The Open is a great time of year to test your fitness and push a little outside of one’s comfort zone. The Open will show what an athlete is good at and what aspects of their fitness they need to work on. It can be easy to find what your weaknesses are based on which workouts you did good at and which workouts you maybe struggled with. If it is a little more difficult to figure out what those weaknesses are you can ask one of the coaches and we would be glad to help. For most athletes those weaknesses are most likely going to be a certain skill or just overall strength.
Approaching these weaknesses can be very simple to begin to fix. However, every year the Open comes quick so now in the “Off Season” is the time to attack these weaknesses. Start by writing down what these goals are whether it is C2B pullups or a DU. Writing them down somewhere that you will see on a regular basis will help to remind you of the goal so you can continue to stay motivated and tackle that goal. However, one must realize that these goals won’t just happen overnight and some real work will have to be put in. For example, skipping for 30 seconds or a minute before class won’t get you DU’s just like swinging on a bar for a minute or two after class won’t get an athlete pullups. So, putting in the real work means possibly sacrificing a few workouts to make that skill better. Rather than just doing singles in a workout and trying to get a good score when that movement you struggle with comes up maybe forget about getting a good score and worry about practicing that movement during the workout.
Practice in a workout will help you to develop a skill but that can’t be the only time you practice because practicing under fatigue sometimes brings magic but a lot of times brings frustration. So, having a plan of when you will practice these movements is important. Putting real time into practicing these movements can be done before class so coming a little extra early can be very helpful. However, getting there early and getting to work is imperative. Wandering around without a plan on what to do just leads to wasted time. Come in with a planned warmup written down in your book and get to it. Also, practicing while you have eyes on you is crucial because it may feel like you are doing something a certain way but it does not mean you are. This could be a coach watching a movement or the use of a camera to video a movement so you can see what you are doing.
A strength weakness may seem different but can be taken with a similar approach. By going into each class with those strength goals in mind the focus should be to get stronger. So again, possibly sacrificing a few workouts to get stronger will help you in the long run. It happens a lot that an athlete will be looking at the WOD during the SWOD and realize what is ahead and will try and save themselves for the WOD by not lifting as much as they could or maybe doing the lower end of sets or reps when the day has a range. However, the day is programmed so that you are doing the SWOD and WOD back to back with the intention that some fatigue from the strength work may affect how fast you can go in the METCON. By really pushing it during the strength some of your WOD scores may not be as good as they could but this is training not competition and your strength will begin to go up which in turn will help you during those WODs in the future. Having said that, a person must also realize that you are doing these SWOD’s to build strength not display strength. So, following what the strength is trying to accomplish is crucial. Following the tempo if there is tempo and not putting on too much weight for that desired tempo is just one example. If you are ever unsure of what the desired stimulus is for a SWOD just ask the coach of the class and they will help clarify.
Coming off The Open and using some of your struggles to motivate you to crush your goals is a great way to start the “Off Season”. If anyone has any questions about anything mentioned email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or ask any of the coaches while you are in the gym.