Every human competes everyday. Some compete to find the best parking spot during their lunch hour. Others, like CrossFitters, compete on an altogether, far from average different scale. In fact, it’s that very competition, on many and multiple levels that keeps the fight in the dog. Competition is a not so secret CrossFit gift that keeps on giving.
With competition comes data, learning, progress. Remember CrossFit is scalable, and CrossFit is competition with yourself,, and with others. Don’t kid yourself, everyone is competitive on the right scale, and CrossFit offers a scale we can all take advantage of one way or anther.
As I continue to work with athletes from all over, I continue to simply collect data, and adjust. Thats it, its not glamourous or special or esoteric. Its years and years of experience, added to the data from men greater than myself, sprinkled with mistakes coupled with success. It is not, ”the only way”, it is “a” way.
Clearly the confidence gained through competing is the main reason for it. Confidence to man is like gymnastics to sports-Gymnasts get better at every other sport faster, and more confident humans care less about the mistakes we all make. You can’t buy confidence, you can only compete for it.
Confidence inspires greatness on and off the CrossFit floor, but competition inspires drug-like effects within the body. It is no coincidence that competitors, those who engage in multiple yearly competitions, are stronger, leaner, and faster than those who don’t. Competitions are like steroids minus the side-effects of the weird boob thing, hair where there shouldn’t be hair, and random cop beat downs.
In fact, numerous studies, like the one here, by Olympic great Ivan Abajiev, show the exact relationship between your insides when you work your outsides harder than normal, like you would at a competition, not when you train.
Essentially, we adapt to everyday training, and adaptation is bad. That is is why frequent competitions of some sort are good. You don’t necessarily have to leave your home or box to compete, but you do have to change the environment a little. Ivan’s study shows that muscle tissue recruitment and protein synthesis is at its highest when we are at our biggest competitions. This phenomenon decreases in degree as does the meaningfulness of the competition. Meaning, the bigger the investment, the bigger return. The study above ends by making the observation that Bulgarians are awesome, and they were in part awesome by competing once every three weeks or so. Their effort increased just before the competition, and depending on the size of the competition, their effort increased yet again the day of.
In effect, in house, local, regional, and world competitons all do their part to make us more awesome, inside and out.
Change in training
For the big shows, the CrossFit games, regionals, or something of particular value to you, there should be a mindful taper of preparation concerning your training. For the rest of the monthly efforts or what have you, little should change by way of training.
However, while we can’t taper training every three to five weeks for every local get together, we can play with our nutrition and get feedback for the big show on down the road.
Change in diet
You carb whores out there will most likely not benefit from the mainstay Practice CrossFit way of eating. Explained simply, Practice CrossFit eats to eradicate dysfunction, we do what heals, we do not do what hurts.
The eating programs we employ often utilize ketoisis, and enormous amounts of fat for energy. We all have plenty of fat to burn, why not use it. However, when it comes to certain competitions, we make adjustments. Practice CrossFit methods of competition are nothing more than an extension from our daily living. It’s like running your car on “super” gasoline everyday. Competition is simply the nitrous that enhances an already well tuned engine. If we just took a junker off the blocks and injected go-juice, we would blow the doors off.
Here is one method I use on athletes all over the world before they compete. Realize, this is generally used on an athlete who has been eating very low carbohydrates, lots of fat, and zero idiocy like pop, pizza, pastry. (and I tried to keep it short and to the point so bear with me)
1. Train and eat as you normally would leading to the competition(again, assuming this isn’t the “big one”, if it is adjust heavy lifts accordingly).
2. Three days before, (Wednesday if the show starts on Saturday) decide how and when you rest. Everyone is different. I think body-weight movements make people sore as hell, whereas I believe even heavish Oly lifts are good to go most of the time. Also, personally, I hate resting before a competition because I get all anxious. Resting is just to different from my norm and that is one of the worst thing you can do. Assuming I was going to compete on Saturday, I would rest on Thursday, workout at 70-80% Friday, and avoid gymnastic movements from Wednesday on.
