was screaming at me to push myself, to lift the bar, to continue. This is CrossFit, and this is one of the reasons why I do it.

The Open is something your gym must take advantage of, whether it be through reveal parties, large-scale workout gatherings or some other genius idea. Why wouldn’t you embrace a global competition that can make your members feel part of not only your Box’s community, but the worldwide CrossFit community as a whole?

Sure, it takes work. I’ve spent a fair share of time as a co-captain tallying points, brainstorming about the Thursday night reveals, cheering on members, capturing photos of the weekend and more. Your Coaches probably don’t have time to do this, but I am sure you have members who would love to help make the Open the biggest event your Box holds.

And it’s not too late to start this year. There are three Open workouts left. There’s time to come up with a contest, plan a reveal party or host superhero-themed heats of the workout.

Investing in the Open is investing in your community. My Box isn’t a competitive gym at all, but we love the Open because of Project Teamwork. It brings us closer together, it builds unyielding community and it gets us talking about the Box we all love.

That positive marketing in and of itself should be enough to get your Box embracing the Open.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at