The 7 Competitor Characteristics in the CrossFit Open

Fizzler or 1%er? Competition is a good way to learn more about yourself and to decide if you need to do something about your attitude.

Whilst every athlete is undoubtedly unique, there are 7 broad categories that the majority of CrossFit Open competitors fit into.

1. The Fizzler

At the start of the Open this athlete was enthusiastic and committed, but when the going got tough and too many weaknesses were exposed, the Fizzler hightailed it out.

Whilst every athlete is undoubtedly unique, there are 7 broad categories that the majority of CrossFit Open competitors fit into.

1. The Fizzler

At the start of the Open this athlete was enthusiastic and committed, but when the going got tough and too many weaknesses were exposed, the Fizzler hightailed it out.

Whether it was the relentless combination of burpees and squats in 18.2 or the ring muscle ups in 18.3 that broke them, the Fizzler could readily cite a plethora of “reasons” why life unavoidably got in the way of their schedule and sadly, they had to withdraw from the Open.

Given the caliber of athletes who read Breaking Muscle, I can pretty accurately presume that if you’re reading this, you’re far from being a Fizzler.

2. The Exiter

Not to be confused with a Fizzler, the Exiter had to withdraw from the Open due to serious injury, or a significant personal situation, that massively inhibited their performance and would have done them more damage than good.

The Exiter was no doubt extremely disappointed that they had to pull out of the Open because they’ve worked their butt off in training, they were keen to test their progress since last year’s Open, and so they could know their true ranking in their region, if not the world.

An Exiter that was destined for the Games has every reason to be gutted that their 2018 competitive season is now over, but when they can take that blow with grace and acceptance, you know you’re dealing with an emotionally intelligent and superior athlete.

3. The Double Camper

This type of competitor had a foot in two opposing camps of performance for the Open. One foot was set in the “I-don’t-mind-how-I-go” camp, while the other foot stood ground in the “I’m-gonna-give-it-my-best-shot” camp.

The Double Camper hedged their bets on their Open performance so that they could appear invested whilst at the same time, they could play it safe. In essence, they didn’t want to risk failing or not live up to any standard that was set for themselves.

This type of competitor never really excels in competition- even when they’re a talented and hardworking athlete. Why? Because being a great competitor involves putting yourself on the line and setting the intention that you’re there to really go for it. It’s a decision, not an accident, when you excel in competition, even if you’re only competing with yourself.

By being risk-averse and lacking in emotional bravery, the Double Camper’s strengths lie not in competition, but in being a relatively strong and consistent athlete at their local box.

4. The “As Long as I Beat My Buddies” Competitor

As the name suggests this athlete’s primary objective was simply to do better than their closest Crossfit friends in the Open. As an athlete, they like to have fun, train hard and compete hard, but they weren’t too caught up in their overall rank on the leaderboard.

As long as they scored higher than their Crossfit friends so they can playfully rub it into them for the next few weeks or months, they’re happy.

The “Beat-My-Buddies” competitor type dwell in most boxes, throwing around harmless, light-hearted banter whilst still training pretty hard.

5. The No Goaler

A surprisingly vast number of athletes fit into this category or fall within its realm, so it’s worth exploring this competitor type in a little more detail.

Hardworking, committed and consistent athletes, the No Goaler has trained for at least 1-3 years and has a strong foundation of skill and Crossfit competency. They are almost always one of the better athletes in their box, though they don’t necessarily see it themselves.

The No Goaler didn’t set any definable goals for the Open, hence their name, but thanks to their strong skill set and dedicated training regime, they easily placed in the top 5% (approximately top 2000) of their region.

Checking on the leaderboard at least twice a week, the No Goaler is outwardly pretty satisfied with being in the top 3% or 5% of their region.

Inwardly, however, many No Goalers are yearning for a deeper greatness, but the problem is that they are too scared to admit this even to themselves. The suppression of their inner desire is primarily due to having no tangible strategy for making their dreams become a reality, but they usually tell themselves it’s because they lack the self-belief (or sometimes even the desire).

