Don't See Progress? Look Closer

by Admin | May 16, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Colette Wheeler

We often read or hear of the people that started CrossFit and suddenly changed their lives around and became amazing and healthy and never ate pizza or candy again. Their journeys are fast and furious; their lives are made amazing and sustainable; they cure their diseases, improve their relationships, become President of Everything; grow wings and fly. Their stories are incredible. They’re inspiring and hopeful, full of grit and determination.

Well, my story doesn’t go like that. I began CrossFitting in December 2010. I was 24. I was only weeks out from a year-long string of surgeries and hospital stays. I was horribly depressed. I was weak and lost. I had a shaved head, fresh scars, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. In short, I was completely, utterly broken.

My first year, I was amazed that people could even do pull-ups. I could never remember the difference between a clean and a snatch. I always got the strict press, push press, and push jerk mixed up (they probably all looked the same when I did them anyway). I was terrified of being upside-down. Overhead squats were a definite NO. One thing I had learned to do was drink, so when someone said that “100 pull-ups and 100 shots of beer” was a thing, I thought that would be a pretty cool goal.

As years went by, I went in for almost any athletic opportunity offered by the gym. I decided to try out their powerlifting program because I really wanted to be able to squat like..100 pounds. So I did that and got strong. I got a pull-up, too. Then, I took my newfound strength and plugged it back into CrossFit, and I did a round of custom personal training with a specific competition in mind. That was fun. Then I did some olympic lifting training. That was cool, too. Then I wanted to learn to coach. I ended up at a different gym, and coached there for a few years.


Through all of this, I didn’t make massive nutritional or skill gains.  True, every once in awhile I accidentally did something that resembled a new skill, but not really on purpose, and not with much (if any) fanfare. Nutritionally, I cut out processed carbs somewhere in 2012 because I was curious to see what that would be like. That didn’t have much direction, and I still consumed plenty--if not more--processed carbs via booze. It was like playing darts upside down with a blindfold on. I tried some nutrition challenges, but they always started on a weekend and lasted about two hours until I went out to the bars with my friends.

It really wasn’t until 2017 (SEVEN YEARS LATER) that I got a handle on like, how I well I could eat and how great it could make me feel. I was eating great, and suddenly my workouts were great, and heyo I got a dang ring muscle-up. And some cool lifting PRs. And my anxiety and depressive states became more manageable. So that’s how I eat now. Not because I decided to drink the Kool-aid and take a blind leap of faith, but because I’d literally done everything I possibly could to avoid eating well. It is just abundantly clear that eating “dirty” is unsustainable to the life I want to lead.  

So those of you trying out this whole lifestyle change thing -- you have to make it your own. You have to want it; you have to need it. You have to be patient with yourself, and you have to acknowledge your weaknesses with an open heart. You gotta own it past the 28-day prescription. Whatever you do, don’t be lured into the idea that everyone gets it on their first try. There’s no magic bullet. Even when you get a handle on your nutrition, there are ups, downs, turnarounds, and dead-stops. But that’s ok. Read, listen to, and be inspired by other people’s journeys, but don’t compare them with your own. You do YOU, and you can be successful.

April Committed Club

by Admin | May 2, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

A big congrats to Kristyn Lipka, Russell Ward, and Jackie Nicoll who have made it in the Committed Club for 12 months straight!

Another shout out to Olivia D'Ottavio, Travis Gillispie, Sarah Wilhelm and Elena Mentzer for making it into the Committed Club for 6 months straight!

Hats off to all of our April Committed Club!!

