Coaches Corner: Approaching the Open
Now that we are two weeks into the CrossFit Open, I’d like to take some time to elaborate on it’s purpose, misconceptions, and shed some light on the best way to approach these last few weeks. First of all, the Open is meant to be a fun, community-driven event for ALL fitness levels. There’s often a grey area between CrossFit as it was intended to be – a well-rounded health and fitness program with the purpose of curing chronic disease and keeping people fit and healthy into their late years – versus CrossFit as the “sport of fitness.” Let’s talk about each of these individually, and then apply it to our training and the Open!
CrossFit for Health
CrossFit is a lifestyle based methodology with three main aspects: Fitness, Nutrition, and Community. The workouts consist of “Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, at High Intensity.” In regards to nutrition – the Founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, simply states “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” The magic is in the community! This is where we are motivated, held accountable, and together make a greater difference than any one of us could make on our own – in our own lives, the lives of others, or in the greater surrounding community.
The method of CrossFit is pretty simple. We eat clean, we workout hard (and smart), we high five each other and we go home. The hour at the box should be the best hour of your day, uninterrupted by the noise or stress you may be experiencing outside these walls.
CrossFit for Sport
With the creation of a fitness method that is easily measurable, arose the “Sport of Fitness.” The CrossFit Games largely contributed to the growth of the CrossFit organization. However, approaching CrossFit as a sport is completely different than approaching CrossFit to be healthy. Due to the growing popularity of the CrossFit Games, these professional athletes have become role models of the organization as a whole. However, make no mistake – the athletes at the top of the sport are often battling chronic injuries, their hormones are out of balance, and their bodies/minds are on the brink of burn out. These professional athletes knowingly make those sacrifices to their body and lifestyle to compete at the level that they do. We are not training to be professional athletes, so our approach to fitness must be different. However, sport and competition can still play a healthy part in our CrossFit experience – like during the Open.
The CrossFit Open @ CMR
The CrossFit Open is an annual “competition” that is performed worldwide at CrossFit affiliates. At CrossFit Manta Ray, this is a COMMUNITY event. We have our weekly themes to break the ice and have some fun. Last week we had a chili cook off alongside our Open heats and it was AWESOME. If you have joined us for a Friday Night Lights, you know that it’s always a good time – high energy, smiling faces, and a positive environment. The Open is also a benchmark to see how we are progressing year to year. We are big on setting goals (our last post was on SMART Goals), and measuring our progress to hold us accountable. The Open is a great way to do that. Each year you can see your rank and measure your improvement across the worldwide leaderboard. This is where competition can benefit all of us. The atmosphere and circumstances in which we perform these Open workouts, often pushes us to new limits and shows us how strong we truly are. With that being said, it is NEVER okay to push to a point to where we cannot maintain correct form, technique or where we would sacrifice safety. At CMR, we MOVE WELL FIRST, ALWAYS.
All in all, the Open is meant to be a fun, community event and test of your fitness. We do not know the workouts in advance, but we will always help you scale them to your ability level to ensure the best workout and experience possible. Events like the Open, or other local competitions, have their place for all of us if we’d like to participate. If you are joining us for the Open, or find yourself competing locally, just remember the purpose of these events in the grand scheme of your life and training. It should be ridiculously fun, it should serve as a benchmark, and it may push you to do more than you thought you could! Even though we’ll probably be right beside you, always keep your coaches in the back of your mind. We’re much more concerned with your movement quality, than we are your place on the leader-board. Make your coaches proud this Open Season 😉
See you this Friday for Friday Night Lights!