Hi I'm Joe and this is my first ever blog.
So I'm going to begin with a little bit about myself, I'm 23 years old and live in Stoke on Trent. As a teenager I was never hugely into traditional sports, I was more interested in motorcycles and music but towards my later teen years I got into the gym and getting fit. I found functional fitness 2 years ago and haven't looked back since.

When you start training it's all fun and games but then you want more, and with that comes competitions and in some cases qualifiers.  Online qualifiers are getting more and more popular within the UK competition scene. They vary from simple seeding wods (as seen in the Rainhill Trials run by TRAIN Manchester) once you have been accepted to compete in a competition, to open style qualifiers where the top athletes will have to video their workouts to validate their scores and that the movement standards have been met. I have entered various competitions that have qualifying workouts and this is how they have effected my training:


Intensity is a huge aspect of any training, not just functional fitness. In day to day training I find my intensity can drop A LOT, however I always find that qualifiers help me bring back a high level of intensity that is needed to finish in a respectable position.. However I always find that competitions and qualifiers help me to get back to that high level of intensity needed to finish in a respectable position.
Repeating WODs
Finishing in a respectable position has also forced me to retry some qualifying workouts. It's not very often I repeat a workout as there is usually no need and most of them suck so I don't want to do them again!! But when you are up against others and their is a leaderboard showing you that the difference between qualifying is a few extra reps, you have to suck it up and go again. I wish I had the time to redo my Battle of the Beasts qualifier workouts as I know I could do better and would have had a better chance of qualifying.
Training Partners
I usually workout alone and recently have been following a new training plan from an online coach. Working out alone is not the most ideal or fun way to do it so when a competition does require qualifiers I can always count on someone at the box to compete against. This is where I have made the most gains in my recent training hitting qualifying workouts against friends that have the same goals and drive to do well.

Overall, I feel qualifying workouts have a positive effect on my training pushing me to higher levels of fitness. I would always encourage athletes to enter the qualifying stages as it stops you cherry picking, adds variety to your training, gives you a goal to aim for and makes do workouts you would outright avoid - such as The Athlete Games Qualifier WOD 1! Or you could be lucky and all the qualifying workouts could be in your box of tricks.

Qualifying workouts try and cover all the basics from strength, skill and there is always one for the ninjas that's just pure engine work. It will be interesting to see the qualifying workouts for next years Pound or Pound competition. It is the one competition that is different to all the other UK competitions, as all the workout weights are a % of the athletes body weight. This gives the ninjas a better chance of staying with the bigger, stronger athletes that dominate most other competitions.

I've been in a few competitions this year Pound For Pound, Rainhill, Wild West, Tribal Clash and have recently finished the team Thorium qualifiers.

Wild West is a team competition - 2 female and 2 male. This was a great competition and saw teams battle it out over two days of pure FF style workouts. Tribal Clash - another 4 team competition which is the complete opposite to Wild West, working out on a shingle beach, swimming in the sea and running up the hills over two days. The main differences between these two competitions are that in Wild West your team could work to its strengths in various workouts, whereas in Tribal Clash every member of your team had to have a high GPP due to the workouts being very different to your usual box workout and each member had to help with everything!

I prefer the team competitions, as being in a team pushes me more, as I do not want to let my team down and more importantly I want to out do the other male athlete in the team. So this means that next year I will be back at the same team competitions and hopefully qualify for a few individual comps too.


Tribal Clash Team Competition

December 08, 2014 — Joe Cowen

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