We spend all year training, building up to this season, preparing to test ourselves and how far we have come in our fitness. The moment of truth. The Open runs for 5 weeks, with each workout announced on Thursdays. You have from Thursday until Monday to complete each workout and submit your score online.
Some athletes will do the Open in hopes to get to the next step, Regionals and then for few, the Games. Others will do it solely to compete against themselves, to push themselves and see how much they have improved in a years time and some will do it because someone in their gym talked to them into it and they have no idea what they’re in for, but here goes nothing.
Regardless of your reason, these 5 workouts are usually 5 workouts you won’t forget. Knowing that you are a part of something that all Crossfitters across the world are participating in and pushing for your best score on the leaderboard usually makes for 5 workouts you push harder than ever in. It may seem like it’s “just another workout” but your gym will most likely be building it’s programming around these workouts. You will take it to another level of intensity in this time and it is key to fuel your body well, make sure you are recovering properly and most of all making sure you stay in a good mental state by having fun!!!
I wanted to throw out some main tips that come to mind when I think of the Open. This is my 6th year participating and I have learned a few things over time that I hope will benefit you and help you in the next 5 weeks in one way or another!
Disclaimer: Now is not the time to scramble to lose weight, drastically change habits or your diet, and it is definately too late to pack on some last minute muscle! However, there are little things you can do to be the best version of you-right-now!
SET YOUR SCHEDULE
We all know those times we feel best working out. I personally feel my best working out about 9am and my worst super early morning or late nights. Do your best to map out your schedule for the next 5 weeks and if at all possible, do your Open workouts during your prime time. However, if your body is accustomed to always working out at 5 or 6am and that’s the only time you can do it, by all means, do it then! You know your body, listen to what it’s telling you.
STAY ON TOP OF YOUR NUTRITION
Like I said above, now is not the time to drastically change anything with your diet. If you feel like you need to lean down, now is not the time to cut, sorry charlie, it’s too late for that! Likewise, if you feel like you need to get stronger, it is also a little too late for that! What you can do right now is focus on fueling your body through quality foods and timing your meals well. There is no harm in cleaning up your diet a little more and making sure you are getting high quality foods. After your workout make sure you are getting your protein shake and a high quality, balanced meal shortly after. This goes for the ENTIRE week. What you put in your body through the week leading up to the Open WOD will largley affect your performance on the day of. Make wise choices! If you need help in detail on what types of foods you should be eating and when, reach out to your Flex Fuel coach and if you don’t have one, you should get one!
SLEEP AND HYDRATION
Two key ingredients to top performance that can so often be overlooked but are SO crucial! Again, these aren’t two things you can cram in last minute. Make sure you are making the time to get proper rest and carry that water bottle with you wherever you go!!
KNOW YOUR BODY, KNOW YOUR PLAN
Yes, this is the time to push yourself, hopefully surprise yourself with some PR’s and have some healthy competition in your gym. As an athlete you should go into each workout with a plan- a plan that should be discussed ahead of time with your coach and will set you up for success and build confidence going into it. It is just like any other workout, all movements you are familiar with, so now is not the time to go crazy and do something totally off your radar. Of coarse, push yourself and expect to go above and beyond, but in a smart way! Don’t go by Betsy-Jo’s plan for the workout that is catering to her and her strengths, go by yours and you will exceed your expectations! The Open in prime time to focus on pushing yourself to be the best version of YOU, while using others around you as a healthy push.
DON’T DO EACH WORKOUT A MILLION TIMES
There are for sure mixed opinions about this one, but this is my take from my personal experience. There was a time where im pretty sure I did almost all of them 3 times each. So stupid. So painful. Pretty much pointless by attempt 3. These workouts are intense and you will be pushing your body to the max. You only have a little over 3 full days to get them done and if you are pushing at 110% in that workout that is hardly time to recover fully and do it a second time at 110%. If you can do it one and done, I think that is great. Go into to it knowing your game plan and go balls to the walls. Something mentally happens if you know you are going to give it another attempt, I think if you go in thinking that is your one shot, you will give it your all like it’s your one shot. However, I know the temptation of doing it a second time in hopes of improving. If you are a two-timer I suggest doing it once to test your game plan, feel it out and know that second time you are going in even more prepared and that is your “balls to the walls” attempt. Again, in my opinion, anything over 2 attempts is silly. If you truly gave it your all on that first or second attempt it is going to be hard to recover from that and achieve a score on your third attempt that is going to be worth it. Usually a few extra reps is not worth wrecking your body for the rest of the week just to do it all over again the next week.
I am totally guilty of letting the pressure of the leaderboard, of competitiveness and what others are doing around me affect my experience in the Open. Don’t do this! I encourage you to do a little self-reflection before it all starts. Take a step back and review this past year. Have you had some ups and downs? Victories and setbacks? Injuries? Mental growth? Physical growth? What are you proud of? What do you want to get out of the Open this year? Of coarse we all want the best score possible, we all want to be able to do all the movements they announce and there will inevitably be that dreaded movement you do not want to see. That is the beauty of this process. The unknown and unknowable to test our fitness and make us squirm and be a little uncomfortable. Embrace it all and know what you want out of these 5 weeks and enjoy all the challenges and successes it brings. HAVE FUN WITH IT!!
I encourage everyone to sign up. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you are where you should be or if you aren’t trying to make it to Regionals. It’s about your journey, the ups and the downs and testing yourself where you are right now. Jump in with two feet and soak up the experience- you won’t regret it!!
I can’t wait to hear all about it! Please comment on this blog throughout the Open and let me know about your experience!