Should I Compete?
CrossFit competitions are like most things outside our comfort zones. It’s no different than public speaking, bungee jumping, or getting on an airplane for the very first time. The idea seems more daunting than it actually is. And the worst part is the build-up to the event.
Signing up for your FIRST CrossFit competition can be terrifying and when considering whether to compete, people can fall into the trap of negative self-talk. “I’m not fit enough”, “What about all those fans?”, “Everyone else is much stronger / bigger / faster than me”.
We are here to assure you that’s just the fear talking. You know what we say here at SoLa CrossFit!
FEAR IS A LIAR
The key to overcoming fear is feeling scared and taking action anyway! That’s the true definition of bravery after all and every athlete who musters the courage to sign up for a competition is terrified! So rest assured you are not alone. So throw out the idea you need to be 100% ready and JUST DO IT.
If you take the time to talk with athletes who have competed in the past, the pride they feel from overcoming their fear, just showing up and doing their best far outweighs the nerves that lead up to competition day. You’re already a CrossFit athlete, so you know, challenging yourself brings feelings of joy and satisfaction that make your life better! If you’re healthy, training without pain, and loving your daily CrossFit workouts you’re ready to compete.
Select Your Division
The first step in selecting the correct division for your first competition is to check the Movement Standards for each division to ensure you can complete the required movements at the weight prescribed. Most competitions offer a list of the “minimum requirements” or “movement standards” for each division.
When you’re deciding between the Scaled and Rx divisions, it comes really down to your comfort zone. You want to feel comfortable with all the movements and weights in your selected division. For your first CrossFit competition, it’s almost always best to select the Scaled Division. As you progress in your experience and strength RX will be an option moving forward. You can check the Movement Standards for Valentine’s Day Massacre here for an example.
Once you’ve selected your division and signed up for you first competition the hardest part is over! You’ve overcome your fear and taken action anyway. Congrats on your courage. Now you can shift your focus to being as prepared as possible. Focus on these steps:
- Stay consistent in your training. Prioritizing training consistency and volume is the best preparation for competition day. Athletes that followed the 50-70% effort rule and periodically tested their true max, are better off than going 100% every single training session. Training 5-6 days/week will help replicate some of the fatigue you’ll experience on competition day.
- Practice competition movements. Familiarize yourself with the specific movements and WOD’s of your upcoming competition and practice, practice, practice! We recommend practicing each WOD twice. Once at half speed with reduced reps to familiarize yourself with transitions, breaks, and movement patterns. Transitions are hugely important and often overlooked. Waste no time switching between equipment; this skill requires practice like anything else. You can check the movements for our upcoming Valentine’s Day Massacre competition here!
- Prioritize recovery after training. Focusing on great recovery can allow you to get more training in without feeling sore, train with less down time and help strength gains. Recovery methods include adequate sleep (7-9hrs/night), hydration (aim for a gallon of water per day) and appropriate nutrition. If you want to take recovery to the next level you can begin to include contrast therapy (hot/cold exposure), Normatec Compression & vibration technology. All of these tools are available in the SoLa CrossFit Recovery Zone!
- Be prepared for competition day logistics. Make sure you know your heat times and the approximate amount of time you’ll be at the event. This will allow you to pack your competition bag with the right food, pre-workout, workout gear (clothes, lifters, weight belt, etc) and plan your recovery breaks.
You’ve overcome your fear, selected your division, signed up for your first event and done the prep needed to show up on competition day! You have so much to be proud of. Few people run full speed ahead and jump in head first. Most stand at the edge of the shore, testing to see how cold the water really is. You’ve decided to be the person that improves everyday, no matter what. There’s only one thing left to do. HAVE FUN!
Looking for a local competition to dive into? Grab a partner and join us at SoLa CrossFit for Valentine’s Day Massacre taking place on February 4th, 2023.