Why are you doing the open?

On Monday Matt W came into the box and quietly got on with 15.4.  He had some concerns about his back so did every handstand pushup strict with no kipping.  Not only was this awesome to watch but it was great to see someone make a decision that benefits their health, strength and fitness rather than chasing a few places on the open leaderboard.

Matt W muscle ups in 15.3
Matt W muscle ups in 15.3

It’s easy to dive into the Open and get carried away with beating your friends, getting into a certain place on the leaderboard or just executing moves that you may not quite be ready for.  Most of us are not in contention for the next stage of the Games – in fact I’m guessing that having two guys likely to advance to the masters qualifiers is pretty unusual for a single box.

Simon and Steve doing handstand pushups in 15.4
Simon and Steve doing handstand pushups in 15.4

That’s not to say that the rest of us shouldn’t fight like hell for every rep and do our very best.  But the open is 5 weeks out of a whole year of training – if you aren’t going to qualify for regionals or the masters qualifiers, what do you get out of the open and what do you think you should get out of the open?

There is no doubt that the heightened pressure and excitement of an open workout can push you to achieve new prs.  We’ve had first pull-ups, handstand pushups and toes to bar in the box.  Snatch prs, clean and jerk prs and ohs prs.  Brilliant!!!

The groundwork for these achievements is laid in your day to day training.  Good, well programmed consistent training that you do day in and day out at the box.  If you did some dirty reps to get a score in an open workout don’t bring those to your everyday training.  Scale back to your progressions and make yourself a better and stronger athlete – then when the movement comes up next year…

Scott cleaning in 15.4
Scott cleaning in 15.4

When it comes to what you think you should get out of the open – how many of us even considered this before it started?  We all know what Scott’s goals are – qualifying for the Games is his primary goal.  His training is focussed around events that will help him get there and addressing weaknesses that he knows could hold him back.

What are your goals for the year?  A competition or event later in the year, body composition changes or improvement in health markers?  It doesn’t matter what your goals are but put the open into context – how does it get you closer?

My personal mistake this year has been standing around trying to achieve Rx scores in WODs that are at the limit of my skill and strength ability.  My primary goal at the moment is to improve conditioning – with the benefit of hindsight, I should have scaled every WOD for 5 weeks of disgusting conditioning work.  I had to  scale 15.3 because I didn’t have a muscle up. I hated every minute of it – I thought it was over scaled and I hated doing singles.  But – it has been the WOD best aligned to my primary training goal.

Open WOD 15.5

The last open workout of 2015 will have been announced overnight.

Let’s come together as a box and enjoy the opportunity to push ourselves and each other on.  There have been personal successes and disappointments over the last 4 weeks but let’s take the opportunity to be kind to ourselves on the last WOD.

Celebrate your achievements over the open season.  If there are things that you haven’t been happy with, nail down the reason why and set a plan of action in place to get yourself to the place you want to be.

Good luck!

<- Review of 15.3


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