The CrossFit Open starts today! We’re excited and almost everybody at boxes all over the world are ready to compete… from the casual CrossFitter to the serious athlete.
If this is your first time competing in “the Open,” we know you're feeling very excited! Relax, we've put together this short post to help gear you up for the next 5 weeks!
Know Your Fitness Capacity
How many burpees can you do without a break in form or tempo/pace?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your double unders?
If you were to do EMOM 10 for the basic movements, what is the average number of burpees, air squats, push ups and pull ups can you do?
How is your weightlifting and powerlifting technique?
The idea is to get a snapshot of where you are right now, as that is what you have to work with.
Accept Your Fitness Capacity
After taking into account what you can do, instead of trying to dramatically change your numbers, you need to accept what you can do.
If you can only do fifteen burpees per minute, stick with that.
If you can only lift up to a certain weight, stick with that.
If you try to dramatically change your capacity, you are likely going to over train and eventually injure yourself.
Our goals as CrossFitters have always been to be at our best selves. Trying to beat others will lead to bruised egos and injuries.
Your pace is the best pace for your fitness capacity.
It will be difficult to add an additional 50 pounds or 50 reps to your lift in a few days time.
Correct Your Weaknesses
Now that you’ve accepted what you can’t do, let’s discuss what you can do.
Double check your form and technique.
Are there situations where you round your back?
Are there situations when you lose tightness in your core and your glutes?
Are you gripping the bar perfectly?
Do you initiate the movements with your knees or your butt?
Are there small adjustments that need to be done so you can move with more fluidity?
Practice skills with lighter weights if you have to.
For movements that you you can do well, see how far you can go by increasing the weight a little past your capacity, but be sure to scale down as soon as you feel that it’s too heavy.
Ask your coach to correct you or take a video and post it to one of the popular CF boards/sites out there. Believe it or not, there is a HUGE community out there who want to help.
Pay attention to your common mistakes
Here are some examples that we experienced during our first competition sessions.
Maintain a sustainable pace. Moving too fast too early during the workout can exhaust you and cause you to significantly lose speed during the workout. Whatever you do, don’t sprint until the last minute or last thirty seconds of the WOD.
Not stretching and warming up. Limited mobility greatly affects your performance so be sure to warm up and stretch before you compete.
Bring your best self to the party!
Get enough rest. Take a full day of rest before the competition itself to allow your body to recover. We know you’re excited but trust us on this, do not train or participate in a gruesome WOD the day before you compete. Get some rest, and stretch a few times that day. Just go through the warmup sequence and do nothing more..
Stay healthy. Your body’s performance output is only as good as what you feed it. Eat clean, stay away from cigarettes and alcohol.
Work on your mobility. You need to do some mobility exercises the day before so your body will be ready but at the same time, be in a state of readiness.
Wherever you are in your fitness journey, we’d like to remind you that you are competing with the fittest athletes on the planet. We all want to win, however, mature CrossFitters know that competing is simply an activity that helps you discover your capacity. Your score compared to the winner’s score should never be a gauge of your value.
That said, we are more interested to hear only two things.
- You did your best.
- You had a lot of fun.
We look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.