Breakdown of the competition-Pros and Cons

Hi everyone-

So, I did it. My first Crossfit competition. It was a team effort, 2 guys, and 2 girls. We didn’t place-I think we ranked somewhere in the upper half of 70+ teams.  I’m torn on my experience, so let me break down the day and i’ll explain why


Check in was at 9.  i wasn’t really nervous at all- the workouts were easy, I KNEW we wouldn’t win but I figured we’d do ALRIGHT.  I rode up with a friend who is on a team from the gym (we had 6 teams competing!) that really had a chance for taking first, so she was a little more nervous then me LOL.   It was fun to ride up with her, everyone was already there by the time we got there by it was easy to check in. We got there around 8:45, athlete check-in was at 9 and the first heat of the event was 10:15. We hung out, talked a little, and went inside (we were competing at the LA Fit Expo, so there were 23948350 other things going on).   Our heat started at 10:30, so we had 45 minutes from the time the doors opened to when we started.

At 10, the explanation of the first WOD started.   The first WOD went like this (called the ABCS)

Part A

Each team member must complete the following complex. The order in which the complex is done must be Female/male/female/male. The barbell may not touch the ground at any point during this portion.  Each member must complete all round before the next team mate may go.

3 rounds of 

4 hang power cleans * you MUST complete the final HPC. You CANNOT make it a hang squat clean to transition into the first front suqat

4 front squats  *you may do a Thruster for the final front squat to transition into the first shoulder to over head

4 shoulder to over head

weights are 95/65 for scaled. A 5 burpee penalty is scored if the barbell touches the ground before the final teammate has completed the complex. 

Part B

single arm farmers carry relay 20 yards and back

Each team starts with a farmers handle barbell loaded to 140# (1 25# and 1 45# plate on each side). Your team is responsible for stripping the weight off (mens weight was 140# and women’s was 50#) to transition between female/male athletes.  Each teammate must complete a single armed farmers carry to the 20 yard line and back.  You may switch hands at any point. you may set the object done. you may NOT at any point be traveling with the object in both hands. Your feet and the object must cross the 20 yard line before returning. The object must start and end behind the line designated for your team.  

while the athlete is farmer carrying, the other team embers must complete 25 double unders each in succession. only one person may work at a time. The team switches athletes for the farmers carry once all all double unders have been completed

Part C

Wheelbarrow carry to 20 yard line and back.

Female 1 will wheelbarrow male 2 to the 20 yard line. once partner Bs feet have passed the 20 yard line, you switch.

So, that’s what was on the website. The “pit master” was explaining the workouts to us.  First-you couldn’t hear the guy. At all.  You couldn’t hear what he was saying due to his voice being soft, and due to the music being blasted at other parts of the expo.  They demoed the complex for us, demoed the double unders, and that was it. No demo of the farmers carry or the wheelbarrow.  Some people asked questions-you couldn’t hear them or the answers. We were even right by the tech people and we let them know we couldn’t hear and they just lifted their shoulders. Well, alright. I had studied the website, the rules, and I was pretty clear on the instructions.

We went over some strategy.  We were going to have our 2 stronger people go first on the complex. We figured they would be faster, and could give us a little edge.  Then we would have both men start the farmers carry before transitioning to the women so we weren’t taking plates on and off.  Then I would start the wheelbarrow with my male partner, and we figured it was easiest to take them REALLY high on the thighs and run with them there and back.  I tried it, it worked, so we went with that.

event #1 recap

So, we watched the first heat go. We had one team in heat one, so it was good to watch them, but since they didn’t finish ni the 10 min time cap, we couldn’t see. We had a one minute transition in heats, so not enough time to really ask our judge anything. I tried-but she said we were already given all the information. Well, alright.

3,2 ,1…go!

Our first female goes-gets no repped on a couple hang power cleans (not reaching full extension after catching the bar). She pauses for a second to clarify why she is getting no repped since we can’t hear our judge. She slows down a little.  Our male goes first. Does well. While he’s going I’m trying to take the bar from my partner but she is’t paying attention, so we lose some time in that transition . I made sure I really focused on those HPC, and was getting good reps. I’m watching my judge, but she’s not counting out loud for me, so I stop paying attention. I get no repped on a front squat for no reaching full extension at the top-when i do, she doesn’t count the rep. Doesn’t no rep me, just doesn’t even count the repetition. Well, ok. Go to shoulder to overheads, those go well. Get no repped AGAIN on another front squat, so obviously something I need to work on during met cons. Again, doesn’t count my next successful one. no no rep, just doesn’t even count it.

Finish a little slower than I should have.  Final male goes-he gets no repped on depth  a couple times.

We start our farmers carry. those go OK-the weight is so light for women that it didn’t even make sense. The double unders take awhile-not my other teammates strong points. I broke once, due to my high pony tail. Whatever.  I was the final person to farmers carry- my female partner started her double unders. When i came back, it turns out they changed judges on us. So the next judge didn’t see her double unders and made her do another set of 25. We lost some time there.

I set up for my wheelbarrow carry, thinking she’s done.  The judges see us set up. Tell us to wait for her to finish. She’s done, I set up. I get ALL THE WAY TO 20 YARDS WHEN THEY CALL US BACK. HUH??

Yeah, turns out there was ANOTHER RULE that no one knew of/heard of. Apparently you could only hold below the knees. OUR JUDGES DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THIS. I’m not sure if it was covered or not-we couldn’t hear the demo, it wasn’t on the website, and they didn’t demo the actual workout. We lost time there. I grabbed his ankles, hauled ass. I made sure we both cleared that line because I had an inkling they changed THAT standard (I ended up being correct).  We start, he’s grabbed my legs a little too high so we have to re start. Lost some time there.  Our teammates go.

We finished at 9:40,  right under the time cap.  We were all pissed- even one of our coaches jumped into the area and yelled at the pit boss because of our fiasco with judging.   We lost about a minute due to my teammate having to complete an extra set of double unders, and the fact that we had to redo the the entire wheelbarrow walk.   I’ll take the no rep-thats why we have judges.  And it was myself and my partners fault for starting my portion of the walk with his hands to high since we were already warned.  But those other parts were judging issues. The entire time we had two judges yelling about what was a rep, what wasn’t a rep. On one of the front squats I got no repped on, I had a male judge WHO WAS AT HIP LEVEL saying YES,  it was a rep. And our female judge said NO, it wasn’t-I can’t see if she’s extending.  Same thing with our male athlete who got no repped for depth.

So that wasn’t fun at the end. I liked the workout, and we pushed through and it was a blast to do, but all the issues with judging, and the wheelbarrow issue…that turned something not fun into something frustratiog.


Our floater event was next, about 1 1/2-2 hours later. We watched later heats (we literally had one team who the judges kept making them re do it because THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE STANDARD. The head judge ended up taking 10 seconds off their finishing time to make up for the judging issues) and hung out until the floater.

The floater was 4 sets of skills; each had a time cap. 3  skills required 1 male and 1 female; one skill required all of us.

The first skill was a 1 RM Ground to shoulder, shoulder to overhead, AKA Clean and Jerk, 1 male and 1 female.  Male 1 goes first. He has 2 minutes to establish a 1 RM Clean and Jerk. After his 2 minutes is up, female 1 has 2 minutes to establish a 1 RM clean and jerk. The score is their combined weights. there were 2 bars set up with their starting weights, but we couldn’t assist in adding weights once their time started.

Our male matched his 1RM and our female PRd! So excited for her-she’s been stuck at her body weight Clean and jerk for ages.  She had more in her too!

The second skill was the Air assault bike-max distance. 1 male and 1 female.   Male 1 goes first. He has 1 minute to attain max distance on the air assault bike. There is a 15 second transition for female 2 to mount the mike. she has 1 minute to attain max distance on the air assault bike.  Their score is their combined distances.

This was a mess. Our male team mate got on the bike. His judge started to change the settings on the bike. While her hand is there, messing with it, the head judge yells GO!  All the other males in this floater heat begin-her hand is still on the timer, messing with it.  After 10 seconds, she stops and says Well, go! our team mate just looked at her shocked, and refused. She began to argue, saying that it was HIS responsibility to start when the head judge says go, and he should have removed her hand if she was still there.  Now, he had already had an issue with her because she wrote down the wrong weight for his clean and jerk. He failed his first attempt, so she only wrote down his first successful attempt, even though he completed the lift right after he failed.  After arguing with her, the head judge AND SHOWING A PICTURE OF HIM SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING THE LIFT,  they changed it.

So he didn’t go. Our female jumped n, and while she was doing it he explained what happened to the pit master and he let him re do it after the rest of our floater was done. But, they screwed up this section for a lot of people .Some people they only counted calories.. One group they completely forgot to record the females time. That team ended up having to tie for first place, and lost the tie breaker (it was based off ONE event and the other team scored higher). If they had counted the females distance they would have won!

