Now that the Open is over, you’re probably quick to judge what you need to work on. However, the obvious answer of getting stronger and faster isn’t always the right answer. Here’s where to start.
Weightlifting Technique Training
Regardless of how loudly your coach was screaming at you during the Open workouts, chances are you reverted back to your worst habits in the heat of the moment. While technique will make your movements more efficient, the technique must become second nature. Students often mistake technique for being slow; technique is only slow if you have to think about it. In order to not think about it, you must spend lots and lots of time drilling good technique from a foundational level (think PVC and empty bar) for months. If you aren’t going to the Regionals, this is the perfect time to take a step back, slow down and drill in outstanding technique until it is second nature. Weightlifters in other countries spend years doing drills with PVC pipes. Weightlifting coaches will forbid you from doing full lifts until they determine you are ready. This is necessary. Find a weightlifting coach and start from the beginning. Your speed and efficiency in next year’s Open will benefit, not to mention your lifts will most likely increase and you’ll avoid unnecessary injuries. This is something to start now.
Gymnastics Skill Work
Just because you squeezed out a muscle-up in 14 minutes doesn’t mean it was pretty. Time to go back to basics. Skills don’t happen by continuing to do skills over and over again. They happen by breaking the skills down into component parts and strengthening those parts separately. Again, the time to focus on this is now, not six months down the road. Skill work and technique work take time so be ready to slow down and enjoy some lessons in patience.
Bodybuilding and Isolation Work
Chances are your gym’s programming is for the greater community, not you individually, and there are probably areas of your body that need strengthening that are different from those of your training partners. You have weaknesses, mobility issues and idiosyncrasies that need more attention than just squats and deadlifts. You may need to strengthen your glutes, your lower traps or your hamstrings, and this happens with more focused, personalized movement. This will ensure you are more well-rounded and may be what has been holding back some of your strength gains.
In general, allow yourself to take a step back. This may even mean taking a break from your typical CrossFit workouts to focus on slower, more deliberate movements. Now is the time to forget about the clock and get in the habit of doing things right and safely. If you do that for long enough, your technique will become habit and your speed will naturally increase. Next year’s Open depends on your ability to change your mindset right now.