The Crossfit Open starts this week. If you are a Crossfit athlete you know what this is, but if you do not, let me explain.
You are familiar with the Crossfit Games, on ESPN2, right? Well, to make it there you must begin with the Open. It costs $20 to sign up and every Thursday evening they announce a workout and you have until Monday evening to complete it and log your score on their website. You have a judge or you can record it and upload it to the site, and it will be confirmed by your gym owner or by Crossfit HQ.
Once you add your score there is a leader board where you can compare how you did to individuals all over the world, which is really cool. Then from there, individuals from all different age categories, and teams, are selected to go to Regionals or be part of a qualifier, then from there to the Games. This lasts five consecutive weeks each year.
I have participated in the Open since 2013, and this will be my fifth year participating. In 2016 my team made Regionals and it was an incredible experience. This year, 2017, I am 35 and I am now in the 35 – 40 masters category and I’m excited to see if I can make the Top 200 qualifier for The Games.
Since I have continuously improved each year in The Crossfit Open, I wanted to share with you some of the tools I have used to help me do well in the events themselves and competition overall.
1. I do not watch the live event announcing the workouts on Thursday nights and I stay off of social media until Friday morning. I don’t want to know what the workouts are the night before because I won’t sleep well, and to perform your best, you need a solid night’s sleep. I ask my friends to respect my wishes and not text me anything about it, not even hints, and I will even ask my boyfriend to proof read any texts I receive to make sure there’s nothing about the workouts before I read them.
2. When I wake up Friday to find out what the workout is, my next step is to read through all of the rules and stipulations for the workout, then I have some go-to blogs I like to check out for helpful hints. Julie Foucher gives tips through the Pure Pharma newsletter, Talayna Fortunato goes through the workouts the night before and gives tips on her site, and Tabata Times gives a really good synopsis with how to warm up, how to eat, etc.
3. Speaking of how to eat, I don’t suggest doing anything different than what you already do. If you have a regimen of how you eat on a normal day, don’t change that. You want to keep everything the same as how you normally do on a regular training day. Don’t try to carb up the night before if you don’t usually eat a lot of carbs at night. Don’t overdo the coffee the morning of unless you normally drink a lot of coffee. Your body is used to handling things a certain way and you don’t want to throw that off.
4. That also means try to do the workout when you normally train and feel your best. Many gyms will have big events on Thursday nights where they get together for a watch party for the workout live steam then do the WOD, but if you never train that late then don’t expect to feel and perform your best at that time. Personally I feel my best mid-morning or mid-day so that is when I plan to do my workouts.
5. Try to have a training environment that you thrive in. Many gyms also do a “Friday Night Lights” party where everyone comes in and does the workouts in heats where you can go up against your friends and people watch and it’s really fun. I’ve known gyms to have live DJ’s, do live steams of the events and it can be really fun, but for me, that is too stressful. I like to do them in a corner, alone with no one yelling at me. I really go deep into my yogic style of breath work and meditation to keep my heart rate low, so the less stimulation for me, the better. I also carefully select a judge that I want to impress and satisfy with my performance, but will also be calm and not push me to rush before I am ready.
6. I make sure I have any gear/ clothing clean and ready the night before. I will make sure I have some of my most comfortable, go-to outfits clean, and I am wearing what I am comfortable in. You don’t want to be forced to do double unders in shorts that are too big, burpees in a shirt you constantly have to pull down or not have a belt with you when you have heavy deadlifts. I’m also not a fan of the silver clips most gyms have for barbells, so if we are doing a workout where we can only use bar and we have to change our weight, I like these clips much better for quicker on and off.
These are the best tips I always make sure I follow, but I am sure we are all different and have our own. What are some of yours? Leave a comment below!
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