The fun and madness of the 2016 Open is over. But rather than undergoing a post-Open hangover that lulls us into mediocre training, why not drain every last ounce of the advantages you can get from the competition and apply it to your training?
Evaluate your goals for the Open
First things first: Now that the Open is over, look back at the goal(s) you set yourself for the competition, and evaluate how you did. If you matched or surpassed the objectives you set for yourself, congratulations! You might even realize that you sold yourself short a little bit, but now you’re fully aware of what you’re capable of accomplishing. On the other hand, if you missed out on your goal(s), don’t despair. You needn’t remove those goals from your to-do list just because the Open is over. You can always repeat the workouts whenever you feel like it, and you should use your disappointment as motivation to work even harder to get to where you want to be!
Identify weaknesses and work on them
The Open workouts are incredibly effective at exposing your weaknesses. Given that you’re far more isolated than you would be in a regular class (with a judge right beside you and your friends watching), you’ve nowhere to hide when the shit hits the fan. And there’s plenty of opportunities for said feces to hit said fan. Perhaps it’s the bodyweight movements—the chest-to-bar pull-ups and handstand push-ups—that expose a hole in your fitness. Maybe your strength and Olympic Weightlifting stopped you from achieving another four-minute round in 16.2. Or perhaps you’re not happy with your endurance, or realized that you aren’t as competent in a certain movement as you previously thought. It might have been frustrating in the moment, but once you’ve calmed down you can see how valuable these ‘lessons’ are. The Open has identified your weaknesses, and now you know what you have to work on throughout the year until you have the opportunity to test yourself again in another competition (like the Team Series).
Create new goals
If you didn’t achieve the objectives you set yourself at the start of the Open, you should still work to achieve them (as mentioned above). But if you managed to achieve one or all of your goals, it’s time to start thinking of some new ones! Use your performance from the Open as a guideline for you want to accomplish. Think about the areas where you struggled, or even the places where you experienced success. For example, if you set yourself a goal of getting one bar muscle-up, what’s to stop you from telling yourself that by the end of the year, you’ll be able to string 5 together unbroken? Just be smart about the goals you do set, and don’t burden yourself with so many that you lose focus on what’s important to you in your training.
Use your Open performance as inspiration for future workouts
There’s no doubt that every CrossFitter raises their performance levels during the Open. It’s hard not to, what with the uniqueness of the competition, the personal judging, the endless support from your fellow athletes and the feeling as if you’re competing in the spotlight. All of these factors inspire you to push harder and break physical and mental boundaries that had previously harnessed your untapped potential. As a result, the new heights (not the least in terms of effort) you reached in the five workouts of the Open should become your personal benchmark by which all subsequent efforts should be measured. You’re now keenly aware of your capabilities—the aftershock of the particularly nasty workouts of the 2016 Open should have seen to that. So, when you return to the less exciting realms of your regular classes, you have a new idea of how hard you can push the intensity of your workouts. Finding this intensity is important. While it’s not required for every class, it should be sought out, for high efforts in intensity typically translate to positive results in weight loss, strength gains, endurance, and all other aspects of health and fitness.
Photo courtesy of Josefina Casal/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0