Game Day Consistencies


Hey everyone! It’s #wellnesswednesday and in light of the first workout of the CrossFit Open being announced, I’m going to write a bit about keeping your training practices consistent and in support of your game day practices.

The concept is quite simple: your training days are just that…training in preparation for the event (whatever that may be, whether it’s sport specific, responding to a crisis, overall function, etc etc etc). That means that every day you are working out you are training, and the hours before and after are opportunities to reinforce good habits and practices that support your ability to perform (see last week’s blog where I talked about that a bit). In no particular order, here are some things that need to be considered when you train, and I’m sure I’m missing a few:

1. Fueling (and that means fueling over the last 12-36 hours, not just something you put down as a pre-workout right beforehand!
2. Sleep
3. Recovery from last training session
4. Circadian rhythm (do you have a consistent time of day you train?)
5. Warmup protocol
6. Mental focus and being in the moment with your training

So what happens if you train very specifically and consistently in regards to the above checklist, but then game day comes along and you work out at a different time, eat totally different foods, try a new pre-workout because you see it’s endorsed by a Games athlete, and don’t do a similar/appropriate warmup protocol before you compete? Therein lies the point of the article—training days are your opportunity to try new things, but game day is doing what you know works for you best at that moment in time. Control as many variables as you can—some pieces you may have more control of than others (time of the event, for instance), but that means it’s up to YOU to plan your fueling and rest/recovery appropriately relative to that training time so as to keep as much of it consistent as is in your control.

‘The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war’ (Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek). I liked that saying when I first heard it years ago, and it transcends the idea of peace and war. Whether you compete in a sport, want to be better at life, or train to fight, the principle is true. If you are regularly lax on your training habits, it’s unrealistic to expect anything impressive out of yourself when it counts.

Another favorite quote of mine also applies to this blog: ‘We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.’ (Archillocos). If you are expecting something magical to happen in the heat of the moment to compensate for your lack of preparedness, I’d like to cite yet one more quote: ‘You can wish in one hand and shit in the other and tell me which fills up faster.’ (every dad and grandpa in the US!)

Haha, ok, jokes aside, I hope you all got something out of this blog. The overall point of my blog is to demonstrate that the purpose of training is just that—it’s training in preparation for an event or trying to facilitate an adaptation in the body (get stronger, faster, etc). Treat your training sessions as such rather than just thinking of them as checking a block and mindlessly working out. Doing so will ultimately be what is responsible for long-term adaptations and improvements and prep you for what is ultimately the purpose or application of your training.

If you haven’t been seriously training for the Open, then don’t stress about it! The fact is, CFD doesn’t have enough competitors right now to even put a serious team together, so we can simply have fun with it and enjoy the announcements and workouts. Last year’s Open was a really fun series of workouts, and I hope you all enjoy running through the testers over the next 5 weeks whether you are registered or not! Let’s use this opportunity to build the community, enjoy the process and have fun with it!

See you at the gym!


—Coach Phil