Had A Bad CrossFit WOD? Here’s How To Get Over It!

January 3, 2017


CrossFit is hard, right? Sometimes it’s a fun hard, and sometimes there’s not so much of the fun. Sometimes you actually feel like you had a really crappy workout and you could’ve done a lot better. Now that Christmas is over, Open season is approaching and we’re smashing through some tough workouts, this feeling might come more often – especially if you’ve put a lot of pressure on yourself to do well this year.

So how do you get over a bad workout? I’m slowly learning to bitch less, and to use bad WODs to my advantage and learn some lessons through them.

Keep your mouth shut

I learned pretty early on in CrossFit that nobody really has any time for whiners. WODs are never a walk in the park for anyone – and if they were, would we even bother doing them? – so you can be assured that everyone in the box felt as bad you did during the workout, if not worse. They just choose to keep quiet about it.

Saying that, it’s fine to chat to your mates about which bits were tougher and what they found difficult about it – you might learn something. Just don’t turn it into a pity party.

Be happy for your box mates…

You’re not going to be good at everything (unless you’re Froning): things you’re good at your friends might struggle with, and vice versa. If you’ve had a bad WOD, turn your attention to some of your box mates who might have smashed their previous time, hit a new PR or gotten their first muscle up, and show them some love. Don’t be bitter – be better.

… But don’t compare yourself to them

One of the reasons why CrossFit is so great is that everyone has different capabilities, and everyone is on their own journey of working on weaknesses and sustaining strengths. You might have done amazingly well with the workout, but only when you see your score on the board next to everyone else’s numbers you suddenly feel inferior. It’s so hard to do, I know, but try not to compare yourself to others! Compare to past performances – that’s the real way to make progress.

Think about why it was bad WOD

After a particularly grim WOD, I’ll try to think about why it was so bad for me – and more often than not it comes down to what I’ve had to eat that day. If I’ve not had enough carbohydrates, I just don’t perform my best! Try and think about the day or night you’ve had in the run up to your training. They might have been after a bad night’s sleep, or a stressful day at work. Add these notes to your training log; you’ll soon spot patterns and start to be able to tackle them.

On the flip side, do if you’ve had amazing WOD – full of energy, hitting every lift – think about why that could have been too. Did you eat right that day? Has your programming been consistent recently? The most successful people learn from their achievements, too.

Compare to a previous WOD

Maybe you’ve been feeling really fit recently and you didn’t do as well in the WOD as you expected. This is where a training log comes in handy – look for the same or a similar WOD you’ve completed previously. Though you might feel like you didn’t get the reps or time you should have, if you compare it you might find you’ve improved since last time. And if not – why do you think you didn’t? Address this, work on your weaknesses, then you’ll make progression.

I struggled my way through my first Open workout, scaled 16.1 – during the second lot of lunges my quads were screaming at me and my heart felt like it was coming through my chest, and I wasn’t sure how I’d carry on. I struggled through, though, and whilst I didn’t feel great during the workout, I’ve written it in my training diary, thought about what I can learn from it, and above all, celebrated my box mates’ successes. After all, that could be me next year!
1 comments so far.

One response to “Had A Bad CrossFit WOD? Here’s How To Get Over It!”

  1. Joey says:

    Great article. We’ve all had a particularly hard workout at some time. Totally relate to it! Had to repost it…hope you don’t mind.

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Sarah fitness blog Manchester


Welcome to That Squat Bot! I'm Sarah, a Personal Trainer based in Manchester, UK.

I love strength and functional training, but I also love trying different types of movement and using my fitness outside of the gym. I'm vegan who loves avocados and vegetables as much as I love a great veggie burger. I'm also a massive Marvel nerd!

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