1 Down, 4 to Go

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“1 Down, 4 to Go”

Congratulations to all the athletes that completed 18.1 this past week. What an atmosphere the gym had on Friday night! I’m sure all the athletes that completed the workout can all agree that it was something special. Let’s keep that atmosphere going these next 4 weeks and continue to push each-other!

The 2018 CrossFit Games season started off with a 20 minute burner that was probably more of a mental battle than anything else. Reflecting on Friday night and judging multiple athletes was interesting. The reason why I say interesting, is the fact that each and every person that I had judged throughout the night had a different game plan. Whether it was to break up the toes to bar, push jerk the dumbbell, push the row, or simply just don’t burn out to early. Everyone’s mindset was different. As the clock counted down and the first round had concluded, each athlete’s gameplan did not seem to go as planned. The “Oh shit, that was too fast” or “Wait, I have to do this for 18 more minutes?” look appeared on just about every athlete’s face. At the conclusion of the workout, multiple people laid on the ground and told me what they would do differently if they did it again. As the night progressed I started to think a little bit about past open workouts, how I approached them, what happened mentally when things didn’t go according to plan and other mishaps. It made me realize a few things.

Don’t Sweat it

It’s probably hard not to sweat when you’re doing a 20 minute workout but it’s important that you stay composed. Get rid of the pain face and keep on the game face. Like I mentioned earlier, this workout was more mental than physical. Mentally you have to tell yourself that you can keep moving! Of course it’s easier said than done, but when you get to that point in a workout you feel like you can’t keep going, you always tell yourself “In X amount of minutes I can lay on the floor and die, but until then I have to keep moving.”

Know what you’re capable of

Try not to get caught up in what others are doing or planning. Focus on what you think you are capable of and stick to it. If you’re worried about stringing 8 T2B unbroken through 20 min, you probably shouldn’t do them unbroken. If the dumbbell doesn’t feel right, then do 5, set it down and do 5 more. If the row is going to be tough for you, but the other movements are in your wheelhouse, push the other movements and take the row as a recovery. Looking at a workout this way to will help you formulate a plan and prepare yourself.


Constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, or better known as CrossFit. Dave Castro has been known to throw everything but the kitchen sink when it comes to programming the open workouts. Yes, we will see new movements, but it mirrors things that we do in class each and every day. The best way to prepare for the open is to simply do CrossFit. Getting worried because we’ve barely ever done dumbbell hang cleans, isn’t going to help you get better at them. So before you go, warm-up with them, and formulate a plan to where you will be comfortable. I know this is going to sound contradicting, but in order to adapt, you have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Have Fun!

At the end of the day, this is a hobby for most of us. Something that we love to do in our spare time or something that is going to help us prepare ourselves for our everyday life. Each and every Open workout is still just another workout. I’m not saying to not take it seriously, but just remember your life does not depend on how well you do in the Open. There is so much more to life than CrossFit, and I’ll be the first to admit, that sometimes I forget that, but it’s important to not get caught up in the fact that you think you underperformed in a workout. Either redo the workout another day, the next time we retest in class, or simply get after it the next week. Luckily your placing doesn’t just depend on one workout, make the most of it and have fun with the people around you.

Doing the Open in itself is an accomplishment. So many people are intimidated by the Open and the competition that it brings out, but you’re not one of those people. Overcoming fears and reaching that first muscle up, chest to bar, PR lift, or finishing a workout that you didn’t think you could, that is what the Open is actually about. It brings together people of all ages from all around the globe to compete with one another for 5 weeks. Whether you did good or bad, stand tall, stay strong and remember, “1 down, 4 to go.”

-John Finn III