Wanna get to The CrossFit Games Regionals? Let’s think about that for a sec... Written by Brent Fikowski...with some editing and opinion from Antony Lo at the end.
It is my pleasure to have Brent Fikowski guest write this blog about making it to Regionals. in case you don't know, Brent came in 6th in the Australian Regionals with only 3 points between him and 4th placed Matt Healey. He is now competing in Canada West and killed 14.1 with a score of 443...
What Brent wrote:
Trying to make it to Regionals? How many people have you heard say "I think I've got a shot this year" or "I'm training for Regionals"? I know I have heard everyone and their uncle tell me this. Do some have a shot? Absolutely! But some are being unrealistic.
Lets go over some things you need to realize before you make this lofty goal.
- Every year it gets more and more competitive. If you have been doing CrossFit for a while and you haven't made it yet, you need to have made some VERY large improvements in the last 12 months. Or if you are new you need to have a background in power/endurance/strength and have learned all the skills quickly.
- Last year the 48th placed individual male in Australia finished with 372 points. So on average he placed 74th in all the WODs. Now compare your previous Open scores to the 74th rank score. How close were you? Which one were you the farthest off and why? Are these weaknesses gone?
- Still think you have a shot? Pick your two worst movements and decide whether you prefer short or long WODs. Put those two movements together in your least ideal WOD length. How well would you place in that WOD against the best in your region? Or make the same comparison but with your 'perfect' WOD. Would you rank in the top 74 with your performance? Remember these are Open-Style AMRAPs, 4-17min long with repeating movements, standard equipment, easily judged.
- STOP FOCUSING ON YOUR 1RMS! Quit comparing your strength numbers to Games athletes. You need to spend your training time becoming better for The Open. If you can't do 50 unbroken double unders because you have spent every extra minute this year increasing your PRs by 5kg, you probably failed miserably at 14.1. When you qualify for Regionals, focus on becoming stronger so you can be more successful at that level. Until then become good at Open workouts. Do lots of wall balls, burpees, and high repetition barbell movements with medium weight.
- 48 individual athletes qualify each year… but realistically how many spots are there available? -In each region there are probably 10-20 individuals that are a LOCK into Regionals. The top athletes. The athletes that have been to the Games, the athletes that have been to Regionals three years in a row. The ones who were in the top 10 last year. The ones sponsored by some brand. Make no mistake, they WILL qualify. -Then there are the other 28-38 athletes that qualified last year to Regionals. They made it last year, they know what it takes to get there, and they have been training to try and get there again. -After that you have 20-30 athletes or more that have made Regionals in previous years. Maybe they were out due to injury, a new life commitment, or they ranked a few places too low last year. But they are training hard all year, and are ready. -Don't forget the individuals that have never made it, but have been very close to qualifying. Maybe they would have made it last year if their muscle-ups were more efficient, or their overhead strength was better. They've worked all year and you can bet those weaknesses are but a memory now.
- Lastly there are all the unknown newbies! Every year there will always be a new face at Regionals. This is one reason why The Games process is so exciting. -So be honest with yourself, where do you fit in? Can you beat enough of those other athletes to steal one of those 48 spots? Because you do not have to 'qualify' in the top 48, you have to beat out the rest to get there.
This is not meant to discourage but rather to give you a realistic look at what lies ahead so you can enjoy the most exciting time of the year as a CrossFiter. Stop staying up late 'Leaderboarding' and just enjoy exercising with your friends. Getting upset after the 3rd week because you are 200th is not where you want to be right? All you can do is give 100% in the Open WODs. That is it. In an interview with Chad Mackay at Regionals 2013 they asked him about what his goals were halfway through the weekend. Did he say win? Got back to the Games? No, he said he was just trying to give his best every WOD.
What Antony thinks:
I back Brent 100% on these points. What I would like to add are the following points as a PT who specializes in improving the performance of CrossFitters from Games-Level Athletes to the newbie...
- Technique, technique, technique. I simply cannot stress this enough! I have seen seriously good competitors (Games Level Athletes) improve simply because I corrected their movement a little or gave a different cue. These little things might be awkward to start with but they are for training...if you train to move well, you will move well during competition time. Far too many people trying to break into Regionals push themselves to go harder and faster and rarely consider that they need to back off the weight and intensity and fix their form issues. When you get your house in order, your performance will soar!
- Stop wasting time on routines that can take an hour to get through because you are "prehabbing" this and "rehabbing" that. In my experience, I can usually cut down your accessory work and "mobility" work down to about 15-30mins per day. When you combine that focused, mindful training, that is what will help you achieve high-level performances. You need to see someone who can pull all the threads together and consdense your warm-up, rehab, prehab and accessory work into a tight, focused program. If you can't find someone, ask me...I now do Skype consults!