Cerus Fitness, located in Fredrick, CO, is owned and operated primarily by CEO and majority shareholder, Chris Johnson, along with his phenomenal Head Trainer and VP of Operations, Richard Leeper. Chris “founded the company back in 2017 with the goal of creating an establishment which encourages people of all ability levels to engage in a healthy lifestyle and remain active through a series of challenging events.” Chris also states that his “stretch goal is to influence 100,000 people to live enduring and healthy lifestyles. While Cerus Fitness has multiple events they facilitate, throughout the year, we are going to primarily focus on their Open event, happening right now! 

After being introduced to CerusRux, their premier obstacle course race, which includes a very standardized ruck division (20/30#) while completing over 20 obstacles (most have never seen before), I could not pass this opportunity up. While there are pros and cons to most races, I would say this was one of my favorites, with A RUCK DIVISION?!?!? Yes Please!! This event opens up the door for more ruck athletes, such as myself, on a competitive level, rather than just throwing on a ruck for the fun of it. Shortly after completing CerusRux, Chris then introduced me to CerusBrix Open, which I am currently competing in. 

I have been racing for more than 10 years and CerusBrix Open is one of the greatest and well-organized events I have ever been a part of. This goes hand-in-hand with the passion behind the keyboard brought to you today. Cerus divides all their competitions into four core athletic attributes: “Speed, Strength, Agility, and Endurance”. In 2021 Cerus Fitness released the first CerusBrix Open. “A one-month competition allowing competitors to test themselves against a large field of athletes over a longer period of time and an ever-changing leaderboard.”

Chris is absolutely correct in stating an ever-changing leaderboard. This is primarily due to the ability to re-test any of the four workouts. However, the strategy that goes directly into the competitor’s arena is beyond anything currently out there. Basically, once you test, you can re-test, but there has to be a week in-between the tests. This creates a very competitive and strategic scenario because the leaderboard updates are posted daily. As a competitor, you have the option to sit back and see where the bar is to attack or set the bar yourself while having the option to see other leaderboard scores and then re-test. This results in mind games in a competition where your competitor is not side-by-side toeing the line with you, but rather completing their own competition behind the scenes. 

On that note, before any competitor attempts the posted workout, they must schedule a time with a grader, go through all the rules, and sign that they understand the rules. Then they complete the workout to standard (per grader) and sign that their score is correct. Each individual also has the opportunity to contest whether their score is correct or not. However, with minimal loopholes, the workouts are pretty straightforward and all of the information, along with very informal videos, are presented ahead of time. Scores start at 1000 points  for 1st place and go down by 25 points for every place after that. This means you could be in first place one day and then last place the next. 

As a competitor myself, I found myself going after posted scores and was in first until the second to last day of completing a workout. I was training in Leadville, CO and was not around to re-test the re-test, but that’s the game. As it went, one competitor retested, which sent me to second place overall moving into the semi-finals. However, as Chris states, “the first round is to get everyone involved, but the next round is where things will really start to heat up”. Chris anticipates a 50% fail rate on most of the upcoming tests. On top of that, placement on the leaderboard now spreads from 25-point increments to 125-point increments. WOW! To get the mind blown even further, failing an obstacle or workout pays a heavy price, but also provides an additional option for strategy, ultimately making this event one of the most intriguing competitions I have ever been a part of. 

After a month-long of qualifications, and as this is being written, there are now 7 men and 6 women advancing to the semi-finals. The Brix Open field is now a “Two-part trial which is a much more difficult time trial to serve as a semi-final”. With only a few days of the semi-finals being released, the workout is crushing souls. Dumbbell thrusters, crazy rigs, and heavy deadlifts are some of the events leveling the playing field down to who is the overall fittest athlete out there. 

After another elimination round, the CerusBrix Open “culminates in a single day championship event with athletes qualifying based on their total performance in the Open and Semi-Final workouts. The first ever championship features $3,000 in total cash prizes and brings each of the athletes back to a single day format testing Speed, Strength, Agility and Endurance in their most difficult iterations yet with a small field of remaining top competitors vying for the prize money and title”. In addition, this will also be the first time where competitors will go head-to-head pushing their limits to be called the first ever Cerus Brix Champion!

Follow this link The CerusBrix Open – Cerus Fitness to check out more Cerus Fitness events and to follow the current Cerus Brix Open now underway. You will also find competition standards and additional explanations of the specific workouts. Leaderboards are updated daily.


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