Steve Meyer 26
Kerri Whalen 24
Ashley Greenberg 24
Joann Doyka 24
Rose Wall 23
Patty Abbott 23
Lauren Trainor 23
Elena Mentzer 23
Bruce Lentz 23
Lance Hubbell 22
Dana Beziat 22
Michael Grant 22
Jim Timmerman 22
Cara Clements 22
Rachel Shevland 22
John Maranto 22
Chris Day 22
Joshua Garland 22
Joyce Hollander 22
Travis Gillispie 21
Brian Whalen 21
Nick Hollander 21
Amanda Shrout 21
Chris Wheeler 21
Karen Walsh 21
Marie Dias 21
Dominic Levis 21
Olivia Dottavio 21
Kristyn Lipka 21
Randi Hyatt 21
Brian Stamp 21
Sarah Wilhelm 21
Jackie Nicoll 21
Marc Cousins 21
Jason Moneymaker 21
Jay Duffy 20
Mike Newman 20
Breanna Nelson 20
Diane Strickland 20
Matt Shrout 20
Russell Ward 20
Rachel Wood 20

Q & A with previous Nutrition Challenge winners

by Admin | April 25, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Today we hosted our 2018 Spring Nutrition Challenge information session. We had a great turn out and we are so excited to get things started on Monday, April 30.

In that spirit, we thought it would be fun to reach out to each of our winners (we had 4!) from the 2017 Fall Nutrition Challenge. This is to help you better understand the benefits of the nutrition challenge, but also to give you a different POV from me (Cara), Jess, Stan and all of our coaches at Outsiders.

Here we go!

Jason Eagles

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?
I felt like I was missing something in my fitness.  Although I was eating “clean” prior to the challenge, I had never dug into my nutrition much.  My goal was not focused on losing weight. I wanted to see the effects of the challenge on my performance.  Also, I needed a reason to detox from alcohol and cheese on the weekends. Joking…maybe

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?
Easily social and work events.  I often have lunch appointments and other events for business. This would typically include eating out and a few drinks.  I had strategically planned my meals and actually had to not eat or drink at a few events. I decided at the very beginning that I was going to be “All in” or not at all.  It was surprisingly easier than I thought and after a joke or two it was no big deal. With friends and family I found people were extremely supportive.

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?
The Way you feel!  I learned so much about myself.  The challenge itself was not very hard.  I could see it being more challenging if you needed to detox from sugar and processed foods.  That would be all the more reason to do the challenge though. I found myself being able to recovery from workouts quicker than ever before.  I PR’d just about every lift and benchmark WOD during and after the challenge.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from this Challenge.  If you are considering it, DO IT! Still not sure….Why not?  It has the potential to make you feel amazing while trimming up.  Who doesn’t want that? It is not forever and you will have a support system behind you.

Joyce Hollander

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?  
To support my husband (who was going to participate) and to see if I truly felt any different with what I ate or didn't eat.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge? No sugar and no alcohol-my body craved sugar so badly the first week!

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?  To see a better performance in my Wod's and to feel more energy.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge? Do it-You won't be alone and everyone is supportive and there to help you do your best. No one is perfect either, And it's only 3 weeks.

Nick Hollander

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?  It was my first nutrition challenge and I was on the fence bc I love food and love an “occasional” beer, but quite a few previous nutrition challengers told me how amazing it was to see the aches and pains go away and lose a few pounds.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?  The first week of getting enough food prep done and enough eating (5 meals is tough at first).

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?  For me, b/c I had some lb’s to lose, it was watching the weight just fall off, and also the increased energy in the metcon portion of the workouts….just didn’t get the fatigue.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?  Give it a try, it’s rewarding just to challenge yourself to not cheat (much) and persevere through the suffering bc it will make you a better person both physically and mentally.

Joanna Doyka

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?
I was curious, and slightly skeptical. I wanted to see if following the nutrition challenge rules made a difference in my performance. Also, I think everyone that knows me didn’t think I could give up sugar for month.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?
The first week was difficult. I felt foggy, and tired. I was ready to start eating skittles again! Slowly the fog lifted, I felt great, and started to sleep better.
I also had a hard time remembering to log my food in my fitness pal.

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?
Seeing the positive change in my performance and body as a result of eating healthy food. No pills or gimmicks, just food and a lot of it.
Also, restful sleep!

