Should You Redo Your Open WOD?
by Erik Castiglione
Should you redo your Open WOD?
The end. Thanks for reading.
In all seriousness, I am opposed to redoing the Open WODs in the vast majority of cases. Instead, I prefer the “one and done” approach. If you want to try it again, wait a year and see if your general level of fitness has improved. Otherwise, I don’t believe it’s worth it. Why not? For several reasons.
First, the Open WODs are grueling tests of fitness (for the most part, anyway). If you’re pushing as hard as you can, you’re exerting 100% effort. It takes 72 hours for your nervous system to fully recover from max effort, assuming your nutrition, hydration, and sleep, are on point. Allowing your muscles to fully recover MAY take longer, depending on the movement performed, and the volume of that movement. Let’s use wall walks as an example – we don’t perform them as a class frequently. If we do, they’re used as a warm-up before we work on handstands. Or we assign them to individual members as part of a progression for handstands. I can honestly say I have NEVER programmed them to be done for time. Our athletes showed themselves to be strong and capable enough to perform a ridiculous volume of this movement during 21.1, but I’d venture a guess that many will feel their shoulders fried for days to come. It’s a new movement performed in high volume, so recovering is going to be challenging. The same is true for high volume pull-ups, or snatches, or other taxing movements – the only way to even approach full recovery before a retest would be to do the WOD on Friday, and then again on Monday, and even that is pushing it for most people.
Building on the first reason, if you decide to retest, you’re likely killing your training for several days. If you perform the WOD on Friday and then rest all weekend to be fresh for Monday, you’ve lost a couple days of training. And, assuming you exceed your Friday effort, you’re likely to take Tuesday off, or treat it as an active recovery day. Not to mention you’re doing the Open WOD instead of what we already have planned for Monday. So, you’re messing with recovery, training organization, and likely missing days of work. All three are detrimental for continued progress.
Anecdotally speaking, I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve seen people perform better the second time around. More frequently they do worse or get exactly the same score. If/when that happens to you, it is EXTREMELY demoralizing. But it shouldn’t be a surprise given my first reason. Is it really worth it to sacrifice your recovery and continued training for a score that’s no better?
In rare circumstances, it is. If you completely FUBARed your pacing or strategy to the point where you couldn’t perform anywhere close to your max output, it might be worth it. Or, if you got no repped so many times that you lost count, and you’re able to fix the cause of that, it might be worth it. (Hopefully in these instances you save your energy and just call it a day without completing the workout, so you can come back stronger). Or, if you’re on the cusp of qualifying for the Master’s Qualifier or Quarterfinals, and you need to improve or die trying, it might be worth it.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether or not to retest an Open WOD. Unless you have a legitimate reason like those listed above to retest, I would advise against it. Feeding your ego is not a legitimate reason, as much as we’d like it to be, and as difficult as it can be to ignore. We’re in this for the long haul, so let’s focus on the big picture. One week down, two to go. See you in the gym.
 FUBAR – Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition