How To Train For A Crossfit Competition

crossfit workouts
To train for a competition the battle is all won in preperation

Training for a crossfit competition is fun but also a little nerve racking.

I still remember the first time I even got exposed to Crossfit.

To be honest I was laughing and the guys flopping around on the pull up bar saying what everyone has said before “why aren’t they doing strict pull ups, and what they heck is going on”.

I’ve come a long way since then and drank the kool aid years ago.

I have been competing and coaching since 2011 so I have learned a thing or two.

Today’s blog I’ll cover:

Check out the different training programs we offer by here.

If you prefer video here ya go

A Little Back Story First

I came from a military and basketball background so I was a competitive guy. I was a personal trainer at 24 hour fitness at the time (early 2010’s) and I had really gotten into gymnastics training at the time.

We had a new hire who was sharp.

And doing things I had never even seen before.

He was snatching 265 lbs.

It was amazing.

I’m drawn to athletes who are skilled and I knew that for him to accomplish that had taken a ton of preparation. I began picking his brain and long story short he was a crossfit athlete and he is the one who exposed me to this sport that I can almost say changed my life.

After athletics I didn’t really know what to train for.

I needed a purpose.

I wanted to train hard but for what? Triathlons, 5k’s, tough mudders?

Those are cool and I do those but I wanted to be strong and not get too skinny.

So I did what you are doing….

…I began researching everything on the planet.

Crossfit programming, crossfit workouts, crossfit, crossfit, crossfit.

I was obsessed.

A few months later I signed up for my first competition and learned a TON.

I won’t share with you my entire story because you aren’t here for that but it’s been about 10 years now of competing and coaching and now we help athletes get stronger, faster, and improve performance.

Let’s get into it.

What to expect

How To Prepare For A Crossfit Competition & What To Expect

How to prepare for a competition.


Just the thought of it makes me laugh now because here is the deal…

you have to be prepared for anything and everything*

*it’s common for local competitions to release events prior to the event day BUT you want to be ready for anything.

Strength is the price of admission

The stronger athlete you are the better off you will be.

Image this:

Athlete A – max deadlift is 405 lbs

Athlete B – max deadlift is 250 lbs

Let’s say a workout is:

21,15,9 of deadlifts and handstand push ups.

The deadlift weight is 225.

Which athlete is going to have an “easier time” getting through this?

Athlete A because this is nearly 50% of his or her 1 rep max.

Strength matters.

You must focus on getting strong first.

This concept applies to:

  • being able to efficiently do muscle ups, handstand push ups, handstand walks, etc

When we take on new athletes we always want to get them strong first.

at home workout
Let’s talk about skills

Train Your Weaknesses (Skills) – To Prepare For A Crossfit Competition

Although you may not know what the events are you probably have a good idea of what your weakness is…

…is it:

  • top end strength?
  • high rep moderate weight?
  • gymnastics (muscle ups, toes to bar, handstand walking, rope climbs, double under)
  • engine work? (rowing, running, biking, swimming)
  • mobility to get into proper overhead squat?

What is it that you need to get better at?

Find out what it is and begin training those skills.

We offer speciality program tracks to help athletes get better at these skills for this reason.

Handstand Walks

Follow A Program – To Train For A Crossfit Competition

There are a ton of great coaches and programmers out there.

I can confidently say that we have tested our workouts and programs on thousands of athletes over the past decade and have learned a lot.

The way our programs work:

  • Week one we take you through a serious of test
  • Week 2-6 we work on progressions to master and gain confidence in those test/skills
  • Week 7 we re-test

What doesn’t get tested doesn’t get measured.

And we love gathering that feedback so we can use it to help you continuously improve.

how to train for a crossfit competition
Gymnastics is my jam 🙂

What To Expect – At A Crossfit Competition

Expect the unexpected.

Just kidding, enough with that.

In most cases competitions are one day (more competitive are two) and sometimes require a online qualifier.

You can expect 3-5 workouts depending on the event and probably something along the lines of these test:

  • 1 RM or some sort of Weightlifting complex
  • A longer workout lasting 14+ minutes
  • A “sprint” style workout where it’s maybe X,Y,Z for time
  • Sort sort of gymnastics under fatigue

You truly never know but if to get a general idea it will probably be something along those lines.

In our Competitor and GPP training programs we take you through all of the different modalities of fitness so that you can be prepared for events like this.

how to train for a crossfit competition
Gymnastics 🙃

Time Between WODS At Crossfit Competition

There is generally about 90 minutes to two hours between events so you can plenty of time to refuel and rest.

During competition days I encourage athletes to keep as many things the same as possible which I would hope would include:

  • drinking bcaa’s
  • creatine monohydrate
  • beta alanine
  • having easily digestible foods between events
  • spending time doing mobility and stretching
  • and having FUN

You don’t want to crash and burn after your first event and have no energy left.

Depending on the size of your event there is often a couple of heats as well.

It’s a great time to go support other athletes and maybe pick up some strategy for the workout.

pails and rails
Take time between events to recover

Warm Up & Primer Before Event – How To Train For Crossfit Competition

Do NOT go into the events cold.

You want an event day to be as similar to a typical training day.

So yes, that means warming and cooling down for every event.

It might look something like this:

  • general blood flow for 4-8 minutes and gradually increasing your heart rate and getting your body temp warm
  • do some mobility drills of the positions that will be demanded

Here are some to reference (t spine mobility, ankle mobility, squat/hip mobility)

  • drills of the movements that are coming up in the workout

Got toes to bar? –> Work on your kip.

Got muscle ups? –>Work on your transitions.

Strength event? –> Begin climbing in weight and go through the movement patterns.

  • Primer

Go through a round at full speed but maybe half the reps*

Trust me.

If you wait until you get out there your heart rate is going to get TOO high and you will have a hard time ever bringing it down.

*try to time this right before you have to go to the waiting area. Because you are going to have to wait probably 5-10 minutes anyway.

Have any additional questions?

Leave them in the comments below and we are happy to help you out!

We love having dedicated athletes who want to get better if that’s you then click on the image 👇🏻 and get a week free to all of our programs!

how to train for a crossfit competition
Click on the image to learn more about our program.


Training for a crossfit competition is a blast and everything is all done in preparation.

Strength is the price of admission and you want to get STRONG.

Train your weaknesses and be ready for anything.

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