Since 2007, the CrossFit Open has marked the beginning of the CrossFit season which leads to The CrossFit Games. Every week for 3 weeks, CrossFit HQ releases a workout to be completed by any athlete who registers. Scores are submitted online, and the leaderboard is updated allowing athletes to see where they rank against other participants.
For many Boxes, The Open provides the opportunity to measure a years’ worth of training and celebrate community. As we count down the final days, here are our top 5 tips to help you perform at your very best.
Dial In Your Nutrition
We all know that proper nutrition enhances performance – but nobody is ever perfect, right? In these few weeks leading up to the open, it is more important than ever that fueling your body is an intentional focus of your training. We recommend eating as many whole foods as possible & consistently hitting 8+ cups of water daily.
Proper fueling consists of both proper food intake and hydration. Be sure you are consuming the right number of calories and macros for your body type not only to maintain your fitness, but to help prevent injury. The days before your open workouts are not the time to cut carbs dramatically or start a brand-new diet.
Focus On Training
As we know, the Games are unpredictable, and CrossFitters must be ready to face any challenge that comes their way. However you choose to train, we recommend choosing, following, and sticking to one training program. By following a program, you’ll be following set workouts intentionally designed to help you build strength and power.
One way you can prepare for potential challenges is to practice previous year’s Open workouts (found on the CrossFit website here). While not the guaranteed protocol for this year’s competition, it will help get you familiar with movements you may come across.
Train your weaknesses. If you’re not good at doubleunders, and you haven’t tried to work on doubleunders leading up to The Open, you will probably suck at this movement during The Open. You will not get better by trying to do 500 doubleunders the day before the workout. The same goes for any movement that you struggle with. No one enjoys doing things they are not good at, but that is how we get better.
An often-overlooked aspect of training is recovery – more specifically, sleep. With only 59% [EF1] of Americans getting more than 7 hours of sleep per night, chances are there still may be some additional benefits to gain from your sleep. Treat the upcoming Open like the strong athlete you are and make a commitment to prioritize 7+ hours of sleep per night – and watch what happens to your performance!
Work on Anaerobic & Aerobic Capacity
Quick refresher: Aerobic capacity is the measure of oxygen you can use at one time during intense exercise – where anaerobic is the measure of other energy sources used during intense exercise without using oxygen.
Aerobic exercise will grow endurance- think longer chipper WODs, running, rowing, etc. Anaerobic exercise focuses on short, powerful bursts of energy. Strong programming should consist of a good mix of the two types of activity to improve overall stamina and fitness.
Practice Pacing, Strategy, & Mental Toughness
There’s no denying it. The Open is tough. It’s going to push you to “the dark place”. And that’s why we love it.
What are you going to do when the going gets tough? What will you search for to push you through “just one more rep”? Know your motivation heading into the Open. Keep your “why” front and center throughout The Open to fall back on when you need to dig deep. Furthermore, know your pacing and strategy for each event so you don’t hit a wall. Your goal is to finish every workout, knowing that you gave it your all.
Trust Your Training and Don’t Overthink It
When it’s time to compete, you must trust that you have put in the months of work to perform at your best. Don’t second guess yourself, this is your time to shine.
Good luck to all our athletes competing this year. We’ll be cheering you on!