The Pitfalls of Local CrossFit Competitions

I’ve done at least two dozen local CrossFit competitions, and usually in each one, there are some of the same pitfalls:

  • Unfair judging. With local competitions, you get judges who are graciously volunteering their time, but most of them have no experience judging CrossFit competitions and thus make mistakes. This ends up affecting the podium, and I have lost several times because of this.
  • Inconsistent judging. Again, due to lack of experience, athletes are not held to the same standards. Even though everyone knows the standards for a burpee, some competitors will cheat if they can get away with it — and a lot of the time, they do. No one likes to be the bad guy and “no rep” others. Hence, some athletes cheat themselves to the detriment of others who play by the rules, who have integrity, and who want to win fairly. I see this a lot, which is honestly, sad.
  • Improper equipment. Having to deadlift with a guy’s bar 20 kilos as opposed to 15 kilos) when you’re not used to it is a disadvantage to women whose bars are thinner and weigh less. When you’re outside in the blazing sun at 90 degrees and you’re trying to grip a guy bar and your hands are sweaty, it’s tough.
  • Unbalance programming. Due to time constraints, most of the CrossFit workouts are short. This plays to those who are sprinters and not to marathoners. Furthermore, the CrossFit programming is at the whim of the host box and is sometimes inconsistent as well. For example, one CrossFit competition I attended had no gymnastics work at all (pull ups, double unders, muscles ups, handstand push ups, etc). This is a separator for athletes and puts those who have these moves at an advantage. Same goes for one I attended that was all heavy bar work. That puts those who are strong at a disadvantage to those who are agile. Ideally, there should be balance in the CrossFit workouts at CrossFit Competitions.

    hotcrossfitchicks at local crossfit competitions in denver, co
    Local CrossFit Competitions
  • Poor management/getting off schedule. There have been some local CrossFit competitions where the CrossFit competition has run way off schedule and ended up finishing an hour or more behind — which sucks when you got at least an hour drive home ahead of you.

TIPS FOR BETTER CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS

  • Balanced programming. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, but they should challenge the athletes and test them across the ten CrossFit fitness domains.
  • Invest the time in finding good CrossFit judges. Ideally, you’ll want your judges to have taken the CrossFit Judges course. If not, to have at least some experience in judging CrossFit competitions. This eliminates disgruntled athletes who may be disinclined to attend your next CrossFit competition because they feel cheated at yours.
  • Adhere to your schedule. Hiccups happen out of your control the day of the CrossFit competition. However, you can plan ahead to minimize these as much as possible and stay on schedule. Make sure heats are not too close together to wear athletes out. Test your workouts with members of your gym of all fitness levels to figure out how much time you’ll need to complete them.  Consider recovery time, set up time, time for awards, and time for lunch as well.
  • Have the proper equipment. This doesn’t mean you go out and buy all brand new sandbags for your CrossFit competition. It does mean you borrow what you need from another local box or you program to what you have on hand. Trying to jerry-rig something from nothing will only give you poor impressions and a high likelihood no one will return the following year.

From an athlete’s perspective, I’ll return the following year to one with good programming, one that’s run efficiently, and one with at least judges who do CrossFit. I’ll stay clear of the ones where lackadaisical attitude toward the CrossFit competition by the box ruled.

CrossFit: Mental Fortitude Day

crossfit girls rowing at crossfit sanitas in boulder, co
Rowing at CrossFit Sanitas, Boulder, CO

Sitting on a rower for 30 minutes is not exactly easy.

After 20 minutes, you’ve had enough.

After 25 minutes, you’re about to scream.

After 28 minutes, you convert minutes to seconds and just keep going.

Then try 10 minutes on the bike right afterwards.

I strained a muscle in my right arm again, so I’ve been doing no heavy weight. Today, I decided to row for 30 minutes and bike for 10 minutes for active recovery and because I felt like doing nothing else at the end of a long (and frustrating) week.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a 30 minute row. And, afterwards, I remember why.

Still, it strengthened my mental fortitude — something I need in CrossFit right now with the CrossFit Open right around the corner.

No One Ever Said Building Strength Was Easy

hot crossfit chicks doing weighted pull ups
Weighted Pull Ups CrossFit

Building strength takes time, effort, desire, and sometimes pure will. Most of the time, it’s not fun. Not fun at all.

But you do it.

Because if you don’t, you’ll never achieve your goals.

And goals is what makes life worth living.

What Makes You Do the Things You Don’t Want to Do?

crossfitmomm contemplating life
Contemplating Life

This morning, I deadlifted.

No part of me wanted to deadlift. I had done a HIIT workout the day before, ran 3 miles, and was sore.

But I did it anyways.

It got me thinking, “What part of me does these things when I really don’t want to?”

