Updated: 6 days ago
Whether it is your first CrossFit Open or you are a seasoned athlete, you still need to prepare for the CrossFit Open. We have summarised the 4 main things you need to be doing to prepare yourself to smash the CrossFit Open.
What is the CrossFit Open?
The CrossFit Open is the first step in finding the fittest on earth. It is a group of workouts that athletes can perform in their own gyms or at home that weeds out the fittest men and women from each country around the world, hosted by CrossFit.
As the first stage of the CrossFit Games, athletes will take 2 or 3 weeks to compete in a variety of workouts and the top men and women progress to the next stage which are the semi finals and then the fittest of those will then compete for the title of fittest on earth at the NoBull CrossFit Games usually hosted in August.
Looking at the Season Calendar can give you a good indication to how much time you have left to prepare for the CrossFit Open.
The CrossFit Open consists of 3 workouts over 3 weeks starting on February 16th 2024 and costs $20 to enter. CrossFit will announce the workouts live every Thursday for three weeks then we all have until fun Monday to complete the workout and submit your scores. The workouts are tests you'll share with hundreds of thousands of other people and there's a version for everyone! When you share your score it will show up on the worldwide CrossFit Games leaderboard so you can compare with other athletes around the globe.
How to Prepare For the CrossFit Open
Preparing your body and training your mindset are essential to crush the competition or to have more fun in the CrossFit Open season. Here are our top 4 tips to smashing the open every year.
1. Build your Aerobic Capacity
Building your capacity to do work over a longer time period is absolutely essential to the open. The majority of the workouts are low skilled, including movements like burpees, box jumps or pull ups so it's more about the work you can do, the capacity you have and getting the reps in.
Work on your cardio basically! More rowing, running and the dreaded assault bike will pay dividends for almost every CrossFit Open event. We all have seen how Mat Fraser prepares for the open... he does assault bike intervals, pretty much what the average crossfitter avoids!
The more volume you acquire now, the better you will feel in March for the first CrossFit Open Workout. We suggest 20-30 minute EMOMS of a specific calorie or distance as well as interval training to really feel the benefit quickly. Try these workouts to build your aerobic capacity before the 2021 CrossFit Open.
With these workouts, it is all about pacing yourself and settling into your rhythm for the long workout. Start off slow and if you can get faster as you finish the workout but its all about holding your pace throughout.
30 Minute EMOM (amend targets to be at a difficult but achievable number)
Minute 1: 15 Calorie Row
Minute 2: 20 Calorie Bike
You can follow people like Chris Hinshaw who gives out free aerobic capacity programming and advice or many other CrossFit programming websites that can help you work on your aerobic capacity ahead of the CrossFit Open.
2. Work on the Level Up Skills
When I talk about the level up skills I mean the skills or movements that you need to take yourself to the next level in your CrossFit career. I.e. your Double Unders, Muscle Ups, Handstand Walks/Push Ups and your Pull Ups. CrossFit Open workouts will tend to have one or more of these movements to test the amateurs from the experienced CrossFitters.
Mastering these movements will help you gain thousands of places in the worldwide rankings. Even one muscle up, one metre handstand walk or one double under will push your score higher than a lot of people.
These milestone movements are usually what makes the CrossFit Open so much fun. You have all seen videos of someone's first muscle up and how the rest of the box cheers them on.
Work on your strength and mobility and even your rhythm, whatever it takes to achieve your level up skills
Working on your double unders? Check out this video!
3. Keep Injury Free
Preparing for the CrossFit Open Season will be a lot easier without an injury that takes you out for 1 month of the 3 months preparation time you have. That and it doesn't hurt!
Work on your pre-hab, mobility, warming up and your cool downs to ensure you keep injury free and can train and peak at the right times. If you have any niggles or tweaks, deal with them immediately instead of waiting and it becoming a more serious injury.
This includes focussing on your recovery and nutrition and dialling back those snacks and candy that can stunt your progress.
Not only that but make sure all of your muscles are activated before training, ensuring that if you have a knee or back issue that you work on warming them up more, even if that means spending more time in the gym. Your health is a priority here.
Check out our full guide on how to recover from CrossFit workouts here to dial in your recovery over the next 3 months.
4. Follow and Stick To a Program
Find a CrossFit Program that works for you and stick to it. Whether you follow an online CrossFit Program or speak to one of the coaches at your box to find the right program to work on your weaknesses, following a program will help give your training purpose.
Not only that, it will keep you accountable and help you work on the 3 other points above. A CrossFit program can also help you work on your volume, improve your recovery and track your progress throughout the 3 months of preparation.
There are a load of free CrossFit programs out there so keep your eye out for ones that suit your needs whether you need to get stronger, work on your engine or a skill based program.
5. Prioritize Gymnastics Movements
Gymnastics movements, such as pull-ups, muscle-ups, and handstand push-ups, are often featured in CrossFit Open workouts. While these movements may not be the most common in your regular CrossFit training, they can significantly impact your score in the Open.
Dedicate a portion of your training to improving your gymnastics skills. Focus on breaking down complex movements into smaller, more manageable components. Practice each movement regularly, gradually increasing the intensity and volume as you progress.
6. Dial in Your Nutrition
Nutrition plays a vital role in preparing for the CrossFit Open. Ensure you're fueling your body with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to support your training and recovery.
A balanced diet will provide you with the energy you need to perform at your best during Open workouts. Avoid processed foods, excessive sugar, and excessive caffeine. Instead, prioritize whole, unprocessed foods that will nourish your body and mind.
7. Practice Pacing and Strategy
Many Open workouts are time-constrained, requiring you to pace yourself effectively to maximize your score. Practice pacing strategies during your training sessions. Experiment with different approaches to determine what works best for you.
Develop a clear game plan for each workout, considering your strengths, weaknesses, and the specific demands of the movements. Learn to adjust your strategy on the fly based on your performance and the remaining time.
8. Stay Mentally Prepared
The CrossFit Open is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Cultivate a strong mindset to handle the pressure and uncertainty of the competition.
Visualize success, practice mindfulness techniques, and maintain a positive attitude. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who believe in your abilities.
Why Should I sign up for the CrossFit Open?
Working towards a goal is hugely motivating so keep the CrossFit Open in mind every time you step into the gym. Think of the why, why are you improving your fitness, why are you investing this time and energy into yourself.
The CrossFit Open is a great way to measure your fitness progress and get involved in something fun and inclusive. Make sure you prepare for the CrossFit Open the right way and take these 4 points in mind when planning out your preparation, programming and workouts ahead of February!
Who Should sign up for the CrossFit Open?
The clue is really in the title. The CrossFit Open is open to everyone! Whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned elite, the CrossFit Open is a great way to test yourself and to see what your body can do.
It gives you a great goal to work towards or to even test your fitness against last year and compare yourself to you 12 months ago.
The workouts are completely scalable so your ability doesn't matter. The whole reason behind the Crossfit open is to create an environment where people can hopefully get fitter and healthier by working out together.