These tips will help you to prepare and perform (both physically and psychologically) properly, eat and recover effectively and make sure you are happy with your overall results.
The 2021 CrossFit Open® will start on March 11, and registration begins on Jan. 7. The CrossFit Open® is the largest participatory sporting event in the world, and this year’s Open® will be the most accessible in CrossFit® history, with flexible options for participants to compete either at their local gym or at home, should they face local closures or have health concerns.
This Editorial is organised into the following three sections to help you cover all your bases and ensure that you can do your best, exceed your expectations and enjoy yourself as much as possible:
Each tip is designed for the 2021 CrossFit® Open, but will work equally as well for other competitions, and for achieving the progress and goals that you have set for yourself throughout 2021 and beyond.
SECTION 1: PERFORMANCE
1) Don’t freak out. It’s just another day in the gym; doing another workout. Don’t change anything in your normal routine just because you’re doing an Open® workout. Don’t change your warm up routine or your day. Just walk into the gym like it’s any other day because IT IS.
2) Know if you plan on doing the workout once or twice and allocate time to do just that.
3) Have a support system. The open is all about the community within a gym. It brings people together and it’s a time of year where incredible things happen. Let your fellow members cheer you on and return the favour. Enjoy the atmosphere and let the magic happen.
4) Smile before you start each workout. Remember that you love what you’re doing and no matter the outcome of the workout you’re doing this for YOU.
5) Don’t be too hard on yourself. The Open® makes amazing things happen but it always seems to also bring about a lot of doubt. Keep in mind that there are multiple workouts, and not every workout is going to go your way. And that’s ok.
6) Have a plan B. You may go into a workout saying “ok I’m going to do this unbroken, and then I’m going to do this, this, and this” and then all of a sudden you’re in the workout and it’s not going according to plan so you start freaking out and getting into your own head, and mentally giving up. Don’t do that. Have a back-up plan, and another one and realise that you might have to jump ship on your original plan.
7) Don’t leaderboard your life away. This can be tricky because it is so tempting to continually check the leaderboard to see where your efforts rank up against everyone else. Don’t do it. Decide with yourself when and how frequently you will check the leaderboard then stick to it.
SECTION 2: NUTRITION
“The food that you eat can either be the strongest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Why you need it: Pre-Workout boosts energy and athletic performance.
Myprotein’s powerful pre-workout blend is packed with a whole host of widely researched ingredients — including taurine, beta alanine, essential vitamins, and caffeine to take your training to the next level. This is very useful before each Open® workout.
- 150mg caffeine per serving
- Increases endurance performance and capacity
- Improves concentration1 and alertness
- Vitamin C & niacin reduce tiredness and fatigue
Why you need it: Protein is the building block of your muscles.
Protein is essential for the repair of cells that have been damaged during intense training. Therefore, eating adequate amounts of protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth and recovery, especially after tough CrossFit Open® workouts.
Protein also contributes to lower blood pressure, stronger bones, better metabolism fat burning capabilities and reducing the desire for snacking.
Ranked Grade A by independent tester Labdoor for both quality and value, Myprotein Whey Protein Isolate is officially certified as one of the best protein powders on the market.
Get yours in over 40 flavours, with delicious favourites including Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry Cream.
- Over 80% protein per serving
- Excellent amino acid profile
- Highest Biological Value of any protein
- Ideal for building and repairing tissue
- Great tasting and easy to mix
Why you need it: Scientifically proven to boost your performance.
Creatine increases your body’s ability to produce energy quickly. Creatine already exists in small amounts in our bodies naturally, but lots of people take it as a supplement to boost their performance in the gym. In a competition such as The CrossFit Open® this can help you generate more force, power and explode through an extra couple of reps. When it all comes down to seconds and reps on the leaderboard, this gives you the advantage over your competition.
What is Creatine Monohydrate? One of the most highly researched forms of creatine in the world — Myprotein’s hard-hitting creatine monohydrate powder is scientifically proven to increase physical performance by improving overall power.
SECTION 3: RECOVERY
When we exercise we produce metabolic by-products. Lactate is the most common. When by-products accumulate, they significantly impact the contractile function on the muscle tissue, dramatically decreasing performance. When we stop exercising these metabolites can sometimes remain in the muscle. It is important that we try and flush them out fully. There are many methods that can be used effectively.
Light intensity exercise helps us to promote blood flow and clear metabolites through several mechanisms. Gentle warm down exercise after a session can be very beneficial in achieving this, especially after each CrossFit Open® workout.
Contrast Showers and Ice Baths
Our blood vessels constrict in the cold and dilate in the heat. Alternating between hot and cold temperatures acts as a pump flushing blood through the muscles, promoting clearance. Use hot water first in the shower then switch to cold for the final 45 – 60 seconds.
Ice baths have the added benefit of hydrostatic pressure. External pressure of water added to the cold, forces blood and metabolites out of the extremities.
During strenuous exercise we create chemical shifts in the muscle cells. These shifts are normal but can interrupt contractile function.
When muscle fibres contract, sometimes they do not relax fully and we get cramping. Cramp may not always occur but over time the muscle tissue loses quality. This can eventually cause tightness and pain.
In order to prevent this, we must use stretching and myofascial release techniques to break up the fibres and trigger points that form. We must also perform mobility exercises to maintain good movement in our joints and prevent muscles from becoming tight and restrictive. There are several options to use.
Probably the most popular. This is a cheap and accessible way to smash out any knots in the muscle and maintain good tissue quality. It should be performed on a regular basis.
A good massage can often be more effective at hitting awkward spots. While expensive, a good physiotherapist or massage therapist can make a big difference.
Stretching and mobility exercises should be performed on a daily basis.
Stretching and Mobility exercises
These should be performed on a daily basis. When we hold certain positions for long periods of time our muscles become tight and can become an injury risk. By constantly maintaining good tissue length and joint mobility we ensure good functional movement.
TAKE QUALITY REST
Rest is essential and often overlooked. When we rest our body is allowed to divert resources and attention to restoration. This is when the real progress is made. During rest our body makes the appropriate adaptations to the effects of training. Without it we will never truly recover physically or mentally. Good quality rest is by far the most important but the one we often neglect. Athletes should consider the following.
“Train like a lion, sleep like a baby.”
The right amount of sleep varies from one individual to the next. Athletes should maintain a record of sleep. They should manage whatever factors they need to ensure they get adequate sleep.
A 45 min nap post training has been shown to increase alertness and motivation. It gives just enough down time for the body to prepare for the next training session or can be especially useful if you wish to redo CrossFit Open® workouts in the same day.
Meditation and Chillout time
Having time to clear the mind and simply relax can be a great benefit. Our sensory inputs are reduced and it allows the recovery process to kick in.
Understanding what you are trying to achieve with recovery can help it to be much more effective. There are many methods available but not always practical given busy schedules and lifestyle. By understanding what you need to achieve you can be more effective. By employing an effective strategy, you can maximize the training effect and perform consistently at your best.
Use Extreme Recovery Blend
The ultimate recovery shake, with a revitalising vitamin and mineral blend.
Designed to maximise your recovery, this refuelling formula combines hydrolysed whey and isolate with carbs, creatine, and a unique vitamin and mineral blend — so you’re always ready for the next session.
- Unique all-in-one blend
- 26g protein per serving
- Vitamin and mineral blend
- Includes Creapure® — boosting performance
ENJOY YOURSELF AND PREPARE FOR SUCCESS
The 2021 CrossFit Open® is just around the corner so make sure to use these tips, prepare all the right nutrition that you will need, and have fun.