You have just successfully finished 5 weeks of exciting competition, and you’re all fired up! You are thinking about all the things you want to improve – skills, strength, conditioning.

You have your sights set on beating your scores next Open. Perhaps even covet that top spot on the Opus Open Plaque.

So, what do you do to accomplish your goals?

Well, I have answers for you. I will tell you exactly what you need to do, in 5 steps.

Step 1—Talk to Your Coach

This is the most important step by far. If you have wondered “what to do after the CrossFit Open” , you need a coach.

Your coach will talk to you about your goals. And you have lots of those right now. If I were to guess, you’d want to get stronger, improve Olympic lifting, acquire or improve gymnastics skills, and fire up your cardio engine. Those four elements are very common across the CrossFit world.

Your coach will find out what you’re good at and what you’re not. And then evaluate how your skills and areas for improvement relate to your goals. You’ll have to prioritize. Your coach will help you set a primary goal and a secondary goal, while explaining how to be successful with your priorities.

Book a 15 minute goal setting appointment with your coach. After your meeting you will have the beginnings of a plan in place.

Step 2—Commit to CrossFit Classes and/or Personal Training 4-5 Times Per Week

Here’s a fact: the people that are better at CrossFit generally train more.

Before you start planning“double days”, let me explain. You do not need to train twice a day unless you want to be a full-time CrossFit competitor and are prepared to put training and competition ahead of your job, your family and your other hobbies. If you are simply a person who wants to do well in the Open, you do not need double days, and you can afford to take rest days. In fact, you must take rest days.

When I say the people who are better at CrossFit train more often, I mean they come more than twice a week. If you currently work out once every two or three days, you need to increase that. I’d recommend the unlimited package, and I’d train at least 4 and perhaps 5 days a week depending on how sore you are.

Again, your coach can help you make that decision.  

Just the Right Amount of Training

The worst thing you can do is start trying to do handstand push-ups every single day while only going to general classes.

CrossFit is about general physical preparedness, and you need to become well rounded. You do that by attending classes programmed by a talented coach who will ensure you’re working on all aspects of fitness.

A lot of people will tell you it’s more complicated than this. And at elite levels, it is. But for 95 percent of people, you just need to commit to going to classes regularly. Or seeing your personal trainer for specific help.

We encourage our clients to come to group classes regularly. Book a personal training session with a coach to work on specific technique improvements and get a mini program designed to help you.

Step 3—Dial in Your Nutrition

When most people ask what to do after the CrossFit Open, they’re looking for advice on movement. That’s only half the equation.

You need to eat better. The majority of successful athletes–elite and recreational—treat their fuel like high-octane fuel. They prioritize real whole foods, and they eat lots of vegetables, some fruits, healthy fats and appropriate amounts of protein. The most diligent ones know exactly what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat.

The amount of food you need is not guesswork. A nutrition coach will help you with a plan to improve your nutrition, and can figure out exactly how much food you need to accomplish your goals.

Return on Investment

This plan will produce dramatic results. Not instant results. But dramatic over the long term. Want to do handstand push-ups? Many people would benefit from losing a little body fat and/or adding some upper-body muscle. That’s done with training and food. Not just training.

You’ll be amazed what will happen in the gym when you address your nutrition.

To find out more about nutrition coaching services contact [email protected]

Step 4—Take Care of Your Body

Almost everyone has an imbalance of some kind. A tight shoulder, a wonky knee, an old back injury from high school. Others are experiencing the effects of sitting at a desk or doing the same tasks over and over. Whatever the issue, you’d do well to see a trained professional like an ART therapist, Osteopath, or physiotherapist. He or she can tell you exactly how to solve your problems.

And if you don’t have any current aches and pains, see a therapist anyway. That visit might uncover issues you didn’t know about, or perhaps the therapist can tell you something you can do to become even more injury-proof. You change the oil in your car regularly. Maybe spend a little money on your body.

Invest in Yourself

Imagine this: You really struggled with the overhead lunges in the Open. But not because you lack strength. Because you lack the range of motion to put the dumbbell over your shoulder. Instead, the dumbbell was held slightly in front of your shoulder and your elbow was bent. You did a lot of extra work. And how much easier would everything be if you could earn some flexibility and put the dumbbell in an ideal position?

That’s where therapy and mobility work come in. We do some of that in class, but if it’s an area of weakness for you, invest some time and energy in prehab and rehab.

We are thrilled to have Cara Roy, ART providing mini clinics at Opus. You’ll see Cara in classes, and you can see her for treatment too, by making a reservation in Zen Planner. She can tell you how to fix what’s wrong or protect what’s right. And then you can do the assigned stretching or stability exercises on your own, with regular check-ups.

Whatever you do, don’t neglect your body.

Step 5—Work on Your Mental Game

What do you tell yourself before the workout starts?

We all have voices in our head. Inner monologues.

Before 19.5, it probably said something else. Maybe it said, “I don’t think I can finish,” or “I hate thrusters” Or maybe it said, “I’ve got this!.”

CrossFit is challenging. Every workout makes just about everyone nervous. Working out is hard. We’re testing boundaries and safely pushing limits. That requires courage and mental fortitude. Sitting on the couch requires no effort. And there’s no fear at all.

If you’re committed to your goals—any fitness or health goals—your going to run into challenges. If it’s very easy, it’s not effective. That means you’re going to find small setbacks on the road to ultimate success. So how will you handle setbacks and prepare for challenges? Get your mind right.

Positivity Now!

Start training your inner monologue to be your greatest supporter. Focus on positive things at all times. When something negative pops up, which it will, accept it and then replace the thought with something that builds you up.

Example: “I’ll never get a bar muscle-up.”

Replacement: “I can’t do a bar muscle-up yet, but my coach and I have a plan, and I’ll get on top of the bar one day soon.”

Example: “I don’t think I’ll be able to do this workout.”

Replacement: “This is a challenging workout, but I’ll give my best effort and be satisfied with the result.”

Start doing this today—inside and outside the gym. Whenever a negative thought pops up, replace it.

“This work meeting is going to be really long, but I’m going to invest myself so I can learn something new.”

So What do you Do After the Open?

Make a plan. You have goals. And you want to improve.

So apply yourself today. Start by making an appointment with a coach, or therapist today.