#PTonICE Daily Show – Friday, September 22nd, 2023 – Competition prep 101

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Fitness Athlete lead faculty Joe Hanisko stresses the need to maximize preparation and recovery for a successful competition. He emphasizes the importance of preparing for the week before the competition, the competition day itself, and even the week after the competition. Joe encourages individuals to focus on their game plan, proper nutrition (including carbs, protein, and electrolytes), fluids, and electrolytes. Additionally, He highlights the importance of keeping the body moving between events to avoid stiffness and stagnation. The ability to warm up, maintain a good heart rate, and perform at a fast 100% effort is crucial for success.

On the day of the competition, Joe advises sticking to one’s game plan and not letting others dictate it. He mentions that CrossFit is about being able to adapt on the fly, but it’s important to trust one’s strategy and see where it takes them. Joe also emphasizes the importance of nutrition during competition day, stating that eating is necessary and what one eats matters. He provides the example of an elite athlete who consumed multiple Snickers bars for fast carb and glucose intake to replenish muscles, but notes that this strategy may not be applicable to everyone.

After the competition, Joe discusses the importance of the follow-up week. He suggests focusing on recovery during this time and allowing the nervous system to recover and do what it needs to do. He highlights the significance of giving oneself time to recover, as it is an important part of the overall competition process.

Overall, the episode emphasizes the importance of preparation, execution, and recovery in the context of a competition. It highlights the need to have a game plan, trust one’s strategy, focus on proper nutrition, and prioritize recovery to maximize success.

Take a listen to the episode or read the episode transcription below.

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00:00 INTRO

Hey everybody, welcome to today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show. Before we get started with today’s episode, I just want to take a moment and talk about our show’s sponsor, Jane. If you don’t know about Jane, Jane is an all-in-one practice management software that offers a fully integrated payment solution called Jane Payments. Although the world of payment processing can be complex, Jane Payments was built to help make things as simple as possible to help you get paid. And it’s very easy to get started. Here’s how you can get started. Go on over to jane.app.payments and book a one-on-one demo with a member of Jane’s support team. This can give you a better sense of how Jane Payments can integrate with your practice by seeing some popular features in action. Once you know you’re ready to get started, you can sign up for Jane. If you’re following on the podcast, you can use the code ICEPT1MO for a one month grace period while you get settled with your new account. Once you’re in your new Jane account, you can flip the switch for Jane Payments at any time. Ideally, as soon as you get started, you can take advantage of Jane’s time and money saving features. It only takes a few minutes and you can start processing online payments right away. Jane’s promise to you is transparent rates and unlimited support from a team that truly cares. Find out more at jane.app.physicaltherapy. Thanks, everybody. Enjoy today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show.


Good morning, everybody. It’s PT on Ice, daily show live. It’s Friday, I would say September 22nd, getting close to October already. It is Fitness Athlete Friday. I’m Joe Hanisko. I’ll be your host today. One of the lead faculty of the clinical management of the Fitness Athlete crew. Today we want to chat about competition. So CrossFit competition prep 101. Just the basics. We get either personally ourselves or some of our clients who are signing up for local or online competitions and we want to make sure that we’re preparing them and that they understand what their expectations are for getting into that competition. the week before, the actual date of, and then even that week after, like making sure they maximize their preparation and their recovery for a successful event, especially when really all that we typically have to see in comparison is these elite athletes who are going to be doing things similarly, but also different because of the amount of training they’ve put in and just the fortitude that they’ve built up in terms of an athlete and the resilience that they’ve earned in an athlete. We’ll talk about that CrossFit Competition Prep 101. Before we get going, I want to make a couple of call outs to the CMFA Live agenda that’s coming up for the rest of the year. Both of our Essentials and Advanced Concepts course took off online in the last week or so. So those are going to be going through until the end of the year and we’ll get those going again at the beginning of 2024. But in terms of live courses, we have a handful coming up in the next few months to close out the year. So if you’re looking to get into any Con Ed courses, we are going to be in California. Washington, Alabama, the state of Texas, down in Florida, New Orleans, and Colorado, all before Christmas. So from now until Christmas, we have six or seven CMFA Live courses that will be out there. So grab a seat if you’re looking for that. Hop on to theptnis.com and you can find all of our courses there. All right, CrossFit Competition Prep 101.


