Getting Ready for a CrossFit Competition

With plenty of CrossFit competitions on the horizon, we wanted to provide some tips to help you navigate the day of a competition.

What to Bring

  • Appropriate clothes and shoes: Grab your favorite Nanos and don’t forget your lifters if you use them. It’s not a bad idea to bring an extra pair of clothes and shoes just in case it is a sweaty day. Bring some layers so your body temperature does not drop too much after your workouts. Sometimes the turn around is fast and you want to keep those muscles warm.
  • Accessory equipment: Jump rope (even if you don’t use it in the WODS – they’re great for warming up), wrist wraps, knee sleeves, weightlifting belt, etc. It’s not a bad idea to bring a small foam roller and/or lacrosse ball if you use them in your daily routine.
  • Pop up tent and folding chair: Not absolutely necessary but most competitions have an outdoor space for athletes to relax when they are not working out. It’s nice to have a shaded place to recover in between workouts.
  • Food,  nutrition, and a cooler: . . . see Nutrition section below


  • Hydrate in the day or two leading up to competition – and throughout the day consistently. During exercise, we need more water. The enhanced metabolic rate of muscle contraction requires a larger delivery of nutrients and oxygen along with faster waste and heat removal form the body. The average person sweats 0.8-1.4 liters (27.4-47.3 oz) per hour of exercise, so you need to be replenishing that water as you sweat more and lose more hydration and electrolytes in your body. No idea how much water you should be drinking in general? Take your body weight and divide it by half – you should be drinking this many ounces of water before considering exercise. Add more on competition day since we don’t typically do multiple workouts in one day.
  • Eat what you always eat. Competition day is not the day to try something new that could potentially upset your stomach. Our muscles require glycogen (sugar) to perform well, so make sure to get good sources of carbs to fuel you through the day (whole grains like rice and quinoa, as well as fruits and veggies).
  • Don’t skip eating! Even if you’re nervous, eating is a vital part of fueling yourself throughout the day and you likely don’t often over exert yourself in this way. Likewise, don’t overeat and cause an upset stomach during an intense workout.
  • Find fast digesting whole food sources. Sometimes it can be difficult to eat full meals on competition day, so opt for “meals” that have everything you need but that can be digested faster, like liquids and mixes. Baby food packets are a great resource on competition days. They are liquid, easy to carry, and contain fruits, veggies, and some grains. Don’t go for the overly complex mixes, keep it simples with veggies/fruits that you know you enjoy and don’t hurt your stomach.
  • Have a plan in place. Once you have your heat times and know that order of the workouts, make a little plan for yourself to ensure you have enough snacks for the day. You don’t have to time everything out perfectly, but make sure you know what you’re having between each workout to refuel and recover.

Most importantly, have fun! Get your meals and snacks in order so you can focus on crushing the workouts and enjoy a little recovery time in between.

Other Items:

  • Arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time to find a spot for your tent/chair, check-in, register for the Floater WOD (in applicable) and warm-up. You don’t want to be rushed!
  • Stick with your game plan. Don’t worry too about what everyone around you is doing.  Your coaches will be there to help with last minute strategy. Trust the work you’ve done up until this point.
  • Most importantly . . . have fun! Go hard, push yourself and leave it all out there. When you’re done, give someone a high-five. CrossFit is one of the only sports where opponents high-five and cheer for each other. That does not change when you leave 5280 CrossFit . . . spread the CrossFit love!