In case you’ve been living under a giant rock, the 2015 CrossFit Games start this Thursday at 5 p.m. PT/8 pm.EST. You have our permission to freak out appropriately. All around the world, athletes are limbering up, beefing their diets and sharpening their minds to produce their best performances in each of the five Open workouts. Of course, there’s only so much preparation one can do from when the workouts are announced on Thursday to the score submission deadline the following Monday (at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. EST). We could use all the advice we can get, but thankfully CrossFit is a community-based sport, and five Games athletes answered the call to share their wisdom for how to best tackle the 2015 Open.
Daniel ‘Boomsauce’ Tyminski
Three-time Games athlete (2011, 2012, 2013)
I think the best way to tackle the Open is to do each workout once. I am a one and done kind of guy. I dislike redoing the workouts, so I put 100% into each one of them. Last year, I only redid one workout—14.1. It was the 10-minute AMRAP of 30 double-unders and 15 power snatches. I hate that workout. For some reason it’s just hard for me and I had to do it twice. But I strongly suggest people treat each Open workout as if they were at the CrossFit Games itself and look to give 100% effort into each one.
Two-time Games athlete (2013, 2014)
It’s all about recovery. Save your celebratory cheat meals for the end of the Open. Each week you complete the Open workouts is a victory. However, if you head out for pizza, ice cream, and beer after each weekly workout to celebrate, you will set back your recovery by several days. The workouts themselves are extremely stressful. Adding stress to your gut through bad food choices and alcohol will suppress your immune system and lengthen your recovery time. The moment you complete 15.1 is time to start preparing for 15.2!
Two-time Games athlete (2013 team, 2014)
1) Find a routine that works for you. Make sure you get adequate sleep and recovery going into each workout. Pick a time of day where you perform at the top of your game to perform the workout. I know you should technically be prepared for anything in CrossFit, but maintain as much routine as life allows. Complete your workouts in an encouraging environment with minimal distractions. Plan your warm-up and nutrition beforehand, and think about equipment placement for the workout as every second in transition counts.
2) Create an effective strategy. Decide whether you will hit the workout once each week or do a run through on Friday and hit it hard on Monday. Whatever it might be, I would not recommend doing any workout more than twice!
3) Don’t get bogged down with ‘pacing strategies’. Set a goal for yourself and do what you need to do to achieve it. If you have been working hard for the Open all year long, most of it will come down to how deep you can go mentally. Dive into the pain cave and you might just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.
4) No matter what your online ranking is, appreciate your ability to do what you do every day. Be grateful for the awesome community that you are a part of and enjoy the journey!
Games athlete (2014)
Based on the dynamic of the workouts, some of them you can do more than once—sometimes that’s necessary to go at 80% and ‘feel’ your engine during a trial run and game plan for when you want to do the workout at 100%, which is something I’ve done before. Then there are those workouts like 14.3 (deadlifts and box jumps) that you don’t want to redo. Be smart, analyze the workout, figure out how it suits you and then if needs be, do a trial run. I think it’s ok to do them twice and I’ve repeated a lot of them because I knew my score needed to get a lot better—and it did.
Four-time Games athlete (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
For some people, the CrossFit Open is their CrossFit Games. So you know what? There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun and treating the Open like the Games. You can treat it seriously while still having fun. Take a rest day on Thursday when the workout is announced, then grab a judge and attack it with 100% effort the following day or over the weekend. But remember: it’s ok to have fun doing the Open!
Pictured: Austin Malleolo on the demo team at the 2014 CrossFit Games