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Emma McQuaids Top 5 Tips for The CrossFit Open 2021

This year more than ever has athletes itching to compete again.  Kicking off on 16th February, The CrossFit Open will unite hundreds of thousands of athletes around the world to compete in the world’s largest ever participatory sporting event.

From Belfast to Berlin, Boston to Bangkok, athletes of all levels will compete against each other, and against themselves in a series of shared workouts over a three-week period. Challenges, triumphs, personal records, and the chance of making it to the next round.

It doesn't matter if you're 14, 40, or 64. Just starting out or a muscle-up pro. Compare your results by division, location, gym, or group.

We caught up with BLK BOX Athlete Emma McQuaid who is no stranger to CrossFit competitions after recently placing as 19th fittest woman in the world at the CrossFit Games 2020. Emma shares her top tips for anyone competing in this year’s Open.  

1. Enjoy it

The last year has been tough for many of us so now is your chance to have some fun! With our daily routines turned upside down, use this as a way of having something to focus on and something to look forward to each week. The Open is about fun and community, so relish the challenge and don’t let a bad workout ruin your experience- it’s not meant to be easy but you will feel great finishing your workout knowing you pushed yourself to the limit!

Enjoy It

2. Make a plan and stick to it

You know yourself best. I typically find that I work best when I have a plan. I always write up my next days training session on my whiteboard so that I know exactly what’s coming up next. This also keeps me accountable so if I don’t get the workout done that day, it stays on the board until I do it. You will have one week to complete each of the Open workouts, so write down what you need to do, when you plan to do it and stick to it!

Make a plan

3. Try and get someone to compete with you

Just because you aren’t able to get into the gym doesn’t mean you can’t have a training buddy. Workouts are always more fun with friends and definitely makes you more competitive. Encourage your friends or family to sign up and complete the workouts together on Zoom or FaceTime. It’s amazing how much more motivated you are when you are competing against a friend and you can also push each other when you are struggling on those last few reps. To really get competitive, set yourself a forfeit that the loser buys the next coffee!

Train with someone

4. Aim for a one and done approach 

I find the best way to get through each workout is to go full send. Don’t begin the workout with the attitude that you can repeat it if you aren’t pleased with your score. Treat the workout like it’s your one and only chance to do it and push yourself as hard as you can to get it done.

One and done

5. Pick the category that is at your level 

Many people think they aren’t fit enough to compete in the CrossFit Open, but this isn’t true. It is for everyone, all levels and abilities. Just be honest with your ability and pick the level that’s right for you and give 100% effort. There is nothing more unmotivating than placing yourself into a category that is too advanced – it’s so much more fun and competitive to compete against athletes of a similar standard and will give you more realistic goals!

Good luck to all athletes competing in this year’s open. Give it your best and most of all, enjoy it!

Shop Equipment for the Open 2021 


BLK BOX Barbells

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Comp Plates

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Plyo Boxes

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Pull Up

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Speed Rope

BLK BOX Speed Rope

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