The CrossFit Open is upon us once again. Through the three weeks of workouts presented during the Open, any number of movements could surface. Occasionally a new, soon-to-be hated movement appears *cough 21.1 cough*. Whether it is your first week or eighth year at your box, everyone performs the same workouts during the Open. Luckily though, the open scales for all abilities and fitness levels. So if you want to see where you stand against other athletes like yourself, now is the time to do it.
The CrossFit Open points out movements that we are proficient in and others that need improvement. Keeping this in mind, how can you prepare yourself for the Open, and also continue to progress in the future? During my chiropractic education I learned that to create achievable goals, they have to be SMART. This means that they need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Using the idea of the Open, and a weakness of double unders, let’s look into what this means.
Specific – A goal needs to be more detailed than “I want to improve in the Open”. There are many different movements performed. Pick one that is most important to you and start there. Performing double unders is not a skill that is learned overnight; it takes hard work and dedication. To make your goal specific, let’s change “improve in the Open” to “I want to learn dubs”.
Measurable – How do we know our goal is being met? This is simple with dubs. The rope passes underneath you twice with one jump. Let’s make that measurable by saying that you want to do 5 in a row.
Attainable – This means that you can achieve it. Goals are accomplished by staying focused and creating a plan to be successful. How, specifically, will you work to attain your goal? Will you watch double under videos? Will you work with your coaches? Will you practice on your own? An attainable goal would be to complete 5 consecutive double unders by drilling in open gym and watching YouTube videos to improve my technique.
Realistic – Your goals need to be realistic to you. A goal to go from zero to 100 consecutive DUBS is not a realistic goal. Aiming high is great, but sometimes we need to have 6-month, 1-year, and 5-year plans. We don’t always need the “go big or go home” mentality. Sometimes by taking baby steps, success may be closer than it once seemed. A realistic goal with dubs would be to complete 5 in a row with consistent practice.
Timely – This is pretty straightforward. We need to figure out a time frame to achieve this goal. This puts everything together. At our office, we use short-term and long-term goals to prepare treatment plans for patients. What are the results going to be in 4 weeks and what are they going to be in 8 weeks? A timely goal would be to take drill once per week and watch videos 3 times per week to perform 5 DUBS in a row within one month.
For me, and most people, I think the realistic part of SMART goals is the most important. Creating realistic, achievable goals is huge and healthy. I’ve dealt with many athletes over the years in multiple sports who end up in my office because they are trying to do too much too fast.
Now injuries happen all the time. But we can reduce them through how we prepare for the open and address nagging pain before it becomes a problem. So for the 2023 Crossfit Open, here’s what I want from all of you. Make sure your goals for this year are SMART goals and take care of your body during this three-week process. Take extra rest days as needed, hydrate, make sure you're well-fed, and spend time stretching and doing mobility. And if anything does happen, I’m here for at Maximum Performance.