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CrossFit Competitions: What You Need To Know

So you’ve decided you want to compete in a CrossFit competition, AWESOME!!! There is nothing like the excitement a competition brings.  Whether it is your first completion or your 1,000th you want to make sure you choose the competition that is right for you.

How to pick the right competition:

First, you want to decide what type of competition you want to compete in and at what level/division. Do you want to compete as an individual, with a partner, or on a team? (Partner and team competitions are great for first timers since you won’t be alone.) Next, start researching local competitions and check out the standards/movements that have been set by the gym/box. In most cases, the standards/movements will be announced when the competition is announced or posted. This will help you determine which level you should compete in. If competing with a partner or on a team I suggest making sure all athletes are capable of all the standards/movements. If this is not the case I would scale down. Most competitions have a scaled division as well as an RX division.


Now that you’ve found a competition that’s right for you/your team, it’s time to commit! Register as soon as you can. In most cases there is a cap as to how many athletes/teams can compete and you want to ensure your spot. This also makes it real.


Most CrossFit competitions, at least all the one’s I’ve been to, consist of 3-5 workouts as well as a floater workout and 3 final workouts for the top 3-5 athletes/teams. The workouts (except the final WOD’s) are usually announced a few weeks before the competition. You want to practice and go through these workouts a few times leading up to the competition. If you are competing with a partner or on a team you definitely want to get together with those other athletes and practice.

Some of you may have seen me training/practicing with my friend Sarah a few Sunday’s ago in preparation for the competition we did last weekend. Because we train at different gyms and at different times, communication between us was key. We exchanged thoughts, strategies, and concerns about the workouts then got together when we could to work through them. We strategized based on our strengths and weaknesses. For example here was one of the WOD’s with the standards:

For Time (8min Cap):


S2OH 135/85


* One partner works at a time, partners must switch at the top of every minute
* 3 burpees with double high five overhead to switch

These are 2 movements I am very comfortable with however, Sarah has some trouble with T2B. Because of this we played on my strength and I went first doing the set of 10 and 9 S2OH and T2B in the first minute.

When training for a competition, I suggest coming up with a plan “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” (and also the “F” it and just go with it plan). You want to test out these plans and see which one give you the best results. Be prepared as sometimes during a competition things don’t according to plan. At that point you just give it all you got.

Final Tips:

I absolutely love competing (I’ll never say no if anyone ever asks me) and I am more than happy to share my experiences from my very first competition (which I did only 4 weeks after beginning CrossFit, to my most recent competition last week.) I’ve competed as an individual, at a same sex partner comp, at an opposite sex partner comp, and on a team. Whichever type of competition you choose my tips are the same:

  • Know the standards and what the judges are looking for (p.s. the judges are always right)
  •  Prepare physically and mentally 
  • Get your gear together the night before and check it twice. Pack extra workout clothes as well as comfy lounge clothes cause there will be a good amount of down time
  • Find out which heats you are in
  • Bring a chair
  • Pack food and snacks
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Eat breakfast
  • Hydrate before, during, and after
  •  Warm up before each workout (no more than 20 minutes before your heat and not longer than 5-10 minutes) and stretch/cool down after
  • Give it your best
  • Have fun and enjoy
  • Most importantly, be proud!


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