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How to Learn from the CrossFit Games Open?

March 27, 2018

So, you have just completed the CrossFit Games Open.  Like 99.9% of the CrossFit community, your “season” is over.  The Open gives you 5 weeks to test your fitness, preparation and yourself.

Are you pleased with how you performed?  Did you leave everything on the table?  Were you caught off guard by a movement or a standard?

Right now is an excellent time to take inventory of your experience.  Ask questions like: What did you do well?  What was a weakness?  What do you want to get better at?  What movements do you never want to see again?

For my basic answer, do CrossFit.  If you come to CFO, I think we do a pretty good job of getting you fit and strong, thereby preparing you for a task like the Open.

In a given week, we train movements, weights and durations that you will likely see in the Open.  There was nothing that came out this year that surprised me: the surprise is always how prepared the rest of the field performs.  We have seen a constant trajectory of human fitness since the Open started.  Athletes are going harder, faster, moving better and lifting more.

If you would have told me we would be handstand walking in the Open after Deadlifting 315/205 my head might have exploded.   The best scores in the world in 11.6/12.5, which became 18.5, were 150 and above.  168 was the world record.  If you got that score in 2018 and expected to go to Regionals, you would need to get serious and re-do the workout and get over 170.

So what if you are doing CrossFit?

First, DO. NOT. CHERRYPICK. WORKOUTS.  Don’t like doing doubleunders or pullups?  Hate lifting heavy?  Do I even need to say it – the thing you don’t want to do is probably the thing you need to do.  I have been avoiding longer cardio workouts for years.  That is biting me in the ass.  If something you suck at is on a rest day, fine.  But, the next day, if you are really serious, you will come in early or stay late and spend a good, honest 10 minutes working on DU or the dip position of your muscle up.

Please remember, there is a difference between doing workouts for fitness and overall health, and being “good” at CrossFit.  There  is a difference between surviving a tough workout and punching it in the fucking face.  Then there are people that exercise for money.  Then there are people that exercise for free protein and t-shirts.

To assess your performance, look at the leaderboard. What was your overall world ranking?  What was your best workout?  Your worst?  Did your scores vary, with consistent scores across the workouts, or did you score well in one and take a dump on another.

Personally, I did very well against the world in the last 3 workouts – they were all high skill and relatively short.  I performed, against my ranking, terrible in the long workout – 18.1, and the short, heavy breathing, little/no skill 18.2.  Would I be better served focusing in the cardio aspects of fitness, my weakness, or making my strengths really strong?

I have never really answered this question.  There is something to be said for keeping fun.  CrossFit – the training method – does it’s best to test you against a broad range of tasks.  At CFO we try to do the same, but we want people to come in the door.  Most folks like to lift some weights, feel strong, get sweaty and slap hands.  If we spent way more time on Olympic Weightlifting or running 10 miles a day, we might not have classes that are quite as full.

Dave Castro, and the CrossFit Games, is in the business of testing, and identifying the weakness of the best athletes in the world.  And he freaking loves it.  And he doesn’t care if you hate burpees, or if you have a bad knee, or if you don’t have a Speal bar.  3-2-1 go, MF’ers.

And I’m not sure we need to answer the question fully.  It’s a process.  A journey, not a destination.  So, please reflect on your performance.  Look at the leaderboard.  Look, by the numbers on where you did well.  Look, by the numbers, at where you can improve.

We will continue to keep the CrossFit first at CrossFit Oakdale.  But we want you to get better to meet your goals.  We will continue to program CrossFit workouts regularly.  I would like to increase the “just” CrossFit days from 2-3 per week to 3-4 days.  I plan to present plans to get improve your capacity for the big things: strength, gymnastic skill, and endurance.  This will provide you a simple plan to get more fitter, so next week, next month, or even in the Open, you will punch the workout in the fucking face.

Workout of the Day

AMRAP 20

8 Handstand Pushups

10 1arm DB Front Squat (switch arms every 5)

14/12 Calorie Row

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