How I Prepare for the CrossFit Open: Chad Mackay, the Newbie & the Veteran

Content by: Chad Mackay

CrossFit Open Tips

180 Nutrition: With the CrossFit Open underway, we asked three varied competitors perspectives on preparation, recovery and diet over the next 5 weeks. Whether you are CrossFit Regionals competitor or a complete beginner, there’s some great tips here for everyone.

Over to the ‘Unit’, the newbie and the veteran…

Chad Mackay CrossFitThe Unit: Chad Mackay – Crossfit Active

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?

Training and recovery, believe it or not, same deal. I train most days with Patrick Fitzsimmon and he is a good training partner for me as we have different strengths and weaknesses. I tend to do well in the strength/heavy workouts and Pat does well in anything bodyweight related. I think this is a great tip for anyone looking for a training partner, don’t just go looking for someone of the similar body shape / strengths as you – find someone that will challenge you. If I change anything during the Open different to day-to-day training its recovery. If the Open WOD is something overly taxing on the body i’ll spend some extra time recovering, even if the WOD isn’t heavy or even a heap of reps, the exertion that you put your body through in competition is at another level and that sometimes means an extra session for massage, chiro or yoga.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?

To be honest I try not to change anything all year round. I’ll give myself a treat post Games season with some pizza and ice cream but I feel better when eating clean and tend to keep to that all year round. My diet doesn’t change much day-to-day, read my food diary here it is very similar to what I’ll do most days.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?

Same with my supplements, I stick to my 180 nutrition as my post WOD protein and occasional use for meal replacement if I’m on the run, my Fish Oil and I’ve been trying Cell Charge for the past few months which I’m finding to have good results. Just like the diet, I won’t change this through the Open and wouldn’t encourage any athletes to change what they do in training especially for competition. Your body is used to what it goes through during your training, changing something in competition is likely to have adverse affects.

Renee Lynch CrossFit BondiThe Newbie: Renee Lynch – Crossfit Bondi

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I’m no professional so I treat the Open workouts like any other workout that pops up throughout the week. You never know what they are going to throw at you, that’s the (exciting?) part. Like any other day if I am sore I will rest the next day or work on my mobility pre and post WOD. A swim in the ocean after training also does the trick.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?
My diet remains the same all the time. You could label it low-carb high-fat, paleo-ish, sugar-free but for me what it’s really about is eating real food. I make everything from scratch and never go hungry. I have three solid meals a day and don’t really snack. I won’t be changing this during the Open.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I generally take magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D. I go through stages of taking Curcumin (turmeric) tablets. You could say it’s a fairly anti-inflammatory concoction I take which is great for when those muscles get sore. I also have two canisters of gelatin, one which mixes straight into a glass of water or a smoothie and one that makes me delicious berry jellies. Gelatin (as I’m sure everyone knows), is so good for joint health and recovery, sleep quality, great source of dietary collagen and helps aid digestion.

Ewan Seaford CrossFit BondiThe Veteran: Ewan Seaford – Crossfit Bare

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I started my specific ‘open’ training towards the end of January, I’ve stopped doing the super heavy sessions and swapped them for more metabolic conditioning and skill sessions. I’ve also moved from 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off, to 3 on 1 off. My percentage strength gains each year are small, realistically I’m not going to add anything to my max back squat over the next few weeks, whereas by focusing on a weakness I’ll hopefully be able to improve my efficiency of that movement.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open.
Inspired by some of the 180 podcasts you have broadcasted recently, I’ve seriously upped my fat intake. I’m feeling fantastic for it. Other than that the diet is mainly primal. Lots of vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and some dairy.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I won’t be doing anything differently for the open. Now isn’t the time to try something new. The supplements I take are 180 nutrition, fish oil, minerals and glutamine. All the supplements in the world won’t help a bad diet. I’ll be paying extra attention to the back of any label to make sure it isn’t supplemented with any nasties.

Guy – Ewan covers more of his lifestyle and training regime here.

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Chad Mackay

This podcast features Chad Mackay who is best known for being a Fitness Instructor, was born in Australia on Tuesday, December 8, 1981. Australian fitness instructor who is best known for running a gym called CrossFit Active in Sydney, Australia. He has also amassed over 40,000 followers on his Instagram... Read More

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1 Reply to “How I Prepare for the CrossFit Open: Chad Mackay, the Newbie & the Veteran”
CrossFit VSC says:

Great to have some insight into what the best are doing.

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