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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.