Should you compete in CrossFit?
For the majority of people that attend CrossFit regularly, competition in the class is a regular thing. You wanna beat your buddy or just a guy or girl you look up too. It's normal and keeps it fun.
While it sometimes leads to bad movement patterns or “cheating” it is a regular thing.
Beating your previous times with set benchmark workouts or like I said your buddy.
With the increased popularity of CrossFit, local and national CrossFit comps pop up regularly.
With the annually hosted CrossFit games being on broad display, athletes that CrossFit on a daily basis get fired up from watching people like Matt Fraser and Patrick Vellner.
I certainly got inspired watching Rich Froning win the CrossFit games 3 and 4 times in a row.
Watching on a pc screen at 2am got me fired up to learn all the required skills and compete in CrossFit.
It being the 2014 only the best got to compete in local comps, athletes with several years of experience always took the 30-40 spots for every competition.
With the rise of athletes that look to compete, people took the opportunity to create events that are accessible for all levels of Fitness.
Coming back to the subject of should you compete in a CrossFit comp?
The answer is Yes, if you like it, have no injuries and have been practising CrossFit for several years I would highly recommend you try it out. Without the expectation of finishing high up the leaderboard.
The first time you see all the athletes at the briefing you will be nervous, walking into the venue with bright lights and loud music seeing a lot of ripped athletes can be a daunting thing. Ater check in the briefing usually starts and the day will be explained along with rules and usually all the workouts. Everyone is nervous at this point, if I speak for myself I usually recall not knowing why I signed up for this. After briefing and a quick warm up the lanes start to appear, everyone is on a tight schedule and you get in line with 8-12 other athletes all very nervous and usually silent. In that 2 min window or so everyone gets brought out to their intended lane and you have a judge waiting for you, greeting him/her with a nervous smile and handshake.
When the clock finally starts counting from 10-1 you get in the zone. Most nervous feelings disappear and you just treat it like another workout.
During the workout especially if it is your first time everyone else seems to be moving very fast. After the first workout usually being a little lighter than the rest of the day you feel good, you get fistbumps and high fives from your fellow competitors and the nervous edge is off. Depending on the competition there will be more workouts. Every time you finish a workout you get ranked and after a while you start to notice the same people coming into your corral, you joke around and it becomes a lot of fun.
When you finish the last workout and you cheer on your fellow competitors no matter where you finished you feel a sense of euphoria.
Other than it being a lot of fun and creating a sense of accomplishment that is unmatched in the normal class workouts or anything else for that matter. It is a great time to display your strengths and shine. Are you a strong weightlifter? Almost each CrossFit comp has a weightlifting event. You will outlift your competition or are awesome at handstand walks well in competition it is your time to show your skills. While it also creates an opportunity to see the “holes” in your fitness and see what movements you need to work on.
If you are nervous about competing, start with a team or partner competition.
No better way to create lasting bonds with your friends by hitting a local comp together.
Being together it takes the edge of you having to do everything alone.
Prepping you for individual competitions that you might wanna do later on in your “CrossFit career”
Do not overdo it
While hitting a competition is a lot of fun it will tax your body a lot, not with the training volume but rather the nerves and intensity in the workout. Usually starting at 8-9am and lasting for the entire day. Your nervous system gets a beating and afterwards you need a good rest to recover. Planning your “season”, find a couple of competitions that you wanna try and work towards it. Work on your weaknesses and take a planned deload after the comp.