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?  
Just because you are doing the challenge doesn’t mean life stops. The points based system allows you to eat or drink something you want that isn’t on the holds you accountable. It’s only a month! What’s the worst that could happen?

Nutrition Challenge Coming Soon!

by Admin | December 31, 1969 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Cara Clements

In many ways, the Nutrition Challenges at Outsiders are two of my favorite times of the year (including our Open season, Memorial Day Murph and the Christmas Throwdown, to name a few others!). It is a time when members of our community come together to continually learn about their bodies and how to best fuel themselves for not only our WODs, but for life.

We have all loved and read Colette’s blog on Perfect Practice and The Secret Sauce - and in many ways, these two concepts apply to our own nutrition. Now I am not saying that throughout the Nutrition Challenge you are going to eat perfectly everyday (but that would be AMAZING - and maybe a game winning score!), or that it is not going to be challenging - because you are adapted to the current way that you eat - but I am saying that if you make nutrition, a foundational aspect of our sport,  a priority in your life, practicing perfection in every class will become so much easier. The intensity of your WODs will easily increase, because you have fueled your body with the foods that it needs to push harder.

In many ways, we don’t talk about nutrition enough. We discuss it during the initial 1:1 foundations course, during our nutrition challenges and occasionally in class, but maybe not enough for you to truly understand the impact nutrition plays on getting that 1st pull-up, stringing 10 together in a WOD, that first muscle up, or a PR in your clean or snatch. If you have been working hard on these types of movements with no change, it may be time to take a look at your nutrition as the next way to get there.

The one thing we have said time and time again, is that you can’t out train a bad diet - but what does this really mean? Let’s break it down quickly!

Do you remember this pyramid? It is actually on a poster in our classroom.



As you can see, nutrition is at the bottom of the pyramid - with good reason! Without a strong foundation of nutrition, your metcons (WODs), gymnastics and lifting will, simply put, not be the best they can be.

As we learned in the CrossFit Level 1 course (our CrossFit certification to become a coach), if one of our athletes is consistently coming to the gym, working hard, completing WODs with a good intensity, but are not seeing all the gains that they believe they should - it will likely boil down to a nutrition problem. Nicole Carroll (you may remember her from the Open!) says this much more eloquently than I ever could in this video! You can not out train a bad diet. As an athlete, you will never reach your maximum potential if you eat like garbage! Its sad, but true - and I know from personal experience.

Nutrition at Outsiders, and for me specifically, has been a never ending journey. When I started at Outsiders about 5 years ago, our first Nutrition Challenge was the Whole 30 Program. I know many of us have completed Whole 30’s both with Outsiders and also outside of the box, which is great. I truly believe that if you are eating the high quality foods, you have made a HUGE change in your lifestyle and your body is feeling the benefits. When I completed my first Whole30 I felt AMAZING. I lost of a few pounds and definitely started to understand the types of foods that best benefit me and that I should be eating. I adopted a paleo lifestyle for the next several years, and just like your WODs may suffer if you don’t have a strong nutritional foundation, my body started to suffer from this type of diet and it was extremely frustrating to me. I couldn’t understand why I was not getting any leaner or lighter while eating a clean, paleo diet. I had since gained the pounds I lost back - plus some. It was time to take a look at what was going on.

Around this same time, Stan, Jess and I started to talk about the next Nutrition Challenge. To give you an idea, I wasn’t even a coach at the gym at this point, but always interested to know what was coming down the pipeline and of course, offer my (sometimes unwanted) opinion! Crossfit and what we were eating was always a part of our conversations, so it was only natural that they ask me to pilot a nutrition program with them that not only looked at the TYPES of foods we were eating (Whole 30), but the AMOUNT of food we were eating (Zone). And not to steal this from Colette, but this combination really is the Secret Sauce when it comes to nutrition!

