Training for the CrossFit Games

We have had a few people ask about training for the CrossFit Games. The Games Open starts around the middle of February so now is a good time to start thinking about training. There are about 26 weeks until Feb 15 so that makes it pretty easy to plan.

First, and probably the most important thing to consider is, why you are you making this commitment? Be honest with yourself here because when it’s January and the gym is colder than you-know-what and everyone is leaving and you still have squats to do, you are going to be asking yourself this very question. I don’t know about your “yourself” but my “yourself” has a really good BS-o-meter. Take your time and think this one through. If you need help with this process, Susan is really good at this and helps me all the time.

Second, take your drinking (coffee and/or alcohol, your choice) money for the next week or two and buy subscriptions to the CF Journal and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports. If you really drink a lot, I would also buy the Performance Menu. Next instead of going out drinking this weekend (am I starting to make myself clear?), listen to this series of videos by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. The first one is on YouTube, get the rest of them through the CF Journal. Get ready to take notes and listen to this a couple of times. Here is the take-home, “a pyramid can only be as tall as the base is wide.” There are no short-cuts so take your time building the base, which are your recovery skills (e.g. diet, mobility and sleep/rest). If you spend your first 13 weeks, yep that is half of your training time, just getting these three things dialed in, you will be much more ahead of the other athletes in the CF Open. That means taking time to fix your ankles, shoulders and hips. How do you know if your ankles, shoulders and hips are broke, start by taking the FMS and then start at MobilityWod episode 1 and get ready to have your mind blown. Start listening to Robb Wolf’s podcasts if you haven’t already started. If you have extra time, I would suggest checking out the following blogs, CrossFit Endurance, Gymnastics WOD, and Mark Bell. WOW, that is ALOT of reading, yes it is. The majority of people who train here have real jobs and families and, therefore, don’t have the time to experiment and learn their lessons the hard way. Training for this kind of competition, CF Games, has been done before and there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Measure twice, cut once.

Finally, strength before endurance. How much strength? Start with 10 reps of back squat, 5 reps of front squats and one rep of overhead squat using your body weight, 5 reps with 1.5 x your body weight in deadlift and 5 reps of .75 your body weight for shoulder press. All of these should be done at 9 or 10 (out of 10) level of technique. Did you notice that I didn’t talk about Fran, cleans or handstands? It’s because those are things that you won’t to worry about for a while. Get healthy, get strong, then let’s talk about adding intensity.

What’s next? Come in and start training! The CF Games Open was super fun this year, if you call doing 150 wall balls, followed by double-unders fun. Who knows, I might even start training again.

See you at the gym.