The Open Part 2: Why Do It? – by Coach Fedde

Last week we explained what the Open is. Today we are sharing thoughts from some Sabertooth coaches on why they participate in the Open.

Coach Fedde

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Coach Tim gives Fedde a final pep-talk before Fedde’s first-ever Rx workout, 17.1

I get excited about the Open for a ton of reasons. I get amped by the excitement in the gym and across social media, by the enormous leaderboard, by the challenging workouts, and by being judged (yeah, they’re keeping you honest, but they’re also cheering for you).

Each year I’ve gone into it thinking – “yeah, I totally push myself on the daily.” I come out thinking – “Uhh, nope, I can push a little harder now and then.”

When it’s all done, I’ll have new knowledge of how it feels to work harder and I’ll have a really concrete list of skills and goals to work on for next year. And, when I reflect on what’s the one biggest event that’s driven me to level up – it’s the Open.

Coach Wayne

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I started competing in the CrossFit Open in 2015 and have genuinely looked forward to ‘Open Season’ every year since. The CrossFit Open is a great opportunity to build community, test one’s fitness and overall capacity, explore areas of improvements / weaknesses in one’s fitness, and, by-and-large, have a lot of fun with our CrossFIt community.

As an athlete, I love to challenge myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. Thus, I am the type of a person who will typically perform an Open Workout more than once (sometimes three times). Why? I like to get a feel for the workout once, strategize, and then do it again. More so than not, I will improve on a workout; sometimes exponentially. This said, I am not saying you need to do each of the Open Workouts more than once. However, it can be fun to test and retest within the time allotted to submit an Open Workout Score.

Coach Kayla

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Kayla relaxes after her first Open workout, 18.1.

I did the CrossFit Open for the first time last year, after I had been doing CrossFit for about nine months. I was SO nervous to sign up! The idea that I had to do the workout exactly as written and not be able to scale the weights or the movements to what I thought was best for me was daunting. As it turns out, the Open was one of my best experiences of 2018.

The excitement in the gym during the Open was electric. The community was heightened. The workouts pushed me way outside my comfort zone. And every week I pushed myself a little bit harder than the week before.

I’m registering for the 2019 CrossFit Open because I know it will light another fire under me, I’m excited to see how I’ve progressed since last year and I can’t wait for all the Sabertooth friendship.

How do I register?

You can register for the Open at games.crossfit.com. It’s just $20 to register, and you’ll be coming to do the workouts anyway — so why not give it a try?

Other questions?

Ask a coach! As with all things CrossFit, most of us could talk all day about it.

Up next …

On the next post we will talk logistics and about how Friday nights will work at Sabertooth because it’ll be a little different from your normal class. With all of the moving pieces (equipment and judges), whether you register or not, we’ll need folks to sign up for specific class times.

The Open 2019, Part 1: What is the Open, anyway? – by Coach Fedde

 

Welcome to the Crossfit Open 2019 at Crossfit Sabertooth!

If you are one of the twenty-seven Sabertooth athletes who participated in the Open last year, you know roughly what to expect. We’re glad you’re with us this year!

If you have never done the Open, you may be wondering what all the hubbub is about.

Over the next few weeks we will share posts about what the Open is, why we do it, how we will do it at Sabertooth, and some strategies for completing a successful Open.

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What is the CrossFit Open?

The Open is a global, individual CrossFit competition. Athletes complete a series of five workouts spread out once per week between February 21 and March 25. The workouts are released on Thursday evenings, and athletes have until the following Monday evening to do the workout and submit their scores online to a worldwide leaderboard.

Hundreds of thousands of CrossFitters all over the world participate every year. For the elite athletes out there, it’s one way of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. For us mere mortals, it’s just for fun.

Just like in a regular CrossFit classes, the movements in the Open are many and varied and always a surprise.

How do I register?

To register, visit the official CrossFit Open website, games.crossfit.com.

The registration fee is $20. Your registration allows you to post your workout scored on the worldwide leaderboard and save your results to compare your performance year after year. You can register anytime between now and the first workout deadline (but why wait?).

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When do I complete the workouts?

Most Sabertooth athletes will complete the workouts during our normal Friday night classes. But, if a Friday doesn’t work for you, you can complete the workout during open gym, with a judge, over the weekend. We’ll share more on logistics in a future post.

Wait… A judge?

Anyone signed up for the Open will be assigned a judge when they do their workout. It is the judge’s responsibility to ensure that you meet the movement standards and help you accurately count and record your reps, times, and weights.

We can always use more judges. No formal training is required to judge. That said, if you want to go above-and-beyond, for $10 you can take an online judging course to prepare.

I don’t want to compete, but still want to work out on Friday, so…

A lot of people enjoy this more competitive atmosphere, but submitting scores and being judged is only required for people who have registered and paid the entry fee. If competing in the Open this year isn’t your thing, you’re still fully welcome to come to the gym Friday nights and join in on a good workout and if you’d like, help judge athletes who are competing.

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Cool. Wait… why would I do this?

As you’ll read in our next post, there are many reasons to sign up for the Open. For some, it’s a competition. For others, it’s a way to experience some new and challenging workouts.

Ultimately what we love about the Open at Sabertooth is how it brings the community together.

Other questions?

Ask a coach! As with all things CrossFit, most of us could talk all day about it.

Brand-new to CrossFit?

Yes, the Open is for you too – but sign up for your free intro session ASAP so you can get your foundation courses completed before the Open starts!

Meal Plan Monday: Healthy “Lasagna” – by Vern

Sadly, I lack the ability to take Instagram-worthy food pictures.

