by Grace Lin
By now, y’all have heard talk about the CrossFit Open. If this is your first time ever reading about the Open, please read the previous post before continuing. The Open will be upon us in just a few short weeks, and it’s not too late to get yourself dialed in for this year!
If you’ve participated in the Open during previous years, then you have an idea of what to expect. If this is your first year competing in the Open, then think of this as a guide for focus points from now until the Open. So, what should you guys be focusing on during the next month?
Skills and Weaknesses. We know there are movements that are notorious for showing up in the Open. Double unders, toes-to-bar, chest-to-bar pull ups, overhead squats, burpees, wall balls, ring or bar muscle ups, cleans, snatches, deadlifts, and thrusters have shown up in every Open. So, it is safe to assume they are likely to show up in this year’s Open (along with handstand push ups). These are skills that you can practice before or after class. Skills don’t just happen overnight; they take dedicated and consistent practice over time to build.
Barbell Cycling. High volume, lighter bar work often shows up in the Open. Learning how to cycle movements like power cleans, snatches, and clean and jerks will be extremely beneficial to your success when they show up in the workouts. This will allow you to learn your rhythm and how to breathe efficiently during the exercise. This is also the time to learn which weights you can efficiently cycle, and which weights you’ll be more efficient doing fast singles with.
Conditioning. Build your engine! There is usually one (or more) longer duration workout that shows up in the Open. So, really focus on honing in your conditioning! Along with that, learn what pacing strategies work for you. Workouts will range from 5 to 20 minutes, and these all require different pacing strategies. Not everyone will use the same pacing strategy, so figure out what works best for your abilities and strengths. Practice strategizing during class when performing the class WOD. Sure, we tell you a general way to approach the workout, but try doing it yourself too!
Find Your Limits. Figure out how far and hard you can push yourself in a WOD. The PERFECT time to do that is during class. It’s the best testing grounds for discovering how far you can push. Go to that dark place! Redline, so you know how far you can push before needing to pull the throttle back. And then apply that knowledge during the Open!
Build Your Mental Game. Do you know what the difference is between a good athlete and a great athlete? Mental toughness. Great athletes know how to push past that level of uncomfortableness and keep going. They know it’s going to hurt, but they also know it’s temporary and their body is capable of more than what the mind thinks. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not that bad and it will be over soon, so push past it.
Nutrition. Hone in your nutrition practices now, so they become second nature during the Open. Figure out what works best for your pre- and post-WOD nutrition. Maximize it so you’re energized and prepared coming into a workout, and know how to recover properly after the workout. Cut out alcohol and added sugar NOW. Eat to perform, don’t perform to eat!
Gear. The best investment you could make between now and the Open (if you don’t already have these items) is a pair of good shoes and a jump rope. For more information on CrossFit-appropriate shoes, click here. And click here for further information on great jump rope options.
Focus on these things for the next month to prepare for the Open! Dial it in now and you will reap the benefits come the Open workouts. If you haven’t registered for the Open yet, please register here! These are all great things to focus on, but above all, HAVE FUN during the Open!