CrossFit competitions are not hard to come by and with the increasing popularity of the sport I imagine its only going to get easier. However, they may be easy to find and a lot of people might be doing them but if you’re thinking about signing up (especially if its your first competition) there are some things you should do beforehand.
1. Talk to Your Coach
If you’re thinking about doing a competition first and foremost I’d say talk to your coach about it and get their opinion. Coaches aren’t your parents i.e. we can’t tell you what you can and cannot do, however we can give you our opinion and help you make a decision.
2. Do a Competition “Background Check”
Every competition is different and depending on the gym/event it will cater towards athletes of a different level/calibre. As an athlete its a good idea to do a little background research before you sign up (even if you can comfortably Rx all the workouts at your gym) so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
What sort of workouts/movements have been featured by competition had in the past?
Who else is registering and what “level” are they at?
Does the gym have an area it specializes in (e.g. powerlifting or strongman type stuff) and if so is that something you’re intersted in/comfortable with?
3. Know your “Why”
People compete for a variety of reasons
e.g. experience, fun, to win and/or qualify for another event
I’m not saying any of these is better than another, I think they’re all good reasons. But before you sign up you should know what you hope to get out of the experience as this will affect how you should approach the competition.
4. Make sure your “Why” is Realistic
It’s good to have a goal going in but if its unrealistic (e.g. win even though its your first competition) you will likely end up disappointed and this in turn can discourage you from competing again.
5. Know your limits.
This is probably the biggest/most important aspect of competing, knowing what you’re capable of, when to slow down and when to stop.
No matter how good an athlete you are something you struggle with will come up sooner or later
e.g. heavy weights, certain gymnastics movements
and when they do it doesn’t mean you should give-up or quit, it just means this is a workout you will really have to be smart about and again this is where I would recommend talking to your coach.
If the workout weight is really heavy for you don’t worry about going as fast as possible or trying to keep up with the person next to you who is repping it out. Take your time, set up properly before each lift and rest as you need between attempts, because at the end of the day it’s just a competition and it’s not worth injuring yourself.