So you want to compete in the 2020 CrossFit Games - what it takes.
It is not uncommon after an intense week of competition to leave Madison or the Iron Game coverage with some motivation to train for the 2020 CF Games.
I figured after my 8th season competing in this sport. I would give some insight into what it takes to compete in Madison next year.
1) You will need to invest at least 16 hours a day to this goal.
Sleep is essential and takes a minimal of 8 hours to help recover your body, and some of the best athletes have been known to sleep 10 hours a night. You will need 2 hours to nutrition and at least 6 hours of training. The 16 hours does not include time for Chiro visits, bodywork, massage, and other self-care.
2) Those at the top don't care about your excuses or inability to train.
One of the biggest mistakes I hear is competitors claiming how great they would be if (enter excuse here).
Eight years ago, I made a choice to follow my heart, minimize my work schedule, and economize all the time I had to train. There are, of course, genetic phenoms and those who spent their youth mastering gymnastics, swimming, and soccer. These athletes have a distinct advantage, and they may get away with less training, but they are rare. So expect to invest a lot of time in the gym, sleeping and recovering. The reason why you can't is already the reason you won't make the 2020 Games. No excuses.
3) Going team in the past might have required less time in the gym, but now we see the level of competition on Teams step up. We are seeing a surge in past individual games athletes going team, as 11 of the 12 people who stepped on the podium in 2019, showcased past indi-games experience. The team is going to require well-rounded athletes with minimal weaknesses. I'm not saying Individual experience is needed, but the number of vulnerabilities each member brings to the competition floor needs to be negligible.
4) Proficiency in all energy systems through all modal domains.
Many people get caught up in the sexy attraction of lifting heavy and showcasing it on the Gram. If you can't focus on your weaknesses or somehow think these weaknesses will correct themselves with little attention in a couple of weeks is already a plan to fail. Athletes who are willing to attack their weaknesses every day will battle frustration and at times, self-doubt, but there is no other way to succeed in this sport. A perfectly planned and stubborn attack is the only way to convert a weakness into a strength.
My arm limbs, for example, have made strict handstand push-ups extremely frustrating. It is a movement I do a lot in a week and one that rarely gets better. This weakness, however, makes deadlifts a lot more attractive for me but is not tested as often as HSPU, which leads to the next point.
5) Your opinion of what should be tested is irrelevant.
We are typically eager to see movements in competition that we are good at, but the best in the sport have minimal weaknesses and don't spend a lot of time worrying about what will be tested. If you find yourself over opinionated on a particular movement, search why you feel this way and correct that.
Whenever assessing an athlete, we keep an eye out for specific subjective data like "I hate, I suck, this is stupid," and investigate the cause of those feelings. There is a correlation of movements missed in training with weaknesses. Attack your weaknesses!
6) It is expensive to get to Madison -
The trip to Madison alone can cost up to 5,000 dollars. It is not cheap, and that is not including the Sanctions you will need to travel to qualify for the Games. Study the season and anticipate which events will give you the best chance to qualify. There will be competitions that are front-loaded with big names and a lot of talent. There will also be competitions where the known names will not attend because they already received the golden ticket. Anticipate your best strategy and save accordingly but be frugal, your goal requires 100% attention, and it leaves little time for work. The best suffered, you, unfortunately, will suffer as well. It is part of the equation; success isn't given it is earned. If you have a family or need to work, you can't ignore you will have to sleep less or be realistic. This is an overwhelming goal that may never pay you a dime. Is going to the Games worth being broke, or secluded in the gym?
7) There are a lot of unknowns going on, which don't affect your training!
Ask yourself if you need to compete to validate your existence or because you love the sport. I can tell who loves the game because those who love it train hard, review, adjust, and repeat this recipe daily. Those who love the sport don't get involved in internal politics or the rules.
If you can accept whatever comes out of HQ and the hopper and work your hardest to establish a strong foundation while overcoming your weaknesses. Your chances of making the Games will improve dramatically. Control what you can ignore what you can't.
8) Be patient -
There are plenty of stories out there of very talented competitors, who for each reason missed out on one or two years of competition. They stuck it out and stayed the course and did very well at a later time. This year we saw Hepner and Brandon showcase their talents in Madison by doing just that. You can't expect to jump to the top unless you have a potent athletic background. To beat those with years of experience, you either have to outwork them or cheat in the OPEN. I know you will not cheat so you have to outwork your competition every day. As simplistic as this sounds don't forget your competition is not eager to hand you a win because you think you deserve it. Respect your competition enough to know you are not doing enough. Find a healthy way to do more each day.
9) Traditionally this time after the Games is spent relaxing for many.
The open is in 6 weeks, take advantage of those who are resting their injuries, resting their minds, and are unaware the OPEN is around the corner. The OPEN in October is an unknown, use it to your advantage train extremely hard, and you might get a jump on someone who hasn't planned or is dealing with an injury.
10) Enjoy Life
If you don't enjoy the game, if you need to tell yourself you need a training partner to make it enjoyable, remind yourself people like me who lived in the gym by themselves in solitude with only one thought and that was to do whatever it took within the rules to make it back to the Games.
I lost that desire when my business started growing, I understood that, and I respected my competition enough to know my individual competition days were over. If you don't enjoy training, you might want to find another sport or this one will crush you.
Looking for a coach email me and see if I can help you out.