The Open is Coming - Aligning your Priorities

Boxstar Nation, what's going on? Guess what guys, the Open is just months away. Right now it is the middle of November, meaning it’s the final stretch of training before we all get to test our mettle together in one of the best couple weeks of the CrossFit season. I thought this would be a great time to talk about priorities, training, and aligning the two. Chances are, if you love this sport as much us, then the Open is something you take very serious, and train very hard for.

So I wanted to dive in by asking, what is your goal? Is your goal regionals? Games? To do better than last year? Survive the 5 weeks? Maybe it’s just to have fun. Regardless of what it is, there is a specific way you should be approaching your training over the next 3 and a half months. Let’s break it down:

  1. Regionals – If your goal is regionals, you better show it. Your weekly load includes strength work, Olympic weightlifting technique work, gymnastics skill work, gymnastics volume work, aerobic capacity as well as anaerobic capacity work, not to mention practicing open style metcons. On top of all of that, you better be hammering mobility on a daily basis, your nutrition better be on point, and you need to be getting enough sleep to properly recover. The competition amongst regionals and games athletes is so steep that if you are lacking in any of these areas it will show. If you’re not willing to do all of this stuff, then it may be time to think about your goals and why you’re doing this in the first place.
  2. To do better than last year – This is a tricky one! Not everyone is capable of being a regionals athlete, and not everyone wants to be. Some of us just want to continue progressing in the sport we love so much. So how do you align your goals in this scenario? It really depends on where you are coming from a year ago. If you were relatively new last year, then most likely you have been improving steadily over the year. If this is the case, you can probably just continue doing what you’re doing to achieve your goal. But, like most of us, if you have been in the game a while, progress doesn’t come as easy and you don’t have the time (or the desire) to dedicate as much time as the regionals and games athletes do. My favorite way to prepare for the open is to take a look back at last year’s open and list the top limiter I had in each workout (Pull-ups, T2B, MU, HSPU, cardio). Pretty clear to see what I need to work on, because guess what, we’ll see them all again. Take your list, make a plan of attack, and start turning those weaknesses into strengths.
  3. To survive – Let’s be honest to ourselves, the open is a grind. There’s no two ways around it, you are going to get banged up. When the pressure is turned up and the environment is as contagious and encouraging as it is during the open, you can push yourself to a level you just can’t get to during normal training. You’ll be extra sore, new muscles will hurt, and you’ll be emotionally drained as well. For some people, getting through the 5 weeks, and completing all 5 workouts, is the goal in itself. If you find yourself in this category, then your preparation should be focused on building up the volume you need to survive the 5 weeks. When it comes to the actual open, take an extra day off during the week. You aren’t going to get in any better shape during the time between open workouts. Oh, and don’t repeat the workouts, it’s a really quick turnaround for the next one.
  4. To have fun – the final goal category is the people that aren’t doing the open for any particular reason, they just enjoy the comradery and intensity that the competition brings. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s where most people start their first year or so. If you can’t do all the movements, you need to start focusing on practicing things like double unders, getting your first pull-up, etc. We know there will be cleans, jerks and snatches, so if you aren’t the best with a barbell, start working on your technique. The better you can do all the movements thrown at us during the open, the more fun you’ll have!

So, wrapping up, we want to hear what you guys have in plan for this year! Comment with your goal for the 2017 open, and what you are doing about it to make sure that goal happens!

Thanks everyone, and remember to be #greaterthanyesterday.

November 14, 2016 by Jason Yule
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