The first thing we did in this pilot program was to start tracking what we were eating in a regular day of our paleo lifestyle. We used an app call MyFitnessPal and loosely added the foods that we were eating for about 3-4 days. When we took a look at our results, things became very clear, very quickly! Taking a look at our macronutrient ratios, about 50% of my diet was from fats - and the rest was split between carbohydrates and protein. Immediately I realized that I was not eating a very balanced diet. Stan and Jessica had similar readings, so we knew we were onto something.

A quick background on the macronutrient (so we are all on the same page). Macronutrients (macros for short) are the three nutrients your body uses to produce and store energy - including the energy needed for exercise. As mentioned above, the macros that we measure are the Fats, Carbohydrates and Protein in each type of food.

Each macronutrient contains energy, which is commonly measured in calories:

Protein has 4 calories per gram.
Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram.
Fat has 9 calories per gram

As you can see from the above calorie in-take, eating a high fat diet equals eating A LOT of calories! And could have explained why the results I thought I should be having simply weren’t there! MIND BLOWN.

For the next several weeks, we started to use containers (that we still use today) to measure our food. This meant that we were eating MUCH more vegetables, as well as a starchy carb and protein at each meal - with just a tablespoon of fat. Goodbye to the delicious PaleOMG recipes, and the bacon on my cheeseburger - and cheese for that matter! In some ways, cooking became simpler because I just had to cook lots of veggies, some potatoes and a protein. No more recipes.

We continued to enter our food intake in the app and saw a big change in the ratios of our diets. There was a shift to much less fat - about 30% - and more carbohydrates at 40%. We also saw the shift in how our bodies were looking, but more importantly how my body was feeling and performing at the gym. I think during this initial shift in my diet I lost about 6 pounds and I knew - this was the way I needed to try to eat in order to have the best results for my body.

This shift in how I eat happened about two years ago - and I still try to eat this way. Last year I dialed it in even more intensely and I now use a food scale to measure all meals that I make at home. This includes anything from the 15g of half and half I add to my cup of coffee to the 4 ounces of chicken I eat with my lunch. I now know what works for me, and Outsiders helped me to figure this out.

I hate to sound so cliche, but it really is true that nothing worth it will come easy. If our WODs were easy, everyone would be doing CrossFit. If looking at the quality and quantity of the food you eat was easy, obesity wouldn’t be so prevalent in our culture.

Our Spring Nutrition challenge will do just that - it will challenge you. But the amazing thing is that we have an awesome community that will be doing it together. You will have the resources and support to be successful - and you won’t be sorry!

Challenge # 1 - before our challenge even starts - start keeping a journal of the foods you eat. You can use an app if you want, or you can just jot it down in a notebook. Even becoming more aware of what you are putting in your body is a big step in what we will be doing.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for additional details about this upcoming challenge!

Also, here is part two of Nicole’s nutrition chat - worth watching - but I warn you she does say the F word!

March Committed Club

by Admin | April 2, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Congrats to our March Committed Club!!

Joyce Hollander 28
Kerri Whalen 28
Joann Doyka 26
Ashley Greenberg 25
Devon Troop 25
John Wilke 25
Patty Abbott 25
Rose Wall 25
Bruce Lentz 24
Cara Clements 24
Elena Mentzer 24
Jim Timmerman 24
Nick Hollander 24
Jason Moneymaker 23
Jay Duffy 23
Kristyn Lipka 23
Lance Hubbell 23
Marc Cousins 23
Dana Beziat 22
Jackie Nicoll 22
Karen Walsh 22
Matt Shrout 22
Olivia Dottavio 22
Dominic Levis 21
Marie Dias 21
Sarah Wilhelm 21
Steve Meyer 21
Al Walsh 20
Amanda Shrout 20
Ben Mentzer 20
Breanna Nelson 20
Brian Stamp 20
Chris Day 20
Chris Wheeler 20
Diane Strickland 20
Jack Lochary 20
Kellie Bedford 20
Leslie Speckart 20
Rachel Shevland 20
Randi Hyatt 20
Russell Ward 20
Travis Gillispie 20


Perfect Practice

by Admin | March 28, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Colette Wheeler

“I don’t ask much, just perfection.” If you’ve attended more than two of my classes, chances are you’ve heard me say this at least once. The sun may be sleeping, and I may smile as I say it, but I still 100% expect perfection from everyone. How? Through perfect practice.

