CrossFit VP Jay DeCoons Takes on His First CrossFit Open 

Among those who were anxiously awaiting the first CrossFit Open workout to drop last Thursday was Jay DeCoons, who also happens to be the new VP of Global Affiliate and Operations at Crossfit HQ. 

DeCoons landed the VP job in October 2024. He hails from a finance background and has more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. While he’s only been in the role for a few months, he’s managed to set up an affiliate council and monthly affiliate roundtables where owners discuss specific topics. 

[Related: Breaking Down the Most Common CrossFit Open Movement Combinations]

Remind me: The 2024 CrossFit Open started on Thursday, February 29, and runs every weekend through to Monday, March 18. The workout, which Dave Castro released during the Open announcement, was a straightforward cardio test of dumbbell snatches and burpees over the dumbbell that gave little time for rest. 

First reaction: “I went out too hot but hung on and got it done in 11:18. I was pretty happy considering my hot start!” DeCoons tells the Morning Chalk Up.

DeCoons started CrossFit in 2015 and trained for a couple of years. After a small hiatus where he trained in his home gym, suffered a shoulder injury, and then moved with his family, he picked it back up in the fall of 2023 and joined CrossFit Invictus Seattle. 

“Overall, I loved the experience. My favorite part was, by far, [was] hanging with my local gym community. I did the 4 p.m. Open workout, and then we jumped right into our Friday Night Lights event. It was so fun to connect with our amazing community of coaches, members, and owners,” DeCoons says. 

“In our gym, we do have some really competitive age group athletes. And we have just everyday people that are just trying to support each other and have their basic fitness needs met.” 

For his first Open, DeCoons wants to balance his own competitiveness with his mission to have fun and connect with others.

“I really wanted to participate in the community event. I want to be as competitive as I can, so I certainly have been ramping up my training for it, and I’m excited about it,” DeCoons says. 

 “It’s my first time doing the Open. I’m 47 years old. I’m playing the long game here. So I really just want to have fun, and I’m definitely not looking to break into the Games, that’s for sure.” 

[Related: An Ode to the CrossFit Garage Gym]

CrossFit Invictus Seattle will host a “Friday Night Lights” event like many affiliates across the globe. DeCoons says he plans to be there early to help the owners set up and prepare for a full night of fitness. 

“I just want to jump in and help the community to run a really great event. Keep it fun for everybody. I’m going to be there just to be a servant leader,” DeCoons adds. 

Members at the gym are starting to organically learn who DeCoons is and are excited that one of their members is part of the larger CrossFit brand. 

“As the word gets out there, [members] are excited that I’m connected to the larger brand, and then they feel connected that way, and I try to give them updates,” DeCoons says.

In regards to the work he’s done as VP thus far, DeCoons says: “There’s a lot more we’re talking about with our owners, such as a monthly marketing toolkit that we’re providing to them. We’re going to be launching that starting next month.”

“They’re going to see more visible signs of, ‘We’re going to be delivering on what we say we’re going to do,’ and that’s really important. That trust is starting to build, and I think the word is getting out there that we are following through on these commitments because they know it hasn’t always been that way with HQ, so I want to fix that narrative.” 

While waiting for the drop of 24.1, DeCoons discussed a few movements he was hoping would not come out of Castro and Boz’s hopper. Well, mostly gymnastics. His shoulder injury still requires constant work, and he plans to scale the workouts accordingly throughout the Open. 

His ideal scenario is a longer, grindier workout. Cardio machines, a 20-minute AMRAP, and lots of burpees — those are his jam. 

“I get so much out of being able to be in the gym three to four days a week,” DeCoons says. “So if I ever did anything on one day, even an Open workout, to compromise that, it’s just not worth it for me. That being said, I want to be as competitive as I can and hopefully do everything as close to Rx as possible.” 

More CrossFit Content

Read more CrossFit stories from the Morning Chalk Up below:

Interview: Haley Adams on Finding the Joy In CrossFit Again After Her Year Away

CrossFit Open Workout 24.1 Livestream Numbers Surpass 2023 Figures

Meet Dylan Gibbs: The First U.S. Male Collegiate Functional Fitness National Champion

Featured Image: @amalleolo / Instagram

The post CrossFit VP Jay DeCoons Takes on His First CrossFit Open  appeared first on BarBend.


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