The CrossFit Open is less than 2 months away. Now is the time to really start dialing in all the little things that are going to help you achieve your best placing yet! You have built a good base of strength, conditioning and skill work for the last year and you get to test yourself against the best in the world.
Here are my 7 Tips to Prepare for the CrossFit Open 2016!
1. Plan ahead
We all know when the Open starts. Ok well in case you don't know it is the 25th of February. This means that if you haven’t already started preparing then yesterday was the best time to start and today is the second best! The best time was actually the end of last year’s Open but I’m sure you have some excuse as to why you left it this late. Again! Don’t worry - there is always next year, right?
2. Train your weakness
Do you struggle with Muscle Ups, can’t get Double Unders or getting under a heavy Snatch is hard? It may not sound like something you want to do but you need to invest time in those movements. They are what is going to show up during the Open. It is in these movements that you must move efficiently and avoid both fatigue and injury. Your ability to do so will have a direct impact on your times, reps and ultimate placing on the leaderboard. Listen closely to the tips your coach gives because chances are if he or she says them and does well, the tips obviously work!
3. Go hard!
Most CrossFit Open workouts are high repetition metabolic conditioning workouts. If you don’t believe me, click here to check out all the previous CrossFit Open wods. Your ability to sustain a high intensity effort for a long period of time is key to doing well. This means moving fast and maintaining that pace for as long as possible is going to help you out. A lot! By increasing this aspect of your conditioning you will find that your ability to hold a lesser intensity effort for a longer period of time will also improve, which is needed during the Open too.
4. Repeat Open workouts
Repeating previous years’ workouts is a great strategy. Not only do you get to beat the score you set last year, which is always a good confidence boost, but you can test a different strategy to what you used previously. Strategy is a KEY to doing well. If you know your limits and can work within them you will appear far higher on the leaderboard than someone who fumbles their way through. By repeating these workouts you are also preparing for a good mental game.
5. Work your game plan and mental game
What sets the best at CrossFit apart from the rest of us mere mortals? Their mental game is one factor! When you are putting down the Wall Ball or resting for longer than necessary during your Burpees, they are silencing the voice telling them to stop and continuing to work. Set up a game plan for each workout. Going into it with the mentality of just doing it and “seeing how you go” is not a good plan. Be prepared for your game plan to change, however, and make adjustments on the fly. A quote I love which sums this up well is by Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
6. Flexibility and mobility
If you are stiff and sore going into each of the workouts, chances are you will not get the best result. Ensure your body is in top condition by spending a little bit of extra time each day working on things which you know you need to address. The go-to items for most CrossFitters are hips, shoulders, lower back and achilles/calf. you will be surprised at how much better you feel even by spending 15-30 minutes on this per day.
You obviously want to be in the best physical shape possible for each workout. The best way to allow the body to recover is to rest! Extra sleep, food preparation, massages and active recovery sessions are all things you can do on rest days which will greatly benefit your performance when you get back into the gym. These tasks also give you a feeling of having achieved something of value to benefit your training because they all, in some small way, help you to climb up that leaderboard!
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how to make this years CrossFit Open your best yet then enter your details below and I will be in touch.
Shaun is the Co-Owner of CrossFit Agilis in Sydney's Inner West suburb of Balmain. Shaun is a previous regional competitor, having competed for CrossFit Active in the teams category at the Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals in 2014. Since starting CrossFit, Shaun has consistently finished within the top 3% of all Open competitions (Australia, New Zealand and Asia region), with his best finish being 137th in 2013. His consistent top placings and previous experience are a result of his dedication, focus and constant efforts to improve not only his own performance but the performance of his clients through the training programs he develop.