The Inside Scoop From Director of Coaching Mike Lee
“At this time of year, athletes only really need to focus on refining skills in relation to the competition they are going into. Too many athletes tend to overcomplicate their training in the hopes of improving. The reality is that athletes don’t get tremendously better between the Open and the Regional Competition.”
The training process between the end of the CrossFit Open season and the beginning of the CrossFit© Regionals has always been shrouded in mystery. Many assume that preparation for the two events are identical. In reality, training for the two CrossFit Competitive events is radically different.
There is a great deal of time between the end of the CrossFit© Competition series and the start of the inaugural CrossFit© Open. Because of the length of time, this is where most of the actual training for the CrossFit© Competition comes into play. Upon successfully completion of the CrossFit© Open, the training shifts from a focus on the accumulation of training volume to skill and technique development. It’s almost impossible to make massive ‘gains’ in the month between the two competitions.
In regards to our sponsored athletes, all of which will be competing at the upcoming South CrossFit© Regionals, the most important thing they have been working on is acclimating to training at higher altitudes. The venue of the South Regional has changed from Texas to Salt Lake City, Utah where the elevation is 4,226′. They’ve been training in a room which simulates the environment through decreasing the oxygen in the room and raising the pressure. It’s important that they begin to experience the environmental changes as it will greatly impact their ability to perform.
Another important part of their training has been working on the skills presented or announced by Dave Castro on his Instagram, like the introduction of the handstand walk obstacle course.
When it comes to improving physical skills, Director of Coaching Mike Lee had this to say,“If the athlete doesn’t have the skill, the best way to train that skill is to pick it apart and work on where their inefficiencies lie. It’s not about just doing a lot of the skill.” As such, OPEX athletes haven’t been trying to accumulate crazy amounts of volume in order to improve their skills, but rather focusing on their individual problems with each movement that may come up in the upcoming competition in addition to undergoing ‘Regionals Simulations’. For example, an athlete like Austin O’Neal needs to work more on the fundamentals of gymnastics than an athlete like Tennil Reed.
It’s also important that these athletes practice the ‘chaos’ of the ‘Regionals’ Competitions. OPEX athletes do this in what’s known as ‘regionals simulation weekend.’ They go through about four to five of these weekends in the lead up to the main event. They are put through the paces of six workouts in the course of three days to simulate the actual weekend of competition and practice the essential recovery habits which will ensure their competitive success.