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Stoking the Fire Post-Opens: Three Tips to Bring the Heat

If you’re like us, the Crossfit Open continues to be a humbling experience. Whether this was your first time competing or fifth season #intheopen- we’d bet there was at least one workout you CRUSHED and one well, not so much. This is the beauty of the opens - it fires us up to do our best and test our limits while giving us some good data to reflect on. But how do we keep this going after that 5th workout?

Here are 3 tips to help you keep the fire going throughout the summer and heading into next season!

#1 - Master a Movement

Holy Dumbell, Batman! Were those DB Clean & Jerks surprisingly challenging? Did you spend the entire workout trying to get your first muscle up? Did the row make you feel like you were actually going to die (asking for a friend)?

Take a second to think about that one workout. The one that had you staring at the clock. The one where you spent more time with your hands on your knees than you spent doing the work. Now picture the movement that got you stuck. Picture it. OK. Over the next 6 months you are going to master that very movement.

Really, we mean it.

The first step to keeping the fire going is to assess your performance, pick a movement or skill you want to improve and then WORK AT IT until you master it. This can be anything- from a more efficient row to increasing your squat clean PR to mastering handstand push up with 2 mats instead of 3!

The truth is, ya’ll, that most of us are spending anywhere from 4-9 hours a week at the gym and no matter what, subconsciously or not, we all set goals for ourselves every day that we show up- ‘I can do this workout in sub 10 mins,’ ‘That row is going to be hard for me, but I have to just stick with it.’ We’ve all heard these familiar conversations in our head before a workout. Now is the time to channel this and give some more structure to these goals so that you can see the fruits of all of your hard work come to life. Think about this - as adults we spend over half of our available hours working or sleeping so, in the hours that we get to exercise we might as well make it count, right? Make the most of your Crossfitting hours over the next few months by getting after that pesky movement that you’ve been meaning to get better at! You’ve got this!

We challenge each of you to pick one movement - let a coach know what it is, Tweet it, tag it, post it, shout it from the rooftops, and get after it! We will be clearing the Goals board at the gym to start fresh and we want to see you all pick something - anything - that you want to master over the next few months. Make it reasonable and achievable in the time frame - so, if you want a muscle up but haven’t mastered strict C2B, seek to master that before the MU! Then, once you master it, you get to pick something else to master! Let’s face it - mastering new movements is kind of what hooked us all on CrossFit to begin with, right?

Our coaches are here for you and ready to help you work towards your goal. Starting in May, on Tuesday’s at 6:45 coach Giana will be running a skills hour in place of OLY (although you are more than welcome to lift at this time) so check Facebook for details soon! Otherwise, all you need is 10 extra minutes a day to spend practicing!

#2 - Find a Friend

Everyone needs a gym buddy! (Some of us need 5 - we see you chest day crew!) Even if you can’t always make it to class at the same time - find someone who will hold you accountable, share your goals with them, and get after it together! Even better if they also are working on the same movement as you selected in Tip #1!

Let me guess, you’ve got one hour and really only have time to rush in, get your sweat on, and head home? That’s fine - try starting a group chat with 1-3 others who are heading in to do the workout. Strategize together, set goals, and check-in to hold one another accountable. This may seems like another thing, but really, it takes all of 5 minutes and is totally worth the extra boost of support and love you get in return.

I’ll use myself as an example here - I often train at different times than my teammates but we keep each other honest nonetheless. I ask them how they broke up the reps or share my time. I get advice about strategy or just say things like “these thrusters may crush me today but I’m going to give it hell!” so that they can hold me accountable for doing so.

We’re always moving at lighting speed and expecting ourselves to keep up the pace and honestly, we’re doing a damn good job. But having others to come along on the journey with us makes it that much more enjoyable and we often surprise ourselves in the process!

#3 - Compete

No! Don’t leave yet! We’re not suggesting you start training for the games (unless of course you want to!) but we are saying this: if you are showing up to the gym 4-5 times each week and feeling relatively comfortable you should give competing a shot.

“Nope, not for me - I just do this for fun!” So you’re saying that when you see the workout posted the night before you don’t think about it? You don’t begin to strategize - automatically thinking things like “the cleans are going to be harder for me than the run” or “100 thrusters? That’s insane!” If so, somewhere buried beneath is a desire to continuously improve and challenge yourself and inherently within that, is some level of competition (against yourself or others). It’s actually rather healthy and we say - feed your desire! The worst that can happen is you hate it (which, lets face it - is hard to do when you have a small army of CFMers cheering you on). In the end, CrossFit is all about being comfortable with the uncomfortable so, get like Nike and just do it!

We are betting that in fact, the competition will help you fuel the fire you had during the opens. The preparation to step out onto the floor and certainly the grind in the midst of the competition will be a rush and help keep your fire burning straight into Opens 2019.

Crossfit Meriden is hosting a Summer Throwdown in September at the outdoor center! It’s a perfect way to motivate us all to stay committed to these 3 tips!

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