The CrossFit Open


The CrossFit Open is less than a month away! Beginning Thursday, February 26th, you can tune into the live Open announcement show streamed to to hear the announcement of the first 2015 Open workout.

Register now and select CrossFit Beyond as your affiliate gym. You can then enter your scores each week and see how you compare to other CrossFitters all over the world!

Here is everything you need to know  about the 2015 Open, according to

The CrossFit Games stand alone as the ultimate test of fitness. No test, regardless of its lofty claims, can grant legitimate title to the best without first providing access to all.

The 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games season begins with the online Open. Anyone can sign up to compete in five workouts over five weeks and post their scores online. Last year, the Open reached more than 209,000 athletes from around the world.

You can either perform the Open workout at a participating CrossFit affiliate where you will be judged in person, or you can film your full performance and upload it to YouTube or another video-sharing site. The video will be displayed alongside your score so other CrossFit athletes can be your judge.

You are free to make as many attempts at the Open workout as you please. Your only limit is time. You have four days—96 hours—to complete the week's workout and submit your best score to the Games site. The week's workout is released each Thursday at 5 p.m. PT, and scores are due the following Monday at 5 p.m. PT.

The 2015 Open begins on Thursday, Feb. 26. That evening, tune into the live Open announcement show streamed to Director of the Games Dave Castro will announce Open Workout 15.1 and moments later top Games athletes will complete that workout going head to head.

Athletes will submit their scores throughout the weekend. The hard deadline for score submissions is 5 p.m. PT on Monday, March 2. Don't be late!

15.1: Feb. 26 -March 2
15.2: March 5-9
15.3: March 12-16
15.4: March 19-23
15.5: March 26-30

A scaled option of the Open workout will be released each week of the Open. With reduced loading or less challenging movements, the scaled option will be designed to make the Open even more accessible.

You can see all Open workouts here.

To advance to the next stage of the CrossFit Games season—regionals—athletes must finish the Open near the top of their region's Leaderboard.

Only 20 men, 20 women, and 15 teams from U.S. and Canadian regions will advance to their regionals. These numbers grown to 30, 30, and 20 for Europe and Australia, and shrink to 10, 10 and 10 for Latin America, Asia and Africa.

At regionals, top athletes from two to three regions will compete side by side.

Weekend 1: May 15-17
South West, South Central and Latin America ? South Regional
Mid Atlantic and South East Regions ? Atlantic Regional

Weekend 2: May 22-24
NorCal and SoCal Regions ? California Regional
Canada East and North East Regions ? East Regional
Australia and Asia Regions ? Pacific Regional

Weekend 3: May 29-31
Canada West and North West Regions ? West Regional
North Central and Central East Regions ? Central Regional
Europe and Africa Regions ? Meridian Regional

The top five men, five women and five teams at the end of each three-day regional competition will receive invitations to the CrossFit Games at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Masters Division

The Open is also the first step on the road to the masters competition at the CrossFit Games. Athletes who are 40 years old or older are automatically entered into one of five age divisions—40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60+.

To advance to the next stage—the Masters Qualifier—athletes must prove in the Open they are among the 200 fittest people worldwide in their age division.

The online Masters Qualifier, held April 23-27, will put the fittest through a few more tests. Those who emerge from the qualifier in the top 20 will be invited to the CrossFit Games.

Fittest in _____.

Think you're the fittest in your country or state? Prove it in the Open. At the end of the five-week competition we will name the fittest man and woman in each country, and U.S., Australian and Canadian state or province.

Teenage Division

We are also crowning the fittest teenagers with the new Teenage Division. Athletes who are 14 to 17 years old will find out where they stand in relation to other athletes their age. The Teenage Division will have two sub-groups: 14-15 and 16-17.

Teenagers who want to compete with the adults must send an email to requesting a division change before 5 p.m. PT, March 2. The adult and teenage divisions are distinct because they complete different versions of the Open workouts.

