Why We Compete

The majority of the CFWS coaching staff competed in the CrossFit Level 10 Fall Strength Challenge last month in Oroville, CA alongside some of the best athletes in Northern California.

With a field stacked with CrossFit Games athletes from last year as well as many hoping to advance through regionals in 2012, the competition was sure to be fierce.  This event held the potential to be the biggest workload any CFWS coach has met in competition thus far in their competitive CrossFit endeavors.  I know I personally had only competed in two other events that even came close to the amount of work that was required of us on that Saturday.  To perform well in a multi-wod event such as the Fall Strength Challenge requires not only physical, but also mental preparedness.  Training in our own little bubble can only take us so far.  There comes a time in each CrossFitter’s journey towards elite fitness that competition (both the training leading up to an event and the act of competing in the event itself)  yields a much higher rate of progress than just logging WODs day in and day out at your local box.

Competition requires us to reach outside of our comfort zones, and believe me, there are a lot of things that those who have never competed take for granted.  A different knurling on a barbell, a thicker or thinner pull-up bar than what you are used to training on, a different rope to climb, an exercise you have never attempted before, or even just being judged by a complete stranger are all things that those who compete are asked to overcome in order to do well.  Mix all of those variables with a multi-wod event in which athletes must warm-up, compete at maximum output, cool down/recover (including re-hydrating and refueling) and then repeating that cycle 3 or 4 more times and you can start to understand how this isn’t just another day of training.  Competing in CrossFit events is skill set in it’s own right.  Those who compete are forced to tune in to their bodies and utilize all the tools in their CF toolboxes to prepare for and recover from multiple events in a single day — sometimes multiple events on two or three consecutive days.

So why do we do it?  Why compete?  Because that’s what CrossFit is all about.

Competition drives power output to all time highs.  Competition forces us to put forth the best possible effort.  Competition asks us to dig deeper than normal and unlock hidden potential.  Want proof?  Consider the following:  My PR on the deadlift leading in to the Fittest of Elk Grove competition this past summer was 395.  The day of that competition, I completed a 425 pound deadlift (30 pound PR) in a deadlift ladder that required me to lift at the top of each 30 second interval.  It was definitely a case of “Don’t think…  Just DO!”  I exceeded my expectations on my max Snatch Balance attempt on Saturday by 10 p0unds with a nearly completed attempt at 30 lbs above my expected 1RM for that day.  PRing in an event is the ultimate payoff for the months of hard work leading up to the event; it is the ultimate validation for all of that hard work.

Competition forces us to lay it all on the line and demonstrate what we are capable of.

Those who don’t compete will never realize their true fitness potential in the sport of fitness.  If you belong to a CrossFit affiliate, you owe it to yourself to compete.  There are CrossFit competitions happening at the affiliate level in every month of the year.  CrossFit is more accessible today than it ever has been.  There are really no excuses to not compete!!

That all being said, I am putting out the following challenge to all CFWS athletes:

2012 is your year to compete at a non-CFWS hosted CrossFit event.

I want to see each and every CFWS athlete pick a goal competition and announce your goal as a comment on this blog.  If you need help finding an event, let the coaching staff know and we will gladly steer you in the right direction.  Those who don’t post a goal event by 12/18/2011 will be called out.  Seriously.  If this challenge scares you, GOOD!!  That’s what it’s supposed to do!  I promise you will never be more motivated to regularly complete your training than when your training has a purpose with a finite goal in mind.  The Yolo Holiday Classic event will serve as a great initial event for many of our novice CrossFit athletes (those who have been training with us for less than 1 year).  If you haven’t already signed up for this event, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!!?  Follow the link right now and get yourself registered to compete on Saturday!

I will be posting upcoming events on this website as they are announced.  There are already a half dozen in Northern California coming up in December and January that I am aware of and there are sure to be many more popping up every week.  It’s time to train with purpose.  Committing yourself to competing in a CrossFit event is plenty of motivation for sticking with your training.  It is time to step outside of your comfort zone and test your CrossFit skills against other CrossFitters.  We will be there to support you every step of the way, but at the end of the journey it will be YOU competing.  You’ll be glad you did!!  3,2,1…

Coach RL

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