It’s not practice that makes perfect — you can practice poor form and poor standards, and you will get really good at poor form and poor standards. It’s only perfect practice that produces perfection. We fall prey to imperfect practice when we want to compete every day. We forget that to compete we must train, and we must train at a higher standard.  True, we are all human. We may never reach perfection, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pursue it with relentless enthusiasm.

Each time you are in the gym, it’s the time to make yourself better..for YOU. Not for the clock, the weights, the reps, the leaderboard, but for yourself. Dedicate your time to training to higher standards, to perfection (or as close as humanly possible). Instead of competing against the unmeasurable or uncontrolled, train for competition with YOU. Yes, that means being your own judge and no-repping yourself when your chin doesn’t clear the bar or the medicine ball doesn’t hit the right height on the wall. That means going to full extension every press, pull-up, and pushup; getting below parallel in every squat, and finishing every clean with your elbows in front of the bar.  It even means touching your toes or chest to the bar EVERY TIME or, *gasp* not counting that failed double under (that just whipped back of your legs) as an actual rep.

I will go on record and totally admit to faults on all of these things, especially chest to bar and double unders. But I will also declare right here, right now that I will heretofore hold myself to the standards of perfection. Always. Every time. Even if it means I have to record a low score or a slow time, I’ll do it.  Because I know that the most important perfect practice is the difficult perfect practice. Over time, the difficult perfect practice begets a perfection that can run on autopilot. Think of driving, walking, writing. We all learned and mastered these arts and can now trust our subconscious to take care of movement while we do other things simultaneously.  The best performers in any walk of life are the ones that can trust their subconcious to take care of the hard tasks.

I know, for me, it’d be super cool not to worry about whether or not I’ll be able to perform double unders or chest to bar when they are programmed in a WOD. To just have those movements accessible in autopilot, how neat would that be? So which movement do you worry about? Pick that one to be super duper perfect about next time it shows up in a workout. Then be even more perfect the next time and the time after that. Soon enough, perfect practice will instill confidence, generate improvement, and bring you ever closer to that which you now ask of yourself — perfection.

My Ultra Committed Experience

by Admin | March 21, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

By: Don Fisher, Ultra Committed Outsider and March Athlete of the Month


As you may, or may not be aware, I have completed 6 consecutive months of being in the Committed Club.  As I finished this past week, and enjoyed my first two consecutive days off from the gym since last summer, I couldn’t help but reflect on why I did this, what it took, and the pro’s and con’s.

The good and bad:

  • The good: I have lost 15 pounds and kept it off regardless of what I eat.
  • The bad:  I need some new belts as they are too big.
  • The good: I am eating better in general.
  • The bad: I still will occasionally eat garbage for lunch, and then I work out like garbage in the evening.
  • The good: I was Captain Ring Row last summer, now I can do pull ups in a WOD.
  • The bad: My ability to do things faster and stronger has not made me less sore the next day.
  • The good: I have formed some really strong friendships from being at the gym so much. I am probably not the quiet guy anymore.
  • The bad: Any day now, Jess and Cara will probably ask Alan and I not to return to the gym.
  • The good: My family was very supportive and pretty quick to change our routine to allow me to get to the gym 5 days a week.
  • The bad: It became a slight obsession – going to the gym to “get my 20 in” replaced “going to the gym to get fitter”. I was constantly nervous about getting injured, being too sore the next day, getting sick, going away…anything that would keep me from going. This would be my cautionary tale to anybody attempting to do this…don’t focus on the goal at the end, just enjoy the process every day.

