Competing in Crossfit: Advice from the Crossfit 1080 Veterans
Competing in Crossfit competitions is not a requirement for participating in Crossfit, nor is it many people’s goal. When you’ve been Crossfitting for a while and want to take your training to the next level, though, signing up for a team or individual competition might just be the push you need.
There are many different feelings, emotions and apprehensions surrounding competing in Crossfit. We asked some of our members who recently competed at a Game Day Competition, February 6-7 in Spirit Lake, IA to share some of their experiences with us from competing. For most it was their first time competing, here’s what they had to say!
We asked, “What went through your head when you first signed up to compete?
Some people’s first response was feeling a bit anxious. Jen reported “Definitely a mixture of excitement and anxiety” and Jana’s response was similar, “The first time I competed I was so nervous.” Although the nerves might have been setting in a bit at first, after taking a step back, many athletes realized there was more to it than being nervous, “I was scared” Maggie said, “but I was more excited to work toward my goals.” Michelle had a comparable attitude to signing up to compete, “I was just looking forward to pursuing something new, something that would present a challenge to me.”
Although “really excited,” Mandi also found herself with a new set of challenges, “I was slightly nervous that I’d let my team down. I also had this sudden realization that I’d be doing this in front of a lot of people, and a faceplant would most certainly not go unnoticed.”
Competing takes a different toll on your body than the normal Crossfit WOD, as there were six events over a two-day time period.
We asked, “Did you change anything about your training in preparation to compete?”
All athletes mentioned that they put some extra time in on their lifts. Crossfit weightlifting seemed to play a major role in competition preparation. Mandi modified her training slightly but mentioned “thanks to Tyler and his awesome programming, he really made me feel prepared for anything.”
Another common theme was the group competitors made time to practice together throughout the week. Jen, Simona and Maggie met approximately four times overall to do workouts while Mandi, Michelle and Jana met more frequently. “Practice, Practice, Practice,” Michelle drilled home, “Jana, Mandi and I practiced a few of our events together on different occasions. It allowed us the time to get comfortable with one another and the movements. It’s where we started discussing strategy, the order of how we would move between tag-ins and tag-outs. More importantly, it just built the foundation for clear and effective communication, essential to success for any team.”
Surely there were many triumphs while competing, we asked, “What was your favorite part about competing?”
“Once my nerves were under control I loved everything” said Jen. “It was fun to challenge myself in a way I never have. Having a team to cheer you on. For the most part all teams at competition were super friendly, cheering each other on. I learned about myself too, weaknesses and strengths.” Maggie simply enjoyed, “Being able to compete on a team with awesome people from the gym.”
Michelle responded, “My favorite part about competing was my teammates. I wouldn’t have been able to perform at the leveI I did that day without Jana and Mandi. I respect them, I admire their dedication, strength, endurance and abilities to support not only themselves, but those around them. They were the reason I worked so hard.” She continued, “It’s not about winning or losing, but keeping one another moving, doing good reps and simply laughing off the competitiveness. Because in the end, we all showed up to be the best versions of ourselves for the better of the team.”
Mandi enjoyed the format of the competition and “having two other badass awesome girls” on her team. She also knew the intensity would be “sky high.” Jana’s favorite part of competing was, “Just being able to leave it all on the floor!” She added, “The rush of adrenaline is pretty crazy too.”
We asked, “Would you compete again? If yes, would you keep everything the same or would you do anything differently for your second/third etc competition?”
All five athletes responded that they will compete again, our favorite response was Mandi’s enthusiastic, “ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!!” Michelle declared, “I absolutely would compete again.” Maggie wants to do more team competitions and an individual competition as well. Jen said, “I definitely plan on doing more. It was a lot of fun.” Mandi and Jana have already signed up for their next competitions.
For her next competition, Maggie plans to, “Keep training similar, but add a bit more cardio to the mix and make it a point to have a more balanced diet.” Jen said she would spend a little more time training for the workouts than she did for this one. Michelle’s response was, “Obviously no competition is the same as the next. I will take away what I’ve learned from this experience and use it as catalyst to train better, faster, stronger for future goals.”
By this point you’re surely wanting to compete too, don’t worry,
we asked, “What advice would you give to anyone thinking about competing?”
“DO IT!!” says Jen. “For me to be able to say I competed was an accomplishment and had a great time doing so. My big fear was “all those people watching me” and it was not like that. There is so much going on. It was inspiring to see athletes of all abilities giving it their all!”
“If anyone is ever thinking about competing, I’d say go for it.” says Mandi. “Whenever I tell anyone to try CrossFit and they come back with “it’s too intense and I can’t do any of that stuff anyways”, I always reassure them that everything is scalable and there is something for everyone. Same goes for competitions. Granted you cannot modify things within a competition, there are always small competitions being held all over the place.”
“Sign up.”Maggie said. “once you do that you have something to really focus on while your at the gym. Don’t even worry about the competition part, when it comes down to the actual day of the competition your body knows what to do. It also helps that during a CrossFit competition there is so much going on around you there are very few people focused only on you.”
In the wise words of Jana, “Just get out there and do it! Sign up and push yourself! It doesn’t matter what place you finish in just leave it all on the floor. It’s the best feeling knowing that you’ve given it your all. Get out there and sign up!”
Michelle said, “Don’t let fear of failure or defeats ever stop you from pursuing things that are new and exciting to you. Give yourself the opportunity to surprise yourself…because you will.” She added, “While competing, your energy is narrowed to what is in front of you, focused on what you know you have to do. Without even knowing it, you allow yourself to break through the limitations that you’ve set in your mind and push beyond to a different level of mental and physical potential.” She ended with, “You will enjoy every second of it. You will want to do more.”
If you’re looking for a new challenge, sign up for a team or individual competition! Feel free to ask any of the coaches or athlete’s who have competed before for advice, they are all here to help.
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