Open Tips: How to Get Your Greatest Potential Through the 5 Week Test!

Guys and girls the Open is here! How did it come so fast?!

the keys to having your best open yet

Here is how it works: Dave Castro announces a workout each Thursday night. We then get to watch two or more Games athlete studs attack the workout live. We then freak out and get all juiced up and can’t sleep the night before we go attack it ourselves.

Aside from the lack of sleep, we then think we need to start changing up things we normally do. Should I eat more? Maybe just more carbs? But, wait….it's a heavy workout, maybe more protein? And well fat has the most calories, I better turn that up a notch too. And then we get to the gym, where they're running heats for Friday night lights. Instead of our normal thorough warm up with our coach and class (I’m assuming you go to a quality gym that actually warms you up as a class each day), we just do a few squats, arms swings and get ready for our heat by doing a few reps of each movement and ATTACK!

We then proceed to feel like death only 90 seconds into a 12 minute amrap and we know something isn’t right, our bodies aren't responding the way they normally do, we are losing control of body parts, we are pushing to go faster, but we just can’t. I wonder why? Maybe it was the lack of sleep, the change in nutrition, the lack of warm up…DUH!

The Open is hard enough, let’s make sure we aren’t making it any harder!

  1. Sleep more the night before the night before.

    It is essential for you to get as much sleep as you can on Wednesday night if you plan to attack the Open workout on Friday. It is natural to feel anxious and get nervous and this often effects how we sleep. We all know the emotional roller coaster of the Open, so try to bank some quality sleep the nights preceding game day. The night before you won’t get too much. Set a schedule, get to bed an hour earlier and hope that it can help our cause on game day!
  2. Keep nutrition the same!

    Look folks, the last thing you want to do is change your nutrition the day, the week or even 2 weeks before the Open. Your body at this point is a well oiled machine (we are pretending here)! But truly, you wouldn’t change the way you fuel a car the night before a big race, you have no idea how it will perform. The same goes with our bodies, you don’t’ need to CARB load or eat way more or eat way less, just do what you normally do when you train each day! Changing things up is a sure fire way to BONK or CRASH mid workout and lose control!
  3. Know what you are up against in the workout and warm up accordingly.

    If you don’t have any idea on how to warm up for the workout, go online and check out all the Open strategy workouts that exist. Everyone and their Mom thinks they are qualified to post one, so also be careful who you listen to. But if you need advice there is plenty out there to follow! The key is that you MUST “break the seal” before the workout gets going. Not only do you need to prepare your joints but also your lungs and heart! I’m a big fan of assault bike or rowing intervals before I really get my movement specific prep going for the workout. This ensures that as the going gets tough in the workout, it isn’t the first time I’ve been out of breath, which makes it not as devastating. Your body will bounce back and receive less of a blow if you do this properly. Have a game plan for your warm up, it could be the biggest determining factor for the workout!
  4. You have to run your own race.

    With all the “free” advice out there, it is easy to “try” what someone else says. But, they aren’t you. I coach hundreds of athletes across the world for Brute Strength and we try our best to prepare all of them for the workout by releasing as much advice and guidance as possible. BUT the truth remains that each one of them is different, even our Games athletes. While many will finish with very close or similar scores, the way they need to break up reps and how they need to pace is very very different. So do you out there on the floor, run your race. Take others’ advice but simply take it as just that, some quality advice, not a rule of thumb.
  5. Here is the secret to it all…you ready? GET EXCITED FOR OTHERS!

    As humans one of the easiest ways for us to enjoy something is to do it with other people. In the Open it is easy to be obsessed with you. Your score, your name on the leader board, how you look out there. BUT that is a good way to make it miserable and lonely. Get out in your community help others, be a judge, be a cheerleader and watch some people step out to accomplish amazing things and others find the true meaning of suffering. You will in turn be inspired, you’ll perform better and you will continue to build on this sport’s community, which is truly the amazing thing that brought us all to it from the beginning! Remember community is what it is all about, the number of athletes enrolled in the Open each year reflects the number of athletes being influenced by CrossFit and each one of those will reflect an even larger numbers of lives being changed! It isn’t all about you, remember that!
  6. Crush it. Let’s go!

- Adrian Conway