7 Reasons to do a CrossFit Masters Competition

I love jumping rope, but not for long
I love jumping rope – well I like writing about jumping rope.

It all began with a Conversation

This weekend I was having lunch at Chipotle with my Coach. I asked him, “How would you describe the difference between Exercise and Training?”

His response highlighted a key reason that I have been floundering for several months.

He said, “Exercise is just a workout. It’s just working up a sweat. Training, on the other hand, is exercise for a purpose. With training, there is a results-oriented goal that drives the activity.”

He went on to cite examples, “Someone goes and runs a few miles, because it’s a beautiful day. That’s fine, but tomorrow, they may not run because it’s not a nice day.”

He continued, “An athlete who is training for a marathon has an end in mind. He wants to complete a 26.2 mile race. He must run in sun and rain, heat and cold. To achieve his goal he must condition his mind and body for the grueling challenge of this endurance event.”

I have become an Exerciser (gasp)

In recent months I have shifted my focus from CrossFit, to Olympic Lifting. But in the process I have stepped back from much of the activity I need to round out my strength and fitness. I have been trying to do Olympic Lifting as an exercise, rather than as training.

I think you may agree, Olympic Lifting is an exciting sport, but it’s probably not the smartest thing to do as “exercise”.

At 64 years old, and being a fair athlete at best, I do not envision myself stepping on the USAW platform any time soon.

So how do I shift my mindset from exercise to training? I need a goal, a target. I need something to drive me. I need purpose.

If I want to lift heavier, I have to lift more volume. I have to introduce elements of strength and conditioning into my weekly workouts.

So I am setting a short-term goal, ten-weeks out. I decided to jump back into a CrossFit Masters Competition. It’s a partner comp. My partner is 20 years my junior, so he will be my safety net.

In the meantime, it’s back to sprints, burpees, box jumps, rope jumps, etc.

My goal is not to do CrossFit for CrossFit sake. My goal is to be a better conditioned athlete for Olympic Lifting.

So what are my 7 reasons to do a Masters Comp?

  1. To provide a short-term goal – for the sake of personal motivation
  2. To set a deadline – the date of the comp is inflexible, I cannot procrastinate if I wish to accomplish my goal
  3. To force me to work on weaknesses – my natural tendency is to avoid what I don’t like, or what I am not good at. I do not have that luxury when thrown into a competitive situation.
  4. To raise my self-imposed limitations. Though I am in the Scaled division, I cannot scale beneath the Comp standards like I frequently do in a regular WOD
  5. To get reacquainted with pain and discomfort – (when I workout alone, I relax too much)
  6. To force me out my comfort zone – this forces an athlete to grow in performance and confidence
  7. To get me back in the gym – I work out a lot by myself, in my garage. The extrinsic motivation of a crowd stimulates performance.

What additional reasons can you come up with, regarding why YOU would do a Masters Comp? Drop ‘em in the Comments section.