There are three things that remind me that summer is here:
1. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (the best 1!)
2. Will Smith - Summertime (on repeat in the car right now!)
3. Urban Street Games
What a list! I mean, this might be the most concise list about what summer is!
And while I can go on and on about how amazing the 1st two are (and they are), I’d rather clear the air about Urban Street Games (commonly referred to as USG).
USG is put on by our gym, The Foundation. It combines a somewhat traditional CrossFit-style competition with Brandon Bartz’s programming.
Uh oh. I just said the magic words.
Brandon. Bartz. Programming.
Now before you all look underneath your bed to make sure the boogeyman isn’t jumping out to make you do Death by Burpees, I’d like to help you out with a few things to hopefully:
A.) Ease your mind and
B.) Give you tips on game day
‘Brandon’s programming for comps is hard!’
‘I don’t think I can do it’
I’ve heard this a few times. I will say the competitions by The Foundation have been challenging (remember: this word is not synonymous with impossible). I get it. But, I will say this: the most challenging/ rewarding part is stepping out of your comfort zone. I have personally seen people, because of the atmosphere, do something they thought was never possible. That’s the awesome part of a challenge. You get an opportunity to see what you got. Take advantage of it! The last thing I want to see is you sitting around wishing you had done it but decided not to. That sucks.
This whole thing that we do is split into three parts:
These 3 reasons give us the purpose to get our collective butts kicked. It’s why you do this and don’t work out at places that offer ‘Free Pizza’ day (I guess that could be fun also!).
If there’s something you can’t do, cool! You just learned where you are deficient. We sometimes don’t go into the ‘pain cave’, or use weight we probably should; sometimes being smart and sometimes being overly cautious. This gives you an incredibly safe environment to do something fun in the spirit of competition.
I’ve done this comp a few times. The other thing I will say about the programming is that there hasn’t been one movement where I thought ‘We are gonna die’. Doesn’t work that way. In fact, it’s the opposite.
You get to strategize and play to each other’s strengths. And there are always fun movements that are involved. And I mean movements that some of us have never done in the gym before *cough* peg board *cough*.
So… You decided to be the sucker/ athlete that participates! Good for You! Here are some things I like to do before/ during a comp:
1. Prep food
Preparing food goes a loooong way. Make things that are easily digestible - meaning small amounts of fats. My go-to foods:
- Cooked chicken breast
- Eggs (whites mostly on comp day)
- Baby Food (Awesome! Easy to digest)
- Go Go Squeeze
- Bananas and Apples
- Turkey Jerkey
2. Drink water!
Have water, coconut water, and/ or some sort of electrolyte source available. It is HOT (anyone remember burning their hands doing Burpees last year?!). Don’t get caught without any water source. One of my old coaches used to say, ‘If you are not using the bathroom (not exactly how he put it!) you are not hydrated!’. I would at least say work to keep your urine as clear as you can.
3. Rest in between
Find a shaded, cool place to stretch, or just lay down, to take your mind off the comp. Do this for like 30 mins. Anyone who knows me knows I have to literally leave (I went to the movies once) to get my mind off the whole thing. I want to be able to recharge to have as much mental energy for the next event.
4. Routine/ Ritual
These are critical! Don’t get caught 15 mins before (or 1 min before… happened to me) not warmed up, or knowing EXACTLY where you need to be before the sound of ‘Go’. I like stretching for 20 mins, assault bike for 4 mins 30 sec moderate pace/ 30 sec easy pace, and light warm-up with whatever barbell movement we got. I personally don’t really like doing a bunch of body weight movements as a warm-up because it can get slightly hand-intensive. Basically, find a series of things that will help you shake the rust off.
There it is, gang! Hope this helps. Drop a comment and tell me some of the ways you recover/ rest/ warm-up during comps.
Always remember to have fun and challenge yourself. I’m willing to bet you will leave slightly shocked at your results. Good Luck!