How to Prepare for the CrossFit Games Open
In just over a week, we'll be tuning in to find out what Dave Castro's got up his sleeve for 16.1. Excited?
If you're taking part in the Open this year, it's not too late to get some last minute preparation in before the fun begins. Here are our top tips...
Figure Out Your Game Plan
We might not know what the workouts are going to be, but that doesn't mean you can't start building your strategy.
Take some time to review the progress you've made over the past year.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What are your limits?
When it comes to limits, you don't want to restrict yourself too much. Amazing things happen during the Open. You're probably going to get some unexpected results.
That said, you need to put your safety first.
It's five workouts out of the year - it doesn't make sense to injure yourself just for the sake of gaining a couple of places. Push hard, but stay within your means.
If you've been tracking your WODs throughout the year, you'll be well aware of your limits. Refresh them, and keep them in mind as the workouts are released. If you know something's going to test your limits, stay in control and use your common sense.
Eat to Perform
If you're going to go after the Open workouts, this isn't the time to be trying to lean out or bulk up.
Instead, you need to eat to perform.
By now, you probably have a good understanding of how you feel when you eat certain foods. When you eat to perform, you eat food you know will help you push hard in the box.
Although the specific details (e.g. macros, calories, etc) will vary between individuals, there are some general rules to follow:
- Make sure you're eating enough. Going into an Open workout in a calorie deficit isn't going to do you any favours.
- Don't start trying to cut carbs. You'll deplete muscle glycogen, leaving you more likely to hit that wall mid-WOD.
- Get enough protein. Try to strike a good balance between carbs, protein and fat in each meal. If you're unsure about this, use the Eat to Perform calculator and go from there.
- Don't forget to take your supplements!
Prioritise Sleep and Recovery
Your main goal over the next week is to get your body Open ready.
By prioritising sleep and recovery.
You might be tempted to cram in as many metcons as possible over the next week, but that's not the right approach.
It's too late to be making massive gains in performance, and you run the risk of burning yourself out before the fun even begins!
Don't stop training altogether, but keep it light.
Cut back on the metcons, and add in some active recovery. Spend more time on your mobility and - most importantly - make sure you're getting enough sleep.
Sleep is still underrated when it comes to performance - despite the huge amount of scientific research backing up these claims.
Get Into the Right Headspace
The Open is as much mental as it is physical.
The WODs are designed to test everyone, from the beginner to the elite. Physically AND psychologically.
Don't fall for any of Dave Castro's mind games.
Take some time before the Open to get yourself into the right headspace. Think about your achievements over the past year. If you took part in the 2015 Open, visualise how far you've come since then.
Strive for progress, and let go of your expectations.
Unless you're challenging for a spot at Regionals, the Open isn't just about competing against others. It's about competing against yourself, celebrating how far you've come, and throwing down with the rest of the community.
Embrace it, and enjoy it.