In just a couple of weeks time the 2014 CrossFit Games season begins!

For all the serious athletes the season probably actually began 2 years or a year ago, in terms of strength and conditioning leading up to being a competitive CrossFit athlete.

There are many talented athletes that only get as far as The Regionals. I say ‘only’ as far as the Regionals but the reality is that, nowadays, all the regional competitions are probably more challenging than the first 2 or 3 CrossFit Games finals.

CrossFit has grown (another understatement!) and as it gets bigger there is an automatic association with “The Games” and CrossFit.

The reality is that CrossFit has little to do with the Games for most intelligent CrossFit gyms and coaches.

Doing CrossFit on a regular basis might lead you to start being more competitive and to want to compete, but have no illusions. If you think you’re going to Carson, California for the Finals in the summer, you’ll need to be able to certain things like: Run 5km in under 19 minutes, Clean & Jerk at least 300lbs, Snatch at least 250lbs, do at least 50 unbroken pullups….and the list goes on.

The best CrossFit athletes have excellent form on their movements as well as impressive numbers.

I’ve been lucky enough to see the best in person competing, and they move beautifully.

On the flip side I’ve seen some people competing at CrossFit competitions who have, what is best described as, “questionable” form. These same athletes are coaches. I could argue that you should be able to perform a movement to high standards in order to demonstrate it yourself, which most coaches do. So, in a competition when a coach who is also competing as an athlete does a movement with poor form and gets away with it…well it makes everyone look bad.

Standards mean not only being able to do a movement but to do it damn well.

Some CrossFit Gyms have a minimum athlete standard list which puts everything into perspective.

The most successful CrossFit Games affiliate team, Ute CrossFit, published their standards last year.

Read them and weep here:

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If you’re close on these numbers, add another 5-10% on all of those numbers for 2014 because the field is bigger, the competition is harder, and it will continue to get tougher every year!

Instead of getting depressed, start working on getting better. Enjoy your gym, enjoy the process of getting better and reap the rewards of doing CrossFit in a gym where you’ll make friends, laugh, sweat, possibly puke, bleed and improve not only your fitness and health, but your life.

THIS is CrossFit.