CrossFit is growing in Howard County, MD just as it is growing all over the world. This year’s CrossFit Open is once again going to be the largest fitness competition in history. An estimated 250,000 people will compete in the 2014 CrossFit Open for the opportunity for a spot at one of the 17 regionals and, ultimately, at the CrossFit Games. If this is your first year of doing CrossFit, it’s understandable that you may not be shooting for a spot at the Games. However, competing in the CrossFit Open is an awesome experience that connects you to the community you love and allows you to be a part of history.
If this is your first CrossFit Open, here are the 4 ways to get yourself ready!
1 – BUY SHOES
Shoes are critical to performance in your CrossFit workouts. If you are new to CrossFit, you may not have traded in your Easy-Toners for a pair of Inov8’s just yet. On the other hand, you should have upgraded your shoe game after your first week of wobbling around in those old running shoes. Ask your CrossFit coach for a good shoe recommendation and then just bite the bullet. For the CrossFit Open, you may want to go with a general CrossFit shoe (Inov8, Reebok, New Balance, or the others) or a hybrid weightlifting shoe like the Reebok Lifter Plus. What you don’t want to do is hit 14.1 in your old college jogging shoes. Remember… it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only how you look doing it!
2 – BUY A JUMP ROPE AND WRIST WRAPS
CrossFit HQ is not going to let someone go to regionals who can’t do double unders. Period. So I will guarantee that double unders will be in the open. Assuming you have someone who can effectively teach you how to double under, the next key for a newer athlete to rip off large numbers of double unders is consistency. That means not only using the same shoes, but also THE SAME JUMP ROPE. Yanking a $5 jump rope out of the trusty old rat’s nest at your local affiliate will never compare to having a custom sized, high quality jump rope that you are comfortable with.
Similarly, getting yourself a pair of wrist wraps is going to give you an edge when Dave Castro throws snatches, clean & jerks, and overhead squats your way in some evil CrossFit Open test of your barbell strength and technique.
3 – LEARN TO TAPE YOUR HANDS
Along with double unders, I will guarantee that you will be required to perform toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, and chest-to-bar pull-ups in the open. Your hands will thank you if you can provide something to aid your grip. Many athletes use tape, but there are many different ways of taping hands and different techniques work for different people. If you want to experiment with tape, find someone at your gym who looks like they take taping their hands a little toooo seriously. These tape geeks will be able to answer all your questions. Alternately, you could use wrist straps or wide receiver gloves for those CrossFit workouts.
4 – PRACTICE
If you weren’t doing CrossFit this time last year, then there are probably several CrossFit exercises that are about to pop up in the open that you are not proficient in. Look at the CrossFit Open workouts from 2011, 2012, and 2013 to get an idea of what will be expected from you with regard to weights and movements. Then get some help from your coaches, set your sights on some of these things that are hard for you, and make some progress. If you put the work in, there is no reason that most of you shouldn’t be able to get toes-to-bar or consistent box jumps in a few weeks.
The CrossFit Open will be a great experience for you! Good luck and train hard friends!
Read about the CrossFit Open at CrossFit Critical Mass!