3. Again, assuming you killing fat to the tune of sixty percent or more of your daily Caloric intake, I would cut this down by 30% two days before the contest. To make up for this, I would add 30% carbohydrates in the form of a sweet potato (other carbohydrates work but these seems to be the least troublesome) sprinkled with cinnamon (it’s an insulin thing).
For example, an athlete eating 2000 Calories a day would remove 360 Calories from fat, and add 360 Calories in the form or Carbohydrates.
4. The day before the competition, I would do the same thing. Meaning another 30% fat reduction, and 30% carbohydrate increase. This would bring our 2000 Calorie athlete up to 180 grams of carbohydrates. A 2000 Calories a day CrossFitter is a small girl, just in case you were curious. This should look like a severe hike in carbohydrates going from around 25-40 grams of carbs a day, all the way to 180g+ and in a completely different form.
I would also take this time to add in BCAA’s to the tune of two grams per dose. Before and after every workout, including the competition. I would continue this until the contest was over.
5. By the time you reach the big show you should be full, and ready. You will spill over if you don’t burn it all up…but that’s what competitions does because competition is so stressful and so vastly different than the norm, and since we at least know when it’s coming, we can be ultra-ready, not just prepared.
If you normally train fasted, and I recommend you do if you can, do so before your first workout. If not, then eat whatever you can stomach before event one. To me, this looks like a meal very light on protein, a little heavier on carbs (still light) and no real fat to speak of (slows digestion).
6. After your first workout, and every workout therafter, you feed. This of course becomes a per person kinda thing because some poeple are far to nervey to eat. If this is you, compete more, and this will go away. For those of you, that know your body well enough, we usually do some sort of shake;
Competition Post workout shake directly after workout;
20g-whey, or egg protein
6/16oz- Coconut water (depending on your size)
7. Assuming your workouts are spaced a couple hours apart, I would chose to eat. But here is where it gets odd and personal. Some people get weird eating and competing, others are starving the whole day. Whatever you decide, log what you do so we can adjust for the future, which should be no more than five weeks away. I would eat this between every workout that had more than 1.5 hours of recovery.
Post workout meal, thirty minutes after the shake
2-4oz of protein (I like turkey, and more is for men, less is for women)
4-6oz sweet potato or preferred carbohydrate(again sprinkle cinnamon)
8. Fat our best friend ever, is not really an event attendant. We have used fat to prime a spectacular system, we then turned to carbs for their rare ability to enhance it. If you don’t avoid Carbohydrates most of the time, while eating lots of fat, this won’t work as well. Meaning, your fat intake at the event is going to be reduced by 60% or so. Again, this is not in stone, it’s a guideline that needs multiple competitions to fine tune for your specific ability.
I call this a contest “dry run”. I have witnessed this work very well for many, and not well for others. Recently, a competitor of mine sent me her latest report. She won three workouts out of the four at her competition, all after her first meal. She tanked on her first workout. What does that mean? It means next time, she eats before she plays. Without the data, without enough competitions to get data, then there really is nothing to change.
This is but one method I have employed over my many years of athlete fine tuning. You could unitize all fat and no carbs also, as some folks don’t mesh well at all with any carbohydrates. The only way to know if it works for you, is to try, the only way to know if something else may work better, is to compete often enough to experiment and reap the rewards. Remember, competitions can be a slight twist on your regular training, a local event, or a worldwide calling. Like any good tool, when used correctly, we always win.
1-Snatch pull+1-Stall snatch(full squat)+1-Hang snatch
EMOM 7 Rounds
*Use a load that permits immaculate technique.
Max rep-Double unders
AMRAP 5 Minutes
*EMOM perform (5) hand-release deadlifts 185/275
**A hand-release deadlift is achieved by releasing the barbell from the floor, and dropping it from the hip upon completion of the rep. No linked reps.
-recover (5) minutes
AMRAP 5 Minutes
*EMOM perform (5) box jumps 24/30
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