The Open, Part 6: It’s Over, What to do Now – By Coach Fedde

 

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

Now what?

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?

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Analysis

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.

BTWB 19.1
BTWB 19.2
BTWB 19.3
BTWB 19.4
BTWB 19.5

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.

CF Open 19.3-3.jpg

Goals

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.

  1. Write out a list of all the things you want to work on.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Action

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.

Parting Words

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

New Programming Cycle! – by Coach Matt

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Constant progress is the goal of all of our cycles!

We began a new cycle this week!

Much of the cycle was based on requests from our members. This cycle will feature some strength and skill work during the week, and some longer, more challenging workout at the end of the week and over the weekend.  

Here is a breakdown:

Monday: Partner Workouts

A favorite pastime in the gym, 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 your 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 our weaker movements. 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.

Tuesday: Olympic Lifting

Olympic lifting is a lifetime skill – no matter what level you’re on, there is always room for improvement. Fine-tuning a small thing here or there can result in major differences. This cycle will feature complexes. That means we will be stringing multiple movements together in a single sequence. This is to help you build efficiency in your movements, grip strength, and overall strength.

Wednesday: Gymnastics

Gymnastics is one of the bases of CrossFit programming. How well do you move and control your own body weight? We will put that to the test every Wednesday. This gymnastics cycle will focus primarily on building strength. You will see circuits with a emphasis on quality and controlled movements.

Thursday: Squats

Becoming a better squatter will help your overall fitness in countless ways. It will also transfer to improvements in other parts of your programming: Olympic lifting, deadlifting, and practically any other movement that involves lower body and core. This squat cycle will focus on building strength through high volume at medium weight.

Friday: Open Workouts / Girls & Benchmark Workouts

Carrying over from last cycle, Friday’s theme will remain the same.

Repeating workouts (such as CrossFit Open workouts or the benchmarks like the Girls) 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. One of CrossFit’s main tenets is constantly varied fitness, so we can’t repeat workouts too often – otherwise we are just 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: Cardio

Saturday’s theme will feature medium to longer endurance-based workouts. They will feature cardio machines and lighter weights. Intensity will be high, loads will be low. Here’s a great chance to challenge and improve your physical and mental endurance. The test in the beginning and end is a 2k Row!

Sunday: Hero WODs

Named after fallen soldiers, these are often some of the most challenging benchmark workouts you will find in CrossFit programming. We will pick up some good data here and be able to revisit some of these workouts in the future. As always, form and quality takes precedence. Scale your workout appropriately so you are safe.