The Open - should you sign up?
I have always found The Open to be a bit of a strange concept. While I get that it's designed to encourage training with friends, to have fun, and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie, it isn't the vibe I pick up. Being a competitive athlete, I don't understand how it can be "fun"under the pressure of doing well and being good at CrossFit.
For some people The Open is about testing their fitness along with their mates. For other people, it's about pushing themselves to make it to The Regionals and then to The Games. And then there are those people, including myself, that viewThe Open as a massive pressure cooker.
In the past, it has brought out the negative voice in my head and it actually became a burden in my training. The reason I joined CrossFit was to have somewhere to weight lift, which lead to me training with the other coaches, and enjoying testing my mental strength and fitness. The first year I signed up to The Open, after six months of doing CrossFit, I found myself crying and leaving the box when I couldn't complete a single chest to bar, rather than practicing, scaling the workout or seeing this as my opportunity to be coached by our box's awesome athletes and coaches. I gave up. The biggest hurdle I have come across with CrossFit is my mentality; to keep going no matter how tough I am finding something, or when I'm trying to link certain movements together.
Understand the Open to enjoy it:
I believe The Open can be understood or interpreted differently by everyone, which means everyone has the opportunity to find their own way of enjoying what they are doing. I truly believe that it is down to the individual (YOU) to make The Open fun. With the new scaled division, everyone can join in and it's actually a great way of strengthening that friendly atmosphere at the box and it creates a social network for exercising that goes beyond even that - you're completing a workout that everyone around the world is doing! If you have been doing CrossFit for six months, and think that you can get into the top 40 on the leaderboard, then you'd do well to reevaluate your goals. But if you're looking for an awesome way to get a group together and maybe workout with people from your box that you wouldn't normally train with, you're going to love it.
The CrossFit Box that you attend will include the Open workouts in classes and you can be judged. You should take this opportunity to have your movements analysed, making sure you are moving to the best of your ability. This can be anything from perfecting your barbell cycling to something as simple as doing a burpee efficiently! At my box, we all get together on the Friday evening. For those of us that take our health seriously, complaining that we have no way to celebrate the end of the working week when we don't go out on the lash on a Friday, The Open is going to be our night on the tiles.
We all say that we write down our workouts and record our times, but for many this is a scrap of paper that ends up crumpled in the bottom of your gym bag, never to be seen again. The Open provides a leaderboard which includes the times and scores for each workout, record your performance and you can be re-tested a year later and so you'll see how far you have come. The Athlete Program (https://www.facebook.com/theathleteprogram) recently released CrossFit Games Athlete, Scott Panchik's top seven tips for The Open, with some great points to focus on.
1. Know your pace for the time domain being tested.
2. Create plan A and a plan B of how to break up workout.
3. Rest on your weaker movements.
4. Push the pace on your strengths.
5. Attack the workout with someone that will push you to new levels.
6. Perfect form means more reps and a faster time... think efficiency!
7. Get uncomfortable and have fun!
Use your head and push your body, and you'll be sure to enjoy The Open, rather
than making the same mistakes I did. If you want to test your current level of fitness with friends, and have fun doing it, then The Open can be for you.
Go to https://games.crossfit.com to register.