My first Crossfit Open – a beginner’s prep & mindset for 16.1
This year was my first Crossfit Open. I approached it with no expectations other than to experience it, enjoy it (as much as I could), and set a benchmark for myself for next year. By this stage I’d been Crossfitting for 10 months and was just turning up to a session for a bit of fun and fitness. What I enjoyed about the Open was having something to work towards. It reminded me of how much I enjoy goal setting, the process of working towards a goal, and the “Oh my God, I just did that!” moments along the way and at the end.
When 16.1 was announced, I opted to do RX and not the scaled version of the workout. For someone who had been doing Crossfit for less than a year, and could only claim to have done RX on a WOD a few weeks prior, I knew it would be a serious challenge. However, this decision set the tone for me. My only goal for the whole Crossfit Open was to complete all workouts RX.
Crossfit Open workout 16.1
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.
Completing the WOD
What was going through my mind
I doubt any workout could have been more of a baptism of fire than 16.1.
My judge/scorer, Amanda, was as tough as the workout.
I knew the chest to bar pull ups would prove a challenge. I’d never done one before, only ever pull ups to my collarbone. Amanda wouldn’t let happen though.
“No rep,” she’d say.
“I can’t give that one to you,” she’d say.
It was good though, because what’s the point if you’re not meeting the standard? You’re only doing yourself an injustice. So, while she scored, Amanda talked me through it and explained the technique of a chest to bar pull up. And I did them, slowly, ever so slowly, but surely.
The first thing that came into my mind when I lifted that 30kg bar overhead for the 25ft walking lunges was: “I can’t do this!”
That’s the first time I’ve ever let those words slip at Crossfit, and I banished them out just as quickly as they came. As soon as you start to think “I can’t”, you open yourself up to fail – which, someone told me recently, simply stands for “First Attempt Is Learning”. I like that. (Thanks Simon!)
The burpees were something I stated to look forward to between the chest to bar pull-ups and the walking overhead lunges. When you consider burpees to be your ‘rest’, you know the workout is tough.
A few rounds in, those walking lunges were starting to get the better of me. Again, Amanda came to my rescue with these words: “One lunge at a time. Blank out, just breathe and move.” And so I did. It was the best advice and got me through to the end of that disgustingly satisfying 20 minute AMRAP.
After 16.1, I thought surely the worst was behind me…
I completed the Crossfit 16.1 workout with a total of 108 reps RX.
The week before 16.1 – workouts and meal plans
This is a journal of what I ate and how I trained in the week leading up to 16.1 (click on the image to download):
I’ve also written about Crossfit 16.2 and 16.3 and shared my workout schedule and meal plan.