Getting the Most Out of the CrossFit Off-Season

Brandon Leary Articles, Updates

We are SUPER early in the CrossFit “season”, which we mark as the period starting after the Open and leading up the the following Open. Consider this the off-season! Many gyms approach this differently, but we have found that structuring in a broad yearly fashion helps our athletes of all skill levels get the most out of their training.

The off-season is the perfect time to address weaknesses, nagging injuries, and skill deficiencies. Not to say that these shouldn’t always be a concern, but now that we know we’re many months out from the next CrossFit Open, we can shift our focus slightly.

This means you should:

  1. Fix faults in your weightlifting movements.
  2. We program in Olympic weightlifting skill work before and after group class sessions. Take advantage of this. Ask for an Instructor’s help when they’re available, and consider setting up a personal training session to get some individual attention. Work on technical consistency in your workouts, rather than just moving as fast as possible with as much weight as you can.

  3. Get bigger & stronger.
  4. We’ll be squatting plenty, which can help. But this is also a great time to integrate assistance work with dumbbells to address imbalances and throw on some additional muscle. This does not mean curls for an hour. This means flys, db rows, db press, incline press, dips, etc. For the record curls are fine. “Bodybuilding” reps should be 8-12, sometimes til failure.

  5. Find your pace, where you redline, & what mindset to have during workouts.
  6. Now that competition is a long ways away, you can put additional energy into paying attention to how you complete your workouts. Do you rush right out of the gate, and quickly die out? Are you leaving too much in the tank? Experiment with pacing so that you know how you can do the best in every workout.

  7. Put extra effort into skills that need improving.
  8. Focus on strict gymnastics movement. Besides a select few, not many can do 30 strict hspu’s in a short window. Strict muscle-ups, strict chest to bar pull-ups, dips, and the list goes on & on. Don’t be afraid to bring it back to basics. We’re seeing too much subbing with crappy kipping movements rather than backing up & finding flaws in the strict version.

  9. Stay healthy!!

This is a time for you to focus more on moving well not only in structured sets of weightlifting or gymnastics movements, but during workouts. We’re far less concerned on your time on a workout when other things should be addressed. Did you catch with bent arms? Did you pull with a rounded back? Did your technique change due to fatigue? Where & why did the workout change for you?

These are the things you should be focusing on. We know it’s fun to compare scores & times but that should not the only way you measure the success of a workout.

Take the time with PVC & empty BB now. If you move well with those two things it will transfer to weighted lifts. No one here is above PVC. Film big lifts too! We shouldn’t be maxing out much until a full on weightlifting cycle happens (after Hatch) so dig in deep now to before class weightlifting.

Keep on keepin’ on, we see the hard work.