Health & Wellness Blog

5 Tips to Survive the 2017 CrossFit Open

By Coach Matt

It’s that time of year again guys, the CrossFit open is only a few weeks away! This year we wish to see as many of our members compete as possible. From past experiences, the coaches of AZ have compiled their five top tips for surviving the CrossFit Open.


Everyone at some stage has had, or will encounter ripped callouses from CrossFit. In the lead up to, and during the open, one of the most important things to keep in mind is hand care. Ripped hands are possibly one of the most annoying and painful reoccurring issues within CrossFit. Besides the potential for infection from open wounds, the associated pain can lead to decreased performance across many grip intensive workouts. If you’re taking the Open seriously, this reason alone should be the underlying motive to not neglect hand care from your daily routine during the open.

Best tips for preventing callouses are:

  • Using a nail file or pumice stone to prevent callouses from bulging
  • Moisturising often to prevent hands drying out (Dry hands are much easier to tear)
  • Investing in some quality hand grips e.g. JAW grips


Mobility and recovery are easily the two most important things to be on top of during the open. There is no doubt that if you go to complete any workout while you are stiff and sore your performance will be greatly affected. For safe and efficient movement patterns, spending an extra 10-20mins a day working on mobility issues in both the lead up to, and during the open is greatly recommended by all the coaches. On top of this, making sure a nutritious diet, good level of hydration and taking rest days is vital to allow for optimal performance come game day. Each Friday after the Open workouts are released, the AZ coaches will upload a video with mobility exercises to incorporate into your warm ups before you start the WOD.

Recovery Tips:

  • Get into our Restoration Zone once a week at least for a steam + sauna and Yoga and or Stretch Therapy Class.
  • Get good quality and quantity sleep
  • Take key supplements to support your recovery and performance. Remember DIET is king!


Creating a plan before attacking the open workouts is key to achieving targets you set yourself for the event. Without a plan, athletes tend to either give too little or too much effort. Developing an idea of the pace, rep schemes and rest time is crucial if you don’t want to burn out in the opening minutes of a workout. For pace, you want to find a speed where you can keep moving consistently without gassing yourself or allowing lactic acid to build up to the extent that you need to stop. When choosing rep schemes, it’s important to know the limits of your body on a load to reps ratio. For example, if an athlete can snatch 80kg for 5 reps and is asked to complete a 60kg Snatch for 15 reps, this athlete will most likely go to failure if they attempt to complete 15 reps unbroken. It is key to adopt the idea of “Planned rest” where you will break the work into sets of achievable reps without form breaking down or feelings of fatigue building up. These sets should be divided by small rests, no more than 10 secs in length. Personally, when resting, rather than breaking for a certain time period, I will break for a number of breaths (Usually 3-5 deep breaths). This allows me to get my breath back and stay calm throughout a workout. To find the optimal pace, rep scheme and rest length, I would recommend to work through 1 round of the workout first to get an idea for how fatiguing a round would feel and base your estimations off this.


During the open, the scoreboard not only reflects how fit you are, but also your work ethic and how much you’re willing to hurt. When you’re competing against hundreds of thousands of people from across the world, every rep counts. At the end of the workout you want to be able to look back and say you gave it everything and that you’re proud of your efforts! The competitive nature of the open allows athletes of all abilities to step up and really push the limits of an individual’s fitness level. This is a great journey of self-discovery of how far you are willing to push yourself and it might even allow you to do something you didn’t realise you were capable of. The key tip for being able to push that little extra further is to evaluate your performance with these simple questions:

  • Are you proud of what you have achieved?
  • Could you have completed this faster?
  • Did you give everything you possibly could’ve given on that day?


During the Open it is easy to get caught up in the competitiveness of the whole thing.
For the majority of people, the next step of Regionals is not a realistic goal. So although you want to give it your all during the workout, it is important to remember to have fun at the same time. Cheering on the other athletes, throwing around jokes and banter are great ways to increase the energy across the room and to take off a bit of the tension and nerves that come with the workouts.

The CrossFit open is a great way to challenge yourself and compare your fitness levels against not only your friends but the whole world. Regardless of your fitness level, the open will allow you to discover both your strengths and weaknesses whilst enjoying the company of the whole CrossFit Newstead family at the same time.

To sign up, go to and throw your name underneath our affiliate CrossFit Newstead. This will all kick off February 23, so make sure to get in as soon as possible!



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