Thursday, February 26, 2015

How To Crush The CrossFit Games Open

It is that time of the year again. The time when for 5 Weeks all CrossFitters talk about CF about 800 million more times than we already do. The CrossFit Games Open starts tonight, and for the third year in a row Josh and I are participating. 

The format for the games is pretty much the same as it has been in the past. But, there is an option for a scaled version this year. Every Thursday night for the next 5 weeks, a WOD will be posted on the CrossFit Games website. Participants will have 4 days to complete the WOD and post their score. Our gym will be hosting Open WODs on Friday nights, and everyone takes turns completing the workout and helping judge others. I look forward to these nights all week. Like I have mentioned a lot, my favorite thing about CF is the social aspect and the Open adds to the camaraderie and fun of the sport.

So you decided to sign up for the Open. Now what? How do you conquer 15.1 but still have fun? Well it is easy! Just follow these tips and you will be all set. They are identical pretty similar to my tips for "Surviving Your First CF Competition". But it is because the Open is a competition too, just with less pressure and more rest time. 
So without further ado, here we go: 

Come Prepared 
Because the WODs are announced with time to plan, it is easy to come to the box prepared. Are there Olympic Lifts in the WOD? Bring your lifters. Did they incorporate DUs? Bring your rope. I leave all of my equipment in one bag and leave it in the car. Then I am always ready for anything that is thrown at me. Make sure to bring a water bottle and maybe even a snack. After you complete the workout it is likely that you will be helping judge. Since it is later than my normal exercise time, I am usually ravenous. Bring anything and everything you think you might need.

Warm Up REALLY Well
I am the worst at warming up. The first year I did the Open, I think I just wandered around visiting with people until it was my time to go. Don't do this! A good warm up is essential to a great performance. Get on the rower. Do some jumping pull ups. Jump rope for a few minutes. High Knees. Butt kickers. Karaoke. Get your heart pumping and your muscles ready. Open WODs are high intensity and fast so you want all of your fast twitch fibers activated and ready to work. 

Strategize & Stick To The Plan
Like I said above, a huge advantage to the Open is that you know the workout early. This gives you time to stragegize and make a plan of attack. Figure out how you will break up reps. Decide when to take breaks. Think about what your pace will be. If you know someone that has already done the WOD, ask them for advice. What would they have done differently? Make a plan and then stick to it! Last year, I remembered that people who did steps up vs. box jumps in 13.2 actually had faster times. So when box jumps were included in 14.3, I did step ups (still Rx) instead. My time was faster and I didn't get as winded. Having a strategy and a plan were instrumental in making that workout go better and smoother. 

Go Into The WOD Knowing You Will Only Do It Once
Some people might not agree with me on this one, but I think it helps to go into the Open knowing you will only do each workout once. 99% of us are NOT making it into the games. So there is no point in hurting yourself/torturing yourself just to try to get one second off your final time or one more rep. Go into the WOD knowing this is it, and then give it all you got. Then when it is all over (and this is hard for me) be happy with your score and don't look back. 

Don't Take It Too Seriously
Trust me when I say I am INSANELY competitive with myself. I have left normal WODs grumpy because I didn't like my performance. However, I have a goal this year to not take the Open too seriously and just enjoy myself. We are doing this for fun. (Example number 3,000 of why people think CrosFitters are weird: We like to workout on a Friday night for fun). But really, that is why you do the Open (unless you are Camille Leblanc-Bazinet)! We do it to see how much we have improved, get a good sweat on, and hangout with our friends. Don't get too wrapped up in the "how fast/how many reps". Just enjoy event and HAVE FUN!

Via Kx Photos

And there you have it! Not mind blowing advice, but these tips should help you have a great time throughout the Open. For some further CF reading and advice here are some posts from the past:

CrossFit Open Recaps: 

Are you participating in the Open this year? 

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