Probably not a brand you’d expect to pay $800+ for, but the performance of the Vulcan Strength Absolute Stainless Steel competition bar definitely reflects the price. The bar easily rivals my competition ready barbells. If you can get lucky enough to snag one off of their closeouts, you’re looking at the biggest steal in barbell history. Either way, the Vulcan Absolute is worth your attention if you’re looking for a competition ready training bar.
It seems like it was just yesterday that I was doing the Fran that never ends, but that was almost one full year ago now! It’s crazy to think about how a 100lb thruster felt SO heavy then, compared to how light a 135lb thruster feels now! How 40 burpees took me double the time it takes me to do 50 burpees now. What about wall balls, 150 of them…eh…wall balls still suck. All too often (when talking about the Open), I hear “Why would I just throw away 20 bucks? It’s not like I’m going to make it to the Games.”. That’s may be true, but I’m sure you’ve wasted $20 on worse things in your life. With the Open upon us, I thought I’d go over a list of things that I took away from my first CrossFit Open.
1. You’re not as good as you think you are, but you’re also a lot better than you think you are.
During the 2013 Open, I honestly thought I would do a lot better than I did on some of the workouts, but also I did better on some of the workouts than I thought I would do. Not making it to at least two rounds of the Fran that never ends was pretty disheartening, but actually finishing the wall balls in 13.3 was something that I didn’t think I would do. Better yet, I watched other people day after day and week after week, do better than they thought they would. All throughout the Open, I saw people PR on weights that they had never done before. Weights and lifts that they never even bothered to try before because they thought it was out of their own ability. The Open will push you past what you thought you could ever do, or serve you a big ol’ piece of humble pie and put you right back into your place.
We all love to hang out at the box with our friends or cliques. I thought my box had a pretty tight knit crew last year, but I never knew anything about our community until the events we had for the Open. People I hardly knew cheering me on, me cheering on other people I hardly knew. The Open events we had last year ended up becoming parties with even families and friends that don’t crossfit coming to watch. Everyone just wants everyone else to do the best they can. No egos, the (friendly) competition that’s usually between members becomes more of an “If you win, the box wins, and I win.” thing. You just want your box to be represented in the best way possible, no matter who’s doing it.
3. “Together we struggle, together we grow.”
I know this is the CrossFit RepScheme “slogan”, but think about this on more of a global scale. Millions upon millions around the world, are feeling that same hurt from these workouts that you are. Even the fittest man and woman on Earth are doing the same workouts, feeling the same pain. The more people that sign up for the Open and do the workouts, the greater our sport grows and gets. Maybe that friend that is always hating on crossfit comes to watch you, then decides that he wants to give it a try and ultimately ends up loving it. Maybe your parents that come to watch you, decide they want to try it out! Everyone wins here. People you love as well as millions around the world getting healthier; also more people leads to greater competition and ends up with more fun, challenging workouts for you!
4. Eat and Sleep enough.
If there’s anything I can’t stress enough, it’s recovery. The Open is 5 weeks of workouts, on top of the training you’re probably going do in the beginning of the week. Sometimes the workouts don’t seem like all that much, but it all adds up and if you’re not getting adequate rest and sustenance, there’s no way you’re going to perform like you want to. A lot of us get lost in the void of eating clean or nothing at all. Though I’m no nutritionist (nor do I eat all that clean), I try to be supportive of eating as clean as you possibly can, and eating nothing at all is probably the worst thing you could do. Sometimes it’s not always possible to eat perfect, but you can always make the better choice with whats available. I won’t workout for the day if I don’t get at least 6 hours of sleep on the minimum. Not only does sleep deprivation effect motor and mental skills, If you’re not sleeping, your muscles aren’t healing.
TAKE YOUR REST DAYS.
5. There’s always next year.
Like the girl you just bought a drink for, the Open goes as fast as she comes. But don’t you worry, there’s always next time; and next time you’ll be better prepared, won’t you? Take the beatdown you got from this year’s Open, think about how you did, and use that information prepare for next year. It doesn’t matter that the workout’s might not be the same, (except 12.4, 13.3, probably 14.2 and 15.1, ugh.), the Open marks a year of doing crossfit. One full year of PR’s, accomplishing goals, competitions, WOD’s, and god forbid, injuries. It’s been one full year for me, I’m more excited than ever to see how I’ll do with my new found abilities and strength. That doesn’t make me any less nervous than you are though.
So…what are you waiting for? I promise, the only thing that you’ll regret is not signing up for the Open.