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How to Train for the CrossFit Open

The Open starts in four weeks. It is crazy how the time flies. I remember last year working on opening up our box during this time of year, and being really excited to host the workouts in 2017. Well, 2017 is here, and the CrossFit Open is basically here, as well. How are you going to make sure you’re ready for CrossFit’s toughest test?

Don’t Panic

Yes, four weeks is not a long time. You’re probably thinking, there is NO WAY I’m going to be ready for these workouts! Slow your roll. You’d be shocked how quickly you can gain conditioning. Back in college, we’d have guys not do legitimate fitness conditioning until about one month away from our fitness test, and still pass with flying colors. Just like you lose strength and conditioning quickly with a week off, hard work gains it back pretty quick, as well.

Get a Plan

There are a ton of options out there on training for the Open. First, though, you should probably ask yourself, what am I training for? Do you believe you can compete at the regional level? Are you wanting to be a Games athlete? See how you stack up with those around you? Learn what your weaknesses are and what you should be focusing on? All of these are great goals, and have some overlap. However, they are very distinct. A Games athlete isn’t going to taper for the Open the same way a regional hopeful is. They know they can make it; the regional athlete is just dying to get to the next step.

Identify your goal, and then train for it. If you are looking for weaknesses, don’t change your program. Go into each Friday night just ready to go balls to the wall, and then evaluate after. Did you die on the 18 Minute AMRAP? Probably need some focus on muscular endurance. Did you fail to finish a workout due to a heavy snatch? Gotta get that under your belt by next year. Muscle ups beat you again? Time to drop a couple pounds and smash gymnastic movements in the face. Whatever it is, you have to identify it first to improve.

In the meantime, here are a couple good articles from Breaking Muscle and Train Heroic on training for the CrossFit Open.

Treat it like what it is, a competition

Look, you wouldn’t go into an exam without any prep or guidance. While I know some people claim they will pull all nighters to cram for an exam, in general being mentally and physically prepared go hand in hand. Get enough rest, eat well, sleep a ton, and drink less. Oh, and the day before, DONT DO MURPH. Or any other crazy hard WOD. Take it easy on Thursdays. Make it an easy moving recovery session. You need to be totally prepared for the beast that is Friday night, and being sore isn’t going to do that for you.

Also, it is a competition, so try to “win” in whatever way you can. Maybe you just want to get your first ever muscle up/pull up/hand stand push up. This can be your win. Maybe you’re just very new to this CrossFit stuff and want to experience the flagship events. Cool, just show up and you’ve won. Maybe a benchmark will show up. PR that jazz. It isn’t about beating Katrin or Ben Smith. It’s about being a better you. So whatever that looks like, go be it.

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