For the past two weeks the super regions have been going on in order to figure out which athletes and teams will go to the CrossFit Games. This weekend will be the last three days of competition with the Meridian, the Central, and the West regions finishing up this Sunday. The competitors at these regions are the best of the best athletes but we should understand some basic things about what we are watching.
- Form - In the gym you are coached to be fanatical about your form. You will see athletes at the Regionals who are not doing technically sound form. Does this mean you should emulate what you see on the TV? No.
- Technique - There is training technique, gym technique, and then there is competition technique. You can see this in action during the West regional where Hacks Pack had a very unique form on their GHD sit-ups. This was on purpose and the purpose was to win. Does this mean you should emulate what you see on TV? No.
- Engine - The Regionals compromise of many workouts over the course of 3 days. Fatigue and muscle damage will occur which will cause people to move differently then they normally would. When you get tired in a WOD do you always display the best technique? Often we do not. Bad technique or not these athletes are able to keep working, endure a lot of pain, and output a tremendous amount of work in something we call an "engine."
- WODs - CrossFit for health and fitness and CrossFit for sport are two different things. This is also true for skiing for fun at Wolf Creek and skiing for sport at the Training Center in Utah. We should apply the same logic and not watch the truly impressive workout the athletes compete in and thinks its a great idea to do the same workout RX'd.
- Community - These exceptional athletes are still CrossFitters so we support them all the same. In a normal gym the last person gets the cheers and support from the fittest. Effort is praised, not placing. Even on this stage you can see the same character happen - the competitors that finish first will go cheer on the ones finishing last, the competitors will thank their judge, and the competitors will congratulate each other for attempting the WOD. At all levels CrossFitters are thankful and generous.
- Stigma - Hey Ladies: you will not look like this. Everyone is dealt a genetic card that will dictate your bone structure and everyone is death a genetic card for muscle mass. Some women are tall and some are small. Some put on weight easy while others can eat whatever they want and don't put weight on. CrossFit and training is the same. The Crossfit competition regiment is looking for a specific female with a certain skill set that genetics helps them with. These are the women you will see compete. If you do not want to look like that then don't train like them! General CrossFit is about health and fitness, not the high level sport. Do not be afraid of your own potential power. If you are truly concerned with getting "big" from weights then look at your diet first - more cupcakes and alcohol ruined a feminine look than the gym ever did.
This is a special time for us CrossFitters to see what the human body is capable of. You will see many things that may not jive with what your coach is telling you. You will also have people use these Regionals and Games competitions as fuel for anti-CrossFit comments. Keep these thoughts in mind about the Regionals, the Games, and the Sport of Fitness