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The best thing about a functional fitness event is that the possibilities for your competition programming are nearly limitless. The most challenging thing about competition programming is… that your possibilities are nearly limitless. This post is the first of a 3-part series that will help you make good decisions about programming for your competition. With so many choices to consider, where do you even start? Here are 3 guiding rules to help you program for your next event.


1. Put safety first

Competition makes people fierce. Unfortunately, that means a lot of good judgement goes out the window in the heat of the moment. It’s your responsibility as an event planner to always keep that on the forefront of your mind when you’re designing a competition. As such, safety is your most important consideration. We strongly encourage you to think about worst case scenarios here and do everything in your power to minimize the risks involved. You’ll never be able to eliminate them entirely, of course, but you need to err on the side of caution when designing your workouts.


2. Play to the crowd

One of the most important questions you should ask yourself when programming your workouts is, “Will the crowd want to watch this?” (Hint: softball throws are not terribly exciting.) The most successful events are ones that are both athlete and spectator-friendly. This is something the Grid League has done exceptionally well with their fast-paced races and competition layout that allows the participants as well as the audience easily see who’s winning the event. You’ll have to spend some energy thinking about your venue here, as well, to make sure your programming complements the space you have to work with.


3. Remember your purpose

Every competition needs to have a specific focus. You need to stay true to your brand by committing to the purpose of your event. If you want to truly hold a fitness competition in the spirit of the sport of CrossFit, you’ll need to make sure that your workouts as a whole are an accurate assessment of the 10 domains of fitnessHowever, events like fundraisers may instead have a theme that’s biased towards particular domains (example: a lift-a-thon to raise money for a cause would focus on power- or weightlifting). It’s easy to get carried away when you those limitless possibilities, but narrowing your scope around your competition’s purpose will help your event be memorable and successful.

Keep an eye out for the next two posts in the Throwdowns.com complete series on competition programing.

You might also be interested in our post about How to Maximize Competition Scoring.

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