The debate between training and competition is one that goes on every day inside the walls of a CrossFit Gym. It is inevitable that at some point you will have to answer this question. With the CrossFit Games and the world wide version “The Open” starting in just a few weeks we thought it would be a good time to go over the differences and what they may mean for athletes like yourself.
As we begin our discussion on training lets start with the WHAT – WHY- HOW. What is training? Well, in short, training is what we do to prepare for something. For instance, if we are TRAINING for a marathon we’ll do a series of workouts. They will be tailored around what we think will give us the best chance to succeed in our COMPETITION. The competition in this example is the actual marathon race itself. We wont actually run the race and route every day to prepare for it right? Instead, we’ll come up with a plan and implement a program that will give us the best chance to succeed.
So WHY do we do this? Our goal during this phase of our preparation is to improve our movements, abilities, techniques, build strength and stamina, etc… It is not to test those abilities against others. We are constantly trying to better ourselves through physical fitness. In order to do so we need to have a plan and reason. Our reason, whatever it may be, is our WHY.
HOW will we do all of this? First and foremost we come up with a plan. This is what we do almost everyday with our CrossFit program. We are setting things up in small steps or segments to best prepare you for whatever may come your way. If we’re trying to get stronger, we’ll set up a program around weightlifting. When we are trying to get faster, we’ll implement more sprinting. If we need to increase our flexibility then we’ll add some yoga. These are just a few of the thousands of ways you can prepare for your goals with how you TRAIN.
Now let’s take a look at competition. First we isolate this term for events in which we are trying to test our abilities against others. This should NOT be confused with trying to be on the top of the Wodify Leaderboard everyday… I feel the need to clarify this. Every once in a while we see some people getting wrapped up around trying to be a Wodify warrior. There is nothing wrong with using the leaderboard to try and gauge where your abilities are. Or to have friendly banter with your gym buddies on who did better on Monday. However, DO NOT obsess over this.
One of the drawbacks of competition is how sometimes it can negatively affect how we view one another. This is not a desired goal. It’s something you need to be on the lookout for if you start to venture down that rabbit hole. Competing can serve great purposes. It can bring joy, it can bring sadness, but most of all it should show us where we need work. We can use this as tool for positive growth if we allow ourselves to have some humility.