You’ve dedicated months and countless hours to bettering yourself as a CrossFit athlete. During this time, you’ve built up an impressive amount of strength and endurance. You’ve also probably pushed yourself in ways that you never thought possible. Now you may be considering a CrossFit competition. Whether it’s your first or your fifth, CrossFit competitions are certainly intense and challenging. They can also be fun and exhilarating. If you’ve put in the necessary amount of time and effort, you’re definitely ready for it. Here are some ways to best prepare for your first CrossFit competition.
- Division- Choose your division (and your teammates) wisely. Look at the competition’s division breakdowns and standards for each and be realistic. If the elite standard for a clean/jerk is 225 and you can do only get one or two at that weight, on a good day, consider scaling. Working weights and PR’s are not the same thing. If competing on a team, consider each teammate’s strengths and weaknesses. (Don’t forget your own!) They will come out in a competition. Conversely, don’t scale yourself down in order to easily clean house. It will be a hollow victory, and yes, they’ll notice.
- Goals -Set goals early. Small increases in your working weights can add up. An extra 15 minutes after each WOD devoted to a particular lift or skill will make a difference. Make your goals as specific, time sensitive, and manageable as possible. Those weight and rep gains can be the difference between 1st and 10th. Go for your PR!
- Weaknesses – Addressing your weaknesses will make you a better all-around competitor. Do you skip WODs when you know there are double unders? Or not heed your coach’s repeated attempts to correct your overhead squat form? Most of us have at least a short list of least favorites at the gym, and it’s easy to just muddle through and hope for a better WOD tomorrow. When a competition is looming, sometimes we do the same, throwing out prayers that certain lifts or skills won’t show up in the competition. When they do, it can shatter confidence. Address them. Now.
- Practice – CrossFit competition workouts are often challenging both physically and mentally. Expect to see 3 to 4 WODs done over the course of several hours. Add to that variations in certain movement standards (a one-legged burpee while holding dumbells? It’s possible) and you and your teammates may find yourselves slightly confused. When WODs are posted early, at least try to run through them and form a game plan. Your coaches can help you figure out a reasonable practice schedule and your gym may have extra group practice sessions when there are multiple athletes competing.
There’s no doubt that you will be feeling a bit nervous and hesitant when you’re heading into your first CrossFit competition. However, a good prep plan can help ease any concerns or doubts you might have. Setting manageable goals, addressing weaknesses early, and setting aside time to practice are all helpful ways to get ready. It’s also important to remember to have a little bit of fun along the way!