Why Beginners Should Enter Competitions

Why Beginners Should Enter Competitions

Entering your first CrossFit competition could be daunting, but (if you’re ready) the benefits will be endless. However, there are a few things to consider before taking the leap.

Which comps should beginners enter?

Rookie athletes should choose CrossFit comps that are aimed at beginners, intermediate and RX athletes. This will allow the athletes to compete at their own level, while giving them an idea of the limits and the capacity that they can push themselves to. The beginner or rookie division usually offers a fun, recreational element, easing the athlete’s transition into competing, rather than focussing solely on aggression.

The benefits of competing

Through competition, athletes are empowered to develop their skills under pressure, fast tracking their progress. It is amazing what can be achieved when a crowd is watching you WOD, and you know your team mates are relaying on you. With a judge counting reps, athletes also learn the importance of honest reps in the Box; even when no one is counting for them. Post-comp, athletes can set their WOD results as benchmarks, allowing them to track their progress and enticing them to challenge their own prior performance.

For athletes new to the Box, CrossFit competitions present a great opportunity to get to know various other Box and community members at one time, in an environment where strong bonds are created.

If you’re an athlete that is driven by goals, then participating in a competition or an event provides a calendar date that you can work towards, allowing them to set organised goals. This makes the training leading up to the comp seem more logical, while providing definite deadlines and real targets.

Competitions also allow athletes to train in a new environment, which is stimulating for their bodies, minds and central nervous systems. Athletes are exposed to what the greater CrossFit community looks like, and are taken out of the “comfort zone” that the Box can become.

Why not to compete

Very novice athletes that have serious health risks (such as severe obesity, pre-existing heart conditions, or uncontrolled asthma, for example) should work on these conditions before deciding to compete. If the condition warrants it, the athlete should seek medical advice before committing to a competitive regime. Athletes should have good knowledge of the movements that they will have to perform at the competition, and the correct technique required to complete those movements.

Beginners should also ensure that they have spent enough time building up their tendons and ligaments, and have made their joints accustomed to higher loads and higher volumes. If this foundational strength hasn’t been established, injuries will occur.  

Don’t ruin your own competitive career

Some competitions involve multiple events, and sometimes these events take place over multiple days. Athletes should take guidance from their coaches as to whether they are ready for this load. By trying to participate at a level that is beyond your abilities, your first competition experience could go badly, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Written By Diane Teles, Co-Founder of CrossFit 360Vida, Level 1 Coach and Physiotherapist