But the most important takeaway I have had is it reinforced the community aspect of Outsiders. I basically have spent 8 hours a week at Outsiders. And so do a lot of us! Not only are we doing it voluntarily, we are paying to do it! And paying quite a bit more than a “normal gym”! Well, nobody would pay to spend so much time around people that sucked. From the best coach to the newest gym member, the support and positivity is consistent. I have never felt bad leaving the gym...maybe I didn’t PR that day. Maybe my back hurt and I had to scale the WOD…a lot. Every time, I was encouraged, congratulated, and even thanked for being there.  I kept moving forward…in large part due to the coaches.

Every coach is different, but awesome in their own way. Sundays with Lance is a special club dedicated to suffering; the 430 happy hour WODs with Jess and Cara are a great way to relieve stress, have fun and workout at the same time; and Josh was great in helping me get in workouts during open gym time.

I have run multiple road races…competed on many teams in different sports throughout life at a variety of levels….this was the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. Family and friends always ask me why I am doing all of this for just a t-shirt. I chuckle and nod…and know that there is no way I can possibly convey what Outsiders has done for me.

I started at Outsiders two and half years ago when my life hit rock bottom. You saved my life then… and I think in some ways it is saved every time I walk in those doors.

The Unknown and the Unknowable

by Admin | March 7, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Stan White

The path of life always seems so clear in the rearview mirror. The twists and turns that avoided dangerous pit falls. The small hills that were preparing us for the mountain we had to climb. The trouble is the path forward is much less clear. It always seems just out of view. We have this vision in our mind of where life’s path is leading us, but so often the next bend in the road takes us in a completely different direction.

When I look at my life from a year ago, heck, six months ago, I am shocked with how it has changed. I never would have guessed the house I am living in, the relationships that have been forged not to mention fatherhood is something that defies description. I suspect when I look back at the next year or two, I will continue to be surprised with what God had in store.

This certainty of uncertainty is why fitness is toward the top of my priorities. While I have no idea what lies ahead, I am confident it will include many challenges. I think of all the unexpected challenges that members of our Outsiders family are facing as we speak. When that next challenge comes, I want to be ready. I wonder, will I be strong enough? Will I have enough endurance? Will I have enough focus? Will I have enough mental toughness? Will I be able to persevere? In a grander sense, will I be fit enough?

As we are in the midst of the CrossFit OPEN, and are searching Instagram for the magic tip that will shave a few seconds from our score, keep in mind why “fitness” is such a priority for you. With all the things in life that compete for your time, you come to the gym 3, 4 or 5+ hours a week. Why? Suffering together that make us better. Sure, we can do burpees a little faster and squat clean a little more weight, but I think we are continually improved in deeper ways as well.

As CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman puts it, “CrossFit prepares for the unknown and unknowable…or [for] getting ready for war, getting ready for earthquake, getting ready for mugging, getting ready for the horrible news that you have leukemia. What awaits us all is challenge, that's for sure.”

When that challenge comes, I want to be ready.

February Committed Club

by Admin | March 5, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Congrats to all those who made the February Committed Club.

Special shout out to the Ultra Committed Chris Wheeler who has made it in the committed club for 12 straight months and Joann Doyka, Jim Timmerman, Randi Hyatt, Don Fisher and Ben Menzer who have made it for 6 months straight.

Joann Doyka 26
Jim Timmerman 26
Jamie Nicoll 25
Kerri Whalen 25
Ashley Greenberg 25
Jason Moneymaker 24
Patty Abbott 24
Scott Bachman 23
Matt Shrout 23
Jackie Nicoll 23
Colette Wheeler 23
Nick Hollander 23
Olivia Dottavio 23
Dominic Levis 23
Travis Gillispie 23
Kaleigh Hunt 23
Amanda Shrout 23
Randi Hyatt 22
Ben Mentzer 22
Rose Wall 22
Jay Duffy 22
Kellie Bedford 22
Chris Wheeler 21
Sarah Wilhelm 21
Diane Strickland 21
Lance Hubbell 21
Bruce Lentz 21
Brian Stamp 21
Marie Dias 21
Breanna Nelson 20
Leslie Speckart 20
Russell Ward 20
Don Fisher 20
Steve Meyer 20
Mike Aiello 20
Kristyn Lipka 20
Elena Mentzer 20
Karen Walsh 20
Jack Lochary 20
Scott Welsh 20
Dana Beziat 20
Cara Clements 20
Rachel Shevland 20
John Maranto 20

