It’s Open season once again in the CrossFit community. As you train your strength and skills to prepare yourself for your best performance yet, remember the importance in recovery as a ‘next gear’ tool to earning your success.
The training leading up to the CrossFit Open is often a time of high energy, high volume and high stakes. This gateway competition gets increasingly more competitive each year as top athletes contend for a qualifying spot to Regionals. Even for those who are casual participants to this community affair find excitement this time of year and find themselves pushing harder through workouts. Because of this increase in volume and intensity, it means that it is equally as important to make sure that the body is adequately recovered from training, too. Though we may all try, you can’t ferociously burn the candle at both ends and expect to perform at your best.
Recovery can mean many things, but some key practices can help you structure a responsible lifestyle that maximizes the benefit of your hard work. Though you may spend four hours in a gym, the other twenty are the ones that count.
Simply learning to value and budget your time more wisely will have an impact on your sleep, work efficiency the relationship you hold to your responsibilities. How much time and energy are you wasting right now on social media? Do you drag through a 30 minute warmup everyday? If you are effective with the things you need to accomplish, you will leave more time for recovery practices and rest time.
Visualization and Mindfulness
The intensity of training for most athletes entering the Open season does a lot to tax the nervous system and the mind. Taking time to reflect on what is learned from training and how to increase a competitive mindset is just as important as the training itself. Take time to remember moments of success and visualize your goals.
Open prep often means repeating a lot of movements over and over in order to master efficiency. This can sometimes cause inflammation of the joints, tendons and ligaments and cause aching or soreness. Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric or beets can help with these pains, but also making sure that the connective tissues remain mobile.
Soft Tissue Mobility
Not only do our primary muscles get tight from training, but also the interconnected fascia that surrounds all of our nerves and organs, too. Exercises with a lacrosse ball, foam roller or yoga can be a good practice to maintain health of the soft tissue. Types of compression therapy or the use of an NMES device can help maintain blood flow in the tissue as well.
At some point, you will have to take responsibility for the fuel you put into your body. Supplements alone will never do the trick and learning healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes to the way you eat will help you increase the impact of your training. Find experts of the field and learn to test things for yourself to find the best building blocks for your body.
The Open isn’t just a test of will power and strength, but about who is able to sustain health and focus through five tough weeks. Make sure you’re prepared for this years excitement by committing to your recovery as much as you do your training.
Whether this is your first or seventh, it’s important to make sure you take the necessary steps to peak at the right time for the fast approaching CrossFit Open! Not only peak, but stay consistent through the 5-week competition.
- Have a clear, realistic plan and stick to it. The last thing you want is to get caught up in each individual workout because you’ve got five weeks of back to back competition ahead of you. Talk to your coach, as they are most familiar with your skill set, and can help you set up a plan to follow over the course of the competition. If you are new to The Open, be prepared to be humbled in various ways but remember to enjoy the journey. Sometimes people can get caught up in the modifications, don’t. Realize there are thousands of others doing the exact same modifications you are. Also, keep it all in perspective – if you have a bad showing, let it go and move on to the next week with an even better plan of attack.
- Maintain skills, strength, and work capacity throughout the 5 weeks. Don’t exhaust yourself before the next Open event, but certainly don’t sit out during the week and get stiff. Choose activities that will help continue your form development, keep your fitness up, and help you stay loose for the next test. Your Compex device should be your best friend throughout the event! Rely heavily on the appropriate programs to keep your body top notch.
- Have a weekly taper to be fresh for "game day". This is key if you are going to make it all 5 weeks in the CrossFit Open. These workouts are designed to test your body to the max, so make sure you’re giving your body time to recover from the last workout so you can peak accordingly. Utilize your Compex device to flush lactic acid and give your muscles the attention they need to recover.
- You’ve got this. Follow what you know. Your normal warm-up and cool down routine will work, no need to reinvent the wheel. Take time to set up your workout station and make sure everything you need is in its place. This could shave a couple of seconds off your time, as well as keep you organized and help alleviate any potential frustrations.
- Don’t forget nutrition. As you push yourself to peak performance for The Open, it’s important to keep fueling your body with nutrients that help with recovery. It’s well known that protein is the building block of muscle so make sure you are get adequate protein, particularly amino acids. Healthy fats like coconut oil and avocados are great ways to help fuel you through the day as you may notice your appetite continuing to grow.
Join Compex this weekend at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Stop by our Compex booth inside the Vendor Village which is open daily from 8am-7pm Thursday July 23rd- Sunday July 26th 2015 to test out a device, learn about the benefits of electric muscle stimulation and how you can use it to target your training and increase power, speed, endurance and recovery, meet Compex athletes, win prizes and more.
Compex athletes Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, the 2014 CrossFit Games winner and Graham Holmberg, the 2010 CrossFit Games winner will both be competing this year in The Games.