CrossFit is a sport. With all of the numbers, scores, and comparisons floating around all of the time, CrossFit naturally lends itself to the idea of competition. Whether you realize it or not, you are competing every day in the gym. It may not be against your friends. It may not be against others in your class. Each and every one of you though competes against yourself. You’re battling your mind, your fears, your doubts, and your previous scores all of the time. We’re all veterans of competition, so why not register for an actual competition?
Even the most consistent of CrossFitters get nervous at the very thought of joining a local or CrossFit sanctioned competition. The excuses I hear most often include “but I’m not good enough”, “I’m not going to win anything”, and “what’s the point?” But why? We just agreed that we all compete every day we’re in the gym. We don’t require the illusion of medals, prize money, or community recognition afterwards. All we rely on is the drive to be better than we were yesterday. Each of you is living proof of that; you wouldn’t come to the gym weekly if it weren’t true.
So why, then, does the presence of prizes and rankings make actual competitions different? Remember, only a very small percentage of athletes who enter competitions ever win anything. For example, at this years Games their will be roughly 190 competitors (50 men, 50 women, 30 masters men, 30 masters women, 30 teams). Only 15 people/teams will win something. That’s 7% of the participants! The same odds can be scaled down for every other CrossFit competition out there. Chances are, unless you’ve got a real shot at making a run at Regionals/The Games, competitions will bear little tangible fruit. So why should you still compete?
Here are my top 5 reasons why everyone should register for a CrossFit competition.
- You probably won’t win. It doesn’t matter. You’ll become inspired by those better than you. It will light a fire under you like you’ve never felt before. Suddenly your eating and consistency will be on point. Anyone who has ever competed can attest to this. Afterwards, you’ll be more motivated than ever. That’s a good thing!
2. Personal records
- You will PR. If your lifetime best deadlift is 300#, you will pull, at the very least, 305# in a competition. You’ll be stronger. You’ll be faster. Hell, you’ll probably be more flexible (not really, but it’ll certainly feel that way). Thus is the power of a competition environment. So, if nothing else, compete to set new personal bests. If you thought you went hard at the box, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Each of the elements of a competition help you to push even harder. You’ll surprise yourself with what you’re actually capable of, and it will make you rethink your effort during regular workouts in the gym.
- What are your weaknesses? How do you stack up against everyone else? If you aren’t already sure, a competition will shine a light on your weaknesses. This is also a good thing! We have to know what we are bad at before we can start to fix them. Not everyone is as introsepctive as they should be while at the box. A competition will help you to see things you’ve never seen before. The best CrossFitters are completely aware of their capabilities.
4. Confidence builder
- If you ever had any fear for a specific movement (snatch anyone?), a competition will help you to conquer those fears. Case in point, last years 12.2 Snatch Ladder scared the death out of me. Before the workout I feared a 135# snatch like no other movement. I wasn’t even sure I could power snatch that weight. Could I even do 30 of them in the allotted 1o minutes? Long story, short, I PR’d. Now 135# power snatches aren’t so daunting. Competitions will help you to get over your fears and to make you see your true potential.
5. Feel a part of something
- When you register for a competition you are never alone. You’ll have the full backing of the entire box (aka your extended family). There’s a reason why competitions, during registration, ask you which box you belong to. It’s part of your identity as a CrossFitter. You are all CFK Homies. As long as you’re giving us your all, we’ll be cheering you on from start to finish (and losing our voices in the process). We’re all in this together. Also, CrossFitters recognize hard work when they see it, so don’t be surprised if you get plenty of encouragement from strangers.
We’re all seasoned veterans of competition. In fact, I’d venture to say that no body competes more often than a CrossFitter. Don’t disrupt your programming/training to partake in competitions every weekend, but do compete every once in a while. By the end of a two-day event, yes, your body will hate you and it will be tough, but you’ll have gained intangible rewards that will help you progress as an athlete. Still a little nervous? Take advantage of CrossFit Kinnick’s Battle of the Boxes and the Reebok CrossFit Games Open. Both are a little less intimidating than your standard competition. CFK’s BOTB is a team competition, so you’ll have partners to lean on the entire way. The Open is spread out across 5 weeks so it’s much less physically demanding on the body. Also, because we dedicate each Saturday to the Open, you’ll have the backing/support from the entire gym. You won’t always feel like finishing some of the workouts, but the encouragement from everybody around you will be more than enough motivation to.
We’re all at different stages of our fitness journey. Competitions aren’t only for the top 1% of CrossFitters. Each of us can benefit from participating in one, SO GIVE IT A SHOT.