Assistive Gear is Cheating-What Are Your Thoughts?

"It doesn’t matter whether you’re using knee wraps or a weight belt, Olympic shoes or compression sleeves. Assistive gear is cheating."-Robert Comacho



A very interesting article from are your thoughts, opinions, and experiences with assistive gear?

Read the article in its entirety below:


Contributor - Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention and Rehab

Assistance is cheating. There. I said it. I’m going to say it again just in case that statement didn’t get through: assistance is cheating. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using knee wraps or a weight belt, Olympic shoes or compression sleeves. Assistive gear is cheating.

But cheating, from a physiological perspective, is not always a bad thing. Generally speaking, when lifting weights the use of momentum is cheating. It bypasses the proper fiber recruitment and under-stresses the involved muscles because you were able to swing or drive the weight up rather than use a straight-up muscle contraction. However, when considering Olympic lifting (or CrossFit for that matter), use of momentum is the name of the game. “Cheating” means the efficient use of movement and mastery of technique. Thus, the utility and benefit of “cheating” is directly related to your goals and the context.

Sleeves and Wraps and Belts, Oh My!


assistance gear, belt, oly shoes, weightlifting shoes, ankle flexion, squat


One of the unintended consequences of the explosion in popularity of CrossFit is the concurrent increase in popularity of assistive gear. Where before wearing a weightlifting belt would immediately label you as some level of meathead, now it mostly seems to indicate you probably like to squat and deadlift. That’s pretty cool.

The problems arise when uninformed trainees start using assistive gear at the wrong times for the wrong reasons. Back hurt? Slap on a belt. Trouble hitting depth with your squat? Buy some Oly shoes and call it a day. Grip failing on your lifts? Just throw on some wraps, bro. You’re good.

No. Just no.

The Rules of Assistive Gear

Assistive gear can have a tremendously positive effect on your training. It can help you prevent injuries, bust plateaus, and take you to peak levels of performance. But you need to know when to use this gear and why. Here are three rules to follow:

Rule #1: Never Use Assistive Gear to “Fix” a Problem

Assistive gear is not intended to solve, improve, or bypass a biomechanical problem. If you are lacking strength, then you need to build strength, not wear a belt. If you are lacking range of motion or proper mobility, you need to mobilize, not simply modify the technique or equipment you use to perform the movement.

Case Study: Wearing Olympic Shoes to Squat Lower

A lot of people swear by Olympic shoes because they claim the shoes allow them to get lower in the squat. This is true. It is, in fact, the exact purpose for which the shoes were designed. The heel lift present in Olympic shoes angles your shin forwards and slightly shifts your center of balanceThis will allow some people to squat lower and gives a mechanical advantage in lifting the weight. The ability to hit rock bottom during an Olympic lift means the bar doesn’t have to travel as high. Creating a stable foundation at that depth will then allow you to lift more weight. This is all good stuff, provided that slapping on an Olympic shoe isn’t just reinforcing negative compensations in your ankle musculature.

Up until the recent barefoot, zero-drop shoe craze most of us spent our time in footwear with something of a raised heel. Most athletic shoes, particularly running sneakers, have a one- to two-inch raised heel. This puts your foot into a plantar flexed position, meaning that any time you’re wearing this type of shoe your neutral position has become plantar flexion. As you can probably guess, this is bad. It is also the reason a lot of people are missing the dorsiflexion required for a full-depth squat. They live their lives with their ankles locked in the opposite position. Your neutral position should be neutral, not flexed one way or another.

