So I was asked after my last CrossFit Competition, “What is a CrossFit competition?” by someone who has no concept of what CrossFit is.
My first reaction, “Well, it’s a day you pay money to get your ass kicked. It was awesome!”
But I decided against that response since it sounded like only insane people would do such a thing (I know, all CrossFitters are insane, but you get the point).
A CrossFit competition is usually a day-long event (sometimes two days) on the weekends that consists of several workouts against other competitors. They can be individual or team competitions. Obviously the goal is to win.
Anyone can sign up and compete and they’re fun! They also are killer most of the time and it takes your body several days to recover because they are designed to push your limits. Competitions expose your weaknesses and your strengths. They motivate you to do better and improve.
For me, it’s all about winning. Last competition, I got 5th. Next one I’m signed up for is February 17th. It’s a partner one. And I’m aiming to win!
So now that I have a handful of comps in the books, I’d like to give you some advice that I’ve learned–the hard way.
To perform your best, it’s all about your eating the day before and the day of. Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, drink lots of water, and load up on protein.
The day of the event, overpack your food. You will eat more than normal and more than you think you will. Your muscles will be craving nourishment and you need to supply them so as not to fall flat on your face. You don’t want to run out of food at 2 pm with one WOD left.
Look at your heats and plan your meals/rest accordingly. Plan your breakfast before you leave and when you’ll eat all throughout the day. This may change if your body needs more, but at least have an idea what fuel you’ll need.
Pack your own recovery/protein drinks. Don’t rely on the venue for water. Be prepared.
Pack your bag the night before. Most competitions start early and if you have to travel, this will make for a long day. If you wait till the last minute, you will inevitably forget something.
Get more sleep the night before. Go to bed sooner. Don’t drink alcohol–especially to an excessive amount. You don’t want to have a hangover all morning. Then you will hate CrossFit competitions.
Bring cash. Usually, there are vendors that sell some pretty cool stuff. Furthermore, you may want to grab lunch if you have time or if you’re coffee obsessed like me, a coffee after your last WOD while you wait for the results. This is priceless!
Make sure you have a jacket and sweatpants. After a WOD and you cool down, you may need one depending on if the air conditioning is blaring or it’s winter and cold out.
Sunglasses!!! Even if it’s mostly indoors, one event may be outdoors and you may need the shades to see!
Band aids. Tape. Neosporin. Just in case you rip, etc.
All your shoes. Lifters, CrossFit, running, casual, etc.
All your personal equipment. The last thing you want to forget is your jump rope! This includes, weight belt, grips, wrist guards, knee sleeves, and any other personal gear you wear. One guy had a singlet on last competition!
A positive and open attitude. Talk to the other competitors. Cheer them on. Get to know them. One, it’s cool to meet other CrossFitters. Two, you never know what tips these seasoned veterans hold. Be friendly and open and you’ll have a blast!
It’s not about winning (well, it is), but seriously, have fun! That’s why you signed up. To compete in cool WOD’s with other serious CrossFitters at different boxes and enjoy the sport we all love!
THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE: BYOC. Bring your own coffee at 7 am. It’s worth the extra time in the morning and usually after check-in you have a good 45 min to an hour (or long depending on your heat) to digest.
Good luck, everyone. CrossFit competitions are fun. They will test all of your skills. You get to watch other competitors and learn from them. The swag is usually rocking. The t-shirts are cool to wear to work out in. And I promise you’ll have fun and be looking forward to the next one!