Open Season 2018

by Admin | February 12, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Colette Wheeler

Hey team, it’s Open Season.  The CrossFit Open, that is.  In probably every class you’ll take between now and February 22, your coach, your peers, Stan, or a combo of all three will be calling for your registration. If you are already interested in signing up, go ahead and skip to the end of this post for further instructions.  If you’re on the fence or decided against it, then by all means -- read on.  

This is my 7th year of CrossFit.  I participated in the Open in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  Honestly, I signed up in the past because I was a coach, and it’s just sort of what I thought I should do. As a result of some ill-guided, misplaced ideas and opinions regarding the Open and CrossFit in general, I wasn’t too keen on the whole concept. For the 2017 Open, I had joined Outsiders, and although I was pregnant and hadn’t really worked out during the three months prior to joining, I did all the Open workouts at Friday Night Lights. Holding tight to my preconceived notions, I wasn’t registered, but by the end of the experience, I had finally come to see what all the fuss was about. To put it bluntly -- it was awesome.  This year, I’m signed up and psyched up for those five weeks of workouts.  I certainly don’t have ambitions of competing past the Open at regionals or the games, but I’m really pumped to see what I can do with the tasks set before me. I know there will be successes and failures, and I’m excited to surprise myself in both aspects.

But that’s me. Let’s break down 3 reasons you will want to do the Open this year:

1. Community

Remember that whole thing we posted about community a little while ago?  Well this is IT, people. This is community writ large.  It’s kind of like CrossFit’s holiday season and it’s WORLDWIDE. CrossFitters around the globe tune in each Thursday night to watch each WOD announcement. Then, that night or the following day everyone takes a shot at completing the task set before them. TOGETHER. The competition stage is the world, and your team is Outsiders. We break a sweat and then we break it down -- together and with the whole of CrossFit.

2. Competition

Remember that post about continuous adaptation the other week?  Well this is IT, team.  This is a new situation, a new stimulus, a new push. To really maximize the benefits of CrossFit (your health, wellness, overall humanity, etc) you have to reach for the next challenge. It can be easy (and tempting!) to become comfortable in your own gym with your expected place on the Leaderboard.  The Open comes around to provide that check-up.  The Open will showcase your strengths and expose your weaknesses. This is a great way to track your fitness journey and to catalogue how truly awesome you are becoming (as well set new goals to achieve!).

3. CrossFit

It’s not about “should I or shouldn’t I”.  Like Murph or Fran, The Open can be seen as CrossFit rite of passage.  I’ll be the first to admit that, for me, the Open didn’t really start out being super  inclusive. It really was a competition to see who could compete at the CrossFit Games. Now, I have come to realize, it’s different. We have age groups and scaled divisions. You can find out what people your age/gender/scale are doing across the world. Together, we test ourselves, together we better ourselves.  We step outside our comfort zone, together.  If CrossFit has taught us one thing, it’s that we can do more together.  It’s that simple.

So now that you’re ready to sign do you go about it?  

  1. Head to
  2. Click the sign up button
  3. Enter some general info,
  4. You’re done! You’re in!

Okay, so maybe you’re not yet convinced yet.  I am, after all, a little biased. Well, check out the list of names on the gym whiteboard. Ask, one of your friends why they’ve signed up, and then sign yourself up to support them! If you work out on Fridays (and any class), the WOD will be an Open workout. You’ll end up doing the workouts anyway, so register yourself to track yourself!  We’ll have more info to come about Friday Night Lights and all the logistics about the OPEN at Outsiders. The CrossFit Open is so much more than finding the fittest on Earth. It’s a worldwide movement to better humanity. It’s about find the best version of YOU. Sign up and join Team Outsiders in the Open!