From a motor control perspective the plantar-flexed-in-neutral ankle presents an interesting problem. If your foot is plantar flexed, there is a good chance you have a habit of putting weight through the front of your feet. Are you sitting in a chair right now? Do me a favor. Lift your heels off the ground and push the balls of your feet into the ground. What muscles do you feel activating? If I had to guess I’d say probably your calves and quads and maybe a little hamstring at the back of your knee. Now do the opposite. Raise the front of your foot and dig your heels into the ground. What you should feel is activation of the posterior chain muscles, namely your glutes and a much larger portion of your hamstrings. I’m sure you’ve heard the cue to push through your heels. This is a neurological trick to increase activation of the posterior chain muscles. When your foot has the habit of plantar flexing, it increases the difficulty of properly activating these muscles. This is also why people with a tendency for plantar flexion often have hip and knee issues. They’re missing glute activation.

assistance gear, belt, oly shoes, weightlifting shoes, ankle flexion, squat

Interestingly enough, the large amount of cushion in the heel of a lot of athletic footwearwas designed to cushion your foot when heel striking. In other words, it was designed to reinforce putting weight through your heel. Funny thing is, having a sponge under your heel basically makes your body say, “Nope, not doing that.” Your neurological feedback mechanism says, “This ain’t stable. I can’t be putting force through that.” The reason that weightlifting shoes with a solid heel can increase glute activation is precisely why running shoes have the opposite effect.

Although you can probably guess how I feel about using weightlifting shoes to fix missing glute activation. If you want to be able to hit full depth in your squat, then train, strengthen, and mobilize until you can hit full depth. Don’t just strap on a pair of AdiPowers and call it a day.

Rule #2: Remember to Go Raw

So let’s say you’ve paid attention to your movements. You’ve got mobility, stability, and the ability to create and utilize both of those things dynamically. Awesome. Now do me a favor and don’t screw it up by wearing assistive gear on every lift.

Case Study: Wearing a Belt Every Time You Deadlift or Squat

Back and core integrity is incredible important not only to athletic performance, but for overall quality of life. You don’t want to compromise that by risking a slipped disc or some other traumatic injury. Wearing a belt is one of the easiest safety measures for ensuring the structural integrity of your trunk musculature, right? Wrong.

While this isn’t quite as egregious a mistake as combatting squat depth with footwear, wearing a belt on every lift can seriously damage the strength of your core muscles. In some part, you just aren’t requiring the muscles to work as hard. If you have a good belt and you wear it tightly enough you can bypass the necessity for using some of your core strength. This isn’t really the main issue, however.

The real problem is, wearing a belt can let you get away with doing some really funky things while you lift. For one thing, newbie lifters will tend to round their upper back more when wearing a belt than not. Why? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I think a lot of it is that they think the belt will protect their back so not as much attention is paid to form. It may also give them a false confidence and encourage them to lift a larger weight than they are truly capable of. I’ve also seen people squat to depth on the balls of their feet while wearing a belt because they couldn’t feel the strain in their back from tipping forward. I can’t speak for how their knees must have felt.

The biggest problem with belts, however, isn’t so much that they will cause negative compensations (even though they can) as it is that they prevent you from getting the full benefits of certain lifts. Both the deadlift and squat can have a profoundly positive effect on the strength of your core stabilizers. Wrapping a huge, supportive leather belt around your waist lessens the demand on those muscles. Less demand means less stimulation means fewer gains - and we all just want more gains, don’t we?

assistance gear, belt, oly shoes, weightlifting shoes, ankle flexion, squat


If you can’t lift your own bodyweight, then you don’t need a belt - and that would be a dangerous stage to introduce one into your training. Once you’ve developed the movement patterns and the capacity to lift 1.5- to two-times your bodyweight, then you’re ready for a belt. Even then, you should save the belt for your lifts that are ~85% or more of your max. This way you can reap the benefits of both types of training without significantly compromising any of those lovely movement patterns you worked so hard to develop. Granted, if you’re squatting 600lbs you might want to reach for the belt a bit earlier than 510lbs (85% of 600). I think that’s okay.


Rule #3: Remember the Context


Now this is the part where I go and contradict myself and make everyone mad at me. Remember where I said don’t use assistives every time? There are some times when this isn’t the best advice.


