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CrossFit enthusiasts brace for Open

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 23:02

CrossFit open

Roger Zhang -- The Battalion

Junior engineering technology major John Hansard performs a snatch at CrossFit Aggieland on Monday afternoon.

Though they utilize the same maneuvers, CrossFit workouts vary from gym to gym. In the CrossFit Open, however, everyone prepares the exact same workout, which were outlined Thursday for the Open Competition on Saturday.

“CrossFit is a fitness movement,” said Charlie Lima, Class of 2004 and owner of BoomFit CrossFit in College Station. “When it started it was thinking outside the box a little bit from what the traditional strength training workouts were like. It started throwing in so many other exercises and different styles of working out. It combines types of gymnastics in your workouts, Olympic weight lifting, traditional strength training and cardiovascular exercising into one workout.”

Seth McKinney, Class of 2001 and owner of CrossFit Aggieland, said Saturday’s competition is an international affair, with people around the world competing to qualify for the next level.

Each participant preforms the workouts prescribed by CrossFit Headquarters in their own gym, with certified trainers and judges recording all times and scores to ensure fair competition. The scores are compared region-wide, and the Top 48 men, Top 48 women and Top 30 teams from each of the 17 regions advance onward. From regionals, a select few make it to the final CrossFit Games.

Jordan McHorter, junior university studies leadership major, has been participating in CrossFit workouts for a year. He said he plans to compete this Saturday in the CrossFit Open, but hasn’t decided if he will do so individually or collaboratively. Competing with a team raises the chances of qualifying to regionals versus competing as an individual, he said.

“I’ve done about three local competitions, but this will be my first time to compete in the Open,” McHorter said. “It’s my first time, so I just want to do alright. I’ve been working on a few of [the workouts] from last year and none of them are fun. Nobody likes the open because there are just so many reps. It’s movements everyone can do, just that movement a lot of times.”

Besides challenging competition, McHorter said CrossFit also offers a sense of community not found in other workout regimens.

“The community is really great,” McHorter said. “I know I’ve done some things I wouldn’t be able to do without people standing there yelling at me. My friend and I always talk about how you can go to a regular gym for three years and see the same exact people every day and never say a word to them. One of the things I like most about CrossFit is the community.”  

Hannah Malcomb, senior kinesiology major, is a certified CrossFit coach at CrossFit Aggieland.  With aspirations to become a strength coach, Malcomb said her position was incredibly satisfying.

“I originally got certified to coach CrossFit to give me some experience coaching and look good on my resume,” Malcomb said. “What I really get from coaching is so much more rewarding. Helping people get stronger than they thought they were and do things they thought they couldn't is so rewarding and I love every second of it.”

In terms of the competition, Lima said he was just excited to not only compete himself, but see his clients compete.

“The open is not about the CrossFit Games, because 150,000 people could sign up but only 60 people actually go to the Games,” Lima said. “It’s about challenging yourself. This will be my fourth year to do it and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fired up and ready to go. The open is fun no matter why you do it.”

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