Let’s talk about the week of. So you’re going into this weekend of competition. What do we do that week before? I would say that at this point, We’re not talking about the prior weeks and months of training. That’s a whole other conversation. But at this point, whatever you’ve done to earn your right to sign up for this competition, you’ve done it, you’ve earned it. You can’t really gain a whole lot more in one week of training, but you can lose a lot in that one week. So we want to make sure that we take that week leading into competition pretty seriously. If we’re assuming maybe competition day is on Saturday, which is most common for a lot of local events, I would say that those first two to three days of that week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, per se, I would focus on training as normal. Keep things consistent. If you guys have specialized programming through your gym and or you’re using some sort of online platform like Mayhem, Days one, two, and three can stay pretty consistent. We don’t have to change a whole lot about that. It allows us to stay moving, feel good, test some things out, and it’s not until day four and day five that we really start to maybe change some things there. Day four, I would say, is a great opportunity to just take a complete rest day, figure out how the body is feeling, let things calm down. Maybe we focus on just a nice walk outside, maybe we do some mobility work and some soft tissue work to kind of prep the body but I’m cool with day four-ish in that time frame being a complete rest day if that works out into your calendar. It gives us time for the body recover for the nervous system to recover and then it gets us to day five the day before competition. I would suggest that the day before competition you don’t do absolute rest. I think it’s kind of nice to low level prime the body for movement especially when you’re about to do something at a pretty high intensity the following day. So this could be super easy, like moderate EMOM style work, where you’re doing a lot of body weight or simple movements. This could be just a zone two kind of monostructural day where we hop on the erg, sorry about that light there, hop on the erg, get some of our heart rate into that zone two level and just do a nice 20, 30, 40 minute cruise control type of workout. But I like the idea of the day before competition, moving the body and taking that rest day, maybe a day or two before competition. opposed to resting right up until that point there. So in terms of our basic agenda, days 1, 2, and 3, you can stay pretty consistent. Day 4-ish, probably 3 or 4-ish, we’re going to take a complete rest day and let the body completely recover, maybe focus on soft tissue mobility. And then day 5, we want something smooth and easy, get the body feeling good. If you have any you know problem areas we’re doing a little bit of accessory work to tune those up but we’re not hitting a hardcore CrossFit style event the day before that competition. A couple other things that I would maybe not do in that week before is I would not go above 75 80 percent of your maximum volume in terms of load so if your programming calls for deadlifts, squats, whatever it might be, some heavy loaded exercise, no matter what, keep that in that moderate, upper moderate range there. I feel like being in that 60, 65, 70, maybe 75% range at the most gives you an opportunity to load those tissues, feel like you’re getting something out of it, but also not blasting the nervous system. Our nervous system is probably one of the most undervalued parts of our recovery because it’s hard to sometimes assess until you go and perform. But when the nervous system is down, our actual performance will be down as well too. And typically what drops the nervous system is high volume training and high loaded training because we only have so much of the tank to give before we need to recover. So I would avoid hitting heavy, heavy weightlifting the week of. Keep those 75-ish percent or lower. That being said, too, another thing I’ve seen a lot and had a lot of education on is if your event calls for some sort of weightlifting complex, like a hang snatch to overhead squat to hang snatch complex, I’m just making something up, don’t go out and test that thing at max capacity over and over and over again. One of the biggest flaws that I see with our novice CrossFit athletes is that it’s something new. It’s like, oh, I haven’t done this exact complex. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to feel like. Well, go and test it at that 50%, 60%, 70% maybe. but I see so many people the week or two prior doing it three or four times and what they’re doing is depleting their nervous system and when it matters on that Saturday when competition is there, you may in fact lose some by having tested that so often before. So I would, I’m not saying don’t trial it to see what it feels like, but I’m saying you should have a good understanding now with all the training you’ve done before to earn your right to be in that competition, roughly what your capabilities are, and then testing that complex at lower to moderate weights will give you a little bit of an insight to where you think you can be, but you are not going to get stronger by practicing that over and over again in a week or two before that event. So get familiar, but don’t blast yourself with those complexes. Yeah, and then the other thing I was gonna say is just don’t, in terms of testing, going a little farther, don’t test all those workouts that you’re about to do at max capacity multiple times either. I’m on board for learning, for strategizing with team, if you have a team event, I think that is great, but do those several weeks in advance. Don’t go and blast your body the week of testing an event that you’re probably gonna do because that’s where we’ll see decreased performance and potentially injury risk that will increase when we’re doing that stuff there so recap of the week of the week of you’re going to train as usual for the most part days one two and three Day three and or four, we’re going to take a rest day and let that body completely recover. Just focus on mobility, recovery style stuff. Day five, we want to move a little bit. Lightweights, bodyweight style exercises, throw that into an EMOM format. Get yourself on a ERG machine and do some zone two monostructural work. We want to avoid max effort loads throughout the week to keep our nervous system healthy. We don’t want to test everything over and over again. Save yourself for Saturday. You will not lose by not training, but you can lose by overtraining in that week before. All right, so now you’re in the day of. Day of competition. This looks a little bit different to everybody, but a few little pointers that I have, some of them will be obvious, but just reminders, is that just stick to your game plan. Hopefully you’ve thought your process through and trust it. You know yourself as an athlete, your team hopefully has connected, or your training partners, and you know each other fairly well. Don’t let other people dictate your plan. Stick to your plan. CrossFit’s all about being able to adapt on the fly, which you will have to do sometimes, but don’t go in constantly thinking that you have to change your strategy. Trust your strategy and see where things take you.


