The CrossFit Games begins with the worldwide Open competition. Everyone in the world is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online in real time. This year over 200,000 athletes are expected to take part.
Open Workout 14.4 (2014 - Workout 4) was announced on March 20, and we were excited to hear that, for the first time in an Open Workout, the Concept2 Indoor Rower would be included in the mix. Rowing was the first component of the 14.4 chipper: 60-calorie row, 50 toes-to-bars, 40 wall-ball shots, 30 cleans and 20 muscle-ups, with as many reps as possible to be completed in 14 minutes.
“I could not tell anyone until after the announcement happened, and then I emailed everyone in the company that a row was going to be part of the “Chipper WOD,” said our own Greg Hammond. “Concept2 is not a big company and we have a large percentage of employees doing CrossFit now, so being a part of the Open means more to everyone than ever before. We really enjoy playing a part in the CrossFit community.”
The Games have never existed without the indoor rower. In 2007, athletes were required to complete a 1000m row in the first workout. From that moment, the indoor rower has been a fixture at the Games and has been in four of the seven CrossFit Games to date. This is the first time, however, that the indoor rower has made an appearance in the Open. “There are some movements that are staples in determining and testing fitness. The indoor rower is one of them,” said Dave Castro, CrossFit Games Director. “The trend for the past three years of Open workouts is that 99.9 percent of all Open submissions are done at affiliates. In my experience from travelling the world and visiting affiliates, almost every affiliate I have ever been to has a Concept2 Indoor Rower. The time was right.”
The men's round was won by CrossFit legend Rich Froning, the winner of the CrossFit Games for the last three years, while the UK's Samantha Briggs came out top in the women's event. Briggs is the reigning champion (and finished first in the half-marathon row in last summer's Games), further proof that the indoor rower is one of the best guides to overall fitness. We can't wait to see what the final Open workout will be!