In the world of CrossFit, the pinnacle of competition is the CrossFit Open—an annual event that tests the mettle of athletes worldwide, challenging their physical and mental prowess. For those who strive to stand atop the leaderboard, mastering the art of CrossFit Open preparation is essential.
It's not just about sweat and strength; it's about crafting a strategic approach that propels you to the zenith of performance. With that being said, community is at the heart of CrossFit, and as long as you do your best, you’ll find the true being of the CrossFit Open.
This article delves into the core elements of preparing for the CrossFit Open and guides you through the process of training your way to the top.
But first, let’s talk about the CrossFit Methodology behind the programming…
The essence of CrossFit lies in the relentless pursuit of enhancing performance through a blend of diverse functional movements, all executed at a heightened level of intensity. This dynamic approach forms the bedrock of every trial witnessed in the unfolding stages of the CrossFit Games season, seamlessly mirroring the very essence of your daily Workout of the Day (WOD).
Adrian Bozman, the Maestro behind CrossFit Competition, orchestrates the trials that punctuate the CrossFit Games season. His meticulous approach zeroes in on three pivotal movement categories: monostructural movements for cardiovascular endurance, gymnastics movements to command one's body weight, and weightlifting to manipulate external loads. Remarkably, these very three categories paint the canvas of WOD programming across CrossFit affiliates scattered globally.
Once you know this, it's easy to break down what steps you need to take to crush the CrossFit Open.
Not sure what on earth the CrossFit Open is?
Check out our article on everything you need to know about how the CrossFit Open works.
The journey to CrossFit Open success begins with a deep understanding of yourself—your strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement. Reflect on your previous performances, analyze your past Open results, and identify patterns. This introspective approach forms the bedrock upon which your training plan will be built.
Try this: Look back at your past Open results (or class workouts if you’re new to the Open). What were a few of your glaring weaknesses?
Start here and spend the next 6-8 weeks trying to build them up to bring them closer to your strengths. Reassess after his period and pick another couple to tackle next, if you were successful with the first few!
A North Star to Pursue
Setting clear and realistic goals is crucial for your CrossFit Open preparation. Whether it's mastering a specific movement, improving your endurance, or achieving a higher overall ranking, your goals will serve as a compass, guiding your training efforts. Break down these goals into manageable milestones, allowing you to track progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.
Try this: Take each goal you want to achieve and work backwards; figure out what actions you have to take daily or weekly to get yourself closer to that goal. Get specific and make a clear and realistic action plan.
Strengthening the Arsenal
The CrossFit Open is a multifaceted challenge, demanding a versatile skill set. Embrace a diversified training approach that targets various aspects of fitness—strength, endurance, agility, and skill proficiency.
Incorporate functional movements, Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and cardiovascular conditioning into your routine. CrossFit's mantra of "constantly varied" should be your guiding principle.
Try this: Look back at your workouts from the past month.
Are you missing any vital components?
How can you address this going forward?
What can you add or change to your program that’s going to cover all the bases?
If you regularly attend class, and you don’t feel like you’ve spend enough time on the proper progressions in specific movements to nail the CrossFit Open? You may want to consider a supplementary program. Check out WODprep’s Online Training here.
Peaks and Valleys
Effective CrossFit Open preparation hinges on a well-structured periodization plan. Organize your training into distinct phases, each with a specific focus. Build a solid foundation during the off-season, gradually increasing intensity as the Open approaches. Incorporate deload weeks to prevent burnout and ensure your body is primed for peak performance during the competition.
Try this: Ask your coach or the person who writes your programming about periodization. Find out if there’s a year-long plan that builds towards the Open.
If you’re serious about getting your best Open result yet, you should be aware of how your program reflects your goals.
Hone Your Craft
CrossFit is renowned for its demanding skill requirements. Dedicate focused time to mastering movements that have historically appeared in Open workouts. Whether it's double unders, muscle ups, or handstand push ups, diligent practice and repetition will enhance your proficiency and boost your confidence when facing these challenges.
You can almost guarantee that double unders, toes-to-bar, bar and ring muscle ups, plus pull-ups will come up in the CrossFit Open. It typically takes 8 weeks to improve on each of these skills and carefully working through progressions.
Try this: Choose the skills that need the most work and create a program that includes 2-3 sessions per week of drills and skill work that will help make them a strength for you.
Or if you want us to do the hard work for you, join WODprep Academy, and you can work through all of our courses at your own pace.
Training the Mind
Physical strength is only half the battle—mental resilience is equally vital. The CrossFit Open is as much a mental test as it is a physical one. Develop mental toughness through visualization, positive self-talk, and goal-oriented mindset training. Embrace discomfort during training sessions to acclimate yourself to the intensity of the competition.
When the leaderboard is filled with thousands of athletes across the world, getting that one extra rep might be the difference to shoot you up the board and even make it into Quarterfinals.
Try this: Discover how to train your mind with our free guide: “2 Ways to Keep Pushing in Tough Workouts”
Recovery and Nutrition:
Fueling the Fire
Optimal performance cannot be achieved without proper recovery and nutrition. Adequate sleep, active recovery techniques, and smart nutrition choices are paramount. Consult with a nutritionist to create a balanced diet that supports your training goals and aids in muscle recovery.
Try this: Follow the steps in this nutrition article to cover all the basics when it comes to fuelling your CrossFit performance. If you’re an athlete looking to dig a bit deeper with your nutrition, check out our article here.
Still not convinced about the CrossFit Open?
Check out our video below, and see what you think.
The CrossFit Open is a grand stage where athletes push their limits and showcase their dedication. Success is not guaranteed, but through meticulous preparation, strategic planning, and unwavering determination, you can train your way to the top.
Embrace the challenge, learn from every setback, and celebrate every triumph. With a foundation of self-awareness, a roadmap of goals, a diversified training regimen, and mental fortitude, you'll be primed to conquer the CrossFit Open.
Remember, it's not just three workouts — it’s a time for you to join the CrossFit community across the world and embark on a journey of pushing yourself to the limits.
P.S. Here are some of our personal favorite workouts. Give them a go and let us know how you got on in the comments.