CrossFit is well known for the variety and unexpectedness which comes with every WOD. Your body is always surprised, challenged and pushed to your limits. Everyone is adequately challenged and you rarely do the same routine twice a week. There are always new opportunities to test your progress as an athlete. The more experienced athletes will have a better idea how to effectively complete the requirements of a WOD. This includes using the right tactics and equipment that the workout calls for. Small details matter, and this is a quick walkthrough of what you can do to optimize every WOD.

1. Concentrate on Your Breathing

Most people overlook certain breathing practices while performing different exercises. There is a reason why coaches instruct you when to inhale or exhale while executing a movement. It makes all the difference. With air and oxygen properly circulating in your body, you’ll have more fuel to move through the WOD. A calm and steady rhythm helps you establish your pace.

2. Control Your Pace

It might be tempting to go hard and fast at the start of your workout while your lungs are still at their peak and you have fresh legs; but it’s better to keep in mind that you are training for both strength and endurance. You might be considering trying heavier weights or going faster than usual, but ask yourself: Will I have enough strength to finish the rest of the WOD if I go this hard?

Some WODs are shorter than others. These in particular are designed for you to operate on your maximum pace, moving as much as possible in that given time. These WODs call for no rest — just a sprint to the finish. For longer WODs, pacing is more important. It would not be efficient to burn out within minutes of starting the WOD and have your performance suffer for the rest of it.

3. Break Up Your Sets

how to optimize every wod

You should not push yourself to failure during every round of every workout. This is part of controlling your pace. Choose a number of reps that you are confident you are able to complete and break up your sets accordingly.

One of the most popular and effective rep schemes is 21-15-9. This is because you can break it up into distinct subsets. You can have 3 sets of 7 reps, 3 sets of 5 reps and finally 3 sets of 3 reps. Another popular way to break up this scheme is 11 and 10, 8 and 7, then 5 and 4. Think of this every time you have to do a particularly challenging WOD.

4. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Being aware of what you do best and what you need improvement on can help a lot with optimizing every WOD. It takes a lot to turn weaknesses into strengths, but it can be done.

The biggest step to overcoming your weaknesses is to step up and just do it. You will never improve on something you avoid doing. Be humble and face them head on. Work on them, train hard and never stop trying to improve.

5. Rest

While it’s important not to rest too long, rest remains a vital part of every WOD. Don’t beat yourself up. You might even beat your personal record if you actually plan to rest. Rest is not for the weak. Rest is for smart people who know how to optimize their workouts.

Pacing yourself and focusing on quality over quantity is beyond important when it comes to optimizing your WODs. Aside from getting the most out of your workout, you also reduce the risk of injury and help yourself to achieve more in the long run.