When you arrive at the box and check the whiteboard, what's the first thing you do? Do you stand around chatting, or do you take some time to get ready for the WOD? Preparing yourself, both mentally and physically, is essential if you want to improve your performance and make those all important gainz. Here are five questions to ask yourself before any WOD:

1. Have I Done This WOD Before?

In order to progress, you need to measure your performance, comparing the results each time you repeat a WOD. This is particularly important when it comes to the benchmark workouts, such as the Girls and any Hero WODs. 

It goes without saying that you should keep a record of all your workouts, either by using a training diary or an app on your phone. As well as your daily log, try to keep your scores for benchmark workouts easily accessible. Our training diaries have a dedicated section at the back, making it easy for you to check your previous scores on benchmark workouts - they even have space for you to add your own.

Once you've refreshed your memory, it's easy for you to set yourself a target for the workout, either by improving your score, or by making the workout harder.

2. To RX or Not to RX?

Before you start getting your equipment out, you need to decide whether you'll be completing the workout RX. When making the decision, there are a few things to think about:

  • Can you complete the specified numbers of reps safely, maintaining good form?
  • Will you be able to keep up the intended intensity of the WOD if you RX?
  • Are you recovering from an injury?

If you answer 'no' to any of the above questions, you should consider scaling the workout.

Sometimes, this means knocking down the weight, even if you're physically capable of completing them as prescribed. Most WODs are designed to be intense, fast-paced workouts, so make sure you pick a weight that challenges you, but enables you to maintain that intensity. If you're unsure, ask your coach for guidance. Do they want you to complete the thrusters unbroken? How long should the WOD take someone at your level? All of this can help you to scale appropriately.

If you're recovering from an injury, you may also need to change some of the movements. Again, make sure you ask your coach for advice if you're not sure. 

3. How Should I Warm Up?

An effective warm up can make all the difference. Before you get your equipment out, think about the muscle groups you'll be using for the WOD and how you can prepare them.

Always aim to get to the box early to spend some time working on your mobility. Focus on any areas that have restricted range of motion, and use your foam roller on any tight spots. 

Just before you start, warm up the specific movements you'll be using and get your heart rate up. Elevating your heart rate will prepare your body for the intensity of the workout, so don't skip this part of the warm-up - time to jump on the rower or hit some burpees!

4.  Why Am I Doing It?

How do you react when you walk into the box to find a particularly nasty workout glaring back from the whiteboard? If you start cherry-picking, talking yourself down, or making excuses before you've even started - stop!

How well you perform in a workout is determined by your mentality, just as much as your physical capability. If a workout looks tough, that's a good thing. You'll make the most gainz from WODs that challenge you the most, as long as you're prepared for them.

Remember why you're there - what are the goals that drive your training? Do you want to improve your fitness? Get ripped for summer? Compete at the CrossFit Games? Whatever your ambitions, no matter how big or small, reminding yourself before (and during) each WOD can give you the motivation you need to push that little bit harder.

5. What Are My Goals for the WOD?

It's also a good idea to set yourself some targets for each workout. Can you beat your last score? Are you going unbroken on the pull-ups? Do you want your last round to be as quick as the first?

When you're setting your goals, focus on your own performance. Try not to think about the whiteboard too much - you can't control how well others perform, just yourself. Take a look at any previous scores, as well as your recent workouts, and set some achievable and realistic, but challenging, targets. 

How do you prepare for your time in the box?
Share your tips in the comments.


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April 29, 2015 — KITBOX [ ]

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