Tag: 2018 crossfit open

The Best Advice for the 2018 CrossFit Open

CrossFit is a sport that rewards consistency. You don’t have to be the best at anything to win a competition. However, it’s unlikely you’ll come out on top if you’re the worst at anything. Your chances of success are good if you are average across the board and substantially higher if you are better than average across the board.

The best advice you’ll ever receive for the 2018 Open: train your weaknesses. Start now!

If you’re not getting out of your comfort zone and doing the movements you either dread or tend to avoid on a regular basis, you’re not doing yourself any favors. The CrossFit Open is expressly designed to expose weaknesses, so put in the work now and prepare for your best open ever!

It’s far from a comprehensive guide, but here’s a short list to get you thinking. Be honest with yourself!

  • What movements in the 2017 Open tripped you up the most?
    • Squat snatches? Bar Muscle-ups? Handstand Pushups?
    • When did you last train these movements?
    • Are you keeping a log and charting progress so that you cam measure progress?
  •  What movements do you hope are not in the 2018 Open?
    • Good candidates are advanced skills we’ve seen in previous opens and in regionals. (It wouldn’t even be that surprising to even see handstand walks given their increasing prominence in regional events.)
    • Do you have a program in place and a training partner to help you attack these weaknesses?
    • Have you been putting in any time with dumbbells?
  • Do you have mobility or range of motion restrictions that hold you back?
    • Proper technique and efficiency in the Olympic lifts are practically one and the same. Mobility and range of motion is essential for all of them, including the “power” variations.
    • Do you know your restrictions, and are you specifically targeting them with focused routines?
    • Try yoga classes, ROMWods, and Mobility WODs and see what works. Test and re-test your ranges of motion where there is restriction.
  • Are you strong enough?
    • Although sometimes overlooked, are you squatting, deadlifting, and pressing enough with heavy weight?
    • Are you stronger today than you were this time last year, or even two years ago?
    • Consider spending the next 3-6 months getting as strong as possible with a linear progression. (If you’re not keeping a log and seeing increases in strength, start today!)

This list could go on and on, but you get the point: train your weaknesses. Try to get to the point that there’s nothing that you truly dread or feel that you just completely can’t do. You don’t have to be the best at it, but don’t allow yourself to be the worst!

Go on the record with a training partner, and keep a training log. Pre-pay for a bundle of personal training sessions with a coach. Do whatever it takes.

Finally, remember: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” (Tim Notke)

Don’t wait till January to think about these things. Start today.

Photography by Ann’s Forever Images.

Are you training yet for the 2018 CrossFit Open?

If you’re like most of us, you look to the CrossFit Open each year as a seminal event in your fitness career, and the 2018 CrossFit Open will be no different. Although most of the elements that will be programmed is well known in advance, the combinations are endless. The Open is expressly designed to test the unknown and unknowable and provide a true mark of fitness and expose weaknesses in our fitness and training. After that fifth and final workout, it’s on us to spend the rest of the year attacking those weaknesses so that we can come back better the next time.

Well, we’ve all had nearly 3 months to reflect on our 17.x performances, regionals are now behind us, and the Games are just the corner. If we’re going to come back stronger, faster, and harder to kill for Open Workout 18.1, now is undoubtedly the perfect time to commit to a training strategy for an awesome 2018 CrossFit Open.

In his books and seminars, Mark Rippetoe, a well-known strength coach, is famous for asking the question, “Are you exercising or are you training?” Although the question is a bit perplexing at first, it’s a profound one. He essentially defines exercise as an activity that produces a good sweat and leaves you feeling spent. By contrast, he defines training as an activity that’s part of a broader strategy to achieve specific goals.

If you’re looking for an awesome strength training program, Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength is second to none!

A simple example may be helpful in illustrating the difference: regularly completing sets of 3×5 back squats with “heavy” weight a couple of times a week would fall into the exercise category. However, a regular cadence of 3×5 with slow and steady incremental additions to the weight over an extended period to achieve a specific strength goal would be considered training. Exercise is essentially to burn some calories and produce a response right now. Training is part of a broader strategic plan.

Although Rippetoe is a strength coach, the same concept equally applies to acquiring new skills or triggering specific metabolic responses like aerobic vs anaerobic conditioning. Whatever your situation, make sure you have a thoughtful training strategy for attacking those weaknesses and make yourself accountable to it.

If your training strategy has to just show up to class and do the WOD, be sure to honestly assess whether you’re getting everything you need during the class WODs. A little bit of extra time scheduled with a coach, a strength training program like Starting Strength, or a few gymnastics clinics with additional practice in your garage or backyard might make all of the difference in the when you face 18.1!

If you’re interested in learning more about Rippetoe’s training philosophies or looking to start a new strength program, be sure to check out Starting Strength and Practical Programming for Strength Training.