If you watched any of the CrossFit Games over the weekend, you're probably feeling inspired to push your training to the next level. If you've never competed before, that could be the next logical step - but is something holding you back? Entering your first competition can be daunting, particularly if you don't consider yourself an 'elite' athlete. One of the best things about the UK community is the range of competitions on offer, including some that are all-inclusive, and therefore suitable for all abilities and age ranges.

If you've thought about entering a competition, but feel like something's holding you back, here are 5 reasons you should stop thinking and just go for it!

1. Improve Your Confidence

The main reason people shy away from competition isn't a lack of ability, it's lack of confidence. Does the thought of working out in front of a group of people make you feel nervous? Ask yourself why. You do this every day in the box, so you are more than capable.

When shying away from competition, we tend to focus on everything we can't do:

  • "What if they program double-unders? I'll be flailing around with a rope for 10 minutes."
  • "I don't want to embarrass myself if the WODs are too heavy."
  • "What if I come last?"

If you've been to a competition, as a spectator, you'll know athletes sometimes struggle with workouts - even at the highest level. On Friday, 15% of the individual competitors at the CrossFit Games didn't finish Murph within the time cap. Did we judge them? Of course not! We felt inspired by their tenacity - even though they knew they wouldn't make it back in time, they didn't give up until the final buzzer.

Acknowledge your fear, but never let it stop you. You can achieve amazing things when you push yourself outside your comfort zone; and a competition is the perfect opportunity to do so.

2. Learn What You're Capable Of

In a competition environment, you'll find out you can do things you've never done before. This is another reason to let go of the word "can't" and get yourself signed up.

You train at your box every day - so you know what to expect. When you take part in a competition, adrenaline kicks in and pushes you beyond what you thought was possible.

How many times have you heard of someone PB-ing a lift at a competition, or stringing their first set of muscle-ups together? This isn't a fluke. Your body can do much more than you think - and it's likely you'll learn a lot about yourself as you prepare in the months and weeks before your competition.

3. You've Fallen Out of Love With Training

When you've lost your enthusiasm for training, entering a competition is a great way to get it back. A lack of motivation is a sign you haven't set effective goals, or don't feel you have anything to work towards.

If you find yourself bailing on classes regularly, or making excuses when you don't put in the effort, a competition creates a sense of urgency and puts a time limit on your goals. This, along with 'the fear' you'll experience as the day gets closer, will likely give you the extra psychological push you've been looking for.

4. Throw Down With New People

As much as you love training in your box, you will have settled into a routine, developing your expectations based upon the other people you train with. 

This can have a negative impact on your training, regardless of the level you're at. For example, if you're the best athlete in your box, you might find it hard to push yourself even further because you've no one to pit yourself against. Likewise, if you're one of the average performers in your box, you may feel comfortable and safe in the middle of the whiteboard. 

When you throw down with new people, it throws you out of your comfort zone. You'll need to establish your position within a new group of people, which provides a competitive edge that might be lacking on your typical day in the box.

This might sound daunting, but in reality it's far from it. As you progress through the day, you'll get to know your fellow competitors, supporting each other through the workouts. We've said it before, but the best thing about the community is the people - so make the most of it!

5. To Have Fun!

In the words of KITBOX ambassador Barry Mairs, if you're not having fun - what's the point?! 

When you decide to take part in a competition, find one suited to your ability level - then aim to enjoy it as much as possible. If that's your goal, you can never go wrong!

For a first-time competitor, an event like The Rainhill Trials is perfect, as you'll be placed in a group according to your ability level. A partner or team competition, such as the European Inferno or Wild West, are a great shout too - as you get to take part with your training buddies.

Once you've taken the plunge and signed up, you might also want to check out our post about how to prepare.

What was your first competition, and what advice would you give to someone thinking about competing?
Let us know in the comments! 

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July 27, 2015 — KITBOX [ ]

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