Crossfit Games 2011 - Open Sectionals WOD 1

Photo credit: Chris Plentus

With the recent announcement that the first WOD of the 2011 Crossfit Games Open Sectionals will be extended by a week, the immediate reaction from the masses was a bit of negative one; with plenty of complaints and frustration voiced at Crossfit HQ. Those who have spoken ill of the party have been documented by Dave Castro and will be blacklisted. I'm just kidding. The CF Secret Police are still being trained at B.U.D.S., and are not scheduled for activation until the 2012 season.

I can definitely see the frustration toward the 6-week open schedule, and then seeing that amplified when there are hiccups and delays in the process. But, let's look at this from another angle. The 6-week format (while it's not perfect) is laying the ground work for Crossfit to actually become a real sport. By keeping this structure we now have a competition season, like any other sport. And with that, you can set a clearly defined off-season, cycle your training, and it also allows other members of the Crossfit community to get a feel for the competition side of Crossfit without it being too overwhelming. It's just one workout on one day, surrounded mostly by a small group of people you know. As opposed to three workouts in a day with a few hundred strangers staring at you.

Yes, there have been problems and everything hasn't run very smoothly. I understand the frustration and think everyone has the right to be frustrated. Yes, six weeks in a row of events is taxing and time consuming, and may not fit in with your work life, family life, and social life. This format is a departure from last year, and the argument that it's not testing for intra-day recovery/capacity from multiple wods is a legitimate argument that I fully agree with. But let's be honest, this year's dark horse has probably been to a Crossfit competition somewhere, and has experienced doing multiple workouts in a day on more than one occasion. If Crossfit is your sport, and you call yourself a competitor, quit your bitching and just compete.

Photo credit: Chris Plentus
The mental side of competition is more important than the physical side. If the mind tells the body to keep going, the body will listen. This hiccup in the system is a mental test as much as a physical test. Can you adapt? Can you deal with the unknown and unknowable? Will you do the workout five more times and run yourself into the ground to get your best possible score?  Or, play it safe and continue with your tapered training as before? It's kind of like the SATs: best to take it more than once but after that your score either stays the same or goes down. This is just one of six workouts that you will be ranked on, and you have to keep that in mind. The people that win these competitions don't come in first place on every workout. Sometimes they don't come in first place on any workout.

If anyone is going to do WOD 1 a second (or third, or fourth) time, here is a compilation of tips and strategies from Crossfit athletes and coaches that will help you in WOD 1. I will not be attempting this workout again because for me, there's no point. I suck at double unders. 10,000 double under challenge be damned. So, the chances are strong that my score will not increase very much, if any at all. Now, if you're someone who is solid in double unders and just didn't game the snatches very well, then you would be better off trying it again in a few days; preferably with someone there coaching to keep you on pace.

Carl Paoli's insights on WOD 1.

Carl Paoli's movement prep for WOD 1.

Pat Barber's tips.

And one last video just for shits and giggles. This is basically a post from Drywall Crossfit regarding Frequently Asked Questions about the Crossfit Games Open Sectionals, put to animation. You have to be able to laugh at yourself.

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