Wow!!! 18.1 thru 18.5 did non disappoint!!!
There’s no question that for the last five weeks, the CrossFit communities around the world placed their focus on the CrossFitOpen. For 99.9% of the athletes in this sport, the Open serves as our Games. We use each week as our measuring stick in the Sport of Fitness. We treat each workout with a renewed mentality and strategize with our fellow CrossFitters to see how to squeeze out a few extra reps. Now that it’s over, athletes might feel a huge sense of relief, but return to training with somewhat of a dilemma. The Open commanded so much of our attention and goals over the past month, and leaves many a CrossFit athlete asking themselves an unfamiliar question: now what? Well, even though the 2018 CrossFit Open may be over, it can still provide the answers to that question.
Work on your limiting factors (your Goat aka “What You Are Not Good At”)
The CrossFit Open is designed at it’s core to expose an athlete’s weakness(es) across a broad range of varied tests, and over the years Dave Castro and the Games staff have gotten more efficient in creating workouts that stump athletes. Even the elite competitors will have discovered holes in their fitness over the course of the five workouts. For the rest of us, we likely found a plethora of limiting factors during the Open—be it an inefficiency with a gymnastic movement, a lack of muscular endurance or strength, or simply having a poor engine. While we might not have enjoyed finding out just how frustrating a set of toes-to-bar can be during the Open, such information is crucial to our overall development as athletes. For example, most around the world struggled mightily with the new handstand push-ups (HSPUs) standard during 18.4 There was a ton of internet rage at the moment, but we now see how we must be ready for anything and be able to adapt on the fly. We may not like it, but it is the way of The Sport of Fitness.
In truth, it’s not just HSPUs that are limiting most athletes progress. Therefore, if you feel that your CrossFit soul is lost without the Open, have no fear! Now is the time to turn your attention towards all those issues that caused you so much grief over the last five weeks, and begin your journey to the next level of your CrossFit life.
Utilize the Open as a frame of reference
When you hit an Open workout, you take your performance to another level. It’s hard not to, what with the athletes at your box cheering you on and the knowledge that you’re competing against 500,000+ other CrossFitters around the world. Each of the five workouts takes on a special significance, and you bust your tail to make sure you can post the best possible score.
Now, this isn’t to say that you don’t work hard during regular classes too, but it’s almost impossible to replicate the environment of an Open workout. As a result, it’s equally hard to maintain the work rate and performance level that you gave during the Open. You’re a lot less likely to go to a dark place during the 6 p.m. class than you were during 18.5.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Now that you know how far you are willing to go in a workout—how much pain you are willing to accept—you can use the memories of Open workouts as a frame of reference to push yourself harder in regular classes. Instead of dropping the bar when you start to feel tired and the pain starts creeping up, remind yourself of how you accepted the pain during the Open workouts but kept moving, kept fighting for the best possible time you could achieve. And when the workout was done, you were done. Spent. There was nothing more you could have given.
Now, it can be mentally and physically exhausting to travel to ‘the dark place’ day in, day out. In fact, there will be workouts where such a trip might not be necessary. But the point is just because the Open is over, it doesn’t mean that you can’t give an Open effort to the rest of your training.
Enjoyed the thrill of competing? Sign up for a local competition
One of the main draws of the Open is that for a lot of athletes, it’s their first taste of competing in a CrossFit competition. But once it’s over, returning to regular classes can seem a bit…dull. For those of you who miss the thrill of competing, fear not! One of the wonderful things about our ever-expanding community is that there are local throwdowns that you can sign up for almost every weekend. Whether you want to compete as an individual or join a team of friends from your box, signing up for a competition is a great way to add some variety to your training, as well as an opportunity to set yourself some personal goals with your fitness and your experience in CrossFit. In that sense, signing up for a bunch of CrossFit-style competitions can act as ‘mini Opens’ that provide a nice buffer between now and the return of the competition next February. So don’t worry, time flies when you’re having fun! Before you know it, 19.1 will be upon us.