One of the things I have come to appreciate about the CrossFit community is the ability of competition to pull people from all over our city/nation/world together. When you first start something like CrossFit the novelty is the training in itself BUT after time you need to direct your efforts in the gym towards something else. Competitions can be a perfect avenue for that! Competitions come in a number of different varieties, including the CrossFit Open, an in-gym competition or via any affiliated competitions in your local area. Of course on a larger scale there are the Sactional Events and The CrossFit Games, although those two have a very fierce field of athletes to even qualify.
There are a number of different ways to prepare yourself for these competitions and at Whole Strength our community spirit means there will always be support as you prepare for an event. Even beginners are able to enter competitions and compete against athletes of a similar ability. You don’t need to be “good enough” to challenge yourself in a competition!
Outlined below are some of the ways to get yourself ready for your next competition.
Tips for getting CrossFit comp-ready
Dial In Your Movements
Every CrossFit athlete has weaknesses and strengths as there are so many different skills and energy systems to master. Prior to entering the competition, highlight where your weaknesses are and dedicate time each week to work on them. Using tools like we have at Whole Strength such as the Level Method will help you identify those weaknesses. You will gain more out of concentrating on your weak spots than on your strengths. Remember this paramount principle though, PRACTICE DOES NOT MAKE PERFECT. Instead as the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi said “PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT”. This is where working with your coach is key. Get that skill session booked and get professional feedback on how to improve. To continually practice the same sub optimal movement and training will not result in growth.
The beauty of the CrossFit Open is that it has been going for so long and there is a long list of common exercises performed each year. Research these and find out what movements are most likely to be conducted. Train these movements so you are comfortable performing them.
Find A Training Partner
If you have been training for any lengthy period of time there are likely partners who you train with regularly and see more often than your other friends. Get together with them and create some healthy competition and to keep each other accountable. Don’t overlook the power of the team environment. It can help you push further.
Prior to a competition, you need to fuel your body right. Work with a nutrition coach to create an eating plan and stick to it so you know you are in peak physical form. World class nutrition coaches will take objective measurements and track outcomes in a methodical way. Including fresh veg, low GI carbs and plenty of protein will help you be well-fuelled and optimally prepared. Pro Tip: Do not experiment with new foods or supplements on game day. This is likely to backfire. I have seen many an athlete completely mess up their competition because they threw in things like caffeine or an experimental supplement on the day of the competition.
Similarly, stick to your warm-up and cool-down routine. You don’t want to injure yourself the week before the competition. Test out your warm-ups and cool-downs before the day of the competition. The same rule applies, you don’t want to experiment with these on game day.
Go To Bed
Simple advice but powerful. Make sure you are getting extra sleep leading up to your competition. You absolutely can not perform at your best when you are sleep deprived. No amount of caffeine will change this. If you have trouble falling asleep the night before try taking magnesium or a zma to help drift off. I do not recommend other sleep aids or drugs. Additionally good sleep hygiene is key; shut off electronic devices, get your bedroom dark as possible, cool down the temp, add white noise and sleep naked are some good places to start.
CrossFit is for everyone and has stages of competition for all skill levels. Competitions might scare you but the results you can achieve when you push yourself out of your comfort zone will surprise you. If you follow these steps and have confidence in your own ability you will be ready, so go out and give it a go!
Dreaming of being a competitive CrossFitter? Get started with your No Sweat Intro today!