Tackling the workout of the day or WOD is an exhilarating experience that begins with mixed emotions of enthusiasm and apprehension. With the constant variance of movements and workout designs it can be challenging to know exactly how to approach the workout of the day for the best possible results. Here are some key focus points to consider when preparing for your next WOD.
Know the Stimulus
Workouts are designed with specific intentions. AMRAPS will have a set round/rep range that athletes should achieve. For Time workouts will have a specific time range for athletes to finish inside of. Interval workouts will have time ranges that each round should be finished in. Knowing the intended stimulus of the workout allows for proper adjustment of movements and better understanding of the required pace of the movements. The stimulus is usually reviewed but of course ask a coach what the stimulus of the WOD is if you are ever unsure.
Once the stimulus is understood you can adjust the weights, distances, or movements as needed to meet your current fitness level and work around any injuries you may have. Scaling should be done in accordance with the stimulus. If the WOD is meant to be light and fast you should scale to a weight that allows for quick movement with unbroken sets. Coaches will be very helpful with this step. Please ask questions regarding scaling and do not hesitate to inform coaches of injuries so proper adjustments can be made. Generally, it is always best to consider lighter weights or simpler movements first before advancing to high level skills or heavy lifting.
Come up with a plan of attack for the WOD. Keeping the stimulus in mind it is important to consider your pacing and break up strategy for all movements. Shorter workouts with low rep schemes will call for fast pace and few breaks or unbroken sets while longer workouts will require many breaks and intentional pacing. Use your strengths and weaknesses to help determine a good strategy. If you are a strong runner but struggle with weighted movements, it would pay to push the pace on the runs while breaking deadlifts into multiple sets. A strong lifter may pace the run and complete deadlifts unbroken. Recording your scores and tracking progress on movements while knowing the stimulus and your strong and weak points will help you find the best strategy for each WOD.
You are 3 rounds in on a 5 round WOD and you have fallen off pace and there is no second wind coming. Now is the time to examine your thought process. When struggling through a workout a positive mindset can be the difference between sprinting through the finish or crumbling to the floor. As you begin to struggle your thoughts should be encouraging and uplifting to help gain confidence and keep you moving. Thoughts like “I have made this lift before I can do it again” can be catalysts for PRs while ideas like “Its not my day today I don’t think I can do it” can crush your spirit and hinder your success. Start to focus on your thoughts while you are in the most difficult part of the WOD and see if you can generate some positive self-talk and push through.