I hit a PR at a competition this weekend. I did an unbroken set of 30 thrusters at 95#. Granted, not a 1rm, not something an athlete probably tests all that much – and probably not that impressive to most athletes out there – but that’s why the “P” is in PR – it’s personal. 21 thrusters is about the most you’ll ever have to do in a set for CrossFit (Fran or 16.5/14.5). Before this weekend, the last time I had to perform a set of thrusters bigger than 21, was the CrossFit Team Series workout last year. It had an ascending number of reps of thrusters and C2B pull-ups. My teammate and I went back and forth – and my set came up in the round of 25 thrusters – and I got them all.
This weekend, almost a year later – I got 30 – and it was pretty easy. Those two moments, two separate PR’s – were fueled by adrenaline and a desire to win. Those fuels exist in competition at much higher levels than a simple workout in the gym.
The CrossFit Team Series is HQ’s back-to-school gift to all of us – an online competition that shows up after the Games and long before trolls take their shots at deciphering Dave Castro’s Instagram photo of a piece of paper – (It was two pieces of paper, so it’s a couplet – paper is white, which begins with a “w” so it must be a couplet with wall balls. The paper was on a desk that was made of wood, wood comes from trees, you chop trees down by swinging an axe, swinging – kettlebell swings. 17.1 is a couplet of KB swings and wall-balls!!!!). The fall is when we are all staving off the inevitable hours of working on our muscle-ups or other weaknesses in preparation for the Open. It’s the perfect time for you get together with your gym mates and throw down – testing your fitness against the world – all-star teams of Games athletes sponsored by the Rogue’s and Reebok’s of the fitness realm – or four people looking for some extra motivation to workout. Chances are, you and your friends fall somewhere in between those two.
For $20.00 a person – you can test your fitness level, track your team against your friend’s squad across the globe, and measure your success against the best in the world. Two males and two females make up a team of four. You don't even have to train together or live in the same city - but you do have to perform the workouts together. CrossFit releases the first batch of WOD's on September 6, 2016. You will then have 6 days to complete the events and submit your scores online.
There is a reason you see a never-ending cycle of PR videos coming out of the Open every year – competition forces us out of our comfort zones and pushes us to achieve things we never thought possible. Why would you pass on an additional opportunity to do that? Here’s a few reasons some of you might give for saying “no thanks – I don’t want to be awesome this year.”
1. “20 dollars? Just another money grab by HQ. Get out of my pocket.” Ok, if you are that bent out of shape about forking over a portrait of Andrew Jackson – you are either legitimately poor (yet somehow squeeze out your 100+ a month CrossFit membership) or you are just whining. If it’s either of these, send me an email with your story and I’ll gladly pay your portion of your team’s entry fee.
2. “I don’t compete.” I will point you in the direction of about 100 articles on our site explaining why you should. I will also challenge this statement by sending someone to your house. They will inform you that they are taking your car, your house and your wife. I’ll bet you suddenly decide that competing isn’t “off the table” anymore. That’s life – it’s a competition - and anything worth having is worth competing over - including your fitness level. Why wouldn’t you want to test yourself against your peers? You are scared – that’s natural. You can’t just talk about being a good athlete – once you step on the competition floor, you have to “do.” Stop hiding behind your mom’s apron and get out there and put your abilities to the test - stand and be judged.
3. “I don’t have any friends to do the workouts with.” You have a community of friends at your gym. If you can’t find three people at your gym who are willing to compete with you – your gym lacks the greatest thing about CrossFit – community. You should immediately stop reading this article and google other CrossFit gyms in your area, because the one you are paying to workout, isn’t delivering the way most CrossFit gyms do.
4. “We’ll just do the workouts without registering.” Congratulations – You are that guy or girl. You know the one - they post the best score on whiteboard, but nobody saw them do the workout? The person who never just lets you tell a story without offering up their "better" version of it? The kid in high school who always talked about winning fights - but nobody ever actually remembers seeing them throw down? Nobody wants to hear about what you scored on a workout with no judge watching. Nobody wants to hear about how your team “would be in the top 100 IF we registered.” If you don’t register, go ahead and do the workouts – but don’t tell those of us who signed up and performed the workouts to the proper standard, that you WOULD have beaten us. Also, nobody likes you.
Competition is one of the many things that make CrossFit great. If you don’t want to experience everything CrossFit has to offer – that’s up to you – but why only eat the steak when you are served dinner with all the sides and dessert? If you don’t compete, you are choosing to only enjoy part of the meal. I say, eat it all – just make sure you log all your macros.