In terms of nutrition during competition day, I feel like we need to be eating. I think that’s an obvious thing to say, but what we eat matters. We see people, Matt Frazier was a good example, who would just slam multiple Snickers bars in a day of competition because he was looking for fast carb glucose intake to replenish those muscles. It’s actually not a terrible strategy, but we’re not Matt Fraser either. There’s got to be probably some moderation to that. I do believe having easily digestible carbohydrates, which may include some sugar and that’s fine. A couple little gummy worms here or there, some fruit, maybe some of those protein bars or energy bars that have some carb in it, built in it. things that taste good and that are easy for you to digest are probably best. We need carbs to replenish our muscular glycogen system and just our overall metabolic system. I think getting some protein in is fair, but we don’t need to heavily douse protein. We don’t need to be eating like multiple burgers that will sluggishly kind of slow you down. So lean proteins, beef jerky, a little bit of pulled chicken, something like that can be a fairly easy type of protein to digest. And then I would say a third thing being fluids and electrolytes. So this is where getting salt waters of some kind, like a element for an example, or your own homemade version of that, getting that electrolyte balance into our body is crucial. You’re going to be pumping fluids out, And you can get really scientific with this and weigh yourself before and after an event like some of these higher level athletes do. But I don’t think that we have to be at that level. But do replenish your fluids. Be drinking water. Get some sort of electrolyte back into that system. And I think these are going to be two really crucial things in terms of adjusting fluids that are important there. Some of these sports drinks, just read the back. Get smart with these guys. Like read the back of some of these labels and you’ll realize that you could make yourself a way better balanced electrolyte style drink than the marketed ones that have virtually nothing inside of them. So get online. figure out how you could dose in some table salt with some other electrolytes and just make something that is gonna help you retain fluids, especially if you’re doing this in a hot, humid environment where you know you’re gonna be sweating a lot. And then I think the other thing in between events is don’t just sit and do absolutely nothing. Take some time, five, 10, 15, 20 minutes at the most to recover and chill, but as you’re leading up into that hour before your next event, try to move. walk around, hop on a bike if they have one. This is where I will actually, in some circumstances, support things, simple things like massage guns. There is some anecdotal and potentially actual structural evidence that would say that the vibration and impulse is a good way to just kind of prep that nervous system and keep those tissues a little bit more aware of what they’re about to be doing. I’m game for it. Whatever you gotta do to stay agile and feeling like you’re at your best is what we need to be focusing on there. So day of, stick to your game plan, proper nutrition, including carbs and protein predominantly, and then electrolytes is big as well, fluids and electrolytes, and then find some way to keep that body moving in between events that you’re not stiff, stagnant, going in. The ability to warm up, keep your heart rate at a good level, and then hit a fast 100% effort event is crucial to success. We don’t wanna be going in cold. Even if you’re feeling a little tired, you gotta find a way to keep that heart rate moving.