Case Study: Competition


I work as a strength coach, both in a strength training and a clinical setting. The perspective from which I design my programs revolves around one principle: injury is the enemy. What that means is that all of the recommendations I give originate with that mindset. If your goal is overall fitness and health, then these recommendations remain accurate. If you are a competitor, they change a bit.


If you know you are going to be using a specific piece of equipment it is in your best interest to train with it as much as possible. While I still recommend training with no assistive gear from time to time, if your main concern is Olympic lifting, then it makes sense to wear Olympic shoes most of the time when training. While you should be able to hit a barefoot squat to depth, the flat-footed squat and the plantar flexed squat are slightly different patterns. It simply makes sense to train the pattern you’ll need to compete. Olympic shoes are the main piece of gear that comes to mind although I’m sure there are other examples.


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, attaining quality movement by utilizing the proper synergistic muscles and recruitment patterns is paramount. Once you’re there (or at least once you’re approaching that point), assistive gear can definitely help take you to the next level of performance. Just make sure you’re not cheating at the expense of your health. Stop covering up your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Trust me, your numbers will thank you.

Competitor’s Class on a New Night!!


Our Competitor's Class will be moving from Thursday nights to Tuesday Nights. The class will be from 7:00-8:00pm. Open Gym will also continue to take place on Tuesday nights from 7:00-8:00pm in a designated area of the gym.

Below is our complete schedule of Specialty Classes, which is also posted on our website. Try them out!

Specialty Classes:

OPEN GYM- Monday-Friday 8-9:00am

Tuesday 7:00pm-8:00pm

Thursday 7:00pm-8:00pm

Saturday 10-11:00am

Sunday 9:00-10:00am


Tuesday 7:00-8:00pm


Monday 7:00pm-8:00pm

Wednesday 6:00pm-7:00pm


The 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month 11:00am-NOON (Begining Feb. 1st)


Sunday 10:00am-11:00am


Sunday 12:30pm-1:30pm

$65 for 6 1 hour structured classes. Ages: 4-10 (younger if kids are able to participate in a structured class)

Register for the Online Judges Course!!

judge(Courtesy of

With the CrossFit Open right around the corner, it is strongly encourage that members consider taking the online judges course! Even if you don't decide to judge in an upcoming competition or judge an athlete who is registered for the Open at CrossFit Beyond, the course  itself will at least help you to be a better athlete. It will help you to think about form and technique. Being self aware of your own form and technique is a valuable skill to have as a CrossFit athlete, so if for no other reason but that, members should really take the course.

The course takes you through the basics of being a good judge. After each module, there are a series of written and multiple choice questions, filmed scenarios and freeze-frame judgment calls that will challenge and support your ability to judge human movement in real time. The course is not easy, but should benefit all potential competition judges and even anyone interested in the subtleties of human movement and performance.

**Those who passed the course in 2013 or 2014 are not exempt. To be a registered judge this season you must pay for and pass the 2015 edition of the course.

**Take notes and record your answers on a piece of paper. If you miss one question you will have to start over.  Having the answers that you have already answered correctly  written down, will get you back to the spot where you left off much faster!!!

The cost for the course is only $10.

The course could take 2+ hours to complete so make sure you do it when you have a good chunk of time available.

The course is mandatory for anyone who plans to judge at Regionals. It is also required for Affiliate Managers who will be validating scores during the Open.

The intent of the course is to set expectations for judging athletes during competition and to review common movement standards. The course will also have revised scenarios where you will watch short segments of a workout and be asked to provide the correct score.

If you plan on doing your Open workouts at an affiliate, you are encouraged to use a registered judge, but it is not required for most participants. Only athletes who plan on advancing to Regionals are required to use a registered judge. Those athletes will also need to submit a video of one of their workouts at the end of the Open, and to claim any prize money if they take the top score worldwide. Again, most participants in the Open will not need to video their workouts.

The Judges Course is available here: