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Beginner’s Guide to the WZAOC

by Kristen Chandler Toth
Take the plunge! Sign up and start planning.

New to CrossFit but hungry for a real challenge? Maybe you just finished an intro course at your gym or you’ve been training with CrossFit for several months now – either way you’re curious about pushing to the next level. This year we opened up our competition to athletes who are new to the sport. There’s a brand new division, just for beginners.

Competing for the first time can be scary. But we’re here to help- so you can confidently take on the Wodapalooza Online Qualifier and Challenge (WZAOC). You’ll be able to set your own pace and find appropriate scaling options for your level of fitness. The WZAOC is about challenging yourself and rising to meet (or even exceed!) your expectations.


So how does it work?


Step 1: Register and Choose your division. 

As is typical in most competitive CrossFit competitions, athletes are split into different divisions depending on their current skill and ability level. Each division has associated movement standards that athletes can use as a guide to choose the division that is right for him/her. This helps ensure that when competition time rolls around, athletes are competing against athletes at a similar ability level.

With 37 different divisions, Wodapalooza has something for everyone. From the Elite division ( the most competitive athletes in our sport) to the Beginner division (athletes who have less than one year experience with CrossFit). To further break down the competition into specific fields, we have Age Group (Masters & Teenagers) and Adaptive (Rx/Scaled Standing & Rx/Scaled Seated), divisions.

Let’s take a closer look at how to read the division standards for the Beginner division… Athletes in this division are expected to be able to Snatch, at least, 75lb (for men) and 55lb (for women), Clean & Jerk (115/85lb) and be prepared to perform single-unders, ring rows, hanging knee raises and any movements with a 35/20lb dumbbell.

You can get a full breakdown of all movement standards on our Division Standards page. And remember the weights for those movements should be considered working weights, meaning you can do multiple repetitions if they come up in a workout.


Step 2: Mark your calendar and make a plan to hit the qualifier workouts.

With the WZAOC there are two ways to compete – as an Individual or on a Team of 4 (MM/FF). The Individual Challenge begins: August 21st and the Team of 4 Challenge begins: December 6th

For Individual Athletes:
Each Wednesday for 3 weeks (August 21st, August 28th & September 2nd), WZA will release a workout (or two!) through a video announcement on our social media channels (make sure to follow our
Insta, Facebook & Twitter!) and email blast to registered athletes around 8p ET.

In an effort to make this a true test, the workout(s) stay a secret until they’re announced! Which means you won’t know what challenge lies in store for you until the workouts are released each week. Because you only get the workouts a few days before the scores are due, no athletes will have the advantage of practicing or perfecting the workout too much before it’s time to test it. We guarantee you’ll look forward to the workout release with anticipation and nerves each week, which no doubt adds to the fun. Athletes have all weekend to complete the workout(s) and submit scores by the following Monday (August 26th, September 2nd & September 9th).


For Team of 4 (MM/FF) Athletes
: you’ll face 10 workouts that must be completed over a 10 day period. Workouts are released on our social channels (Insta, Facebook & Twitter) and emailed out to registered atheltes beginning December 6th with scores due on December 16th (visit our Schedule page to get all the info on due dates and deadlines!) It’s important to note that athletes do not have to complete the workouts together.


Step 3: Read (and reread) the scorecard for each workout so you know what exactly qualifies as a good repetition.

Following the release of each workout, Team WZA will post a scorecard online for athletes to use (or have their judge use!) during their workout. You’ll need to download the scorecard for each workout from our website and then print it out for your judge (or rep counter or cheerleader) to hold. It is vital for all athletes to read (and reread) the scorecard and movement standards to ensure they are completing the workout properly.

For example, knowing what will determine “full-depth” for a good squat rep will help make sure you don’t waste effort. Pro tip for beginners- get your coach involved and have her or him demo and talk through a game plan with you.


Step 4: Game day. 

Get excited! The day is finally here! You’ll set up your equipment for your workout and figure out the best vantage point for you to film from (please note: this is required only if you are interested in competing at WZA Miami – you can read more on who needs to submit a video here). 

Next step is to grab your scorecard, hand it to your judge, press ‘record’ on your video and start the clock. (*Note that a judge is
not required but we recommend it to help keep you accountable and moving quickly.)

With the 3, 2, 1 Go-  you’ll take on the first challenge. It’s just a workout in the end, but competition is a catalyst that helps us reach new heights, new personal records, and find our potential. After you’ve finished the workouts for the week, make sure you get on the website early to submit your scores! Although scores aren’t due until Monday we don’t recommend waiting until the last minute. Remember: if you intend to try for a slot in WZA Miami you’ll need to upload your workout video as well- and that takes time!


Step 5: Look on the leaderboard.

After the start of the WZAOC, you can find a live leaderboard online where you’ll be able to see how your scores fall against other athletes in your division. The leaderboard is a chance to see your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll see yourself place high on the leaderboard with some workouts and lower on others- this is great feedback to help you find areas to improve. For athletes hoping to earn a spot to compete at WZA Miami, watch your inbox after the the WZAOC is over, for details about Open Registration. If you get one of the coveted Scaled or Beginner slots, pack your gym bag and sunscreen and get stoked for a fun, exhausting weekend of fitness in Miami in February. We’ll be there – ready to guide you into the most fun you’ve ever had working out.