Become your Best After the Open

Congratulations, you’ve done it!

You sweated through months of training and pushed your abilities to the max. You probably never want to lift another dumbbell again and as for 17.4 – sho! No comment, but you survived the 2017 CrossFit Open.

For the small percentage of individuals (720 to be exact) that play with the big dogs and are more than likely going to the Regionals, an entire year of hard work is about to pay off.

But what about the rest of us? Most athletes who take part in the Open all have one thing in common, we have a slim to no chance of making it to Regionals – and that’s perfectly fine. However, as the stronger competitors move on to the world stage, where does that leave us?

Sure, we trained hard for these five workouts, but sustaining that momentum and focus can become difficult. So, what can you do to stay on track?

#1. Ask yourself, is that all you got?

This question should be easy to answer. I mean, why should you sit back while 720 people push themselves to the limit? Although you may not be going to Regionals, striving to make yourself better, fitter and stronger than yesterday should always be your goal.

Think about the amount of work that Games athletes put in to get where they are, then ask yourself again: Is that all you’ve got?

#2. Set your own smaller goals

The Open more than likely revealed some weaknesses in your abilities. So, consider doing your own ‘Re-Open’ at your gym in six months’ time. Mimic the structure and workouts, while doing regular training and see how you do, half a year down the line. If you want to do 10 more reps in 17.4 or feel you can nail the muscle-ups in 17.2, put the training in and go for it.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to keep the Open at a yearly cycle, set a date where you (and your training buddy or class) tackle one of the many benchmark workouts available, that’s what they’re there for after all. You should have a log of all your scores and weights – perhaps it’s time to beat them?

#3. Participate in competitions  

As humans, we’re generally competitive by nature – some way more than others – so, by entering a competition, this instantly gives us motivation to do more. There are a host of official fitness events, individual and team orientated, that are open to athletes around the country such as; The Arnold Classic, Fittest in Cape Town and Last Man Standing (LMS) to name a few.

However, if you can’t find an event that suits your fitness abilities? Make one; For instance, the Garden Route Games is a 2-day event that has been running since 2015 and is growing each year. Held annually in October for both RX and Scaled teams of 2 and open to all athletes in the area and beyond, it’s a fun goal to keep you motivated and work towards with someone.

If big events are not your thing, as CrossFit is equally about the community as it is about functional training, small-scale, inter-Box competitions are not hard to organise or find as well.

#4. Take on another activity  

With a whole year to go until the next Open, why not throw in another discipline into your training to mix it up. Joining a running club, taking up yoga or even participating in boxing or Pilates can have major benefits to your fitness and can also be a nice ‘change of scenery’ when you integrate it with your current training.

#5. Beat your ‘goat’

No, not an actual goat.

In the CrossFit world, a goat is a movement that you are not good at. Whether it’s snatches, burpees, muscle ups or even double unders, the only way to get better at your weakness is to do them every day, until they become your strengths.

Ask your coach for a specialised programme, or simply dedicate an extra 10 minutes after your classes to practice – every bit counts and with this extra work, you’ll almost instantly see results.

Always competing

CrossFit is about making your fitness tangible. Going a little faster, lifting a bit heavier and just trying to improve on your overall performance is key to your success.

So, make this your time to shine! While the major athletes head off, we must now put in the work to because, at the end of it all – it’s only a race against ourselves.

And, before you know it the Open 2018 will be here and you’ll be even more ready than before.

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