Coach Sherb’s Thoughts on 19.3

TMF Coach Matt Sherburne is an owner and the Head Coach of CrossFit MF – Windham in Windham, Maine. He wrote this in response to some frustrations he was seeing from his members and wanted to share it with the Team Misfit community. We hope you pass it along to your members, as we’re sure you hear similar thoughts every year. Enjoy!


Hey Guys,

I just wanted to write this to you all regarding some of the comments I’ve seen here regarding 19.3. First, I really want to say that am I super proud of this gym and how many of you signed up for this online competition. Pitting yourself against 5 grueling workouts, knowing that you will be judged and/or competing with yourself, your fellow members and the rest of the world takes immense courage, so for that I tip my hat. But the reason for this post is to remind you what the ultimate goal of the OPEN is: To test the fittest athletes in the world to ensure that only the fittest qualify for the Games.

The way the Open ensures that only the fittest on earth qualify for the games is by creating tests that are INTENTIONALLY challenging for a multitude of reasons: high skill gymnastics, heavy weights, unfamiliar movements, difficult rep schemes which are all combined in workouts where you have to either “earn the right” to continue or the where the goal is to finish as fast as possible and the workout is built to slow you down. If these workouts weren’t intentionally challenging the product (the performance of the athletes) at the CrossFit Games would not be as spectacular. However, that just because that is the ultimate goal of the Open is to get the fittest athletes to the CrossFit Games, that DOES NOT MEAN that you should not participate.

So, you may be asking yourself, “why did I sign up then?” The answer: TO TEST YOURSELF!!! The open is a fun and exciting time to see a brand new challenge and attack it head-on! Never gotten a pull up? Let’s do our damndest to try and get one. Never tried a strict handstand push up? I bet you’re going to try this weekend! Never lifted 185lbs? Now you’re going to try! And for this reason I absolutely love the Open.

Secondly, the Open can serve as a litmus test for where you need to focus your training in the future. Can you lift a heavy barbell but it comes time to move your own body weight you fail? Guess where your focus needs to be. Love the idea of being able to sling around a heavy bar but your double unders weren’t where the needed to be to have a chance to lift heavy weights? Guess where your focus needs to be. Finally, are you struggling to stay moving because you’re breathing heavy and are too tired to stay moving the entire time during the workout? Maybe you aren’t scaling appropriately and standing around too much during workouts.

In closing, I want to try to convince you all to EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE! Use these 5 weeks to see where your fitness is, and where you need to improve! Don’t go into the workout thinking “oh this sucks”, “F-you Dave Castro”, “This is stupid” because a negative attitude isn’t going to make it any easier, in fact, it may make it harder. Now go forth, EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE and remember, we do this for fun.


Written by Coach Sherb


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