5 Steps to Making 2017 Your Best Open Yet.

dsc_3439The CrossFit Open is a humbling experience for many. It can also be a great time to be with friends and strengthen the bonds that CrossFit is so well known for cultivating. To help you enjoy the 5-week-long event, here are a few variables you can take control of early, so that you can enjoy the big picture, instead of getting caught off-guard by minor details.

1. Nutrition

Get in routine. You should be eating a palm-sized portion of protein like a lean meat with every meal throughout the day. A cupped palm (2 cupped palms for men) of high volume carbs like berries, melons, leafy greens, celery, cauliflower, broccoli to accompany your protein is best during most of the day when you aren’t training. Reach for starchier carbs like potatoes, yams, bananas or jasmine rice around training times to support muscle tissue recruitment and recovery. Fats should also be consumed during non-training times. 1 serving per meal is roughly the size of your thumb.


This should be your daily routine with when it comes to food most of the time. If you haven’t gotten into the routine of eating real food regularly, it’s best to start now. We guide dozens of successful nutrition clients in our nutrition mentoring program here. 

2. Knock out 2 weaknesses.

Take an audit of yourself. Write down 5 moves in CrossFit that you know you aren’t proficient in. If you feel good in most lifts, which ones cause you the most pain/hassle out of all of them? Here is a list of the common open movements (statistically-speaking). Pick 2 and follow the next steps.

1. Snatch 2. Burpee 3. Pull-Up 4. Double Under 5. Clean 6. Box Jump 7. Deadlift 8. Toes to Bar 9. HSPU 10.Ring Muscle-UP 11.Wall Balls 12.Bar Muscle-Up 13.Jerk 14.Overhead Squat 15.Rowdsc_3463

You probably wont be able to put 40lbs on your Overhead Squat in a couple of weeks, but you can improve greatly in the open by improving your skills and technique.

If you struggle with HSPU and Double Unders, adding regular practice sessions in your warm ups will get you better at them. Spend 20-30 minutes after your (or as part of) your warm up on progressions for gymnastic movements, perfect reps with rest for heavier lifts, and Emoms for general practice at lower weight and intensity than you do in wods. We will be teaching this along with other strategies in our 2017 Open Camp on Feb 11th-12th.

3. Practice the movement standards.

This should go without saying, but making sure you move to the standards of the open is low hanging fruit to improve your open scores. Although some of us are guilty of giving or receiving “bro reps” at our home box or in our garage with a spouse, receiving a “no-rep” from  a judge not only gives you a lower score, it can be demoralizing and slow you down for the rest of your workout.

Check out the videos on common movements on the CrossFit.com site, or even register for the judges course here. Becoming a judge not only helps you move better as an athlete, but can make you a valuable resource for your local affiliate and fellow crossfitters.

4.Plan Ahead

If this is your first time doing the open at an affiliate,  Here is a list of things to plan ahead for.

  • When to show up.
  • What time will be given for warming up…will a warm up even be on the board for you to do?
  • How will you set up your space and equipment? Think about the transition between movements.
  • Food timing.
    • You should aim for some high volume carbs (see above) 1-3 hrs before your workout.
    • You should have a serving of protein and carbs generally right after your workout to recover.

Chad Cumming

5. Finally, enjoy the ride.

Remember that you are in this with others. A few hundred thousand others to be literal. Try to enjoy your time by making their time enjoyable as well. Volunteer if you are able, cheer on a friend or even a stranger who is giving their all in 17.1 – 17.5. In an age where many of us are are glued to a phone, computer, or other vice, you are doing something that inherently builds fitness, friendships, and some serious calluses on your hands.

Happy Open Season,




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