DIY: Throw a WZA Friday Night Lights

Throw your own WZA Friday Night Lights!

Wodapalooza Bayfront Park

The Individual Challenge for Wodapalooza 2017 is well under way, and with the Team Challenge set to kick off on October 24th, now is the time to fully immerse yourself in the WZA spirit. ‘But how can I do that? I’m not in Miami!’, we hear you say. True, and despite the fact that the festivities for Wodapalooza don’t start until January, that doesn't mean you can’t replicate the intensity, fun, and atmosphere of Bayfront Park at your gym, for week 3 of the Challenge!

Trust us, it's well worth the effort. Box owners will appreciate the added value that such a unique experience will bring to their members. After all, a Friday Night Lights showdown is NOT typical class programming for an affiliate. In fact, hosting such an event will provide valuable competition experience for athletes, as well as building a stronger gym community (you may even find some new folks walking through the door to see what the fun is all about, who then sign up for a membership!).

Here are some handy tips on how to set up your very own WZA Friday Night Lights.

First things first. You have to decide if the WZA Challenge workout will serve as the class WOD for the entirety of Friday, or if it merits its own show ‘after hours’. Personally, I like the idea of scheduling the workout on Friday evening after the classes are done for the day. It adds a sense of drama and spectacle to the occasion—the sense that this is a rare event you won’t want to miss. Besides, if you’re going to call the occasion, ‘WZA Friday Night Lights’, you should probably host it in the evening. Just tell the folks who want to hit the clubs that they’ve always got Saturday night.

Next, you need to gather the key elements for the workouts themselves. These include:

  • Scorecards for each workout, found on each individual WOD description page.
  • Scheduled heat times, whereby athletes can register for a specific time slot (using the whiteboard to set this up is probably the easiest way of doing so. Plus it allows for a bit of healthy smack-talk and gamesmanship in the buildup). Optional: you may want to include a title-card bout between the top tier athletes or coaches at your gym as the ‘main event’ for the evening—similar to how it’s done in boxing or UFC. It may provide an epic finish to the night!
  • The equipment for each workout. Setting up the barbells, boxes and any other implement for the workouts is no easy task, as any coach will tell you. One must be cognizant of space between competitors, as well as helping to create a smooth transition from one element to the next. For example, in a chipper workout do your best to position the equipment in order of use.
  • Make sure you have judges for each athlete! Obviously you don’t need to have WZA-credentialed judges scrutinizing every partial air squat and not-quite-chest-to-deck burpee. But using coaches and more seasoned athletes to act as judges helps create a sense of fairness to proceedings. Yes, this should be a fun event, but that doesn’t mean competitors can’t be, well, competitive! Using judges will help keep bitching and accusations of rep-shaving to a minimum. Probably.
  • Don’t forget the intangibles either! Music is a must, so make sure you have a boss playlist ready to go. If you really want to go HAM, enlist the help of an M.C. to act as both DJ and master of ceremonies, announcing each athlete as they take to the floor to do battle. Food and drink is key, as is the presence of as many members (even those not competing), and friends of members, as you can fit in the confines of your box. You want to produce and maintain a vociferous, positive vibe, and having a good size audience is the best way of doing that. You may even want to add some additional prizes: t-shirts for best effort, wrist wraps for best dressed, etc.

Speaking of cool rewards—if you and your gym are planning on hosting a WZA Friday Night Lights-themed throwdown in week 3 of the Individual Challenge, we will 

send you a custom post for your gym to advertise on your social media channels!

Though the Individual Challenge is well under way, there’s still time for you to sign up for the Team Challenge, and we encourage you to put on a “Friday Night Lights” for your teams participating as well! If you’d rather compete with your squad, or if you don’t qualify for Wodapalooza as an individual, why not register for the team portion of the challenge? Keep in mind that completing the Team Challenge is the only way to earn a team spot to WZA. All the team workouts will be released on October 24th—when the Team Challenge begins--and due October 31st at 8PM EST. Teams must consist of three athletes of the same sex, but athletes don’t need to train and compete in the same location as all team members.

Lastly, you’ll be excited to hear that you can win prizes for your gym via the Community Partner Program! At the end of the Individual Challenge, on October 12th!

Prizes range at the lower levels to an official Community Partner banner,  tix to WZA, all the way to an Assault bike, PowerDots, Rogue equipment,  Progenex Protein, etc...Learn more here.