You made it! With the Open wrapping up, many athletes breathe a sigh of relief as one of the sport's most physically and mentally demanding parts is done and dusted. But closing that chapter for the year can also be a bittersweet experience.

On the one hand, the Open is rough on the body as athletes generally push harder than they would in their normal training. Recovery can suffer; by the end, most people are ready for a break. 

But on the other hand, the excitement and atmosphere of the season is quite something, and when the big event has come and gone, many are left wondering what to focus on next. Let’s look at what the rest of the year can look like for you!


Developing Your Fitness

The Open likely provided valuable insights into potential areas for improvement in your overall fitness. Did you find yourself struggling with technical movements when fatigued? Is a specific lift lagging behind others when it comes to strength? Taking time to “poke holes” in your performance will allow you to identify shortcomings and plan to narrow those gaps in the coming year.

Many of the skills tested in the Open require significant time and effort to master. Further, truly mastering a particular lift or gymnastic element can take years. Highly technical movements like overhead squats, muscle-ups, or toes-to-bar demand extensive refinement of technique, coordination, and mobility. These qualities develop gradually through consistent practice, making now the ideal time to begin honing these skills in preparation for future Opens and competitions.

Start by identifying your weaknesses and setting concrete goals. Consider your performance relative to global rankings and talk to your coach about areas they see as having potential for the largest improvement. If gymnastic skills need attention, explore specialized programs tailored to your needs.

Similarly, if strength is a limiting factor, focus on dedicated weightlifting cycles to build strength for the year ahead. Training for shorter races can enhance metabolic conditioning and endurance for those lacking endurance while giving you something achievable to work toward.

Ensure your goals are specific, timely, measurable, and, above all else, actionable. Vague statements like "I need to improve my strength" lack clarity and focus. Instead, be hyper-specific. Set a goal around a target weight for a lift, a number of unbroken gymnastics movements, or a time trial for endurance work.

Once you’ve established your goals, physically write out and follow a testing schedule to see how you are progressing. The impact of the written word has become somewhat lost in the digital age. Having a physical reminder with dates, times, and action points of what you’re working towards will keep it front of mind. Be specific. 

  1. What do you want to accomplish?

  2. What are your markers for progress?

  3. When will you revisit these markers to take note of changes and improvements? (ie: every week, month, three months, etc)

  4. Four times per year, revisit your goals to see if they have shifted. Are there other areas that need more urgent attention? Have you accomplished something you set out to do and need a refresh on new, more important targets?

Developing Your Nutrition

Simply put, nutrition stands as a cornerstone of athletic performance. This is particularly true in the multi-discipline realm of CrossFit. Few sports are as demanding on an athlete's body. Weightlifting, gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, and high-intensity training are all combined in a package that absolutely demands proper fueling.

This is doubly true during the CrossFit Open when workouts are designed to push competitors outside of their comfort zones and into the murky waters of, “What am I actually capable of doing?” That’s why it’s important to ensure you stack the cards in your favor by looking after an integral part of your longevity and performance in the sport.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself when considering where there might be gaps in your nutrition game. Be honest and take the time to answer each thoughtfully.

  1. How are my energy levels during and after my training sessions? Do I feel well-fueled and like I have plenty of gas in the tank, or do I frequently “run out of gas” toward the middle or end of sessions? What does my meal timing look like and could it be optimized for better results in the gym?

  2. What does the quality of my daily food intake look like? Are most of the things I eat whole foods that are focused on higher volume and micronutrient-dense, or do I frequently eat more processed options?

  3. What does the total calorie and macronutrient profile of my daily meals look like? Am I getting enough protein to support building lean muscle mass and strength? Does my carb intake support my daily and weekly training volume in terms of both energy and recovery? Is one macronutrient taking the lion’s share of my calories or is there a balanced approach where each is allocated an appropriate amount based on my goals?

  4. Does my home environment support my nutrition goals? This includes the foods I surround myself with and make readily available as well as the people I allow to influence my nutrition decisions.

  5. Who is holding me accountable for my nutrition choices? Do I feel like I have the discipline needed to make healthy choices on a daily basis that bring me closer to my goals? 

If you don’t feel like you have the answers to all of these questions, you’re in good company! Most CrossFit athletes know that they need to look after their nutrition to feel and perform their best, but few feel prepared and confident when it comes to their skill sets, habits, and mindset. That’s why some of the people performing at the highest levels rely on coaching to give them a leg up! 

If you’re ready to take that step, consider WAG Nutrition Coaching and let us pair you with an expert who will custom-tailor your nutrition based on your unique needs.

If you’d prefer to get a head start on your own, download our FREE Macro Tracking 101 guide. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to start a purpose-driven approach to fueling your CrossFit Open ambitions and beyond.