If you’re a Crossfitter or other athlete, than you probably know that the CrossFit Open 2020 season started this week. The first workout was announced this past Wednesday and athletes will have until Monday to submit their scores via video or authorized judge.
Half-reppers, your time is almost up. You can’t cheat the Open.
Dave Castro is watching.
Anyway, while you should have been training all year for the Open, if you recently started CrossFit or typically do some other type of training, you might not be totally prepared for the challenges ahead.
Open workouts are usually brutal tests of all your energy systems and how you pace yourself is important in this competition. But how you prepare is crucial to your success (or lack thereof). Even if you’re not in peak shape, you can still do well if you follow these couple of critical tips.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
This, along with the next tip, is the biggest reason that performance suffers during the Open. Make sure that you’re on a good sleep schedule so that your body can recover and you can feel good about going into the workout each week.
Get that 8 hours or at least feel well-rested each night over the next 5 weeks. If you don’t have the energy to recover from these crazy workouts, then how can you expect to keep performing at your best? Getting that sleep will help you better pace yourself, think about your strategy for the workout, and you won’t feel like passing out afterward (or at least not as badly).
If you need some tips for sleeping your best, check out my post about establishing a sleep schedule.
Please for the love of the Universe, EAT
The Open is not the time to think about losing the extra baby weight. This is a competitive event and if you’re thinking this is a great time to try a new diet, just don’t. Diets are bad for you regardless, but during the Open, you have to eat CARBS to perform and you need protein and fats for recovery and to support the extra strain you’re putting on your body and nervous system.
By not doing this, you’re opening yourself up to a lot of problems and I could write a whole post about it. The best way to approach the Open is to maintain your weight and add a litttttttlllllleeee extra during this 5 week period. You can find out how much you need to eat here.
This macro calculator will calculate the amount you need to eat based on your exercise intensity, frequency, and a number of other factors. Use it to your advantage.
WATEr, water, water!
Keep things moving and your body processes efficient by drinking your water. Water helps move toxins out of your system and keeps your body temperature regulated. When you’re not hydrated, your heart has to work hard to pump blood (no bueno).
A good rule of thumb is 64oz or half of your body weight in fluid ounces. So I weigh about 130 pounds, so I need roughly 65oz of water per day. But, because I’m bulking and know I sweat….a lot….. I plan to take in closer to 80oz of water.
Stay Bendy and flexy
Staying mobile and flexible is VERY important for preventing injuries and moving in a full range of motion. Make sure that you’re incorporating mobility and flexibility into your daily routine. You should be doing this regularly, but it’s especially important during competition season.
There is a difference between mobility and flexibility. Mobility is being able to move completely through an active range of motion. Flexibility is the ability to move completely through a passive range of motion. While they sound similar, the movements are different and both should be incorporated into your wellness routine.
If you know you have problem areas, tight or weak hips, tight shoulders, etc, pay extra attention to those areas to make sure you’re not opening yourself up to injury. Ask for help from your coaches if you don’t know what to do.
Warm up and Cool Down properly
Along with staying mobile and flexible, a proper warm up and cool down is necessary to prime and then calm the body, before and after the workout, respectively. the warm up delivers blood to the muscles and preps the body for strain and stress. The cool down returns the body to the parasympathetic state (or the “rest and digest” state) to promote recovery.
Make sure you warm up the movements you’re performing during the workout and testing out how they feel. Get a littttle bit of cardio in to get the blood flowing and warm the entire body. To cool down, make sure you’re stretching, take a small walk or performing very light movements to release the lactic acid in your muscles.
care for your Body
If you’re feeling crazy sore after a workout, make sure you’re taking additional measures to promote healing and the rebuild of the muscle. You can do this a number of ways:
- Take a bath with Epsom Salts
- Put Biofreeze, Tiger Balm, or Salonpas patches on the areas experiencing the most pain
- Use a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or other tool to do some self-smyofascial release
- Get a massage by a professional
- Using a heating pad or ice to calm the offending muscle
- Active Recovery
And a lot of other methods. I covered the biggest ones. Caring for yourself and listening to your body is important.
These tips along with pacing yourself and having fun, will ensure a successful Open season and consistent performance on your workouts.
Good luck, everyone!