The CrossFit Open has officially started and the first of 5 Open workouts is behind us. For the next 4 weeks we will keep testing our fitness with whatever Dave Castro throws at us. The Open workout 18.1 consisted of 8 toes-to-bar, 10 single arm DB hang clean and jerk and 14/12 calories on a rower. Although not a technically challenging workout, the first of the Open workouts was 20 minutes long and it offered a great learning opportunity.

Here are the big takeaways from week 1:

  • Be ready for anything.

This is a big part of CrossFit. Be ready for the Unknowable and the Unknown. We have different workouts everyday for this specific reason. You never know when you’ll need to perform a certain task. Just like in the real world, life will demand things from you that you didn’t expect and it’s best if we are ready to face any challenge. 18.1 was just that. Nobody had a clue of what the movements were going to be, even with Castro’s “picture hint”. The new movement (single arm DB hang clean and jerk) was something most of us have never done before, and if you were able to finish the workout, congratulate yourself: you are ready for the Unknowable and the Unknown.

  • There is a big difference between Rx’ing a workout and doing it scaled.

The scaled version of this workout was pretty similar to the Rx version of it, but it felt very different. As this was a longer workout, some of us had the luxury of attempt it Rx, because we could go slower and still get a good amount of work in. If you are one of those people you know that you would’ve been able to move A LOT faster if you had scaled it down.

Ego will always tell us to attempt a workout Rx, but there are other things to consider. The Open workouts are just workouts, and you want to get the most out of it. That means scaling down and getting more work, and a higher intensity in, might be the best option. Also, if you are doing it in a team competition, and if you are competitive, you can look at it and think “how can I help my team?”. Maybe that will be scaling it down, or maybe it will be scaling it up! Finally, we have to keep in mind that after the Open, we still have a full year of training ahead. There is no need to put your long-term fitness in danger because of 5 workouts.

  • Think about the details for each workout.

Having a game plan on longer workouts is key. The way you do certain movements, or how you transition from movement to movement, can save you a lot of time. If you finished 10 rounds, and if you could shave off 2 seconds every round, just by moving to the rower faster, you would’ve saved 20 seconds in that workout. That would give you time to, maybe, finish that round, or set of exercises you were on. 18.1 required some strategy, that is why many athletes worldwide re-did the workout.

Make sure that before the workout start you have everything already set to your liking. In 18.1, for example, it would’ve been helpful to have the straps on the rower on the right height, the dumbbell by the pull up bar and chalk handy if you needed it. Planning ahead what you will do, and how you will do it, can be the difference-maker on that leader-board.

  • Have fun!

If you didn’t do as well as you thought you would, don’t worry about it! The Open just started and chances are, you’ll do better next time! Competing along side your friends and fellow athletes in the Open only happens once a year. So don’t forget that this is supposed to be a fun time. If you are happy with how you did, soak it in! It’s not always athletes get to be completely satisfied with their score! As long as you are having fun during the Open, you will constantly be winning, no matter what your reps or your time show.

Learn from 18.1 and prepare for the next 4 weeks of challenges! 18.2 is around the corner!

by Coach Matt