The Common Man’s Guide to the Crossfit Open: Part 1

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How to Get Your Head Back in the Game after the Holidays

guide to crossfit open 1
Clive could feel a Monday morning headache coming on.

This one was going to be special, since it would be his first one of 2015.

101 New Emails, 2 New Projects, Need to get the oil changed, Susie’s birthday party……

1000 Things competing for his attention.  He had to cut through the noise.

At lunch he checked his Crossfit box’s Facebook page (thank goodness he had time to go in this evening).

“Hmmmm…..2015 Crossfit Games Season Schedule” Clive thought to himself.  “Sheila in Accounting is already bragging about her Amazing 10K and her Amazing training plan.  But I hate running.  Maybe I should give the CrossFit Open a shot?”

Clive read around a little more and watched some footage from ESPN.  Big mistake.  He thought to himself, “I can never compete with those guys on TV.  Why should I even try and do that?”

But that night he heard some friends talking about it at his Crossfit gym.  They were going to do it, so why not him?

Man drawing a game strategy

The Essential Ingredient

Clive scheduled a sit-down with his primary coach, Belinda.

Belinda was a svelte 52 year old that didn’t look a day over 39.  She ate 5lbs of bacon a day and swore like a sailor.

“So are YOU planning on doing the CrossFit Open?” Clive asked Belinda.

“#### yeah I’m doing the Open,” Belinda laughed back.

“OK, I’m thinking about.  So what exactly is the Open?”

“The Crossfit Open is the annual 5 week competition that determines who goes to Crossfit Regionals and from there to the Crossfit Games.” replied Belinda.  “It’s completely online.  You register on their site and then do the workouts at your home gym.”

“Yeah, I’m thinking about doing that but my double unders suck right now,” Clive deadpanned.  “I’m worried that if I enter I’ll get DNF’d when double unders come up.”

“That’s a valid concern,” replied Belinda.  “But you’ve got 7 weeks to prepare for that.  I bet if we made a gameplan on how to improve your double unders you’d be able to hit them if they came up in an Open WOD.”

“But what about my pullups?” Clilve interjected.  “And my snatch?  And my handstand pushups?  Or my…….”

“Just stop,” Belinda interrupted.  “You can’t control everything.  And you can’t get perfect in 7 weeks.  But you can use the Open as a way to improve in specific areas.  Don’t worry if the other stuff comes up.  The Open WODs are set up so that everybody can do some portion of the workout.  Nobody DNFs anymore because all the really hard stuff isn’t set until the end of the WOD.  You’re trying to finish, not win.”

Clive thought about it and replied, “Yeah, when you put it that way I don’t feel so panicked.  I’ve done races in the past and they really helped me target my training.  I made a lot of progress leading up to the event.”

“Exactly right!” exclaimed Belinda.  “The Open is all about you.  Not competing against everybody else in the world.  Use this as a way to have fun and a way to get better.  Progress is fun.”

“I’m glad to hear you frame it that way, because I’m really not that competitive.  I really like striving as a way to make myself better.  Well, except when it comes to Dave.  I enjoy competing and smack talking Dave.”

crossfit open teamwork

“That’s because you two are friends,” Belinda laughed.  “You guys have known each other forever and have evolved a bit of a rivalry.  Is he planning on doing the Open?  It would be great motivation for the two of you to do it together.”

“He’s on the fence.  He’s saying he can just train hard for the next couple of weeks and doesn’t need to sign up for the Open,” Dave sighed.

“That’s all well and good and he’s certainly motivated enough.  But like you said, everybody seems to do better when they have an event on the calendar.”

Switching people, Belinda asked, “What about your wife?  Is she thinking about doing the Open?”

“Who, Kelly?”  Clive thought about it for a second.  “She’d never do it.  She’s scared to death of being in front of people like that.”

“Really?” responded Belinda.  “That’s kind of surprising.  She’s ‘in front of people’ every time she does a group class.  She should just approach it like that.  True, she’ll be in front of more people, but Crossfit crowds are really supportive.  The other box that we’re collaborating with has a great group of people.  Nobody will be waiting for her to make a mistake so they can laugh at her.  Everybody will be cheering her on to the finish.  It’s one of the best things about CrossFit competitions.”

Clive was convinced.  He cleared his calendar for those 5 Saturdays and signed up for the Open.

Top 5 Reasons to Do the 2015 CrossFit Open

1. Regain Focus After the Holidays

Your mind is a pile of mush coming out of the holidays.  And it’s being pulled in a thousand different directions.

You need to get back to a routine.  You need to focus on something that will give you clarity and cut the noise.

You know plenty of people that sign up for 5K or 10K races.  They sign up for a training plan and run the race.

Why not use the Open for the same reason?

2. Use it to dial in certain skills

Pick a skill.  Any skill.

Double unders.  Pullups. Snatch.  Muscleups.

Dial in on 1-2 skills and set a plan to work on them for the next 6 weeks.  I guarantee you’ll get better at them.

3. Train instead of exercising

Just going in and doing the WODs can get tedious after a while.

I mean, what’s the point of all this hard work and discomfort?

If you set a “race day” and have a goal, all of your efforts support a bigger picture.

One that can help your transformation more than “I should exercise more.”

4. Have fun in a supportive environment

The Open is all of the best elements of CrossFit competitions without any of the negatives.

A dynamic environment that will elevate your efforts and get your adrenaline pumping.

A group of like minded people cheering you on to the end.

But no worries about a podium, or medals, or having to look better than somebody else.

5. Accessible to all

The Open has Scaled divisions this year, unlocking the opportunities of the Open to even more everyday CrossFit athletes.

And we’ll make sure everybody can finish the workouts no matter what.

So remember – “The Goal is to Finish, Not to Win

And the Best Reason of All to Do The Open…..

Do it for all the Right Reasons

Do it to focus your mind and your efforts

Do it to get Better

Do it because its Fun

Do it for YOU

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