Some things are nearly certain about the upcoming 2014 CrossFit Open: there will be five workouts; each will be an AMRAP, and each will include movements like snatches, shoulder to overhead, box jumps, and more. The brilliance of CrossFit (and the Open) is the creative ways these movements can be combined to create unique stimuli. And because each of the five Open workouts will be different in structure and duration, each will require it’s own game plan. But how do you formulate the right game plan for you? Here are five things to consider when creating your WOW game plans.
1. Time domain. Is it 6 minutes or 16 minutes? The length of the workout will determine the intended stimulus and, in part, dictate your pacing. Some workouts are more like Fran in that they require you to move quickly for a shorter duration. Other workouts, like Cindy, require you to keep moving at a steady pace for a longer duration. Be sure you adopt the right pacing for the workout.
2. Movements. The Open has traditionally been filled with classic CrossFit movements: box jumps, deadlifts, cleans, wall balls, etc. Each of us has movements we excel at and ones we struggle with. When analyzing the workouts your focus should be playing to your strengths and grinding through your weaknesses.
3. Rep Scheme. A wise CrossFitter (Blake) once told me not to be falsely tempted by the allure of “unbroken”. Doing huge sets and taking huge rests is time wasted. Unless the workout requires you to go unbroken, your strategy should be built on efficiency. If the workout is a 7-minute AMRAP of 15 thrusters and 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups, break it up however you need to sustain movement for as many of the 7 minutes as possible. Maybe it’s 5-5-5 or 5-4-3-3. Whatever strategy you adopt, let it be predicated on maximizing your efficiency.
4. Research. Pick the brains of like-ability athletes. How are they going to break up the reps? How are they going to pace? What is their strategy for the workout? Also, ask coaches for their advice. They often know us better than we know ourselves. Coaches are also really good at telling you what you need to hear (“You can handle that weight!”). Trust them, just as you would if it were class.
5. Stick to YOUR game plan. Once you’ve spent time analyzing the workout’s duration, movements, rep scheme, and the advice of others, it’s time to create your game plan for the WOW. Once you have done that, stick to it. Don’t let the words (or actions) of others influence your carefully constructed plan. Believe in it.