Uffda! The Open has officially come to a close. It’s like one minute it’s here and the next it’s gone! So many awesome things happened this year. Participation by Uffdamaniacs was at an all-time high, number of athletes completing AND entering scores on time was at an all time high as well. I also broke my own personal record of having to email HQ to have them correct scores that were entered on time, but incorrectly! That number was two. Previously zero.
It’s nice to sit back and reflect on what has happened over the past five weeks and figure out what really happened. Most people started off with a full head of steam and repeated the first two or three workouts at least once. I usually advise this due to the fact that the first time you usually don’t go hard enough, or sometimes too hard too fast, and a repeat gives you the opportunity to use actual feedback rather than theory. By week three, this started to fade a bit and I don’t thing 18.5 was repeated by very many at all.
The purpose of the Open comes in a few different flavors. For some, it’s the first look at the Sport Of Fitness side of things. It’s kind of funny to thing about the fact that CrossFit is a workout that is a sport. And that sport, is working out. For those who love to workout and not do much else, it’s a great combo. For those who are involved in “real” sports, it seems a little goofy. Either way, it’s the sporting aspect that makes things interesting and brings long-term results through standards and intensity.
The second level of the Open is usually your second or third year and trying to be able to do things you haven’t been able to do in previous years; pull-ups, heavier weights, doing more RX workouts. This is when things really start to heat up! This happened for a lot of people this year in their first year!! SO much #openmagic in getting chest to bars for people who maybe only just recently got pull-ups. Many people got Toes to Bars that hadn’t had them previously. Using the scoreboard to your advantage and not allowing yourself to scale sometimes has great benefit. This is what I personally love about the Open.
It’s often just easier or seemingly more reasonable to scale workouts so you can do them and get more than a round or two. Do I really want to drive all the way to the gym to whip myself with a jump rope for 14 minutes? No, I’ll scale so I can get my pump on. But sometimes, 14 minutes of whipping is exactly what you need. Sometimes staring at the bar for 7 minutes trying to get a chest to bar will force you to actually give it everything you have rather than just say “I can’t”. To a coach, this is a beautiful thing. The essence of the Open.
The other awesome thing about the Open is the intensity. No other time in the year do people talk, strategize, prepare, and think about workouts like they do in the Open. How many of you found yourself making adjustments to your lifestyle in hopes of performing better? How many of you maybe went to bed a little earlier, ate a little cleaner, did a little more mobility or drank more water. If you did any of these things, then the Open served you well.
What if you took a little more time to prepare for everyday workouts like you do for the Open workouts? What if you really poured every drop of energy you have into maximizing every rep you do on a daily basis? Many people new to the Open ask me why they should join if they have no shot at winning. I always tell them, “it’s just different”. And I hope you agree that it is. Not just the format and movements, but the effort you put into them.
If you can take away one thing from the Open, its the hope that you will approach more day-to-day workouts like they are a worldwide competition. I didn’t hear one person complain or see one person doing a strength piece before any of the Open WODs. Why? Because you knew that it would most likely effect your ability to perform at the highest level. This is exactly the reason I don’t program strength plus metcon on a regular basis. You can not do either one to it’s potential in an hour. Sometimes it makes sense, but mostly not. So please, consider the time and work you put into your Open workouts and let’s bring a little more of that to everyday class and I guarantee next year will be, wait for it, EPIC!!