Attacking the Open 2018
Written by Camzin Martin
The 2018 Reebok Crossfit Open is upon us. This means TDC’s (The Dave Castro) Instagram has been re-followed by countless, 18.0 created burpee-skill-work across the nation, and every time someone mentions the Open countdown butterflies careen in the stomachs of every functional fitness enthusiast, from the first-timer to the veterans. Butterfly size may vary.
This year marks my sixth Reebok Crossfit Season and I hope to share some observations over the past six seasons that may help you quiet the flutter and have a great Open experience.
Define your why
Know what you’re doing this for. For the vast majority of participants, the Open is the annual test of fitness, progress, and the “reset” of our new Crossfit related goals to achieve before next year. As you already know, the cult you are in doesn’t do “New Year’s Resolutions” we do “by next Crossfit Open Goals”.
For the much smaller subset of the population the Open is the access point to the rest of the competitive season, Regionals or potentially Madison (2018 Crossfit Games). Despite the many differences that exist depending on the level of competition you bask in, there is one thing the Open shares with everyone equally - Stress.
Let’s not sugar coat it, the Open is stressful. You have been investing your time, sacrificing for your fitness, and now it’s time for the community to come together and hold us all accountable! If you haven’t signed up for the 2018 Reebok Crossfit Open, let’s do this!
The takeaway; Having a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve should be the basis of your Open experience. Limit your stress to what is needed to meet or exceed your goals!
Compete once per week
Apart from those athletes for whom the Open is their rite of passage to Regionals, the Open should serve as a snapshot of fitness and something to enjoy once per week with your training peers. Will performing a “Redo” (performing the Open WOD more than once) really impact the snapshot of your fitness?
Get your mind right and execute the plan, attack each Open Workout once. Do this with presence, fervor, and passion. Know you left it all out there, and then take a deep breath, and get back to normal. Exposing your body to the visceral & mental impacts the Open brings by performing the WOD more than once carries with it WAY more downside than upside.
Note: For those hell bent on repeating WODS, please be careful as some movements are damaging and require a few full days to recover to limit risk of injury. Example; Redoing 7 min of Burpees can be done daily, same with a 1 Rep max lift, however, high volume heavy deadlifts and Box jumps may leave your CNS destroyed and not in a healthy position to repeat within the few days we have.
The takeaway; The Open should be fun, it’s not worth injury or missing out on general training in between announcements, so hit it once, and leave it all out there!
This is not a sprint
Its common knowledge, like all Reebok Crossfit Opens, the 2018 Open is going to hurt, the infamous t-shirt “Dave Castro is a Prick” has merit. For whatever reason, the Open workouts are somehow much worse than typical training day workouts, and this fact holds much truth regardless of the approach.
This said, when the clock goes “3-2-1 beeeeep” and your pace resembles that of a 100-meter sprinter, well that’s just simply a poor decision and is on you. From a time-domain standpoint there have been no Open workouts to date that should be approached as a sprint. Not a single workout. Even the interval based workouts should be approached with the depth of the interval in mind. Pace the first third of the workout. Get uncomfortable in the middle. Sprint your heart out through the finish!
Make yourself proud
The only effort you can control is your own. Regardless of your “why” as we enter the competitive season, set your sights on something you have control over. The leaderboard is fun, but ultimately outside of our control. Choose intentions like “I will remain standing throughout and limit my rests to transitions between movements” rather than “I will beat my frenemy”. Do so and at the end of these five weeks where we collectively endure TDCs odd mannerisms while thinking “out with it!” you’re going to be proud of what you’ve done. You’ll have an accurate picture of where you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll have the tools to approach the 2019 Reebok Crossfit Season with confidence!