How to Recover from Crossfit Open Workouts with Kelly Starrett

recover from crossfit open workout 18.1The most competitive time of the year for Crossfitters is here. For the next five weeks, a new workout will be announced on Thursday night and participants will have until Monday night to submit their best score. The Open workouts are a time for the elite Crossfitters to qualify for the Regional events and for all athletes to see how they rank and try to improve their standing year over year.

Kelly Starrett, founder of MobilityWOD, understands that these workouts require athletes to push their limits and are very demanding on the body. It’s important to recover before re-attempting a workout over the four day window or before completing the next workout in line. Recovering properly will not only help you give your best performance, it will also help prevent injuries.

Recovering from CrossFit Open Workouts

Want to learn how to survive and thrive in the Crossfit Open? Below are Kelly’s specific strategies to help you recover more effectively so you can be more successful during workout 18.1.

  1. Cool down: Try to spend 10-15 minutes cooling down. This can be an easy conversational pace row or assault bike. You can even just walk around. The goal is to make sure you keep moving.
  2. Nutrition: Consume 20-30 grams of easily digested protein in 18-20oz of water within 20/40 minutes post WOD. Women have a shorter window where they can pull in water so they will be closer to the 20 minutes post WOD mark. This isn’t about muscle synthesis, it’s about rehydration. A little bit of easily digested protein can suck water right back into your cells so you can begin the recovery and rehydration process.
  3. Address tightness: After you cool down, spend 10 minutes addressing specific & localized tightness. You can use any type soft tissue technique.
  4. Take a walk: After dinner, take a 15-20 minute walk. This will help with circulation and remove congestion from the body. Walking will help you sleep better and address stiffness from max effort workouts.
  5. Targeted tissue work pre-bed: Spend 10 minutes before bed doing targeted soft tissue work. By this point, you will have been able to absorb the workout and know which areas feel tight or where issues might be arising. Focus on these areas.
  6. Go to bed early: Be in bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. If you can get 30 minutes of additional sleep a night during this period, that’s an additional whole night’s sleep worth of time after two weeks. During intense efforts it’s important to sleep a little bit more.
  7. Limit your alcohol consumption: If you’re feeling the need for a beer, go with a non-alcoholic option. Alcohol can impact your heart and quality of sleep. Kelly recommends spending that drink credit as far away from these training efforts as you can.

Open Workout 18.1: Areas of Interest to Focus Recovery Efforts On

  • Forearms– Voodoo floss
  • Low back– Take your ball of choice and clean up the erectors and QL between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the pelvis. Spend a few minutes here working side to side.
  • Ab Recovery– Gut smash on volleyball/slam ball
  • Marc Pro– For this open workout, the low back protocol is recommended. Kelly suggests using Marc Pro for 1-2 hours before you go to sleep.

One of the great aspects of the Open is to try to figure out how to train and how to compete.  Almost everyone can be good at it one day, but not everyone can be good five weeks in a row. Follow Kelly’s protocol and you’ll have no problem recovering from Crossfit open workout 18.1. Good luck!