The 2016 CrossFit Games Open is upon us folks, and as we prepare to embark on this physical, mental, and somewhat spiritual journey of grit and grime there is one question that I get asked as a coach when it comes to general preparedness for the Open. And that is, “What can I do to be prepared for the upcoming open workouts?” Now this question is pretty tricky because depending on who ask, there is going to be a different answer. So I will take the two common athletes that we find in a box (excluding competitors/advanced athletes) and try to answer this question specific to each.
First up we have our average, two to maybe four time a week athlete. This is the person that comes in the gym and just does WODs and leaves. Now this athlete by no means is trying to make it to Regionals, but just sees the excitement and anticipation of the Open from other members and wants to do good according to their standards. For this athlete my answer is simple, just keep coming to class. Don’t miss a day of CrossFit when you are suppose to be there, if your schedule allows. The consistency and discipline of going to WOD for the next two months will alone improve your overall score and placement in the Open. Again, your numbers might not be competitive compared to others in the box who come more constant basis, but this is not about that for you, it is about doing the best you can do and being satisfied that you gave it your all.
Next is the athlete who comes to class four to five days a week, who stays afterwards and does a little mobility or auxiliary work, and can Rx a WOD, but maybe not have the greatest of times. This is athlete is pretty simple to coach also when it comes to being prepared for the Open. The first thing the athlete needs to work on is transition times between movements. Meaning that if you are doing pull ups and have to do thrusters next, the transition is the amount of time it takes you to get off the bar and pick up the barbell and start the movement. Smooth transitions can cut results tremendously and lead to better overall scores. Even a five to six second faster time in the open could be the difference between top 300 or above 700. The best way to practice and prepare for this is to time yourself whenever you break in a movement or between movements. The moment you stop moving or transition look at the clock and give yourself no more than a 10-15 second rest before starting the movement again or moving on; even if you only get a couple of reps. The pace of constant movement will teach you how to control your breathing which is everything in a WOD. Also, it takes your body to that lactate threshold which helps form muscles and muscle endurance. Basically that is the point where all the gains are made.
Take just these simple pieces of advice into your everyday training and it is a simple yet proven formula that will help you on your journey into crushing the CrossFit Open.