A Beginners Guide To The CF Open

A Beginners Guide To The CF Open

Each week, for five weeks, a workout will be released beginning Thursday October 10th Thursday nights at 7pm on the CrossFit Games website (here).

Here is what you should and shouldn’t do, to get through each event.

BEFORE YOU GET TO THE GYM:

1. WATCH THE DEMONSTRATION VIDEO OF THE EVENT EACH WEEK

I want to be clear, the face-off event between the two athletes on the live announcement of the workout IS NOT the demonstration video. The demonstration video will brief athletes, judges, affiliate owners and managers on exactly what all the details and movement standards are for the workout. While we will cover these standards at the gym, this video will outline the expectations well in advance of you actually doing the workout so you can mentally prepare for them. Plus, this will help alleviate any confusion about the workouts, the movements, judging standards etc, and the more prepared you are in this regard, then the better you will perform. It is scientifically proven that the more “no reps” an athlete receives, the lower their score will be. The demonstration video will help you not get “No Repped”

2. SET A GOAL AND HAVE A PLAN FOR THE EVENT

Regardless of your fitness level, having a goal for each one of the workouts will give ALL athletes something to shoot for, and give them the internal motivation that they need to achieve what they set out to do. All of the events will be mentally challenging on all of us for all kinds of different reasons and setting specific, actionable, realistic goals will be your only saving grace to keep you moving and working hard when your body is trying to convince your brain to stop. After you set that goal, have a plan for how you will achieve it. For example, how will you break up your sets? What will be your rest times? What are the milestones and timelines on the event? All of these should be crystal clear in your mind and you should be laser focused on this plan, and committed to this plan in order to achieve that goal you set. And of course, us coaches are happy to help with coming up with a game plan for you!

ONCE YOU GET TO THE GYM:

3. DON’T DO THE EVENT TO “FEEL IT OUT” SO YOU CAN TRY IT LATER ON IN THE WEEKEND

This is HUGE mistake that athletes get caught up in all of the time. The mindset that you should have is this: “I am doing this workout one time…PERIOD.” If you do an event with the mindset that you will do it again, you’ll get to the part of the workout where it will begin to hurt and you will immediately think “I am not going to go to that place mentally and physically that I need to reach my goal because I want to be fresh for when I try it for real”. The only time that an athlete should re-attempt a workout is when something avoidable prevented them from reaching their goal, OR if that athlete is in a “bubble” situation where a very small number of reps is the difference between them reaching their goal or not. Doing Open workouts multiple times trying to post higher scores is TERRIBLE for your fitness for reasons far beyond the scope of this article…just trust me, do them multiple times, and your fitness will go backwards; do them once, and your fitness will go forward…I promise.

4. DON’T BE A HOT MESS RIGHT BEFORE YOU GO

All of us will have the butterflies for sure, that is unavoidable….but, relax for a second, take in the moment, take a deep breath, smile, high five your judge and thank them in advance for helping you get through the event. Make sure your shoes are double knotted, your draw strings are tied, your equipment is pre-chalked, and pre-checked. Don’t be frantic…smile and have fun.

5. BE AWESOME TO YOUR JUDGE

This one always gets me – athletes that are jerks to their judge. News Flash people: your judge is a fellow CrossFitter, they are volunteering their time, they are judging you to help you…not hurt you. They are the only voice that you will hear in the chaos of the event so from 321…GO to 321…REST, they are your best friend. They will get you through the workout with the proper movement standards so you can reach your goal the RIGHT way. They aren’t your foe, they are your friend. If they say no rep, it because you are going fast, trying to reach your goal, they still love you, but you missed the movement standard…period. They can see your movement, you can’t, and they are the one with steady breathing and a normal heart rate, so don’t challenge them if they say “No Rep.” Just throw that rep out, and replace it with a good one. At the end of the workout give them a high five, and tell them thanks.

6. COME EARLY, STAY LATE, CHEER LOUD AND BE SUPPORTIVE

Get to the gym well before your heat time, watch other athletes go, and cheer for them the right way (More to come on that in a second). This is a great time to help people get through the event, and a great time to meet people from the gym that may workout at a different time than you. Form bonds and friendships, that is what the Open is for and that is the best part about the Open!!!!

7. CHEERING THE RIGHT WAY

As mentioned above, most athletes have a plan, a set number of reps per set, a pace on certain movements to recover while moving, milestones, etc. that they have thought about before their workout. If they are 15 reps in and drop the bar, normally they don’t need you in their grill screaming and yelling at them to pick up the bar. They may simply be executing on their work/rest management plan that they lined up before the workout so they can achieve their goal. If you are screaming and yelling at them to go bananas on their bar, you may, in fact, be motivating them to break their plan of attack and you may actually cost them. I am not saying to not cheer…I want you to scream your head off and you will, I promise, but it should be positive, encouraging, and helpful. Stand to the side of athletes, or behind them and cheer, not in front of them. While some athletes like the in your face motivation style, lots of athletes don’t like to be in that highly uncomfortable place and have someone staring them down at the same time.

AFTER YOU LEAVE THE GYM:

8. LEADER-BOARDING ETIQUETTE: Sometimes in the heat of the moment we can get really excited about an accomplishment we witnessed and immediately want to tell the world on social media with a post like “Oh my god Hank just got 119 reps on 14.1!!!!” But this might make Hank uncomfortable. So, before posting an athlete’s score or video of them doing a workout simply check with them first…this goes for texting out their scores to others as well. Love it or hate it, in today’s Open climate, if an athlete is trying to qualify for regionals then they will most likely not want to put a target score out there for all the other competitors at other gyms that are also trying to qualify to beat. Most people won’t care if you share their score, but others might, so simply check with them first.

9. ALWAYS SUBMIT YOUR SCORE

Every year this happens – an athlete will go through the pain and hard work of completing one of the workouts, fighting for every rep – and then forget to submit their score online. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS submit your score before the deadline (5pm on Monday).  In addition to just plain forgetting, sometimes athletes will intentionally avoid submitting a score because they aren’t proud of it. This is a huge mistake! If you don’t submit your score, you will never see your true results in the competition or have a benchmark to go off of in the future, because you won’t be able to submit a score online for the rest of the Open workouts.

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