The next time you have a hankering for cheesy tomatoey goodness, try this recipe! It’s very substitution-friendly – you can add cheese, remove cheese, add vegetables, take away vegetables, substitute protein, etc.! This gives you about six hefty servings and reheats exceptionally well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1lb grass-fed beef
  • 1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 3-4 medium-sized zucchini and/or yellow squash
  • Italian spice blend to taste
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Chop broccoli into tiny pieces. In a large mixing bowl, mix broccoli, goat cheese, and yogurt. Add the egg and mix again.
  3. Brown the meat. Chop the onion and garlic and saute, add to the meat, and sautee until fragrant. Add the tomatoes. Stir in any Italian spices, salt, and pepper you want.
  4. While the meat is browning, thinly slice the zucchini/squash into medallions. This is your “noodle” layer.
  5.  Start layering! I usually start with the zucchini medallions, followed by the egg/yogurt/broccoli mixture, completed with the meat mixture. Depending on the size of your pan, you can get 2-4 layers of all of the ingredients.
  6. Bake, covered, for approximately 25 minutes. At that point, take off the foil, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake until browned and bubbly – usually another 15 minutes.
  7. Eat in bowls! I call this “lasagna,” but it’s more of a gooey casserole.
  8. Enjoy 🙂

 

New programming cycle introduction – by Coach Tim

One thing you’ll notice if you’re new to CrossFit is that we break up our year into six-week cycles, focusing on different movements and skills each day of the week. Why do we plan these programming cycles?  Cycles give us the opportunity to build a skill from the bottom up. For most skills, we don’t just do the movement. Sometimes we break it into its most basic parts and other times we intentionally put ourselves into positions that may be our natural sticking point in order to strengthen and overcome the part of a movement that most challenges us.  This method allows our bodies to adapt to the different stimuli of the movement in a controlled environment, which prepares not only our muscles, but also our tendons and nervous system to help us break through plateaus.

Now let’s discuss our next programming cycle here at CrossFit Sabertooth:

Monday: Bench Press!

Bench pressing is great way to increase weight and stability in the upper body, which helps us with movements like pushup, dips, and other pressing movements. Benching is not just for the bros! It carries over into many other aspects of fitness. Bench presses can be hard to fit into workouts due to space and spotting constraints, so we are excited to implement more bench press as we now have more benches and portable squat racks.

Tuesday: Chippers!

Chippers are typically a longer workout, with multiple movements and high rep schemes – think 50+ reps per movement. These workouts require not only efficiency, but also completing movements with the compounding fatigue of the prior movements. This type of workout builds mental toughness and challenges our ability to create a strategic game plan to both pace and push ourselves.

Wednesday: EMOM Barbell Cycles!

If you weren’t already aware, EMOM stands for Every Minute On (the) Minute. This is a time-structured workout that usually has a defined number of reps to be performed every minute for a defined number of minutes. As soon as the reps are completed, the rest of the minute is time to rest. Using the EMOM format allows us to practice reps while forcing us to recover – both physically and mentally – before practicing the same reps again. We will use EMOMs to practice efficiently moving the barbell through multiple reps to gain confidence and familiarity with the olympic lifts at light to moderate weights.

Thursday: Partner WODs!

Partner workouts are a method of maximizing skills and stamina to achieve success as group, which means having a solid game plan and putting in 100% effort when it’s our turn to go. Partner workouts can be intimidating if we are placed with people we feel are better than us, or if we are supposed to split reps equally on movements that we are not strong in. Just like any workout, scaling and modifying are encouraged in order to complete the workout successfully. As for intimidation, rest assured your partner and team want you to succeed! On the other hand, partner workouts can also feel like a rest day if we don’t feel challenged enough. But if you are truly giving 100% and don’t feel challenged, consider what 100% means to you and whether you could give more or scale the WOD upwards. Finally, partner WODs are ultimately meant to be fun and build community, and are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow gym members.

Friday: Repeats!

Repeating workouts (such as CrossFit Open workouts or the benchmarks like Girls or Hero WODs) allows us to compare our current self to our past self to help identify what progress we are making and where we need to focus our time to keep progressing. One of CrossFit’s main tenets is constantly varied fitness, so we can’t repeat workouts too often – otherwise we are just learning that we are getting better at that specific workout! However, if we can retest a workout once a year or so, we should be able to see definite upward trends. Hopefully we complete the workout faster or heavier or – the best of both worlds – both!

Saturday: Gymnastic!

Gymnastics can be described as any bodyweight movement we use from air squat to pull-ups. These type of movements helps us build body awareness, control, and balance. Furthermore, gymnastics training help produce strength gains without requiring an external load. You’d be surprised how difficult maneuvering your own body can be, despite how easy professional gymnasts make it look.

Sunday: Squats!

The squat is to the lower body what the bench press is to the upper body. We work not only our legs, but also our core in order to keep our body rigid and controlled. Back squats tend to be one of the heaviest lifts we will ever perform, apart from the deadlift. If we are talking about absolute power, back squats are an essential part of that conversation. Front squats have the added complexity of the front rack position which places even greater challenges on our core to keep the body upright. Front squats are especially helpful in relation to the olympic lifts. Finally, overhead squats are an exercise in shoulder and core control. While this will not be our heaviest squat, it is a great indicator of our mobility and stability. There are a plethora of variations on the squat so we should never get bored with this movement.

If you have any questions about why we chose a particular movement for a particular cycle, ask any of the coaches! And, of course, if you’re new to CrossFit Sabertooth, head to https://linktr.ee/crossfitsabertooth to set up your own free intro session.