All right, final thing is our final prep, I should say follow-up week, the week after your event. So you’ve done your week before, you’ve completed your event, congratulations. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, leading into the next week, what do we do? Be okay, I’m gonna say this again, be okay taking more than one day of rest. I have an event coming up this weekend that has for sure three main events that all are at least 18 to 20 plus minutes in domain plus five like mini events. And then if you are lucky and fortunate enough to earn your right into the championship event, that would be four main events. So four main events plus five mini events. I don’t train for that. Nope, not many novice athletes do. Elite athletes, yes, they are prepping with four to six hours of training on average per day in a week. We don’t do that. Not many of us are doing that. So if we are going to go out and sell our soul in this event on a weekend, be okay taking Sunday, Monday, and maybe Tuesday and doing little to no major physical activity. It doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato. Maybe you are again going for hikes, walks, little bike rides, whatever it might be. Find some enjoyable sport that you like, like golf to get out and just stay active. I’m not asking you to be lazy, but I’m asking you to respect the amount of volume that goes into some of these CrossFit events. I see a lot of people who go and smash it on Saturday and then are at the gym on Sunday working out or Monday doing a, you know, high level, uh, online programming that is consisting of two plus hours of training. to each their own at the end of the day, but it’s okay, I’m giving you permission to let your body recover. At the end of the day, for me, I’m reminding myself that this is not about today and tomorrow, this is about 20, 30, and 40 years from now. I am building my fitness to be a better, older adult. So be okay taking some time off. Use the next week to just sort of assess the body. Did anything tweak? Are you sore? Are you stiff? Focus on those areas. This is where getting your clients maybe back into your clinic that following week and just prepare for that. Say, hey Johnny, I know you got an event coming up on Saturday. Why don’t we make sure that we have a day to meet on that following week just so we can talk about how it went and be sure that we’re doing some good recovery things and I can help you better game plan that following week as well if I can see you early on that week. So take time to assess the body. And I would suggest again, similar to the week before, keeping loads in that 75, 80% or lower before we get back on track with your normal training. Just allow again that nervous system to recover and do what it needs to do, so. Hopefully that was helpful, guys. Again, either for yourself or for clients that you’re having, but I love the fact that people are dedicating themselves to fitness and that they’re willing to put their body, their soul, their personalities, their mentalities, their identities on the line and go sell it on a weekend or online competition. We are training for a purpose. We have short-term goals. We can go test those out. We have long-term goals. All this is leading to that direction. So preparing yourself for that competition is really important. Executing on the day of is really important and making sure you give yourself time to recover afterwards is also important. Hopefully it’s helpful. If you have any questions, comment on the videos. Otherwise, take a look online and see if you have any interest in getting into our CMFA live courses coming up across the country. They are filling up. So let’s get on those and enjoy the end of our year together. I will talk to you later. Have a great weekend.

17:46 OUTRO

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