Hey guys, since I have a competition coming up, I just thought I would share a few ways that will make it a successful weekend (fingers crossed!) for me.
Let me preface this by saying that this is my advice for general CrossFitters, those who take on the occasional weekend competition or maybe someone who is just looking to compete for the first time.
Tip #1 – Review the released workouts! Not all competitions release every workout that you’ll be doing, but if they do, obviously it’s beneficial to go over them! Think about pacing strategies, rep schemes you will want to keep up through the workout, which areas will slow you down and which areas you know you’ll have little problems with. If there are any workouts that make you nervous, it might be a good idea to practice those ones. However, I’m not one to tell people to practice all the workouts in the week or so leading up to the competition. Which leads me to my next tip…
Tip #2 – Don’t change your current training too much. I’ve been doing CrossFit long enough, that I’ve learned that my body responds better when I’m on dedicated programming. If I change that in the week, or weeks, leading up to a competition, I don’t feel as sharp. I have faith in my training that I’ll be prepared almost no matter what comes up. Stick with whatever program got you where you are! A few things I will say about this, though, are: if you are paying for individualized programming geared specifically for a comp, then obviously you will find yourself practicing some of the workouts, and also, practice any of the specific movements that give you pause. For instance – I haven’t done pistols in a while, but one of my events has them, so I made sure I could still bust them out in a couple different settings (during a WOD, before a workout, after a workout, etc). Also, I haven’t necessarily been working on recycling weight very often, and I have one event recycling light/moderate weight snatches, so I practiced those a bit. I feel confident enough in myself for the rest of the workouts, that I don’t feel the need to alter my training too much leading up to this weekend. There is one caveat to my feelings on this, and that happens to be my next tip!
Tip #3 – If you are one of those dedicated time slot CrossFitters… break out of that routine! What I mean by this is, if you always, always, always, frequent the 4pm class, or train on your own at the same time every day, break that habit a couple weeks before the competition. As a head coach at my gym, I hear people say “I’m not as strong in the morning,” or “Jeez, it’s too hot to train in the afternoon!” ALL THE TIME. (Although, to be fair on that last one, I do coach in Central Florida at a gym lovingly nicknamed the Furnace.) But still! If you genuinely feel that way about your body, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A competition doesn’t have feelings, it’s there to both expose weaknesses and discover who is the fittest human competing that weekend. If you feel weak in the morning, well, try changing your routine leading up to that class. Wake up a bit earlier, try eating a little more for breakfast. And if you think it’s too hot in the afternoon, well… suck it up. It’s hot for everyone else, too! You can’t dictate when you work out during a competition, so if it’s important to you, you can make it work for a couple weeks at least. You might just discover something about yourself.
Tip #4 – You’re going to be doing multiple events each day of the competition, and they may be spaced out unevenly. I’d suggest having your food/supplements worked out beforehand. Don’t eat something that you normally wouldn’t eat in between events. And don’t stuff your face just because you’re hungry. There’s nothing worse than going into a workout with a stomachache, I’m sure you can all relate with at least one such experience. So be smart about what you’re putting into your body. If you don’t normally take pre-workout, don’t start just because you scored some free supps from a vendor that weekend. Oh, and if you normally do take pre-workout, don’t be jamming it down your throat all weekend. Most competition workouts are short by nature/necessity, you can get by for 7ish minutes on a slightly empty stomach or while feeling a little lethargic. Your adrenaline is going to kick in once you hear the words “3…2…1…GO!”, anyway.
Tip #5 – Have all the details sorted. Know where you’re staying ahead of time. Know what times your heats are. Pay attention to see if the competition is running behind. Ask your judge any standard related questions. It’s already nerve-wracking enough to be competing, so you don’t need to have a million other details running through your brain and sapping your energy. I suggest making friends with one or two people in your heat just so you have someone you can ask questions about your next heat time or something. I also recommend watching a heat or two before yours and asking someone who just finished your next event how it went. They may be able to offer some unexpected last minute advice.
And finally, I have a few quick tips without thoughts:
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your judge during your workout. If you just got no-repped, asked why so it won’t happen again.
- Don’t spend too much time warming up, you’re already working out more than normal, don’t tire yourself out!
- Visualize yourself being successful before you hit the competition floor.
- If you’re competing at a multi-day competition, eat a GIANT meal at the end of the day between competition days.
- Thank your judge after you finish your workout. It’s a very stressful, and often, thankless job. They appreciate your thanks. Plus, they may end up being your judge again!
- Thank the event organizer if possible. They likely put in a lot of hard work and are going to be running around like crazy all weekend putting out little fires. Your appreciation lets them know what a difference they’re making.
And, lastly… ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! You’re there to have fun. 🙂
Fake edit: if you’re in the Miami area this weekend, come check out The Crush Games at Tropical Park! I’ll be competing as an individual in the Rx division, if you swing by, maybe make a sign or paint your face in support. Or try to follow along at www.floelite.com.
Thanks for reading,