The Open is an exciting time in most boxes. During the five weeks of the CrossFit Open, the most commonly heard question is “How did you go?” or “What did you get?”. More often than not, this is closely followed up with “Are you going to do it again?”
For most of us, the Regional events are not even a consideration. We are just focused on doing our best or doing better than we did the previous year. The Open is such a great experience for so many reasons, not least of which being that it is an opportunity to benchmark your own performances, and to experience a great sense of community as your affiliate supports each other through the workouts week to week.
If you are obsessed with the Open (and let’s face it – most of us are), the month of March revolves around: talking about the Open, nervously anticipating the Open workout, telling your colleagues that you are officially on morning tea and not be disturbed while the announcement is on (mid-Friday morning in Australia), bemoaning the fact that if you only had muscle-ups/double-unders/ a better clean you would have this workout in the bag, refreshing the Leaderboard and so on…
Once the initial pain of completing a workout begins to disappear it is really easy to get caught up in the hype and find yourself answering ‘Hell yes, I am going to do it again!’ but if you are an everyday CrossFitter (without aspirations of qualifying for the Regional), here are a couple of things you might want to consider before you redo your workout:
A better performance is not guaranteed. We have all heard the story of someone who redid a workout and blew their last score out of the water. But in my experience for every person that betters their score significantly or reaches that elusive milestone they have set for themselves, there are half a dozen people who fail to do better the second time around or who are disappointed to scrape in just one more rep.
How much of your week is the Open taking up?
Although your non-CrossFit friends might avoid you every March geeking out on CrossFit for a month doesn’t really do you any harm does it? Or is it impacting your training? If you are a serial redoer it is easy for your week to pan out something like this.
Wednesday – Normal training today.
Thursday – I had better not push myself too hard, the Open workout is being released tomorrow.
Friday – The Open workout is announced! I’ll just run through a few of the skills ready for my attempt tomorrow.
Saturday – First attempt [followed by] I’ve just seen Kara Webb’s score and I am so disappointed in myself… I’m sure I can do better. I’m going to do it again.
Sunday – Rest day.
Monday – Redo time! [followed by] … I can’t believe I didn’t do better! [general devastation and disappointment].
Tuesday – I am a little sore from the Open but back to training.
If this sounds familiar, you could be missing out on several days of solid training a week.
Is this the best use of your time? Most of us can’t live at the gym (although many of us do our best). We only have a limited amount of time per week to home the skills we need to be a well rounded CrossFit athlete. So would you rather spend your time redoing a workout (based just on the feeling that you could do better) or is there something else that you could be getting better at… Can’t do muscle-ups? Only have pistols on one leg? Still struggling to string double-unders together? Perhaps you might want to consider investing some time in your weaknesses instead.
You don’t get do-overs in life. There are very few opportunities and even fewer competitions where you get the chance to have a do-over. Perhaps it isn’t the best mind set to go into your first attempt knowing that you have the safety net of another attempt up your sleeve. Give it your all and treat this like your only chance. Unless you have made terrible strategic approach to the workout which has derailed your performance or you were literally just a second or two off of making it to that next time-bracket for additional reps, it is probably better to adopt a ‘one and done’ approach and start looking toward next week.
Whether it took you 15 minutes or half an hour, if you have completed 84 reps each of burpees and thrusters (think 14.5), your body is probably pretty shattered. You need to consider whether your body is rested enough and in a good position to perform better with just a couple of days rest. Some workouts take a lower toll on our bodies but if you are already fatigued, have tight muscles or have ripped your hands, you may not be able to replicate your first performance let alone improve upon it.
Whether or not you redo is entirely up to you. Some people love the challenge of trying to beat their own score, some people like using their first attempt as a benchmark and some people just want to make sure they have given everything they have to achieve the best score possible. However you feel about redoing a work out is fine just make sure you don’t get caught up in the pressure to redo without thinking about what your motivation is.
If you are looking to redo your workout, talk to your coach. They know you well and should have a good idea about whether there was room for improvement in your performance. Be realistic. What do you think you could improve on? Did something specific go wrong or are you just basing the redo on a hunch that you could do better? What is the opportunity cost of doing the workout again?
Whether you are a one-hit-wonder or you tackle a workout as many times as you can before the cut-off, all best for the Open in 2016.