It’s never too early to start talking about…the Open.
Yes, it’s true—time does fly, and the 2015 CrossFit Open is upon us once more, as it is slotted to kick off in T-minus less than two months (on February 28).
No matter if you’ve never participated in the Open, OR, you’ve been part of it every year since its inception 2010, there’s no time like the present than to begin ‘getting ready’ for the five-week workout series.
New this year: Both an RX and Scaled Division.
For the first time ever, scaled versions of each week’s Open workout will be available so athletes can choose the programming that best matches their abilities.
What does that mean exactly?
There is something for everyone (http://games.crossfit.com/article/whats-new-2015) and this is all the more reason for the majority of us to try our hand at the annual online Qualifier.
After all, the Open is a highly-anticipated event that breeds camaraderie, blood, sweat and tears amongst the CrossFit community no matter where you live! (Side note: If you are unfamiliar with the Open, check out this link: http://games.crossfit.com/workouts)
That being said, with less than 60 days in counting for Open WOD 15.1 to be released, here are a few tips for getting yourself ready for the sound of “3…2…1 go!” on February 28th.
- Wake up the sleeping (met-con) bear. The months directly following the CrossFit Games in July are typically known as the ‘off season.’ That being said, August, September, October, November and December are associated with some quality rest and recovery (particularly if you were training hard leading up to the Games—even if you weren’t necessarily competing), followed by some direct muscle-building and weakness-targeting. Perhaps less ‘met-conning’ and more strength-based and skill-based sessions to refine the weaknesses that were exposed during the CrossFit Games season. Come January however, as the Open steadily approaches, it’s time to ‘wake up the sleeping met-con bear.’ Huh? It’s time to start adding back in the good ol’ conditioning, and amping up your engine and ‘high-intensity’ game to attack the classic CrossFit-style workouts come February (think AMRAPs and WODs ‘for time’). The Open is standardly known as more aerobic intensive based WODs (as opposed to strength). That being said, ‘cardio shape’ here you come. Bring on the met-cons to your strength and skill sessions.
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. How often do you go to that ‘dark place’? You know, the redline intensity when you are looking at the clock every few seconds during a seemingly short 4 or 5-minute workout (that seems to last an eternity). We are not talking about puking here. We are simply talking about that extra push that comes when you give a little extra UMPH to your workout. That is the place the Open workouts ‘force’ you to go—begin putting that little extra UMPH into your daily workouts. Think mind into muscle…mind into met-con…and in the words of Salt & Pepper…push it (just a little bit more).
- Feed the machine. Want to be on you’re A-game come Open time? You’ve probably heard it before—but your nutrition is about 80% of your results you see in the gym (and we are not just talking aesthetics here). Feed your machine (ie. Bod) with quality, nutrient dense whole foods, and watch it work and perform for you! We’re talking grassfed, organic meats and proteins at every main meal, fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits (1-2 servings/day for the average person), essential fatty acids (soaked unsalted raw nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut oil, coconut butter, grassfed butter, ghee, black olives, extra virgin olive oil), and LOTS of water (aim for about 75-100% of your body weight daily); while avoiding: sugar, alcohol, packed/processed foods, pasteurized dairy (full fat, organic, raw dairy sources ok in moderation for some), and gluten (a gut and inflammatory irritant). Feel the difference in your workouts-no seriously.
- Go fishing. Speaking of diet, want to know a secret to enhancing your strength and energy without working out more or lifting more weights than you already are? FISH OIL! Essential fatty acids, like those Omega 3’S found in a quality fish oil, work to give your muscles and exercise capacity a booster you may not have known you were lacking. We like Pure Pharma (http://www.purepharma.com/us_en/products/purepharma-o3.html) and Stronger Faster Healthier’s versions (http://www.sfh.com/products/bundles/so3_d3_omega-3_oil_-_8_oz)—both easily orderable online.
- Practice. Practice makes ‘better’ (we don’t believe in ‘perfect’—as in CrossFit, we are constantly striving to improve and build upon our successes and accomplishments). Practice, practice, practice will continue to get you far if you commit to ‘just a little bit’ most days. Don’t have double-unders? First things first: buy your own rope (it’s a magic trick for success. We like RX Jump Ropes- http://www.rxsmartgear.com/rx-jump-ropes/). Want to get handstand pushups? Ask your coach for some progression techniques to begin working on for your body, or schedule a private lesson with Coach Chelsea McKinney (http://chelsross.tumblr.com/contactinfo) for a gymnastics’ 1:1. Keep on keeping on with those skills-as they will most definitely be part of the Open workouts in some form or fashion.
- Continue to build. While your focus may be more towards the conditioning, endurance and lung capacity that the Open often times targets, this is no time to throw in the towel on your strength work. In the words of the Strongman godfather, Rob Orlando, “In order to get stronger, lift heavy things.” Simple, yes, but oh so true. Don’t ever stop growing and aiming to reach new peaks in order to make your strength endurance and overall ability to withstand weighted loads over a course of time or tension. Strength is the base and foundation of the sport of fitness after all.
- Throw back. Prepping for the annual Open often times involves dusting off the good ol’ workouts of years’ past and giving ‘em a go. Ask your coach to include some of these in your workouts over the next several weeks to get a taste of what the Open is like, or if you are working out outside of class, try ‘em on for yourself. Check out this link for the archives from the past five years: http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/the-open.
- Have fun. Sometimes we can get too caught up in working out ‘because we have to’ or ‘because it’s what we should do’ or ‘because it’s just what I do.’ The Open is a time to (a.) Not get your panties in a wad over a certain time or amount of reps you ‘should get’, (b.) Test your limits (you vs. you!), and most importantly, (c.) Have fun with doing this ‘CrossFit thing.’