Why You Don’t Do Things

  • People wait until they “feel” like doing something. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea — without consciously realizing it — that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action. Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing — you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day. But you don’t need to feel like doing it.  The solution: just do it.
  • Fear of failure. The unknown is fear of the things you can’t control. Focus on what you can control.
  • It’s hard. No one really wants to work. We all would rather spend out days, lying by the pool or reading a good book with a cat on our lap. Instead, set a deadline. If “such-and-such” happens, then I’ll….
  • Perfectionist. You have to fail and learn from your mistakes; waiting for the perfect moment will never happen.
  • Comparison. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you. Let go of that fact and just do it anyways.
  • Stuck in a rut. We’ve all been there — the same ol’ every day. What has to change is the same ‘ol. Switch it up to get a new routine going.
  • Lack of planning. You must plan out your time or time will plan you, and before you know it, your life is over.
  • Seeking validation. Who cares what others think? Just keep moving.

Push through your mental blocks to accomplish your dreams; no one else will accomplish them for you.

How to Row in CrossFit

hot crossFit chicks rowing in CrossFit
Rowing in CrossFit

I’ve always been a horrible rower in CrossFit. Until today when I was doing a modified version of Fight Gone Bad.

After 3 years, I think I’ve finally figured out how to row.

How to Row in CrossFit

  • Row with your legs. 60 percent legs. 20 percent core. 20 percent arms.
  • When you’re at the catch position (handle is near the front of the rower), you wait until you feel it stop. Then you pull.
  • You pull straight to your breastbone. There is no dip in the movement.
  • Lean back slightly in order to make sure the chain of the rower is at its max.
  • Pull the rower to your body with force. Finish with a strong pull.

I hope these tips will help you become a better rower in your next WOD.

CrossFit: Deadlifts and DT

CrossFit hotties doing Push Jerks at CrossFit competition
CrossFit Push Jerks

DT is a hero Workout by CrossFit that honors soldiers who have given their lives for this great nation. DT is also known as one of the hardest CrossFit workouts since it involves heavy weights.

CROSSFIT DT HERO WOD:

5 Rounds for time:

  • 12 deadlifts
  • 9 hang power cleans
  • 6 push jerks

Weight is 155 lb for guys and 105 for the ladies.

I PR’ed this workout (hit a personal record) by 2 minutes — only the 2nd time I’ve been strong enough to do 105 lbs. It was good, but it probably could have been better. I will add this one to my list of tests to do periodically. I like DT because it does challenge me as heavy weights is not my strong suit.

I also got some nice bruises when the hang power cleans got a bit too heavy!

I also did deadlifts for my strength since DT has deadlifts in them. It was a good combination to start off the week!

The Love/Hate Relationship CrossFit Women Have with their Bodies

I recently came across an article about how CrossFit women should be proud of their bodies, have less body issues than other women, and are strong. It was written very definitively about how women who CrossFit love their strong bodies.

I’m here with the counter-argument: CrossFit women have just as many body issues as other women (maybe more so since our bodies do change significantly when you continue with CrossFit). We struggle just as much with nutrition and food choices. We do care what we look like in terms of makeup. Clothes shopping is much harder with a CrossFit body.

There is one difference NOT noted in the article:

CrossFit women have a love/hate relationship with their bodies that other women do not.

WHY CROSSFIT WOMEN LOVE/HATE THEIR BODIES

  • We are stared at. Usually in a leering way, not in a healthy way. Women either are
    CrossFit hotties at CrossFit Competition doing box jumps
    CrossFit Box Jumps

    jealous or think we look gross. Men look at us like men look at other women — they just stare longer since we DON’T look like other women they see too often.

  • Clothes don’t fit. I have given up trying to find jeans that will go over my calves and my thighs. I live in yoga pants. I have given up trying to find nice-fitting T-shirts that are small but fit my shoulders. Dresses have to be the right cut or my muscles look horrible in them.
  • Food is a real struggle. Adhering to a strict diet is a test of mental strength, which after doing a CrossFit WOD which puts us on the floor, is a battle many of us don’t have the strength for. How your body looks is all about food. Period. If you don’t eat right, you won’t look right no matter the hours you throw down at the gym.
  • We are strong but still want to be delicate flowers. I am strong. I can lift heavy items. But I don’t outside the box. Why? Because I’m a woman who wants a man to lift heavy things for me when the need arises. I don’t want to have to lift MORE heavy items after the gym.
  • Our changing bodies yield body insecurities. When people first started telling me, “Hey, Jen. You’re ripped!” I didn’t realize how muscular I had become. It was definitely an acceptance process. Now, as I lift heavier, my lats are thicker, my shoulders wider, my legs bigger. It’s an on-going battle women CrossFitters face.

It’s a fact if you lift heavy weights, you’ll gain muscle. Muscle is bulk. You will look different than your average woman. Some women I know quit CrossFit because they don’t like what CrossFit does to their bodies. Anyone who tells you you won’t bulk up is lying to you. This is part of accepting your body as it does gain muscle. And this is part of CrossFit.

CrossFit will Change Your Body

Go into CrossFit with your eyes open. Learn about it. Read and study about lifting weights. Read about the metabolic pathways. Then decide if CrossFit is for you.

You all know I love CrossFit. I love what CrossFit does for me. I love how my body looks. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle to accept how I look, to not be critical, to think I’m fat, etc.

We all have baggage we carry from childhood into adulthood and from society. It’s a mindset we all have to overcome.