How to Prepare for the 2017 CrossFit Open

Thursday at 7 p.m. CT, CrossFit is set to announce the first WOD of the 2017 CrossFit Open (referred to as 17.1 in CrossFit parlance). Last year, 16.1 was a 20 minute AMRAP/logistical nightmare of walking lunges, pullups, and burpees. Dave Castro, the director of the Games, is kind enough to give “hints” to what might be coming down the Pike Thursday evening. However, his hints are cryptic, and speculation often gets us nowhere.

In the meantime, most of us suspect dumbbells will be involved (dumbbell clusters?), so at the box, we’ve been playing with dumbbells. So far this week, we’ve done dumbbell squat cleans and dumbbell shoulder to overheads. But as for preparing for the 2017 CrossFit Open? You can’t do that, not easily. Here’s what I learned last year, though:

Be prepared for anything. The whole point of CrossFit is the unknown and the unknowable, so it makes sense that you can’t prepare for the 2017 CrossFit Open. There could be thrusters, burpees, wall balls, deadlifts – anything you do at the box, expect it to show up in the Open, no exceptions. Don’t be surprised when it does. By now, you should have a decent grasp of all the movements involved.

Strategize at 8 p.m. CT Thursday night. The majority of my box is doing the Open WODs on Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. That means I can start strategizing at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday nights. For example, if a 20 minute AMRAP shows up as a WOD, I can strategize how I’ll handle it (hint: slow and steady). If there’s a movement at the beginning that I can RX, like toes to bar, I can decide whether I’ll do just toes to bar or do the scaled version. By Saturday morning, I’ll know how I’m handling the WOD, hopefully.

Don’t get stressed. The snatches in 16.3 had me so stressed out last year. I had less than a year of CrossFit under my belt, and my snatches were shaky. I was still working on technique. Stressing didn’t help me. Like most of the people completing the 2017 CrossFit Open WODs, I’m just competing against myself. The only way I’d make it to Regionals is if every other Masters Division female broke her legs. It won’t happen. There’s no reason to stress.

Get ready to push yourself. The Open WODs will challenge you. Last year, 16.5 (45-pound thrusters and burpees over the bar) had me close to meeting Pukie. Coach AJ, my judge, kept me going. I pushed harder than I ever had before, and I surprised myself. You might surprise yourself, too.

What are you doing to prepare for the 2017 CrossFit Open? Sound off in the comments!