Getting excited for the Open!

Yesterday CrossFit released the athletes that will be going head-to-head in the Open workouts this year. And it literally gave me butterflies. I immediately got excited to watch these athletes go mano y mano. And then it also set in immediately that the first Open workout is less than a few weeks away. The nerves before doing an Open workout are like no other for me. The competitions I have done are close, but doing an Open workout is on a level above.

And now that they have released who is competing against each other every Thursday night for five weeks beginning on February 26th, I have to make predictions. That’s what I like to do. Who knows what the WOD’s will be and the WOD’s will certainly play a factor. In the final week if the WOD is heavy it would change my pick, but typically Open WOD’s are not heavy. Then again, this is the first year with a scaled division so it is possible that the RX division gets heavy in 2015.

15.1, February 26th, Mat Fraser against The Champ, Rich Froning.

I think I have said a few times on this blog that I think Fraser will win the 2015 CrossFit Games. Froning is not competing as an individual anymore and that opens up a spot for someone to take and I think Fraser is that man. Has Froning’s training declined at all this year since he isn’t competing as an individual? I believe I read somewhere that he thinks his team from CrossFit Mayhem is a year away from competing in the Games, did he take a few rest days for the first time in four or five years? Only one workout a day? Spent more time with his new daughter?

We know Fraser has been training – he just won the East Coast Championships in convincing fashion.

Even with all of that being said, how can you not pick the Champ to win? Gotta pick Froning. This sets up well for Froning. This is sort of a “even though I am not competing, I am still the best” opportunity for him. Many think Fraser will win the Games….but if he loses this event to Froning and wins the 2015 CrossFit Games will people always say “Ya, Fraser won….but if Froning had competed…”?

15.2, March 5th, Michele Letendre vs Emily Bridgers

Bridgers has been competing in anything and everything recently and doing well in those events. If it is a one-rep max sort of event I would take Letendre, but I doubt that will be the case so I’ll take Bridgers.

15.3, March 12th, Julie Foucher vs Lauren Brooks

I’m not sure this one will be close. I know Brooks is strong and did pretty well last year, but she did well based on her placements in the heavier events (like the sled push and clean ladder). Typically Open workouts test your motor and I think Foucher has a better motor. I’ll take Foucher in a comfortable win over Brooks.

15.4, March 19th, a rematch between Scott Panchik and Josh Bridges

Last year these two faced off in 14.4 (the long chipper – rowing, T2B, wall balls, cleans and muscle-ups) and I think I picked Panchik last year – and was wrong. Bridges always surprises, but I am going to take Panchik again. Last year Bridges pulled away in some of the more technical movements like the toes-to-bar and muscle-ups. I am guessing Panchik has worked on those weaknesses and tightened up his form. Panchik can move more weight than Bridges and has a very solid motor. I will take Panchik to take this one on Bridges side of the country.

15.5, March 26th, the ladies shine as Annie Thorisdottir, Sam Briggs and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet face off

This is a close second in terms of anticipation for me, following only Froning and Fraser. Thorisdottir showed she can rock “classic” CrossFit style workouts last year in The Games by finishing in the top five in the final eight events. She was charging Leblanc-Bazinet at the end, but had too much ground to makeup. Then we have Briggs, the engine that trumps all engines. I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for the handstand walk at Regionals in 2014 that Briggs would have won back-to-back Games. All three women are perfectly healthy (at least in watching their Instagrams) and all three desperately want to win the Games. It will be super exciting to watch all three go head-to-head.

I think Briggs wins….unless there is a high rep count of pullups or muscle-up variation. I have seen Briggs doing muscle-ups with weight vests and with bands anchored to the ground, but Leblanc-Bazinet just outpaces pretty much everyone when she hangs from a bar or rings. If the volume on the bar or rings is medium to light, I will still take Briggs. Last year in the Open Briggs won three out of the five weeks worldwide. Give me that track record any day.

As I stated in the beginning of this post, if 15.5 is heavy then I take Briggs out of consideration. Both Thorisdottir and Leblanc-Bazinet can lift more weight. If it is heavy biased I would go with Thorisdottir.

Two more weeks to polish up any flaws in your game. Are you ready?! I am. I really hope there is a WOD in which I get to a muscle up. I have been working on those for years and I linked four in a row this past week. BRING IT ON!!

…here’s hoping I finish in the top 10,000 men….

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