Five weeks of grueling workouts are complete, scores are submitted, and the final placements on the leaderboard are settling in.
In this year’s Open we saw…
19.1: wall-ball shots, rowing
19.2: toes-to-bars/knee raises, double/single-unders, squat cleans (similar to 16.2)
19.3: dumbbell overhead-walking lunges, dumbbell box step-ups, strict handstand push-ups, handstand walk/bear crawls
19.4: snatches, bar-facing burpees, muscle-ups/pull-ups
19.5: thrusters, chest-to-bar pull-ups/jumping pull-ups
Analysis: What did you do? How did you do? How did you feel? How do you feel about the outcome and how did the outcome compare to your expectations?
Goals: What and why are you planning to focus on?
Action: What daily actions are you going to take to achieve your goals?
Depending on what your goals were for the Open, there are going to be different things you want to consider. Performance in CrossFit is both mental and physical and this is a great time to take stock of both. Here’s a place to start. Grab a pen and paper, and get ready to start journaling.
Feelings and Self Reflection
How did you feel going into the Open? How do you feel coming out? What did you feel between and during workouts? Were you excited, happy, frustrated, sad, etc.?
Take time to think back to what workouts and movements you got hung up on as a result of skill, strength, mentality, or capacity.
Typically we want to brush away less positive thoughts and feelings during a workout, because they can affect how we perform. But, as part of an analysis, it can be useful to figure out where you thrive and have opportunity to build. Both can be useful as fuel.
Stats and Rankings
The Open Leaderboard and Beyond the Whiteboard analyses are great tools to help you add context to your performance.
The good folks from Beyond the Whiteboard take back-end data from the leaderboard and present it in graphs and charts, with light discussion. You can explore how many athletes RXed and Scaled workouts, where athletes got stuck, and what percentile you fall into based on division and performance.
Find your way to the leaderboard and start sorting, slicing, and dicing. Knowing you’re ranked XXX,XXXth in the world is neat, but it’s a large pool of people and might not useful. Likewise, your standing at Sabertooth is a tiny pool and may not be helpful. Make the pool you’re competing in a meaningful size by setting up a custom leaderboard. You might compare yourself to all men/women in the US, Minnesota, or your age bracket, as examples.
There’s no ‘Name Search’ on custom leaderboards, so to find myself in a custom leaderboard I sort by an individual workout (say, 19.1) scroll until I find my score for that workout, find my rank, and then resort based on rank. There has to be a better way to do it… but this is the best I’m coming up with.
If you’ve done the Open before, compare your previous overall standings to this year and compare workouts you completed that have similar movements to this year.
With a good sense of how you did and where you can build, you can start making decisions about where you want to focus your energy.
- Write out a list of all the things you want to work on.
- Re-write your list in order of importance.. Figure out what’s going to give you the biggest payout, what tangible, quantifiable items are on the top of the list; not just things you think you should work on.
- Take the top two things and make them your focus. Save the other items for later.
Write out SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals for these two items.
If your goal is to ‘be more efficient at pull-ups,’ make it more specific. Maybe make it, ‘perform one strict pull-up before Memorial Day.’ Alternatively, perhaps you can consistently perform one or two pullups. Maybe make your goal, ‘perform five unassisted, strict pull-ups by the end of April, so I can start working on kipping pull-ups and string together five for Murph on Memorial Day weekend.’
Whatever your goals are, make them realistically achievable, in a set amount of time, and frame them in a way that you’ll know exactly when you achieve them.
SMART goals are only helpful if you do something about them. You need to build a consistent system or process that will help establish a routine and, ultimately, aid in achieving your goals.
For a lot of us, our systems will be built around getting more experience by doing the ‘things’ we’re working on. Want to lift heavy? You need to have proficient form and lift heavy. Want to do something upside down, like handstands? You’ll have to spend time upside down and on your hands. Whatever the movement or skill: slow down, practice performing it correctly, and strive for quality over quantity.
Figure out what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, when you’re going to do it, how often you’ll do it, and how long you’re going to do it each time.
If you’re working on building strength to get a single strict pull-up, an action plan might be, ‘after class on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, do six reps of maximum effort static holds with chin over the bar and 30 seconds rest between reps.’
Not sure where to start or have some missing puzzle pieces? Leverage your coaches.
- Book a Goal Review Session (15 mins/$0) and talk through goals and action-plans.
- Book a Skill Session (30 mins/$35). If you have a specific skill you want to learn, and it’s nuanced or not in the current programming cycle, a half hour one-on-one with a coach can go a long way to level up your skills.
Whether you’ve gained something from the workouts, the amped atmosphere, or dressing up in costumes, I hope you found something valuable in the Open. Take what you’ve learned and apply it.
The next Open is only six months away. Start getting excited now!
— Coach Fedde