How to Prepare for the CrossFit Open (ft. Coach Micah)

  March 3, 2016

(Oooopsssss!  We are a week behind in posting this).


Final preparations for the open…….

Here we are a week away from the 2016 Crossfit Open and I know many of you may be feeling

some excitement and nerves, especially those who are competing for the first time. In an effort to help

calm those nerves, I am going to talk a little bit about what to expect during the Open and give you

some advice on how you can prepare yourself mentally and physically so that you can perform your

best. Before we get into that I want to first congratulate you for taking the hardest step by singing up.

Maybe it was the article that Coach Theresa wrote last month on reasons to participate in the open that

compelled you to sign up. Or perhaps it was the pictures and videos that filled the internet last year

showing the spirit and enthusiasm at our box. Some of you may have decided after you were pressured

by one of your fellow athletes. Whatever your reason may have been I want know that it is a decision

you won’t regret.



For those joining for the first time at the Crossfit Open and wondering what you can expect,

hold onto your shaker bottles. You are about to go on a fun ride filled with high fives, atta-boys (or atta-

girls) but you will also be tested both mentally and physically. You will probably experience tears of joy

as you hit that PR or realize that you are capable of more than you thought, or tears as you are humbled

by the brutal workouts that will be dropped on us. There will be blood as many of you test the limits of

your hands and shins. You will see people with blisters on their hands that they almost wear as a badge

of honor. Now I realize that just describing what you can expect probably doesn’t do a lot to calm those

nerves, but you should know that you aren’t alone. Even those of us that have competed before still

have that nervous energy, but when that clock counts down “3, 2, 1” and it’s go time you will find that it

all fades away.



One of the biggest things you can do to combat those nerves is through preparation. While

there isn’t a great deal of things that we can do at this point to prepare ourselves physically, there still

are a few things that can make a huge difference in how we get through them week to week. You

probably won’t find yourself perfecting that snatch lift or adding twenty to thirty pounds more to that

barbell. You need to go ahead and prepare yourself that it is likely that there will be movements in the

workout that you won’t be able to RX. Did you know that there are 9 movements that have appeared in

all four previous Crossfit Open workouts? These include burpees, double unders, toes-to-bar, box

jumps, chest-to-bar pull ups, muscle ups, wall balls, thrusters and snatches. Since we are a week away, I

recommend taking some time to train on some of these movements. If you can already do all of these

then an extra rep or two in the open can move you up or down in the worldwide rankings by tens if not

hundreds of spots. If you aren’t able to do some of these movements then you should go ahead and

prepare yourself now for whether you will still try to RX that workout and just take a no rep or if you will

do the scaled workout. Last year we saw 15.3 which consisted of muscle ups, wall balls and double

unders. Now think about the thousands of people doing this workout worldwide. The muscle up and

double unders are gymnastic movement that, let’s face it, you can either do them, or you can’t. Just

being able to do one of those two could move you ahead of thousands of those that cannot yet do

them. Every year we hear and read success stories from either our local box or others that someone got

their first muscle up during the open workouts. Could that be your success story this year? Of course it




The next step in preparation will be the night before the competition. When the workout is

announced the night before I highly recommend you develop a strategy to navigate yourself through the

workout and stick with it from start to finish. Determine ahead of time how you feel best with

formulating a work-to-rest ratio. Plan in your mind how you would like your equipment set up, how you

would like your barbell set up, chalk, body armor etc. Make sure that you are familiar with the

movement standards. No one likes to hear the words “no rep” being shouted out by your judge because

you didn’t meet the movement standard. If you are unsure if you are moving correctly, get with one of

our coaches and they will gladly work with you on them and give structured advice to you no doubt.

Now your physical preparation is one that involves work both in and out of the box. Whether

you have been training specifically for the open all year or you have just begun it is important that we all

take certain steps to minimize any injuries and promote a quicker recovery from one workout to the

next. Staying mobile is one of the easiest and most beneficial things we can do to keep the joints

lubricated and the muscles warm and loose. Did you know that every Saturday morning you can show

up at your box for an 8 am mobility session? Our coaching staff will put you through the paces as they

follow along with either a ROMWOD session, yoga or even just some group inspired stretching. Both

boxes recently provided us the Marcpro to help facilitate our muscle recovery quicker. Mobility doesn’t

have to end at the rig or on the box floors, the internet provides us a wealth of activities that we can do

in our very own living rooms to help achieve a greater range of motion and help rid our bodies of the

waste products that are created by the strenuous and rigorous workouts we’ve been doing. This week

before the open begins, in my opinion should be a deload week. Lighten that barbell and focus on form

and mobility.



Another thing you should consider in order to perform at your best is your nutrition. It is no big

secret how the benefits of nutrition can help your progress in this crossfit journey we are all on. Eating

clean and healthy has been studied, researched and pounded into our brains and bodies for us to unlock

our true potential as human beings. From reducing intake of foods that promote inflammation to

increasing our protein intake, the foods we ingest can make all the difference. Coaches Mike and

George have given us articles on nutrition and proteins to include into our diets. Adding quality protein

and supplements with the proper nutrition helps our bodies build lean muscle mass and stimulate our

muscle protein synthesis. I recommend eating a light healthy snack at least an hour or so before the

workout to give yourself a little boost of energy. Giving your muscles a shot of vitamins and nutrients to

burn will help you get through the workout. Not eating before a workout can bottom out your blood

sugar which can lead to fatigue and reduced performance. So don’t skip on those calories and carbs,

just make certain that they are good ones. Fruits, oats and whole grains are just a few carb and protein

rich foods to consider when choosing a pre workout fuel. Of course you’ll also want to eat something

after that workout to begin replacing what you’ve just spent the last 10 to 20 minutes burning through.

Now there are companies out there that recommend this supplement over that one, ask any of

our athletes and I am certain that you will get varying responses of what each person takes or doesn’t

take and their reasons why. Do your homework and find out what works best for you. Ask our coaching

staff for any recommendations they have and why. If you are serious about wanting to fuel your body

to perform your best during the open then you also need to realize this doesn’t just end at eating

healthy and taking the correct supplements but you should also limit your alcohol intake during the

competition. Keep in mind also the benefits of water; we should be drinking at least half of our body

weight in ounces of water daily. That amount of water is of course before taking into account all the

fluids lost during exercise. That’s just the daily amount to keep our body hydrated.

Finally, my last physical preparation recommendation is that of REST and RECOVERY! Getting

the appropriate amount of rest daily gives our bodies the chance to repair and recharge ourselves for

the days ahead. I recently read an article from Breaking Muscle on the “7 essential elements of rest and

recovery. It dives into the definition of rest and recovery and how they are key and essential to a

successful training program.



In closing, this year’s open is certain to be filled with highs and lows, wins and losses. It is my

hope that during this competition you will experience some firsts and we can all be there to celebrate

with you on your accomplishments. With that being said, let’s all have fun participating in an event that

will bring us all closer together as a community. We have an amazing group of dedicated athletes and

friendships that will only become stronger through this journey.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it.

Coach Micah


Are You Ready To Make A change

Come in and meet our coaches and we'll tell you how we can help you meet your goals!