This weekend I got to go to Katy, Texas, to watch a group of our members take on the Katy Team Classic, and it had me missing the old competition days.
First, the Katy Team Classic was a well ran the event. All the workouts for us were on time, and all the volunteers and staff worked tirelessly to keep us safe. There were limited people there as well as masks and social distance regulations. All in all, it was a great competition and one that I would like to see us do again.
Competitions are great, especially when you are doing them with a good group of people. When I joined my first CrossFit gym, CrossFit Deer Park, I felt like we were going to a competition every month, and many of us benefited from this.
Almost all the people participating in the competitions back in 2011,12,13 are still doing CrossFit to this day, and a handful of us own gyms ourselves. I started CrossFit in 2009 and did my first competition in January of 2011, and to this day, I look forward to hitting a workout.
Competitions do many things besides give us a chance to gather as a gym outside of classes. It allows us to set goals for ourselves, provides us with something to keep us accountable, and gives us the competitive outlet we need that won’t damage our relationships with our classmates. (anyone who has a rep cutter in your gym knows what I mean here)
Through competition life, I have made some great friends. I talk to two or three guys daily that I met through competitions, and all live in other parts of the state. I have made plans to work out with them, do competitions with them, and just hang out. We will be lifelong friends, and we would not have met each other without CrossFit Competitions.
The thing that has kept me in CrossFit for so long is the congregation aspect that CrossFit gyms have. At BayWay CrossFit we have an average length of membership of almost three years and have an average attendance rate of nearly 200 workouts a year. People come to us because of our coaches, our facility, and our community. It is a fun place to be, and we honestly can get people in the best shape of their lives. Two Hundred CrossFit workouts will get you in better shape than any other program. This is why our biggest competition’s champions are called “The Fittest On Earth.”
What gets people beyond that three-year mark is event participation outside of classes, and unfortunately, I am realizing this eight years into the business, but better late than never. Events like competitions provide an opportunity for a bit of fun while doing something we all love to do. We sign up for our first competition, usually out of peer pressure; we hate/love it because it makes us so nervous, but it is so much fun. We get back into the gym with a new fire of wanting to work hard to get better. We sign up for another competition to see if we got any better, and the cycle continues.
I had someone tell me this weekend that people are ok with not progressing at our gym. For example, we have five-year members still doing jumping pullups. Low-key that hurt my feelings because that means I have failed those members, but not because I haven’t provided them with the programming or coaching they need to do pullups, but I have not given them a reason to progress. Pushing competitions would provide people with that reason to work on these skills a little more so that they can participate in a competition with their friends in the future.
Progressing in movements like pullups or increasing your weightlifting ability means your fitness is improving. If your fitness is improving, so are all your health markers. This ranges from body fat percentage to cholesterol levels.
COVID is still causing many complications with local competitions, and we haven’t seen many pop-up. Yet, when they start to happen again, I will be pushing our members to participate, and I look forward to jumping back into the action myself!