- Plan to Repeat the Workouts
In my experience, most people’s first attempt at a test like an Open workout is fraught with mistakes. For the most part, we go into them not really knowing what to expect and end up with terrible pacing strategies. Repeating the workouts gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes and improve our pacing strategy. I’ve found that athletes can commonly improve by 3-5% on their second attempt just by knowing what to expect and how to pace correctly for the workout. You might be thinking 5% isn’t a very big margin of improvement but on workout 12.1 if you scored 120 in the 7 minutes of burpees then repeated the workout and scored 126 (5% improvement) you would have moved from 1995th place in the world to 793rd place in the world.
- Film your Workouts
Even though there are new rules this year requiring anyone who plans to qualify for Regionals to film their workouts...I believe EVERYONE should film their workout. Reviewing video footage of yourself dramatically improves learning and will let you objectively determine your weak points (and eliminate them if you repeat the workout like I suggest in #1). Motor learning research consistently shows that people who watch themselves perform a movement make faster progress than those who don't. Use tools like your smartphone to get ahead of the curve. Check out the Perchmount Fit - it's the perfect tool to help you film your WOD!
- Stop Leaderboarding
Everyone has different goals coming into the Open, some people are sign-up to enjoy the experience and camaraderie, others are trying to qualify for Regionals. If your goal is to maximize your placing, then you need to spend more time focusing on your performance and not getting caught up in the fanfare. Spending hours browsing through the leader board isn’t going to make you any closer to qualifying! Nothing is more distracting than watching your name drop down the leader board each hour, it can become addictive. I KNOW as well as anyone. Spend time finding YOUR weak links (by following my advice in #1 and #2!) and then attack them!
- Take Care of your Hands
Rips take FOREVER to heal completely (mine from WODapalooza 4 weeks ago are FINALLY healed!). The best strategy is to prevent them in the first place (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure right?). My suggestion is to get a pair of gloves or gymnastics grips, and practice with them in the weeks and days leading into the Open. There is no reason to try to show how “tough” you are during the Open...let your performance do the talking without the headache of ripped hands. Basic callous maintenance goes a really long way when you're potentially doing 10 tests over 5 weeks. Check out our Hand Rips collection to get everything you need to protect, manage and repair!
- Be Confident in your Preparation...by Being Prepared
There will be muscle-ups, there will be double-unders, the pull-ups will be chest-to-bar...you need to be prepared for these movements because they WILL show up. If you haven’t mastered these movements you need start spending time on them right now! For skill based movements like double-unders this might mean simply practicing before and after your workouts. Movements like chest-to-bar pull-ups and muscle-ups have both skill and strength components, your program needs to be developing both.
Kyle Ruth, M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW
WOD SuperStore Athlete
Owner: CrossFit LKN