Nutrition during the OPEN

By: Centerville CrossFit Leave a Comment

Nutrition is first of all, the most important piece of the puzzle when talking about fitness.   The “OPEN” should not suddenly have us change our diet to boost our performance.  Let’s take a look at how to properly fuel for not just our “OPEN” workouts but all workouts to maximize performance.

Nutrition during openWe should start by saying you should NOT be changing your diet a week before the “OPEN” starts. At a minimum you should be “eating clean” 3 weeks prior to Castro’s announcement.  High quality foods when eaten in a deficit will not provide any performance benefit.  We must understand the quantity of intake of our food and be sure not to decrease this throughout the 5 grueling weeks of the “OPEN.”  Giving yourself 3 months of dialing in your nutrition and finding the best fuel combination will yield the best results.

Here is a look at what we are trying to do by ingesting the proper foods/supplements.

  •         Boost Performance
  •         Hydrate
  •         Sustain Energy
  •         Preserve Breakdown of Muscle
  •         Speed Recovery

2-3 hours before the workout this process of prepping the body will begin.  This will allow us to be slightly fasted so our bellies are clear and nothing is in the gut.  This will greatly decrease that “pukie” feeling we have all had before.

PROTEIN: Be sure to eat lean protein (real food) during this time to help with preventing damage to the muscle and boosting recovery time.

CARBOHYDRATE: By eating Carbohydrate with protein, this will improve protein synthesis and prevents protein breakdown. Carbohydrate will also help in preserving muscle and liver glycogen which will increase muscle retention and growth.

FATS: Help slow digestion which will help keep blood sugar and insulin at a steady level.  Fats also provide vitamins and minerals which are important to everyone’s diet. Do not appear to affect performance either way.

60 min prior to workout: you should focus on liquid sugar and protein so digestion can happen more rapidly.  Sipping on a Gatorade will slightly increase sugar levels to combat the decrease soon to follow during the workout. Drinking half a protein shake will help with hydration and providing immediate fuel during the workout. Small amounts of caffeine can keep energy levels high.  Be sure not to intake too much caffeine however so the heart rate can be regulated and not have you feeling “jacked up.”


  • Dial in Diet 3 weeks before open (3months is better so some practice with timing and food choices are known)
  • Eat real food 2-3 hrs before your workout (lean protein and vegetables)
  • Switch to liquid fuel an hour out from your workout (increase sugar level and stay hydrated)
  • Add Caffeine to increase alertness but not too much to feel “jacked”


Author: Spencer Ferst

Spencer was born and raised in the rural town of St. Paris, Ohio and attended Graham High School. During his high school career he was a three-sport athlete who excelled in football, baseball, and basketball. The University of Findlay was the next step in Spencer’s educational and athletic career where he studied strength and conditioning and played varsity baseball. He obtained his Bachelor of Science, Associates Degree in Personal Training, and earned his varsity letter in his 4 year tenure. After undergraduate school the next task was graduate school, where he studied to become a licensed physical education and health teacher.
During this time, Spencer started his coaching career by helping out with the University of Findlay Baseball team and coaching Liberty Benton as the junior varsity coach. Shortly after school was over Spencer accepted 2 different positions as an English teacher in Jinju, South Korea. During the stay he studied the language and can speak, read, and write in Korean.
After his return from overseas, Spencer was driven to dive head first into fitness as a career and as an athlete. CrossFit fulfilled both of those desires and he is still “drinking the cool-aid.” He was fast-tracked right away by obtaining his Level 1 Certification and interning at CCF. Spencer is currently involved in all levels of classes at CCF and enjoys taking on personal training clients to round out his experience. Building a strong and fit community is his focus and is driven to become a better coach daily.

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