Competing in CrossFit

We just hosted out first in-house competition in junction with CrossFit Unit and Actualize CrossFit, Singapore. For many of our members, this was the first experience on the, in this case pretty small but still remarkable, competition stage.

The fact that you can measure your fitness and training results in a competition setting is one of the success secrets of CrossFit. Yet there are many misconceptions and open questions about competing in the Sports of Fitness. Here are some answers.



Q1: How long do I have to train before I can compete?

Impossible to answer. It not only depends on your fitness level when starting out, your talent, your prior athletic experience, the time you want to invest … but also on the kind of competition you want to go to.

Levels of competitions rank, like in any other sports, from total beginner to elite. In addition, most competition offer different categories, RX and Scaled or even more distinctions. As long as you are healthy, you will find for sure a competition that suits your current state. But be aware that your choices are much bigger if at least you can do pull ups for reps and lift medium weights (e.g. Men Clean: 60 kg for reps, Women Snatch: 30 kg for reps). Overall, the level has increased over the last years and also majority of scaled categories might include more challenging movements and loads nowadays.

Btw: Tia-Clair Toomey became second Fittest Woman on Earth after only a few months into training.


Q2: How do I sign up?

This is tricky: Since each competitor requires logistical effort (especially equipment and judges), competition spots are normally limited and the demand is much higher than the supply. In some cases, the sign up is done on a first come first serves base. Sometimes, you have to go through several qualification workouts to ensure your spot. A competition before the competition so to say. Bitter, but that’s how it is.


Q3: Individual or Team?

Most competition offer both an individual and a team type. The individual category has more prestige and is perfect for those who really want to test out their edges. Team is, in my opinion, more fun, less tiering, less nerve wrecking. But you need to be a team player and enjoy strategizing.


Q4: Will I know the WODs beforehand?

Sometimes all of them, sometimes some of them, sometimes non. In case there is a release prior, make sure you test them! We all know that what’s written on the paper can surprise in reality.


Q5: What do I do the days before the competition?

The week before the big fight, lift moderately to keep your body tensed and your mind engaged. Do not go for max tests, especially not on squats and deadlifts. Two days before the comp, rest. The day before, do some gentle training to get the blood flowing.

Q6: What do I eat on the competition day?

Very individual. Here are some guidelines:

  • Eat a fast digesting breakfast - oats, fruits, no eggs, no bacon and other oily stuff.

  • You know best how much time you need between breakfast and exercising.

  • Do not force feed if you are not hungry after large effort. You can wait until you feel a slight hunger or appetite.

  • Competition days are long. Plan a light lunch and bring some fruits and protein bars or shakes.

  • Stay hydrated.

  • If your stomach is used to coffee, don’t hesitate to get you caffeine in.


Q7: How do I deal with nervousness?

Do you earn your money with that? Does your life depend on it? Will people who love you love you less when you not perform as you wanted? See! No need to stress out at all. Have fun. You either win or learn.

But of course this is easier said than done. And a bit of tension is good and helpful. A mechanism of the body that is there for a reason. Stick to yourself and do not look around, driving yourself nuts over the leaderboard or the big biceps of your competitor. Listen to uplifting music. The moment the clock starts running, the nervousness will dissolve for sure. Welcome to the tunnel!

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4 Reasons why you should compete in CrossFit:

  1. You will for sure overcome yourself, PR, get your first Muscle up or do anything else you never thought you could.

  2. It is always good to do a WOD under the eyes of a judge with no opportunities to get along with sh*t.

  3. You will get some extra motivation before as well as after the competition. Your training will, all in all, be more focussed and effective.

  4. You will meet interesting people outside of your box.


Ulrike