Wise words from a good guy – Sun 3.05.17

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Coach Jeremy Jones, owner of Thrivestry has been coaching CrossFitters and CrossFit Games athletes for years.  Year after year we see people give up fitness for a few more Open workout reps.  I’ve fallen prey to it myself.  Here’s a quick excerpt from Jones on when and why to repeat Open workouts:


Repeating Open Workouts

There is a certain amount of psychology that goes into these workouts. EVERYONE has that moment, minutes after the workout is over, where they think “I could have done better. I should do it again.” It may be true if you made some big mistakes, got a lot of no reps, etc., but even in the case where people really did well, people still have these thoughts. Ask yourself (and your coach) the questions below, and review your video, before you agonize over the decision.

In most cases, it boils down to three things:

1. What are your goals this year?
2. How bad did you mess up the pacing/strategy?
3. How sore are you?

Your Goals
If you are aiming to make a specific rank (like make Regionals), you may want to strongly consider doing it again (depending on the other two questions). If you are doing this year’s Open as a stepping stone toward greatness in later years, just doing it for motivation/fun, or doing it to part of the community… Just do ‘one and done’.

Top athletes that will make Regionals by a good margin shouldn’t do it more than once unless their score had a major flaw. Consistent training is more important than interrupted training for 4-5 weeks (if they were to do them all twice for example).

I’ve seen countless athletes get less ‘fit’ during the Open, and/or get injured from trying to do every workout 2 or more times! That is NOT what we are trying to do here!

If you are doing the Open to try and help your gym get to Regionals, you may need to do it again just for that extra rep or second. In this case, you are sacrificing yourself for the greater community. There WILL be additional pressure to try again. Do not let this pressure ruin the experience for you! Acknowledge the fact that the repeat attempt isn’t what is best for you, but it is for your team. You have to ask if you are willing to suffer for your team for a small chance you could help.

Pacing / Strategy
If you completely messed up your pacing and strategy, you may want to consider doing it again. This represents your ability to improve your score. You aren’t going to be any better at the movements, or have a bigger engine, 2-3 days after the first attempt. The only thing that is going to improve your score at that point is if you learned a few things about how your body responds to the elements. Using this knowledge, you have to be honest with yourself about your chances of improving your score. If it is a small chance, go back to question 1. A small gain may be important for someone struggling to get to Regionals, but it won’t be worth it for someone who views this as just one stop on the journey.

Newer/less experienced athletes will usually see an improvement, more experienced athletes generally will not. I have actually seen experienced people get the EXACT same score on their second attempts. All that suffering for nothing!

If the workout took a serious toll on the body (17.1 definitely ‘blew people up’), the questions become: Can you improve your score doing it sore? Are you risking injury? Are you willing to be sore again for another 2-3 days?

Surprisingly, soreness doesn’t always mean a reduced capacity, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect the next attempt for you. Some movements may end up being performed with bad form due to your soreness, increasing the chance you’ll injure yourself. One example is tearing hands. You may have gotten through the first attempt without tears, but if you shred your hands on the second attempt, how is that going to affect later Open workouts?

Final Thought
If you decide ahead of time that you’ve only got ONE CHANCE to do it, and you truly believe it, you will push yourself harder than if you know in the back of your mind you can always repeat. Don’t leave anything for the swim back. If you do royally screw it up, repeating is an option, but it shouldn’t be the plan before you start!


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