I still remember the first time the members of our first CrossFit gym exercised competitively.

CrossFit NZ and a couple of the other early affiliates were raising money for charity, so a bunch of us got together, took turns at judging each other through the workout Fight Gone Bad, and then had a BBQ….. This fun little workout at our original location, was considered a HUGE gathering of CrossFitters once upon a time….

Just one workout, some people in need helped, and then a feed, great day!

Competing in exercise is a different ball game now.  There may be hundreds rather than 30-40 people entered now, and you can expect to do at least 3 workouts over the course of a day, even at a friendly, beginner event.   The recent NZ Masters comp had over 150 competitors.  The upcoming Mount Team Nationals has 500!

There is no denying that they can be an amazing experience, and awesome fun too.   I am a huge fan of fitness competitions as a way to test yourself - physically and mentally.  You may be tested with loads you’ve never lifted before, movements that are outside your technical ability, and of course a physical volume of work more than you’ve ever done before.

On the one hand, that’s part of the deal, and it’s pretty cool rising to the challenge.  But of course as in any sport, you can risk injury, especially if you’re not prepared, or you are presented with an event that is dangerous.

If you want to maintain your health, and avoid injury, it’s important to think about what your limitations are if you want to get into this competitive stuff ....

You don’t need to be a member of our best competition team, you don’t even have to be hitting the Performance WODs all the time.

However, if you ARE interested in getting involved in competition, or more involved in competition, you need to be focused on improvement and virtuosity first. Virtuosity means doing the common, uncommonly well.  Can you spend as much time drilling your burpee, box jump and kipping swing, as you can muscle ups and snatches? Ultimately I want you to consider competition not as the sole reason for training, but rather as a vehicle.  A way to subject yourself to different environments, movements, judging and time pressure, so as to gauge and test where you are on your journey to mastery.

There is a small group of people  training over at CFNZ on Saturdays 1030am.    It used to be called the Comp Team.   But really it's now the Virtuosity Group for lack of a better name, and we're looking to expand this group.   Whether you’re a member of CFNZ/RCF09 or a local athlete, if you're looking to step up your understanding of movement, and learn the skills required to compete safely, and are looking for a group of people to push you, plus the coaching to back it up, get in touch with  Maybe you train in your garage and would just like access to some programming to help you get further.

There is also a programming cycle based around the class sessions, but with extra gymnastic, Oly, aerobic and accessory work. You  just have to have the basics down, be prepared to listen and learn, and to check your ego and scale sensibly (EVERYONE scales at some point).

Whatever your needs,  we can help.

But remember, our philosophy starts with mastery.   If you're not willing to take a step back in order to go forward, we might not be right for you.  If you want to go to the Games, that's awesome, we can help; but we like 'em humble here, everyone trains in class for the majority of their training.

Lots of comps coming up this year – team comps, partner comps, bodyweight comps, Olympic comps, masters, beginners and elite, there is something for everyone.  Check the noticeboard, Facebook posts or just talk to the community!

So many awesome half marathon row efforts from our Spring Challengers!!  I know you probably hated a great deal of it gang, but from where I could see, it was all proud smiles at the end of it!!  Well done.  Stay tuned for the next challenge.

Darren Ellis