Wednesday class times: 530am, Noon, 430pm, 530pm, and 630pm
A: Spend 10 Min on two mobilization movements
B: Build to a heavy 5 rep Deadlift
C: AMRAP 20
10 Toes to Bar
15 WallBall @ 20/14
When Should I Tackle the 2014 CrossFit Games Open Workout?
Written by C.J. Martin
The excitement of the CrossFit competition season begins this week!!! For many of you, this is your opportunity to show how hard you have worked over the last 9-12 months. For others, this is an opportunity to be involved in a phenomenal community event, challenge yourself in a fun, competitive environment, and lend your support to the athletes who you see in the gym every day.
At this point, the question that I am hearing most frequently is, “When should I tackle the Open workout?”
First, it is important to clearly identify your goal in participating in the Open. Below are my thoughts on when you should be tackling the 2014 CrossFit Games Open workouts based on various goals.
I Love My Workouts and Want to Have Fun with the Open! – If you love working out with your friends, then I strongly encourage you to participate in the Open and make it a fun community event. I want every one of the members of the Sea of Green to participate in the CrossFit Games Open and feel the thrill of pushing themselves in competition. If you fall into this category, you should be choosing one day each week to do the Open workout…either Friday or Saturday.
But as strongly as I encourage everyone to try the Open workouts once each week, I am even more adamant that they are not doing it twice or more each week. The volume of the events can be too much to handle and properly recover from each week. Inability to recover from the same repetitive movements puts an athlete at a greater risk of injury – which is certainly not worth it if you’re just doing this for fun.
More importantly, the best part of competition is rising to the pressure to perform at your best right then and there. Our competitors don’t get a do-over at Games, professional golfers don’t get mulligans, and Olympic athletes in nearly every sport train for four years for one chance to perform. The nature of competition is that you get one shot to demonstrate how hard you have worked for that moment. Don’t spoil that with the mindset that you will just keep performing the same workout until you get good at it.
Finally, unless CrossFit is your sport of choice, you should be using your workouts to support your general health and fitness, and maybe as a supplement to your other athletic endeavors. To best do that, you should be employing one of CrossFit’s foundational principles – variance. Our typical program relies on constantly varied movements to hedge against overtraining and to best develop an athlete who is well-rounded. Spending 5 weeks performing the same events multiple times cuts against this core concept.
CrossFit Is My Sport! – If you simply LOVE the sport of CrossFit and have been training your butt off for months to perform well as a competitive CrossFit athlete – this means following a program designed to prepare you for competition, or at least diligently working on your weaknesses as a CrossFit athlete in addition to your gym’s typical programming – you may be a candidate to do the Open workouts twice each week. If you or one of your coaches has honestly assessed that you have a chance to qualify or help your team qualify to Regionals and you have prepared yourself well through rigorous training, get in there and get after it hard on Friday. Assess your performance, determine how you might be able to get a few extra reps if you did it a second time, and then hit it again on either Sunday or Monday before 2:00 p.m. PST.
Athletes in this category need to understand though that focusing intensely on the Open for 5 weeks is likely to slow their overall development as an athlete. It’s a short amount of time, and you can get back to off-season training quickly thereafter, but if your primary goal is to continue to develop to be the best CrossFit athlete you can be and potentially compete for a spot on the podium at Regionals in 2015 or beyond, I would consider treating the Open as just another training session in your weekly plan.
Competitive Masters Athletes – You may need to consider performing the Open workouts twice if you are a Masters Athlete who is serious about competing in the sport of CrossFit. These are athletes who dedicate 5 days a week to training and have already hardened themselves to the volume and intensity of some of CrossFit’s toughest workouts. I hate saying that, but if I am being totally honest, I may advise some of the Masters athletes that I coach to do some of these events twice depending on their placement each week. Masters would typically be the last group that I would want performing these events twice in a week, but this is a very competitive group now, so Masters will need to ensure that they have at least done enough on the first shot to give them the best possible chance of moving on to the second qualification stage. If your first shot puts you well within that group, do not perform the Open a second time.
To give our Competitive Masters Athletes the best chance possible, I will advise that they perform the Open on Friday…and then again on Sunday or Monday before 2:00 p.m. PST if necessary.