The third skill was a 5yrd-10 yrd-15 yd shuttle relay race.  All teammates must go.  The order must be male/female/male/female. Each team member must start behind the blue line. Cones were designated markers-you must turn AROUND the cone before returning to the starting position.  Your feet must pass the designated line before tagging the hand of the next team mate

This is what it was. It was one slippery concrete, and it wasn’t the normal speed test (due to having to go around the cone).  There’s only so fast you could go.  A team “mile” would have been a better test in my opinion

The final skill was a 1 minute max effort deficit pushup. 1 male, and 1 female.  The first male starts. He has 1 minute to establish a max rep deficit push  on 45# up in 1 minute. Chest must touch the ground. The rep is counted when he returns to a plank position-chest and hips must rise together. After his minute the female automatically starts. She has 1 minute to establish a max rep deficit push up  on 25# in 1 minute. Same standards apply. 

I did OK here. Again the inconsistency in judging showed. I wasn’t allow to stand on the mat, while other female members could kneel by their plates and automatically begin once the timing started. I had to wait until he ended, then go to my plates. I started my pushups-when I hit my THIRD ONE, I hear one!  HE DIDN’T EVEN COUNT MY FIRST TWO. Whatever . at the end, I got 1 no rep, which I completely deserved-I wormed the heck out of it. I ended up with a recorded score of 32. i would have liked to have done better. I asked the judge counting if he no repped me on my first two-he said no, he just didn’t see them.  WELL ALRIGHT THEN. No point in fighting-at this point we already had to argue twice with our judges and that was the end. Our push ups were respectable-the team that got the top amount, the female only got 5  3 (if you count my uncounted ones!) more than I did.

Second WOD

So..Burpees ETC.  Our heat went at 1:45.  Now, we for the first time that day got to see our pull up bars.

They were 9 feet high. I mean…are you kidding me? I cannot jump up to a 9 foot bar.  I am 5’2″.

So… that was fun.  THe workout was

90 burpee pull ups

60 burpee box jumps

90 burpee deadlifts

120 wall balls

90 burpee pull ups

Basically, after each burpee on the burpee pull ups, I needed to be lifted UP to the bar.  So, I only did 5 at a time because that took forever.  And that was over half of the time we spent in the 11 minute time cap. We did the box jumps one at a time, follow the leader style-not the fastest or most efficient but its what my group wanted to do. We got to the burpee deadlifts, where I busted out 10. However, someone got a video of the last 5-the last 4 were ugly ugly reps, rounded back (my back feels fine) so that’s definitely something I need to work on.  Good to see and know! We got to 24 burpee deadlifts-not good but there’s not much we could have done on that one given the height of the bars.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed spending the day with my gym friends. I enjoyed being around Crossfit, and i feel like this will only make me better as an athlete. I realized I need to spend more time on my core (I was breaking on the pushups and with the rounded back), and be more aware of my hips opening on Front squats.

I still want to try more competitions. I’m disappointed in the judging errors and having to argue with judges-I don’t want to. I’ll never argue a “no-rep”; that isn’t an issue. I want to trust the judges know what they are doing, but when they aren’t paying attention or recording the correct times or don’t know the rules, it really makes it less fun for you.  I’m disappointed in my performance for my first competition and the overall experiencing of competing was dampened by those obstacles. So, i’m hoping to find a different competition, maybe a partner or individual, and give my try with that.   I don’t think this many judging errors are normal but being one of the first heats, i feel like we should have foreseen this.

So-that’s that! My first comp in the books, hopefully more to come. Going to work on core strength (I’ll probably ask one of the coaches to write me something up i can do on TUesdays and Thursdays, with the GHD and some isometric works) and my form on front squats and dead lifts


4 thoughts on “Breakdown of the competition-Pros and Cons

  1. xine23

    I am sorry the event was so poorly graded by judges. I volunteered for a competition earlier in the year and judges are SO important. I hope your next competition has been judges and more organization.

  2. zimzimmie1

    Ugh how disorganized!!! What a mess! Don’t sign up for any more comps with those people! Sorry it left a sour taste in your mouth but I promise once you do a better organized comp you’ll have a better time in general. You’ll still get no repped for stupid crap but it should be much less than you were at this comp. you pushed hard still and that’s awesome!!! 🙂 great job
    Doing awesome when the judges actually did their job!

  3. fionaboger

    I’m sorry that the comp seemed poorly organized with shitty judges! That doesn’t make for a good first time experience! You did awesome though and you should be proud of yourself!! Hopefully you will get to do another one soon that doesn’t have such un attentive and not organized judging!


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