The Crossfit Open rapidly approaches, and to our dismay we realize that we haven’t done nearly as much preparation as we might have liked. Fear not, there is still ample time to get back to your fighting shape, and have the best Crossfit Open ever. I should warn you that this program is not easy, nor is it for the faint hearted. Keep reading to see if it’s the right program for you.
This program is difficult. It encompasses a total of 40 WOD’s and 40 strength sessions which should average out for 4 or so sessions per week. It is focused specifically for intermediate and advanced crossfit athletes. It also places heavy emphasis on the types of movements that reliably appear in the open over the past several years.
1. To increase physiological adaptation for 10-15min range
2. To increase mental toughness
3. Familiarize yourself with rep schemes for open specific movements
You’ll notice that as we get into the meat of the program that I do not list days on any workout. Your schedule is exactly that, yours. Instead, I have listed them in numerical order. They are designed to be done from 1 to 40 in correct order. If you plan on doing this program, then you know your body pretty well by now, and will know when to take a rest day. Otherwise, keep grinding.
This first week is designed to allow you to acclimatize to the workload. These workouts should take you about an hour to complete, including a warm up and cool down. The strength work on workouts 1 and 2 will be fairly hard. Based Upon my own trials, I think you’ll find it more of a challenge for your lungs than your muscles.
The WODs, on the other hand are fairly difficult all week. This week is going to be one of the more difficult weeks, as you won’t be used to this type of program yet. Keep this in mind, if you can’t complete this week, then you probably don’t have any business even attempting the following weeks, as they only get harder. Remember what the SEALs say, “The only easy day was yesterday.”
This week is similar to last week, with an increase in volume for the strength work given the same time constraints. This will allow you to get used to pushing hard on heavy loads while you are tired, which more and more, has become a fixture in the Crossfit Open. Six sets is difficult, but I find it useful to tell myself while I’m doing it, to just get to set 4 and once I’m there, it’s not so bad to finish up. Positive mental talk can do wonders for your performance.
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I’m not going to lie, this week sucks. This is a lot of volume in the strength work, but hold on, because this is the most volume for the cycle. By now you should be very used to the volume and how they are combined with WODs, so don’t wimp out, and get them done. If you are lacking in motivation just take a gander at these athletes. I promise that if you finish you will be able to beat all of them…well maybe not, but you will be much closer than if you don’t finish.
You need to also be cognizant of your own recovery. If you are feeling miserable and sore and can’t even warm up properly for a workout, then you need to take a rest day, maybe two. Remember, I’m relying on you to make that determination. If you are merely sore and feeling ok then you should probably push on.
This is the first week of the next cycle. Gone are the day’s of the EMOM 6×5 which you might think is a good thing, but you should be asking yourself, what’s coming that is worse? We’ve changed the strength work to a fairly short time frame at a set 75%. Again this is not something I would program for a novice.
You need to be smart enough to know when to push these reps and when not too. Don’t grind out shitty reps during the strength work, you need to hit difficult reps with acceptable form. Notice I say acceptable because when you are this fatigued you will not be using ideal form, but you should be using safe form.
For the WODs you really need to get into the open mentality. You have to be smart with your pacing and really push yourself, because every rep matters. These are not particularly long WODs so really use max effort here.
The goal of this week is to increase volume and allow you to also increase your power output, as defined by work increased per unit of time. By this time, your body should be making some physiological changes allowing you to tolerate more volume and simultaneously, you are probably mentally strong enough to do this amount of work quicker, thus increasing your output. Keep in mind that while your body does change, your attitude changes faster, so stay positive and remember that you can put out for the hour it takes for each of these workouts.
This is the last full volume week before we start a gradual deload into the first week of the Crossfit Open. This will still feel like a difficult week, especially with the 11min intervals, for the strength work. Notice I’ve made some effort to reduce the difficulty of the WODs. They are meant to be more of a conditioning session, than something that will leave you lying on the ground for an hour.
This week you will see that there are still some heavy lifts in there with the 5×1, but the volume has been reduced dramatically. By now you are probably feeling a little beat up, but that’s ok, it’s how you are supposed to feel. During these lifts you’ll probably find that you don’t feel great during the warm up, but you will be able to get through the lifts surprisingly well. The WODs are also a little bit lower in difficulty as well. All this is designed to keep the positive adaptations that you’ve worked so hard for, and allow your body to recover from the stresses of those previous weeks.
What, 8 weeks in a 7 week program?! I know, I know, I shouldn’t have, but the transition into the open is important and it must be managed carefully. Going from your normal workout routine, to a rest day, to an Open WOD is not a smart way to transition. You’ll notice that there are still a few heavy lifts, but the WODs have really dropped way down. This will allow you to be completely recovered before your first Open WOD.
By now you are probably cursing my name, and sorry you ever read this article, but if you’ve completed this program you should be proud of yourself. Likewise, you will be well set up to have your best open ever. The important thing for any goal is to have a plan, and now that you have successfully executed this one, you’re ready to crush the Open.
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