Avoiding their desire to be an elite level competitor, the No Goaler will do nothing significantly new now that the Open is over. Sure, they’ll keep working hard at their program, but things will churn away in the exact same style as last year.

There’s little to no analysis of their 2018 Open workouts and there’s no plan mapped out to ensure they overcome the weaknesses that were exposed.

They keep their beautiful dreams and goals to smash the Open and make it to Regionals- even the Games- deeply locked away, telling no one.

Imagine what the No Goaler might achieve if they had set some clear, strong, and ambitious goals for themselves, 10 or even 6 months before the 2018 Open started? What if they had a simple, step-by-step plan for achieving their goal?

Imagine if the No Goaler could have learnt how to squeeze out an extra 1- 15 reps by re-doing each 2018 Open workout. How many hundreds of places would their ranking have risen?

Finally, imagine if the No Goaler could eliminate just two of their core weaknesses, such as overhead strength and muscle ups, before the next Open?

By coupling these 3 simple approaches; set a clear goal; follow an effective training plan; and eliminate two game-changing weaknesses, the No Goaler’s ranking would skyrocket in the 2019 Opens.

6. The Contender

An athletic force to be reckoned with, a Contender is an inspiring addition to have in any box thanks to their endless pursuit of excellence. Their commitment and dedication to be better than yesterday are both admirable and infectious.

In spite of their next-level experience, skill and work ethic, Contenders were still nervous about the 2018 Open for many weeks in advance, although noticeably less nervous than previous years.

The Contender analyzed every 2018 workout before executing it and when it was done, they knew where and how they could have improved it. The Contender re-analyzed, re-strategized and re-did all 5 workouts to their utmost capacity. Sure enough, they squeezed out every additional single rep they could to ensure their place at the 2018 Regionals was secure.

Unfortunately, given the laws of competition that someone must miss out, not all Contenders made it to Regionals this year. If that’s you, I urge you to use this an opportunity to spur you on to total greatness from here on in.

I know it’s not easy right now, but if you can work out where your holes are, and if you can fix them in a big way, next year is yours for the taking.

Remember that even Michael Jordan didn’t make the cut for his high school team. So if Jordan can miss the cut, anyone can miss it. Greatness awaits athletes like you, but not if things don’t change- not if you don’t change and progress even more. Go get what’s yours. Just DECIDE to make it your destiny.

To the Contenders that did make it to Regionals, bravo! The question I’m sure you’re asking now is- what else needs to be done in these upcoming weeks to ensure your spot at the 2018 Games is rock solid?

7. The 1%ers

This group of Open competitors is the best of the best. They dominate their box, they dominate their region, and many of them dominate worldwide.

But just like the Olympics or at world championship level, there are still differing layers of who is better and who is best, within this elite group of competitors.

What separates the 1%ers is the truth- not their perception of what they think is the truth. Have they really left no stone unturned in their training? In their conditioning? Their diet? Their mindset? What is the undeniable truth of their actions and beliefs, versus their perception of themselves, their actions and their beliefs?

Some 1%ers made the decision to win the Open, or they set micro goals for certain workouts or exercises because that’s what makes 1%ers who they are- they’re obsessed with improvement, with being the best, and with winning.

But not all 1%ers went all in to win the Open because they were focused on a bigger plan – like winning the Games. Instead of fixating on the Open, you’d have found them relentlessly eliminating anything that even resembles a weakness. Alternatively, they continued to stretch towards their infinite potential, building to the absolute peak that their engine, strength, and mindset can go.

If their ego allowed it, they didn’t really worry if they came 10th in an Open workout instead of 1st. They knew that their performance was more than enough to qualify for Regionals, and to them, that was all that mattered. A stepping stone to their real goal and dream.

The Games.

So that’s the broad list of 7 Open competitor types. Which one are you?

Continue by with CrossFit Open 2018: Best Programmed Ever.

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