After finally being convinced to give CrossFit a go by a current member I signed on the dotted line in September 2015, diving straight in with the famous Fran! Urgh.

In December of the same year I picked up an injury to my back which put me out for a whole month on physio’s orders. For those of you that are newer members (or are really bored) there is a blog post about this too (Click Here)

So it’s fair to say that when the opportunity to take part in my first ever CrossFit Open rolled around in February 2016, I wasn’t very experienced or in the best of shape. The list of movements I was yet to learn was fairly extensive, Double Unders, Toes to Bar, Handstand Push Ups, couldn’t Snatch more than 50kg or do a Bar Muscle Up! (but I will come back to this one later). Nevertheless there was certainly a buzz around the gym to take part and the competitive side of me was excited about the prospect of seeing where I stack up against my fellow members. 

Now, the majority of the workouts from this Open are a blur so I’m not going to give a minute by minute breakdown of each one, no one has time for that. In summary, they were tough, eye opening and most importantly fun!

Open Workouts 2016 (RX)

16.1 –     Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:

25-ft. overhead walking lunge

8 burpees

25-ft. overhead walking lunge

8 chest-to-bar pull-ups


16.2 –     Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:

      25 toes-to-bars

      50 double-unders

      15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

     25 toes-to-bars

     50 double-unders

      13 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.


If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

      25 toes-to-bars

      50 double-unders

      11 squat cleans, 225 / 145 lb.   … this continued for another 2 rounds. 


16.3 –     Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

10 power snatches

3 bar muscle-ups


16.4 –     Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:

55 deadlifts (102kg!)

55 wall-ball shots

55-calorie row

55 handstand push-ups


16.5 – For time:


You will see from my list earlier that there were plenty of obstacles in the way for me to complete the Rx versions of these workouts. Thankfully the Scaled options were achievable for all and still offered a great workout so for 16.2 and 16.4 that’s exactly what I did. So at no point was I left standing to one side feeling left out or staring at the bar wondering what to do next.

There were however 2 very memorable workouts, for completely opposite reasons, 16.3 and 16.5


As I mentioned above going into the 2016 Open I hadn’t yet managed to get a Bar Muscle Up, so when this workout was released let’s say I wasn’t all that thrilled about it. So at 6am (as we all know the 6am is where it’s at!) that Friday morning I stood around the whiteboard thinking another Scaled workout was going to be needed. But here comes the magic of the Open . . . we were given 15 minutes or so to get some practice in as usual ahead of the workout itself. During this time through a mix of coaches tuition, encouragement from friends and most definitely some luck I got a muscle up! Now it wasn’t pretty but it was most definitely a rep, talk about leaving it last minute to learn. So anyway, workout begins and there were more chicken wings than rush hour at KFC, but that didn’t matter one bit. I Rx’d a workout and managed a grand total of 63 reps, learning a new skill in the process. 


16.5 was a different story….

Now for anyone that is new to CrossFit or has been cherry picking workouts since they joined Thrusters and Burpees is a disgusting combination. Such a bad combination that mid workout I ran out of energy completely (I hadn’t been very well the day before which led to a bad night’s sleep). This is the moment that Sam Boot likes to refer to as the “Jack Hunter Tea Party”, Donna had brought over a Battle Oats and a bottle of water (very kind) to try and rejuvenate me. Leading to a stoppage in play as I tried to eat a cinnamon oat bar with a mouth that was drier than the Sahara. Whilst the food and water did help, in total it took somewhere in the region of 5 minutes to finish off the oat bar. Eventually plodding on to finish the workout in a not so spectacular time of 22:18.

What I am trying to get at here is that you may be nervous, excited or both, but it is most definitely worth giving the Open a go. Learning opportunities are there at the positive end (gaining new skills) and the negative (no curries the day before) of the spectrum. The encouragement from all of your fellow members and the great coaching team (wink) will help you out no matter what challenges lie ahead. 

If you are not yet signed up with your name on that whiteboard in Bay 1, get it sorted! Who knows you may just surprise yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, give myself or one of the other coaches a shout and we will do our best to help out. 


(2 time Open participant, No.1 athlete in Brunswick Green)