Why Do Everyday Athletes Compete?

Today I want to share with you a bit of history on how I actually got into CrossFit through the competitive side and why you might wanna try your hand at a fun competition in the future! (You’re actually about to participate in one starting next week if you’re #intheopen (; )

So, let’s dive in to why competing can be fun and might be something you might end up liking as we head into The Open!

First: How I started CrossFit (short version):

The CrossFit Games (the event on tv) was actually the first time I had heard about CrossFit. Me and my roommate in our freshman year of college were searching for the coolest fitness stuff we could find to try in the gym and we stumbled upon the recorded broadcast of the 2013 CrossFit Games. The first video we watched was “Cinco 1 and 2 Men’s Event.” We watched as a man named Rich Froning Jr. went to claim his 3rd Fittest Man on Earth title by doing 405 lbs. deadlifts, 53 lbs. weighted pistols, handstand walking, muscle-ups, deficit handstand pushups, and 160# overhead walking lunges. All movements that looked either like circus movements or so heavy we couldn’t comprehend how much they hurt.

Now I saw that and went, “let’s go try it!” It took all of 2 tries at a bar muscle up to realize this was really hard stuff, and I liked the idea of the challenge it provided me.

I started trying WODs and watching videos on how to get all those crazy circus movements and realized. CrossFit is fun because it can always push you. You are always trying to improve yourself whether it is in your nutrition, gymnastics, weightlifting, mobility, or cardiovascular abilities.

6 years later and I have gone from deadlifting 225 lbs, 5 strict pull ups, and an Open ranking of 56,347th to deadlifting 540lbs, 20+ Muscle-Ups, and a personal record Open ranking of 282nd.

There are millions of stories of other people seeing improvements from doing CrossFit. The workout routine is great.

Why make it a sport?

The Sport of CrossFit:

Well, first, CrossFit lends itself to competition due to the nature of what we call “MetCons.” Theses are circuits that are usually high intensity and are either timed or scored for the number of reps completed in a certain time. As people started finding people with similar skill levels to train with, they would push each other to move faster and get higher scores.

As CrossFit grew, actual dedicated competitions with prizes arose, the biggest of which being the CrossFit Games in 2007 which was held in Aromas, CA.

Today there are 5 different types of CrossFit competitions: local, online, regional, sanctional, and international competitions.

The international pinnacle of competition is still the CrossFit Games. Some other international competitions have arisen since then that actually give their champions invites to the CrossFit Games – these are sanctionals.

In the regional level you have competitions that are quite large, such as The Fittest Experience in Austin, TX. These competitions are dedicated to having large purses but they don’t feed into larger competitions, making them something special all their own.

From there you have online competitions which would be the qualifiers for all the previously mentioned events along with the most famous one “The CrossFit Open.” These competitions can be performed in your own gym and all you need is either a camera, a judge, or both if you are looking to qualify for the in-person competitions.

Finally there are the local competitions that don’t require any qualifiers that you can find in nearly every town across America depending on the time of year. These are usually hosted by local gyms or by event organizers like Live and Loud, Hyrox, and Spartan (although the latter two aren’t affiliated with CrossFit and have to call it functional fitness, they still use many of the movements you would find in your every day classes here at Vegvisir). Like the online competitions, anyone can compete. There are brackets for Pro/Elite, Rx, Intermediate, Scaled, Masters (35-65+), Adaptive, and even Teens! There is a bracket for every skill level and age!

The best part about all of these, there is a place for everyone! You don’t have to be Tia Claire-Toomey if you want to compete! You could be doing CrossFit for 3 months and sign up for a local competition or the Open and go have fun!

All these competitions use the previously mentioned modalities and put them into scored or timed events. You get ranked on a leaderboard and get to test your abilities with fellow athletes.

Why compete?

I compete in CrossFit to test myself. I’m a competitive person and just love the feeling of giving everything I have got! This is not event the biggest reason people compete, however. Most people compete because it is fun. You can spend all morning, afternoon, or day with your friends. You workout, high five everyone you see, and at the end of the day you get to celebrate all that y’all have worked hard for.

For the majority of CrossFit competitions, it’s best to view it like belonging to a local sports league. You get to scratch your competitive itch and hang out with friends. All the while you are getting even fitter and pushing yourself to see what you can do!

How can I try it out?

Next week we will be starting the CrossFit Open, which is most the way most athletes are  introduced to competition! The Intramural Open is a great way to get into that A-Game mode and try to test yourself against yourself and against your friends who you know only want you to succeed! Plus, if you do the regular CrossFit Open, it’s a faceless leaderboard that gives you another metric to show how much you improve year to year!

You also have the Ghoulish Gauntlet to look forward to in October here! It’s a team competition that is done a bit more like the backyard BBQ style of CrossFit competitions that started the sport in the first place! 

There are also plenty of local competitions for athletes of all levels, from Beginner Masters to Elite Team Competitions and everything in between. 

If you get the bug after competing The Open this year, talk to your coach and we can help you find competitions coming up and help ya find a team within the gym if you’d like to try that avenue. 

If competing doesn’t end up being your thing, that is awesome! Our primary goal as athletes here at Vegvisir is to move well and work on our fitness to improve our lives so we can enjoy every little part of life we can! Competition is just one way to express fitness and enjoy the fruits of you labor, among countless others!

To talk with a coach today, click the link found HERE to schedule your No Sweat Intro

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