Competition Strategy and Game Day Nutrition Tips

In Nutrition by Eric Griffith

So you have signed up for a competition and it is one week away – NOW WHAT?

You need to begin to taper your work and stop lifting heavy the week before your comp. You cannot add much strength in a week and the extra stress on your central nervous system may actually negatively impact your performance. You can still WOD but cut down your volume and intensity the week before your big day.

Forty-eight hours before the competition, do some mobility. Maybe a relaxing activity or even an easy conditioning workout. Don’t do anything strenuous the day before the event. Take the day off or just move a bit – light rowing, work on a skill or with the PVC pipe.

The night before your competition you need to get your equipment and nutrition ready to go. It is important to ensure that your body’s glycogen stores are fully topped off before the comp. To accomplish this you need to eat plenty of carbs the day before the comp and sleep well. If you are macro dieting, I would slant the day before comp to be carb heavy – hitting you protein numbers and your calorie number but getting most of the calories from carbs. You should be resting that day so no need to up your calories.

Don’t forget to pack! Here is a list of what I make sure is with me on event day:

A couple of changes of clothes. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t – usually depending on the line for the restroom. But it’s really nice to be able to change out of your sweaty clothes.

A small laundry bag for the sweaty clothes.

Equipment: Gloves, weight belt, lifters, jump rope, foam roller, lacrosse ball.

A print-out of the competition schedule. This has come in handy so many times. It’s good to know when and where all the heats are.

Wet wipes. When you’re feeling gross or just need a cool down. Sometimes I put these in a pocket in my cooler bag so they’re cold.

Music and headphones: sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet place for yourself. The headphones help.

Hand repair kit. Contains RipFix, athletic tape and bandaids.

A cooler. I bring extra bottled waters (maybe even freeze a few), coconut water and whatever else I need to consume that day. I like to make a smoothie and bring some bars because I am usually too amped up to eat much.

On the day of competition:

Morning Of (at least 3 hours before 1st WOD): 3 hours before your first WOD is the time for you to get in a solid meal. Make it a balanced meal with fats, protein, and carbohydrates. A good choice is is eggs, bacon, and sweet potatoes. Make sure fats are in there. Make sure you eat this meal at least three hours prior – you don’t want to feel super full our have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the WOD.

Show up early. Keep in mind you will want to check in, ask questions, set up your space, familiarize yourself with the WOD-areas, and take in any pre-competition food and/or supplements and begin to mobilize, roll out and warm up. It’s important to understand the standards and ask questions. Don’t miss the athlete briefing and listen intently. If the judging allows an easier version of a movement, take the advantage. Don’t make things harder on yourself. Finally – review your plan and stick with it during the WOD if possible.

Pre WOD 1 (30-45 Minutes ahead) – eat a very small, balanced (protein, fats, and carbs) snack about 45 minutes before the first WOD. This could be something as simple as a smoothie or a zone bar. It should be light and just enough to give you a little energy. This will be your last fat in take of the day until post competition!

Post WODs – As soon as you are done with your WOD you need protein and carbohydrates immediately. Absolutely NO FATS! Your body needs quick absorption of protein and carbohydrates for recovery purposes. When you ingest fats it delays the digestion of all macronutrients meaning 1) your body won’t get the recovery it needs and 2) you run the risk of digesting during your next WOD! After the first WOD I would drink a protein shake. After the second WOD, I would suggest actual food like turkey and fruit. I recommend sticking to fruits vs. vegetables so you body digests them quicker.

You’re going to be feeling a lot of adrenaline – something you’re not used to WODing with. Proper warm ups, cool downs and nutrition will help even things out. Be sure to rest between your events. I know it’s tempting to cheer on your fellow competitors, but you’ll do better if you take time to relax, recover and refocus.

Post Competition – This is your time to be irresponsible and live a little!! You just completed more work that you may have ever done in your life. Eat as much as you need to feel full. If you get hungry later, eat again until you are satisfied. Your body will tell you what it needs.

That’s it! Good luck and above all – HAVE FUN!!!