The Open is Coming – Again

The Open
Courtesy of CrossFit Hershey

On October 10, 2019, the second Open of the year will kick off. Tim Steel, the owner of CrossFit Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, shares what his gym is doing in order to prepare and celebrate.

Box Pro: How are you prepping for the 2020 Open?  

Tim Steel: We are running it more of an “in house” competition this fall. We had about 70% of our membership sign up in February; we’d like to see closer to 90% participate.  

BP: Are you doing anything different to celebrate it than when you did in February?  

TS: Honestly, it’s tougher for us in the fall. There’s a lot more on people’s schedules this time of year compared to February. We know we will be competing with that. For the past eight years, we’ve done Friday Night Lights; this year we know we will have more people doing the workout on Saturday, our make up day. 

BP: What do you think will be different about this Open, if anything?  

TS: Not sure. The workouts get better and better each year. I know a lot of people really missed the higher quality Thursday night segment with two of the best going at it, and I think we would all like to see that return. I think the presentation was such a shift from the Open in 2018 to 2019 – I’m not sure how much different they can make it?  

BP: How are you preparing your athletes?  

TS: We will add more cyclical volume in the weeks prior, building up a bit more volume before we tapper a bit. We work more chest-to-bar than regular pull ups and work on more skill work – muscle ups, dumbbell work and double unders.

BP: What are your thoughts about the Open being in October?

TS: A lot easier to do this in February when there’s not much more to do, but things change and you roll with it. We are competing with high school sports and fall activities. It is what it is. I have zero control over it, so we roll with it and make the best of it.  

BP: Any tips for other Affiliates on preparing for it?  

TS: Keep it 100% about the community and fun. At the end of the day, the Open matters to very few people. Remember why you started CrossFit – likely not to compete, but a great way to get and stay healthy. Too often people get caught up in their rank/place and that kills the fun of it.

BP: Any other thoughts on the upcoming Open?  

TS: I’m probably the most excited guy for the Open in 2021 when I’ll finally be in the 40-44 year old age group! This year I want to have fun and get a ton of our members – especially the new ones – to jump in and be part of the community.

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