The 2019 CrossFit Games OPEN is Upon Us
This Thursday, at 5pm, CrossFit Games Open Workout 19.1 will be announced. This is exciting for many of us as we have 30+ members registered for the Open and 60+ registered for the Trojan War, running in conjunction with the Open. What will the workout be? I have no idea. I can give you a handful of movements that show up every year, without a doubt. I can’t tell you what week they will arrive and in what rep scheme and/or movement combo they will be presented. For all of us, that is outside of our control and doesn’t warrant any worry. Here are some items that are within your control and should be our focus:
- Sportsmanship. This is key to ensuring we all have a good time.
- Root for everyone, whether they are on your team or not. Best efforts are inspiring and it’s easier for each of us to give ours if the room is full of positive and uplifting energy. The hater mentality sucks. We all have friends in the gym that we compete with. Root for their best performance. Win or lose, you want to beat someone’s best, not their worst.
- Be kind to your judge. Our judges are volunteering. They aren’t professionals. Their goal is to uphold the integrity of competition. Rep or no rep and accurate counts. If they make a mistake, roll with it. If they say no rep, it’s because you didn’t do it right. If you are confused, ask for clarification. Be graceful.
- Satisfaction. The work has been done.
- Be kind to yourself. There is no need to get frustrated over the OPEN or any workout for that matter. If a problem movement is announced, it is likely going to be a problem when you hit the workout. Your double unders or ring muscle ups are not miraculously going to improve in the middle of a competition. Wherever you are at with efficiency and stamina with each movement is where you are at. Go in understanding this, accepting that the work has been done. Take the tools that you currently possess, make a plan that maximizes their use, and make it your goal to execute that plan.
- Plan for the future. If you are unsatisfied with a result, get to the bottom of that. Do you want to get better at a movement? Have you been working on it? While working on it, have you taken a step back from volume training and really slowed things down to hone in your technique? Do you even have the additional time to invest in getting better at a particular skill movement? These questions are important and give us a real view of where we’re at, why we’re there, and if we can truly do much about it. If you do have the time, make a plan, put it in place and reap the benefits when Open 2020 rolls around.
- Use the Open as a Tool.
- Benchmarking versus yourself. In my opinion, the Open is the very best way to benchmark your progress. The performance database dates back to 2011 when the first Open was completed. You can look at your scores all the way back. You can see where you’ve improved. Improvement can be seen across many measures. Movements, rep schemes, time domains, strength.
- Benchmarking versus others. This is a fine thing to do so long as it is in line with what we spoke about in regards to sportsmanship. Friendly competition brings the best out in everyone. The Open is a wonderful platform for this because of the fact that it is judged. Each day in class, we judge ourselves. We count our own reps and we gauge our own movement patterns. In the Open the fact that everyone has a judge means a few things:
- Movement standards are in play. This will not be an issue for you if you train each day with the intention of meeting the standards. Locking out your presses, extending your hips on squats, touching your toes or chest to the bar are just a few examples. This means everyone will be completing the same workout.
- Rep counting is in play. Again, everyone will be completing the same workout. If you make it a point each day to meticulously count your reps, complete each one no matter how much it sucks, and embrace your score each day, this will not be an issue. This also means that carelessness is not rewarded. Reps can't get cut when the workout gets hard. Those who tend to quit movements when they slow down, feel behind, or for any other reason, advertently or inadvertently, will have to continue on. Every workout score will be a true gauge of where each person is at, creating a fair playing field.
- Embracing your benchmark. You work hard everyday you come into the gym. Some seasons in our life allow us to come in 6 days a week and we build a great fitness. Other seasons only allow 2-3 workouts a week where we maintain our fitness. Then we all have that season where we don’t make it in for awhile. Seasons are seasons, they do not define who you are, they are only a snapshot of where you’re currently at. Embrace where you are. Be proud that you live an active lifestyle. Be pumped that you chose to put yourself out there. Be pumped that regardless of where you are currently at, you are putting forward your very best effort.
There are many other topics that we could discuss in regards to the Open. The main point is that we often waste too much valuable time and energy worrying about things that are not within our control. We're so much more productive when we focus on the items that we can do something about. The Open can tend to make us feel uneasy. In moments of unease, what can we control? We can control our attitude, mindset, preparation, effort, and integrity. If you’ve got that checklist in check, I would highly recommend signing up for the Trojan War and also for the Open. It will draw your very best performance. A performance that you can be super proud of.