The CrossFit open is upon us which means 5 workouts in 5 weeks, all verified by a judge. It’s the beginning of the CrossFit games and a chance to see how you stack up against the rest of the world, but first and foremost, this should be a chance for you to have fun.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” ― H.P. Lovecraft
With open season comes all sorts of weird ideas and potential fears of the unknown. If you are a competitive athlete (or fancy yourself one), this could be your first issue with the open. But how unknown is the open? Luckily, we have many years we can look back on to help relinquish those potential fears.
These are the movements that will be in the open: Thrusters, Wall balls, Rowing, Chest to bar pull-ups, Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Muscle-ups, Handstand push-ups, Box jumps, Deadlifts, Toes-to-bar, and Double-Unders. There will be a few more, or a few less, but these movements have historically been included and are therefore the movements you would benefit from having trained over the last 3 months.
If you cannot do some of these movements, or have trouble with standard weights of these movements, then the last 6 months would have made for optimal training time. If you cannot do certain movements right now, with less than one month left into the open, you should have no fear, because at this point you shouldn’t even be working on those movements. The movements that will hold people up are handstand push-ups or muscle-ups. This is what statistics over the last 3 years tells us. Being able to don just one of these movements will move you up thousands of points in the rankings, but it will not get you to Regionals or the Games. Rushing through these very complex movements to move up a few slots can also get you very injured and end any hope you have of completing the open; or take you out of the exercise game for long periods of time.
Competition can bring out the best and worst in people. Before you compete, ask yourself why you are competing. Making good choices is your job as an athlete, and your coach’s job is to program and get you ready for your event. If you have not spent the last year working on those skills that you knew you could not do, then now is not the time to rush into dangerous movements. If your programming did not get you where you wanted to be at this point, you may want to investigate finding a new one. The key to dealing with unknowns is to control as much of the situation as you can and work to decrease the amount of unknown.
Control what you can, let go of the rest, as there is nothing you can do about some things. Accepting this fact could make a world of difference in how you approach the open.