The 2019 CrossFit Open is over. Every year we are challenged by 5 workouts, throughout 5 weeks, that make us push our limits and also show us some weaknesses in our fitness. Often, these struggles are really only shown during the Open. So it’s important take a few minutes, look back at it and identify what you want/need to work on. We have a little over 6 months until the next CrossFit Open, so make sure you have a plan on how to tackle those weaknesses!
Part 1 of coming up with a strategy to improve is to identify the issue. Let’s take the Overhead Single Arm Dumbbell Lunges for example, from 19.3. If you struggled with that movement, it might not mean that you simply “suck at lunges”. Maybe you have imbalances in strength between your left and right leg. Maybe it’s overall lower body strength that you need to increase. It can also mean that your overhead mobility and stability are lacking and holding that dumbbell overhead complicated your lunges to the point where doing them took longer than usual. Or it can mean that your form and technique on walking lunges were holding you back. So it’s important to figure out why exactly you struggled with certain movements so you can take the right steps in order to correct it.
Part 2 is to come up with a progression of exercises to help you reach your goal. If you have issues with squat snatches, just doing overhead squats for the sake of doing them might not be the best thing to do. Moving from snatch deadlifts, to hang snatches, to power snatches and so on would be a better way to improve your mechanics. Most people know where they are and where they want to be at, but the stuff in between is what sometimes gets blurry. Having a the correct progression for you is clearing up that path to the destination.
The third part of planning is implementing and testing your progress. You can know the right exercises to work on in order to reach your goal but you also must know how to do them, how often and for how long. If you move too fast or too slow in the progression, or if you overwork yourself, you might damper your improvement. This is where testing comes in. Testing allows you to see where you stand and how your exercises have affected you so far.
Finally, the last part includes adaptability. Usually there are more than a couple of ways to reach a goal. Some exercises might work better for you than others. It’s important to be able to recognize that and make any changes to your progression planning. Exercise science is not a straight line. Chances are, you will run into a few instances where changes to your plan will need to happen. So be ready to adapt to those changes.
As you can see, coming up with a plan to correct the weaknesses you discovered during the Open can be challenging. There are many steps that go into planning an exercise routine with a goal in mind. If you don’t know how to start or how to progress, come chat with one of your Celebration CrossFit coaches and figure out how we can help you!
by Coach Matt