Recapping the 2020 Open

Images courtesy of CrossFit Outbreak

This might be the only year you’ll ever see two Opens.

With the new CrossFit Games season taking effect this fall, the 2020 Open was Round Two of the five-week competition this year. And many gyms saw the impact of it being the second one.

“It was a slight drop in attendance, which I think was to be expected,” said Chris Provost, the director of operations at CrossFit Outbreak in New York. “Two Opens in one year is a lot for the average member. Although skipping February and waiting until October probably would have meant taking even more of a hit, so I can see both sides.”

For the five-week Open that took place through October into early November, Provost said they conducted the same celebration they did for the 2019 Open that took place in February. “We ran Friday Night Lights at all five locations, with local events after,” he explained.

The change in the timing of the Open brought a lot of initial talk about whether it was a good or bad thing. In the end, Provost said he is indifferent on whether the Open being in October versus February is better or worse. “A lot of people travel in the summer so they may not be as fit as they’d like, while others see summer as the time to get fitter because, well, it’s summer,” he said. “We’ve been programming for years to run the Open in February, so this is just different, not necessarily bad.”

Members at CrossFit Outbreak taking on an Open WOD.

One strategy used to get more sign-ups for the Open was with the Coaches. Provost shared there’s nothing members like more than seeing a Coach have to do penalty burpees. He suggested using the ploy that for every member who signs up, a Coach will do a burpee. It’s a great way to get those members who are on the fence to commit to the Open.

But whether the Open is taking place in the fall or the spring, one thing is the same: it’s about community. Provost said they stress the importance of the latter at CrossFit Outbreak and work to get everyone at the Box involved.

“If your members attend regular classes, they should be doing the Open,” he said. “It’s about reassuring those newer, often scared members that this is for fun. Get as many members and coaches involved as you can; talk about it daily in every class.”

Burpees over the bar were part of 20.1 this year.

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