Outside of the CrossFit Games, there’s one event that stands alone as the most exciting event on the CrossFit calendar. It’s the CrossFit Open, and the 2019 edition is fast approaching. There are an estimated 500,000 athletes who will be competing from around the world, ranging from teenagers to seniors and from beginners to world champions.
Likely, a number of people will be taking part in the Open for the first time. Some may have aspirations of making it to the Games, while others may just be looking to improve themselves and see where they stack up in comparison with the rest of the community.
Regardless of their motives, these folks might benefit from some advice from those who have done it and excelled on the big stages. So we reached out to elite athletes and got some wise words on how to make the most out of this opportunity to compete in the 2019 CrossFit Open.
Migala placed third in the Open as a teenager back in 2016. For the last three years, she placed first overall in her home country of Poland. She found being consistent as she would any other day is what works best.
“My advice is to don’t change your daily routine because it’s an Open time. Your diet and habits shouldn’t be different. Walk into the gym like it’s any other day, do your thing and crush the workout. Simple.”
Pearce finished second overall in the Open back in 2017. As of 2018, she is the sixth Fittest Woman on Earth, finishing in that spot at the Games. She wants you to be aware that how you start determines how, or even if, you finish.
“It’s easy to start a workout and push really hard, before you know it, you’re five minutes into a 20-minute workout wondering how you’re ever going to make it. Trust me, I’ve been there. I like to find a pace that I can maintain consistently through 80 percent of the workout. If I realize I can push more at the end, then that’s when I turn it up and give it everything I have. If you start out too quickly, you’ll die out. That is not a fun feeling or one you want to experience. Instead, start at a pace you know you can keep through most of the workout, gage it halfway through. If you can go faster, turn it up a little, if not stay where you are at until the end of the workout. No matter what the case always finish strong. Oh, and one last thing. Remember to have fun! We are working out.”
Sager is the seventh Fittest Man on Earth as of 2018. He has placed as high as fifth in the Games and has placed 44th overall in the Open last year. He emphasizes having fun but offers a couple tips on strategy to be at your best.
“Enjoy the camaraderie of doing the Open with your friends. Workouts are so much more enjoyable when suffering with good company. HAVE FUN!
“Do the workout early in the week without giving it much thought. The worst is stressing out over the workout for days, trying to formulate the perfect strategy and plan when the best way to learn the strategy is by just giving it a strong effort and letting your instincts take over.
“Only plan to redo the workouts once. Redoing a workout once is acceptable… Redoing it a third or fourth time is just detrimental to you, your fitness and possibly the well-being of others watching.”
The second Fittest Man on Earth won his qualifying spot for the 2019 Games at Wodapalooza but still plans on doing the Open to keep a check on how he’s progressing. He finished fifth in the Open last year, which is his best finish to date. While he wants athletes to compete, he advises them to be realistic when setting goals.
“I’d say be realistic with yourself and set attainable goals. Your first Open is really setting your baseline moving forward. There may be some skills or weights that come up that people aren’t able to do and it’s important not to get frustrated. The whole thing is a learning experience that will guide your training for the next year.”
He also thinks a supportive group of people who push themselves and each other will help you.
“Try to do the workouts with a group. The supportive and electric atmosphere that groups can provide can lead to some magical moments.”
Kranski has done the Open five years in a row now and finished 336th overall in 2018. Going into his sixth Open, he emphasizes the importance of warming up, execution and breathing.
“Ensure that you get a proper warm-up before starting the metcon. Examples include warming up the joints and muscle groups specific to what you’re working. I also find it very effective to make sure you raise the heart level during the warm-up so when you work out your heart rate doesn’t spike as high and you can better control your breathing.
“Second, in the Open workouts you want to think about moving efficiently and smooth. When the timer strikes ‘3, 2, 1,’ most athletes like to rush into the workout and it makes it hard to control your breathing. If you think about moving efficiently and smooth. you’re more likely to maintain breathing and won’t have to take long breaks in the workout gasping for air.”
If you’re competing in the Open and find any of these tips to be beneficial, let us know by tagging us on your Instagram posts @floelite.
Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, West Virginia. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.