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Anna Tunnicliffe – Top Tips For Hitting Better WODs in 2015

Reflecting on 2015 Opens

The 2015 CrossFit Opens are over and, if you’re like me, you will be very happy! As much fun as the Opens are, they represent five long weeks of work that tax you both physically and mentally. That said we now have an overall rank that shows us all how we did; how we compared to those in our box; our state; our region and the world. It’s great to compare all of this. However, what’s more important is how we compare to ourselves. Our sport is about living a healthier lifestyle -and the Opens are a way for us to test our fitness in the gym year-to-year. So, how did you do relative to last year? Or if this is your first year, how did you do in comparison to your performance expectations on each workout? Most importantly, did you have fun?

Compare your 2014 and 2015 performances

Although they were different workouts, comparing your performances in the 2014 and 2015 Opens gives you the chance to reflect on your fitness level. You might have seen a big improvement in your overall score. If not, don’t worry, that score isn’t the whole story. Look a bit deeper into it and reflect on what movements you really improved. Muscle-ups were a PIA this year, as they were in 2014. Did you finally get one or is that still a goat for you? A deeper analysis will give you a more accurate comparison year-to-year.

If you competed in the 2014 Opens but didn’t do RX this year, it’s hard to compare scores year-to-year. However, that’s not a necessarily a bad thing. Adding the scaled option this year was great because it allowed athletes to actually get in a good workout, plus, looking ahead, it provides a better way to draw comparisons in the coming years. For now, you should assess where you’re at in terms of fitness and create a baseline for future comparison.

Scaled or RX, first year or fifth year, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, you should be comparing yourself to… yourself. Unless you’re trying to get to the 2015 CrossFit Games, then it shouldn’t matter if you did RX or scaled. The focus should always be about testing yourself and giving absolutely everything on each workout. If you can say you have done this, then you have every right to celebrate the past five weeks. Now is the time to enjoy that cheat meal you have been saving up! After that, it’s time to buckle down and start the hard work again.

anna tunnicliffe

Review, assess and train

The Opens workouts covered all aspects, from gymnastics to body weight to heavy lifts. Flexibility, strength and cardio were all put to the test. My advice is to go back through each of the workouts, break them down and identify the skills and movements that were tested. How were your gymnastic skills? How was your clean and jerk form in a taxed state? What movement let you down and why? Be honest with yourself and analyse the areas that need improvement. Your coach is an amazing resource, so work with that person to see how you can implement your weaker movements and skills into your training. If you didn’t get a muscle-up, don’t just keep trying muscle-ups. Instead, commit to building your strength and mobility. Do that and you will achieve one.

Don’t forget to re-measure

Don’t wait for the next year’s Opens to test yourself on all the skills you want to improve. Train hard under the guidance of your coach and then reassess. To do this, I would advise repeating the 2015 Opens workouts. By doing this you will be able to measure yourself against previous performances and it will give you the best indication as to your improvements.

You also need to think beyond just competitions and Open workouts. It’s about constantly building skills and strength, so, with this in mind, always set a net goal. Once you get that first muscle-up, try for two. Building on your strength and setting targets is what showcases your gains year-on-year. And let’s face it, muscle-ups will come back… they always do! Be ready for them.

anna tunnicliffe

Scaled or RX… work on your metcons!

Also, keep working on your metcons. You don’t have to RX every metcon to get a good workout in. Remember, the idea is to complete the task in a designed time frame or hit a certain number of rounds. The more you work with your coach on what weight/ movement to do in a metcon to hit that target, the better your metcon skills will be. You can work on your strength and skills on the side, and when they become more proficient then you can add them into WODs. So for now, celebrate these five weeks being over! Then get back to the drawing board to get yourself fitter for next year. Most importantly, keep having fun with it!

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