This post is a little delayed….we’ve been very busy, but here is a little blog about our SECOND open of 2019!

What a brilliant 5 weeks they were. The 2020 open was different, fun, testing and clever, and so many people achieved things they didn’t think they would, which was so good to see. We had a fair few loooong workouts this time – which, although this made fitting them into class times pretty unrealistic, thankfully everyone was cool and got stuck in.

Here at M Squared we like to do our own in house competition for the open to keep it fun and team oriented rather than pressure on each individual. We split everyone into big teams and that way people can meet new people who don’t usually know each other as they do different class times. It’s great because the teams create their own thread on messages and support each other through each workout and congratulate each other on achievements. Of course, it’s all very light-hearted and teams support each other as well, it’s doesn’t get to the point where people aren’t cheering someone on because they’re from a different team 😉 That wouldn’t be very “CrossFit” would it!

At the end of the open the team with the least amount of points wins (the same format as the actual open scoring). This year, the Orange and Red team were tied in first place, so after a tiebreaker, the Orange team took the win! They were lucky enough to win a badge from Amwrap that says “I WON AT CROSSFIT” ha ha!

So, now to have a little look back and recap over the 5 weeks and all the successes we had 🙂


20.1 – The one with too many burpees… Everyone who repeated this one is both mental and brave! How much did it hurt?! Looked alright on paper but rounds 6 onwards was a killer… Huge well done to Danny Needham who won this one for the guys in a rapid 13:21 and Em  Sav and Emily Steel who were tied for that 1stplace spot with just 3 reps from finishing it! So close! Massive shout out to everyone who actually completed this monster – Tom Reading, Joe Emerick, Ash Lehane, Ed Barlow and Richie Dawson Smith.


We also award a “Spirit of the Open” award (another epic badge from Amrap) each week to the person who stands out the most, be it for effort, achievement, support, attitude, etc. The award for week 1 went to Josh Kendall. He looked like he was in an absolute WORLD of pain, even possibly close to tears, yet he carried on and pushed without stopping all the way to the end so the award was for pure grit and determination.

20.2 – The long one. Pretty sure that most people would have had a “nemesis” with one of the movements in this wod… Which one was it for you? I think a lot of people surprised themselves with this one, managing to get a lot more rounds than they expected. Em Sav was worried about thruster and toes to bar with her shoulder limitations…. But despite this she only went and won it!! Mega work from her getting into the 20thround. Ellen also smashed it too getting into the 20thround. And Danny Needham took the win for the guys with 21 rounds.


Spirit of the open for this week went to Rick Ellis. Rick has a hate-hate relationship with double unders… lets just leave it at that… but despite this he got his head down, proceeded with the RX version of the WOD, and managed to get through loads of rounds! Not once did he have paddy, just stayed calm. So he definitely deserved the award this week.

20.3 – The repeat! A lot of people remembered this one from 2018, and a lot of people also remembered the absolute mental standards that they put in for the handstand push ups… making a hard workout, even harder! There were SO many victories with this one, Joe Russell bashed out 6 RX handstand push ups despite “not being able to do them” before he started the WOD. Handstand push ups have always been his nemesis, so this result and his  happiness at the achievement earned him the Spirit of the open for this week. I know there were lots of people who smashed out the RX handstand push ups too having never done them before. Shout outs need to go to Maddy Hunter and Ben Dunk for being the winners of the scaled category and speeding through it all in barely any time at all. Ellen and Emily made it onto the heavy deadlifts, with Ellen taking the win with 14. As did Will, Danny, Tom and Joe. Ash was the ONLY person to make it onto the handstand walks so massive well done Ash for being the 20.3 champion.


20.4 The one with the heavy barbell.  I think a lot of people surprised themselves with this one whether it was through getting through so many pistols, OR smashing out PB Clean and Jerks! Big shout out to Em Sav for not only getting through loads of pistols on BOTH legs including the one she broke, but also for smashing out 65kg clean and jerks on her dodgy shoulder too! So much improvement there – post-injury.

Also a shout out to Ellen for completing the workout on the Friday… but then realising she’d done the clean and jerks at the wrong weights for the 65kg and the 79kgs!!! Poor girl had to re-do it on the Monday with very sore legs! She didn’t moan though, she just got her head down and got on with it.

Well done to the following who all made it to the 200 rep marker: Emily, Ellen, Gage, Lisa, Maddy, Joe E, Ash, Will & Danny. Based on the tiebreak time the winners were Emily and Danny so well done guys for being speedy! Spirit of the open was awarded to Jamie Fitton. She has been working really hard on her cleans for ages and has had a goal of 50kg. She hadn’t managed this before the open but then managed to bang out 3 Clean and Jerks at 52.5kg! Amazing work Jamie! Hard work pays off.


20.5 The one with the muscle ups. The open wouldn’t be the same without muscle ups in! This year it was ring. This workout was so much fun to watch with so many people achieving their first pull ups or muscle ups!
Lisa Martin, Lisa Redfern, Stef and Ted all got their first pull ups which were amazing to watch, and Fi, ben, Chris, Jordan and dan all got their first muscle ups.


I LOVE watching people’s faces when they achieve something like that. The winners of this workout were Gage and Tom with Gage taking 24 of the 40 muscle ups and Tom completing it in a rapid 17:19!


Our spirit of the open award for the last week was awarded to Fi Doig! She hasn’t had the best open this year due to illness but she kept a smile on her face and continued turning up and doing what she could with each workout, as well as supporting everyone else along the way, and  so it was an absolute pleasure to see her get her first muscle up in this workout!

So that sums up our open experience for the 2ndtime this year! Our top place finishers in the gym after all the workouts were as follows:


Ladies                                                    Gentlemen

1stPlace – Emily Steel                        1stPlace – Danny Needham

2ndPlace – Ellen McHale                    2ndPlace – Tom Reading

3rdPlace – Emma Gage                      3rdPlace – Ash Lehane

And something pretty amazing to note is that Emily Steel is only 16 years old…! And her top finish in the open at M Squared is a small achievement compared to finishing 63rd in the world in her age category 16-17 years and 3rd in the UK! She has qualified to the online qualifiers which will be in March so she will be working hard from now until then. Keep your eyes peeled to see how she does!

A big thank you needs to go to Chris Gee for all his hard work in organising the open at M Squared, he is the mastermind behind the teams and how it all works, and spent his Tuesdays announcing each week’s points and scores and fixing everyone’s wrong score entries! We really appreciate everything you do Chris!