Open Prep Sessions with CrossFit Oshkosh

Open Prep

The Open is upon us. Have you been prepping your gym for it?

Austin Phillips, the owner/manager CrossFit Oshkosh in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, shares about his gym’s Open Prep sessions and why he offers them at the Box:

BP: What are your Open Prep sessions?

AP: We have run through different formats of “Open Prep” throughout the years. A few years ago, we did one long session that took over two hours. We have also done a viewing party and then a session, but this year we did one “gymnastics” based session and one “weightlifting” session. Before the session, the Coaches break down movements in the Open and develop a rough lesson plan. We have found fluidity is the best format for these sessions.  For example, this year everyone who attended the gymnastics class was a scaled athlete. Due to this we dropped the muscle up section and spent more time on pull-ups and kipping.

BP: What do you teach in them?

AP: There are a few movements which have been in every Open since 2011, so we make sure to cover those, such as the Snatch, chest-to-bar, toes-to-bar, wall balls and thrusters. Like I said before, we also base the class on who attends. This year during the gymnastics session, we spent time on rowing for calories and toes to bar. This was completely based on who was in the class. We then closed the class out by performing the first part to 14.5, 60 calorie row and 50 toes-to-bar. We covered how best to perform this section of the workout based on each individual’s ability.

BP: Why are you offering them?

AP: We offer them because even though no one is going to go further than the Open, it has been a community event every year. Athletes want to perform their best, and it gives us an opportunity to cover certain things – like barbell cycling – in depth.

BP: How are you getting members to participate?

AP: We use our different social media platforms to promote our sessions, but most promotion comes internally on our private Facebook page and in class. This year I dropped the ball on promoting. We had so many things going on – which were amazing for the business – but I did not do justice to promotion.

BP: What has been the reaction of your membership to this offering?

AP: Our members enjoy it, especially the newer members. Members who are in their first or second year in the Open utilize it.  Four-plus year members tend not to attend.

BP: What advice would you give to Affiliates on doing this next year?

AP: I think this is our fourth year doing some kind of prep. It can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it. My advice would be to delegate the promotion of the class and the build out so you do not find yourself in the position I was this year. My inability to spend the time needed to promote the class led to lower attendance than in years past.

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