It seems that some CrossFit Athletes do really well on qualifier workouts but seem to lose their Gameday when they’re on the competition field.
Have you ever been there?
Or are you a Newbie to CrossFit and want to learn more about the difference between training and competing?
Then read on.
What’ s the difference?
1. The Environment
This is the most apparent and at the same time the most overlooked.
In your gym you have your spot, your pull up bar, your barbell, your favorite jam.
Basically: You’re in control.
Not so at a competition.
You have absolutely no control over equipment quality, surface of the floor, the height of your pull up bar or even the air you breathe depending on if you are outside, in a higher altitude or simply in a really packed warehouse with no windows.
It is what it is and you need to be able to adapt quickly and quit the mimimi.
Remember the pressure you felt on your first workout against 5 other people at your gym?
Multiply that by 10. That’s how much higher the pressure feels when you’re at a competiton.
You’re competing against other elite athletes, people are cheering you on (um, or NOT), your friends want to see you succeed, you don’t want to disappoint anyone much less yourself… the pressure killing you and you’re so excited you just can’t hide it (love that song!)
You’re palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…. you’re nervous but on the surface you have to look calm and ready (Eminem knows what’s up!)
Most competitions will include movements that weren’t tested in the qualifyer workouts.
Take rope climbs or handstand walks for example. These movements are extremely hard to judge from far away. Nevertheless, they might show up at a competition. If you lack these skills you might have a bad awakening. Make sure you are a well-rounded athlete (and by that I don’t mean eating bacon all day).
4. Different standards
Sometimes you’ll have to perform movements differently than you are used to. For example burpees with hand-release or box jumps with the whole foot on the box. Make sure to know the standards and perform every rep 100%. Being no-repped can cost you valuable seconds that might determine whether you make it to the podium or not!
5. Multiple Workouts
Not everyone has the time to do multiple workouts a day. On a competition, however, this is the case and you need to be able to recover quickly both physically and mentally.
So, what’s the take-away?
Train at different locations with other people more often.
Elli knows best. She does not only workout in gym! She also got her own homegym to workout on different places.
Get used to the pressure by participating in a couple smaller competitions at your gym or somewhere else.
Learn new things on a regular basis and work on your weaknesses a lot.
Always train with perfect technique (no-rep yourself more often) and try different standards like hand-release burpees or chest-to-bar pull ups.
Try multiple (hard) workouts on a weekend day with 45-90 minutes rest between workouts. Find out what you body needs to recover quickly and train your mind to remain calm and collected even though your coolness may be wearing off.
So, I hope I could give you a little insight on what to expect on your first Gameday or how you can prepare better for your next!