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The Secrets to Creating a Successful Video Submission (we thought #5 was really clever!)

By June 2, 2017May 18th, 2018Road To MN

Video submissions. The concept is so deceptively simple, but if you’ve ever attempted one, you know that a myriad of things can and will go wrong. And while we’d love to take everyone’s word for it and validate whatever score gets submitted, that’s not how this works. Help us help you travel the Road to Minnesota with as few speed bumps and potholes as possible by setting yourself up for video submission success. Check out the helpful tips below from our judges, who’ve seen everything under the sun when it comes to workout submissions.

Video Format

YouTube or Vimeo, it’s all good, we’re not fussy. Just remember, you must set your video to public when you publish it! Also, be wary of copyrights on music in the background, as these could get your video taken down.

Running Clock

We want to give you full credit for your hard work, so make sure there’s a running clock in the frame at all times (and that it’s legible). In fact, we recommend downloading WeTime, which will place the time clock right on your screen, so you can scratch any worries about keeping the gym WOD clock in view—you’ve got your own!

Battery Charge

There’s nothing worse than crushing a qualifier WOD with a killer score, then playing your video back and realizing it cut off midway through your second round. And now you have to do that vomit-inducing row for calories/thruster combo again. *gulp*

  • Also, if using a device with WiFi (so pretty much everyone, then), consider turning on airplane mode, both to maximize battery life and to ensure most of those pesky notifications are suppressed.

Have a Plan B

Even with a full battery, technology can be quirky and unpredictable. Why not play it safe and set up a back-up video in case your primary recorder kicks out? You wouldn’t walk onto the competition floor with only one jump rope, would you? (For real though, that’s risky. Don’t do that.)

Show Your Work

We know you’re amped on pre-workout and adrenaline and juggling rep schemes and WOD strategy in your head, but remember your basics: tell us your name, state which workout you’re doing plus the division you’re in, and zoom in/focus on those weights so we can give you full credit!

  • Pro Tip: Using black rubber bumper plates? Chalk the numbers on your weights to boost visibility in your video!

Angle & Frame

Judges must be able to see you meet the standards. This means if you’re doing squat cleans facing the camera dead-on, most likely we can’t tell if you’re breaking parallel. Try to shoot for a 45-degree angle from the camera to you. As for framing… if you forgot to check that your entire body stays in the frame, how do we know if you actually locked out that overhead press?

Another note or two on framing… If you’re a traveler (meaning you start your cleans or dubs on one end of the gym and wind up on the far side somehow), help yourself out by taping or chalking the floor where you want to be so you have a reference point to keep you front and center as the star of the show. Or, simply have a friend keep tabs on the frame-up if that’s easier. Also, not all gym floors are created equal. If your barbell is prone to rolling downhill, try setting up some small change plates to serve as bumpers to keep it solidly in-frame (also saving you valuable time chasing after it if the bar decides to take a little jaunt!).


Please, please don’t set up your video 20 yards from your workout station. Not only does it give your judge wrinkles squinting at the screen to see if your chin broke the horizontal plane on those pull ups, but it increases the odds that interlopers are going to come trotting through and block our view of you entirely.

Speaking of Video Crashers

Give your fellow athletes a friendly heads up that you’re filming so they know to steer clear of the video zone. Imagine PR’ing your squat snatch, only to play back your video and realize Ted from 4 PM class set up shop and was foam rolling directly in front of your camera. Now all you’ve got is a great shot of his back (wow, Ted’s really been working on his lats).

Choose Your Cameraman (or Woman) Wisely

If you decide to have a friend hold the reins, choose wisely. You don’t want to grab the guy from the last class whose hands are still shaking. Nor do you want to hand the job to your mom if she can’t tamp down her enthusiasm and will spend the entire workout jumping up and down, clapping and shouting—phone in hand. We fully encourage cheering, but keep those folks in the audience.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve dodged all the potential pitfalls of videotaping your submission (and we know you will, cuz you’ve got this awesome list to guide you), you’re probably pumped for what comes next. But please try to be patient—with technology and with us. The process can only move so fast. If you have questions about your video or score, please try to hold off until we’ve had a chance to review your submission and log it for you on the leaderboard. We also have several helpful blogs and FAQs to answer most of your burning questions, give those a shot first!