The Unwritten Rules of the CrossFit Open

The Unwritten Rules of the CrossFit Open

by Greg Glassman

CrossFit is a unique workout system that combines elements from strength training, gymnastics, and other sports into one program. Many people have tried it and many different workouts exist with varying levels of success.

Some people are fans of the workouts while others hate them because they don’t work for everyone or there isn’t enough variety. I’m not going to get into all the details of why some people hate certain workouts, but I will say that if you’re looking for a way to lose weight without dieting, then these workouts might fit your needs. If you want something else though, well you’ll just have to figure out what works best for you.

I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2007 when my wife and I started getting into it together. Over time, I’ve developed a few rules that I follow when it comes to CrossFit.

These rules aren’t hard and fast, but rather guidelines based on my own experience and those of many friends I’ve made through CrossFit.

Pick the Right Workout for Your Level: This one is pretty simple. You wouldn’t start Jiu-Jitsu by jumping into a match with Ronda Rousey, so don’t do a workout with weights that are too heavy for you.

The first couple classes at most CrossFit gyms start you off with some basic exercises and have a coach teach you how to do them properly. Use these sessions to learn which type of workouts you like and which ones you don’t. You’ll quickly find a balance between light weight and high reps, heavy weights and low reps, and everything in between.

Keep a Warm-up Routine: I’m terrible about doing formal warm-ups before I lift weights, but I always regret it. Not only do I occasionally pull muscles because my muscles are cold when I start, but I also feel more vulnerable to injury because my body isn’t ready to lift heavy weights.

The solution is to do a formal warm-up routine that gets your blood flowing and your body ready to lift. It only takes 10 minutes so there’s no excuse not to do it other than pure laziness. The video below shows one of many warm-up routines you can do.

Don’t Try To Learn Everything: CrossFit’s tagline is “The Fitness Program for Modern Times,” but I think it’s a little more than that now. It’s a community of people who encourage each other to do their best.

The Unwritten Rules of the CrossFit Open - GymFitWorkout

There are so many different skills that go into fitness now that no one person can be an expert in all of them, but CrossFit tries to instill a spirit of learning and a love of exercise. So even if you don’t learn how to lift weights properly, you’re still going to get in better shape from the encouragement of others.

It’s OK to Not Finish: Some workouts you’re just not going to have the energy to finish. It happens and it’s fine.

Rejecting the idea of not finishing a workout because someone says not to is silly. If you’ve done everything you can do then there’s really no shame in calling it quits if that’s what you need to do. I always say, “You don’t need to die to prove you’re alive” and the same applies here.

These rules have carried me through over a half decade of CrossFit. I now go to four different locations and have three different coaches, but the tenants of these rules have always applied.

If you’re interested in finding a box near you, I’ve included a link here. If you have any questions about the program don’t hesitate to ask below. Always remember, you’re doing this to improve yourself so set small goals and work towards them every day.

Find a CrossFit Box

Warm-up Routine

Disclaimer: The views shared here are solely my own and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. If you’ve read this far and gotten this annoyed, I thank you for reading all of this and apologize for wasting your time.

by Capt. KirkQCC/105


Sources & references used in this article:

Investigating the organisational culture of CrossFit by B Bailey, AJ Benson, MW Bruner – International Journal of Sport …, 2019 – Taylor & Francis

Nail these unwritten rules for faster gains in size and strength. by B Geiger –

CrossFit Sarajevo: Positioning against dominant ethnonational narratives by V Maslic – Journal of Sport for Development, 2019 –

Journal of Sport for Development by V Maslic –