Competing: Top 9 Things You Should Know
Competing at a local competition can be loads of fun and a new experience. We workout, prepare, and occasionally get to showcase what we can do with all eyes on us. However, these competitions can be overwhelming and new, especially at first. With a lot of our members competing in some local fun competitions, I though I share some insight on a couple tips that I think new competitors can benefit from:
- Bring your own food: Unless the competition is extremely well run, there won’t be the highest quality food sources around. Black Market Kitchen has been at the Blackout the past couple of years, which has been great, but I haven’t been to another competition with any comparable food sources. Your best bet is to pack the cooler: A couple full meals with lots of whole food, some sugary snacks for quick recovery, and lots of fluids (water, coconut water, maybe the time for a slightly sugary drink).
- Bring a chair or a pillow: We forget sometimes that we are competing at another box… and boxes tend to be big open rooms with no where to sit. Bring a chair, a pillow, something comfortable because there is a lot of waiting around in between sets.
- Keep your composure: We all love to get amped up before a workout, but keep in mind most comps are anywhere between 3-8 workouts and some even go two days or more. If you are losing composure, whether you are freaking out or just getting over excited, these will both contribute to early fatigue. My first comp was two days long and by the second day I had learned that I had gotten way too excited for day 1 and left little in the tank for day 2.
- Taper before the big day: You need to back off a couple days before the competition so you can perform your best and more importantly, avoid injury. This means a day or two before the comp we should be coming into the gym and just moving lightly (think PVC pipes for barbell movements you will see and bike or rower to get your heart going). This includes a big hearty meal the night before, try to eat bland foods (avoid taco night, chipotle, anything that you’ll pay for the next day).
- How to eat: As simple as I can put it: Have a big meal the day before, keep it bland. Light breakfast high in carbs. After each workout you should be having some type of sugar or carb. Keep fat and protein moderate, basically eat little enough so that your stomach isn’t upset. This is the day you opt for the donut over the salad! There are some great sources online for some good energy bite type food.
- Warm Up: Comps are roughly 6 hours on the fast end. You need to properly warm up and activate your shoulders, hips, and anything sticky before every workout. Foam rollers, PVC pipes, and crossover symmetry (bands or light plates) should be your best friends for the day (supplied by the hosting box). Remember you will be sharing this warm up area with all other competitors so if you can bring your own PVC pipe, bands or foam rollers then try to.
- Recovery: Regardless of how good you think you feel, it’d be best to keep movement low intensity for a day or two after. A recovery row or bike at a low intensity for 15-40 minutes the day after would flush some of the bad stuff out of your system. Sleep like you’re on vacation.
- Mindset: Stay composed, remember you represent your team, teammate, your box, and yourself. Have fun and give it your best shot, your hard work week in and week out will do the rest!
- Impression: LEAVE EGO at the door. Regardless of how you placed or if you didn’t always agree with the judging standards. Always say thank you to the judge/volunteer for their time and if possible, thank the management for hosting. There is a ton of time and resources put into running a good comp, without them, none of it is possible. Shake hands, high five, cheer on other competitors and have fun! Remember that the foundation of CrossFit is community first.
Happy Competing Bionic, see you guys at Misfit! (Team Pinkie and the Gainz - AJ and Jesse are going for gold!) - Coach Jesse