The Open is upon us! This means that you Crazy Ones will be taking on five workouts in five weeks that will test you physically AND mentally. The Open gives you an opportunity to experience what it’s like to participate in a CrossFit competition: from the intensity of the WOD and the atmosphere of the box to the movement standards and judging. We’ve already spoken about the atmosphere and intensity, now it’s time to go over the nitty gritty: the movement standards and judging. Every athlete registered for the Open will be assigned a judge to count their rounds and reps and make sure they are hitting the specified movement standards (and ‘No Rep’ them if they don’t!)
We’ll be discussing how to be the best judge you can in a future blog, but first we want to focus on the Athlete. For your reps to count in your workout, it is your responsibility as an athlete to ensure that you hit the standards for the movement you are performing.
What are Movement Standards?
Movement Standards are quite simply the standards you are expected to maintain for each movement of a workout, specifically the range of motion. You have seen your coaches demo movement standards before a WOD (when we tell you to get your chest and thighs to the ground for a push up or hit the target for a wall ball), and before each Open workout, CrossFit HQ will be releasing a video demo-ing the required movement standards for each WOD.
Why are Movement Standards important?
Movement standards are important because, in CrossFit, full range of motion is paramount. The human body is a complex and intricate piece of machinery, with joints that have been made to flex, extend and rotate through a wide range of motion. In every workout, we want you to work through that entire range of motion. Think about it... if you were only to ever open a door halfway, over time, the hinges on that door would get rusty. If you don’t go through full range of motion, your body will ‘get rusty’ and will be limited in its capabilities and more prone to injury and decreased performance.
So, that’s the fitness-side of why movement standards are important, now for the competitive side… Movement standards ‘level’ the playing field. They ensure that every athlete doing the workout is doing the same movement, whether they’re doing the WOD alongside you or in a box on the other side of the world. Similarly, movement standards make sure that each time you repeat a workout, you’re repeating the same movements. Imagine if you did ‘Karen’ (150 wall balls) last year and for 50 of those reps, you were a foot under your target and for 25 of the reps, you didn’t squat below parallel. And you got a bitchin’ time, 6:00 flat. Let’s say that you repeat ‘Karen’ this week, but this time you have a judge. This time all of your reps are to the movement standards and, when your reps don’t meet movement standards, they don’t count. Your time sky rockets up to 7:30; however, it’s impossible to say if your fitness improved or not because you have essentially done two, completely different workouts. Now, if you would have performed to movement standards, you would have a solid metric of your physical improvement, instead of second guessing yourself and your time.
In the weeks leading up to the Open, make sure you pay close attention to your coaches when they are demo-ing the movement standards they expect to see during a WOD and pay even closer attention that you are hitting these standards. If you hear a coach shout 'No Rep', re-do the rep. If you aren't quite sure if you hit the movement standards, but didn't hear a coach shout 'No Rep', re-do the rep... better safe than sorry! If you have any questions about the movement standards, ask! And if you don't yet have the ability to hit the standards, be sure to ask a coach how you can scale the movement so it is appropriate for you.