This weekend I competed in my first crossfit competition, Naptown Smackdown, hosted by my gym Crossfit Naptown (CFNT). I’ve been doing crossfit for over two years but have never signed up for a competition because there are still some moves I can’t Rx (perform as prescribed without scaling) that tend to show up in competition programming, like unassisted pull ups.
CFNT hosts the Naptown Smackdown each year to give all its members a chance to experience the competition environment regardless of their skill level. Athletes can scale the workouts as needed but only those who Rx can advance to the finals. This was the perfect the opportunity for me to get exposed to the competition setting and push myself to Rx as much as I could.
When they announced the workouts the night before, I was super excited because it was all moves I can Rx! They were going to be tough workouts but at least I had a chance to see what I could do.
This was a burner! I watched some YouTube videos for tips on getting in and out of the clips quickly but it all went out the window during the WOD. My main strategy was just to keep moving and ignore the fact that my lungs were on fire. I would probably tackle the burpees differently if I did this one again since I got a little dizzy with my spin move action.
Score: 69 calories
This is one of those workouts where strategy becomes crucial. Breaking up reps early, doing push jerk even if you can press it to save energy, taking a few extra seconds to make sure you are set before you attempt to go overhead…there are so many small, quick decisions that can dramatically affect how well you do in a WOD like this.
My goal was to get through the set of 85# and have time to attempt the next weight up. Unfortunately I didn’t do a lot of the things I mentioned above. I rushed through the lighter weight. I stayed with push press at 65# even though doing push jerk would have conserved some energy. I wasted a couple attempts overhead at 85# because I didn’t take a moment to breath first. I will definitely try this one again and remind myself that 7:00 is longer than you think so chill out and be smart!
Score: 80 reps
To quote my dad’s commentary in the video, I was struggling early on with the jump rope. While warming up, I did them unbroken but just got too excited or nervous at 3-2-1-go. I made up some time in the other movements luckily and was pretty happy with my pacing overall. My legs were total jello by the time I got back to the jump rope though.
Score: 260 reps
I wasn’t really sure how to mentally prep for this versus a race. Similar to picturing each mile on the course the night before, I walked myself through each WOD and tried to strategize.
I also wasn’t sure how to fuel for this versus a race. Doing three WODs in one morning is a totally different animal. A few people told me to eat right after each WOD even if I wasn’t hungry and drink lots of water of course. I followed that advice with a KIND bar after the first WOD and a Clif bar after the second. I felt like my energy held up relatively well throughout the morning.
If I do another competition, I need to do a better job of calming down between WODs. I had a lot of nervous energy before the first one and was just super excited to cheer everyone else on and be part of the whole thing. I don’t even remember sitting down much.
We don’t have mirrors in the gym so it’s interesting (and super weird) to watch these videos and see these pictures. I definitely have some room for improvement on my form. But it was kind of cool to see myself doing the same weights and moves as everyone else. I’ve been trying to push myself to Rx more in class and stop doubting myself and selling myself short. I may not be able to do an unassisted pull up, but there’s a lot I can do and this was a nice reminder of how far I’ve come in the last two years.
It was great to have my dad there cheering me on! He got to experience firsthand why I love this community so much and get a glimpse into the crossfit world and what we do during workouts. He’s a runner so we always talk about my training for races but this was a foreign world to him.
Overall Naptown Smackdown was an awesome experience! I learned a lot, pushed myself and had a blast. I would definitely recommend all CFNT members sign up next year!
Have you done a crossfit competition before? What tips do you have for rookies? If you participated in Naptown Smackdown, what was your favorite part? What would you say to other CFNT members to get them to sign up? Share your thoughts in the comments!