Training versus Competing


When you workout at your box, are you training or competing? It’s my opinion that there is a big difference between training and competing. In training, you are doing things that you need to do to become stronger and improve your weaknesses. Competition is what drives us to improve our training. People will do anything to get that RX by their name, so why make something RX that, for most people, isn’t going to benefit their strength or technique, and has a high risk of injury?

Ryan DeBell of the Movement Fix gives this comparison: “If you can’t do a lot of strict handstand push-ups, is kipping them really training or are you simply concerned with finishing faster than anyone else in your class WOD? Consider this: Who got through the handstand push-ups the fastest at regionals last year? I believe it was Dan Bailey and he did most, if not all, of them strict. How long are you going to limp along doing kipping handstand push-ups instead of getting strong enough to do them strict and protect your spine? You will be a better athlete by training the strength of your upper body through alternatives to throwing your legs up, crashing down on your head, and destroying your spine. Spend time developing strength and then do kipping handstand push-ups in a competition if you have to.”

Getting that RX by your name in a workout is NOT as good as developing the strength necessary to do movements correctly and efficiently and avoid a serious injury. DeBell suggests, “As coaches, maybe we shouldn’t allow kipping to be an option during training unless an athlete is preparing for a competition and has to be familiar with them.”

Our primary concern should be the safety of our athletes. And with that come the necessary skills, strength, and techniques to train, and compete, at a higher level of performance. To the CrossFit athlete, finishing with integrity is far more important than finishing first or completing a workout RX. Remember, it’s how you play the game that matters.