The CrossFit Games Analysis

I watched a little bit of the 2012 CrossFit Games this past weekend. I don’t regularly follow CrossFit, so I don’t know many competitor names. I didn’t watch it enough to follow who was in what place, and what needed to happen for an individual to win. I do know that Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir (arguably the coolest name ever) both repeated as champions (they won the 2011 contest as well).

Instead I’d like to look at the events that were chosen and some basic statistics. I’ll admit that I’m kind of out of touch with CrossFit, so I won’t be crazy with my critiques. Regardless of what anyone thinks of this competition, it must be taken seriously because there is big money up for grabs. Each individual winner earned $250,000! That arguably makes CrossFit more “relevant” (as ESPN talking heads would say) than Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting. It really is genius on the part of CrossFit, because paying one individual winner is just pocket change for the company.

Aside from the spoils of victory, I’m fascinated with what a trainee needs to do to prepare for this type of event. Every sport in the world is standardized, therefore there is an optimal way to prepare a trainee based on their current state of adaptation. CrossFit is completely random; the competitors don’t even know what they’ll have to do until they get there. And, as this year’s competition has shown, they will have to endure insane amounts of volume and work. Competitors who lasted until the last day had to undergo about 12 workouts (depending on how you count them) with 10 of them on the last three days. Winners not only have to survive, but perform well enough so that they aren’t cut.

Froning eats whatever he wants, loves God, and shaves his chest

COMPETITORS

Rich Froning is 24 and Annie Thorisdottir is 22, so you could say CrossFit is a young person’s game. I took the average age of the top ten finishers. The men’s average age is 27.1 and the women’s is 28. The range for the men was 23 to 34. The range for the women was 22 to 33. This pretty much fits in line with top American sports. Athletes are typically in their prime in their mid to late 20s while they aren’t really competing at the same level as they get a little ‘older’ (I don’t think 30s, or 40s for that matter, is “old”). I would expect this type of competition to get more difficult as someone hits their early 30s. It’s very different from something like powerlifting which can yield performance progress into the 40s. It’d also be interesting to look at the height/weight averages, but I’m too lazy for that. I did notice that the women seemed to come in pretty different shapes or sizes, but generally weren’t over 150 and the guys were around 200 pounds or so.

Annie has a badass last name, rippling abs, and a pretty cute smile

The Workouts By Day

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There were many events, and sometimes an event preceded an actual workout. Participants were awarded points based on how they finished relative to one another. This kind of set up is similar to strongman, and it helps keep things close. Eventually, there are cuts that decrease the number of competitors. From a spectator standpoint, this keeps it interesting since the only “survivors” should be close to one another in point totals. CrossFit does a pretty decent job of designing their competitions and making standards for individual movements.

Wednesday

The competitors were informed the night before that they’d be doing a triathlon the following day. Yikes. It consisted of

In this event, athletes will begin by swimming approximately 700 meters with fins. They will then grab their bicycles and ride approximately 8 kilometers across undulating terrain, with approximately 400 meters through unrideable soft sand. They finish with an 11 kilometer dirt-road run across steep hills with over 1,400 feet of elevation gain.

That’s about a half mile swim, 5 mile bike, and almost a 7 mile run. I’m pretty sure this event wasn’t televised, which is probably a good thing since they were just slogging it away for 2 to 2.5 hours (which seemed to be where most of the times fell).

About an hour later, the competitors ran heats on the O-course on Camp Pendleton, which takes less than a minute to complete. I thought this was a pretty cool idea since O-courses require an array of skills, like balance, coordination, and ignoring fear. With the CrossFit and military relationship, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a road march or ruck based mission future competitions.

Friday

The competitors had Thursday off, and Friday kicked off four events, but primarily two workouts. The first event was a standing broad jump for distance, which must have been thrilling to the crowd…The broad jump is one of those things that, with the vertical jump, are not going to change very much as a result of training. It’s a test of power, but there’s a little technique involved. The guys that finished in the top 10 overall didn’t really place very high in this event (though there were two top ten broad jumpers in the overall top 10). There are probably better tests of power, and it seems like this was just thrown in for the sake of trying to validate CrossFit as something that can accomplish all physical attributes (especially since there was an endurance event at the start of the week) or validate that the winner was truly tested in all “domains” of “being fit” (which is debatable).

The next event was a “ball toss off of a GHD sit-up bench”. The presence of this event seemed to want to validate why every CrossFitter should do their GHD sit-ups. At least it was a low volume event. After all, hip flexor power is one of those markers of athleticism and fitness…

Right after the ball toss, they had:

Three rounds for time of:
8 Split snatch, alternating legs (115 / 75lbs)
7 Bar muscle-ups
Run 400 meters

A pretty standard, non-stupid met-con that requires some more advanced skills. I didn’t have a problem with this workout, and it kind of fits the mold of the classic not-crazy-volume met-cons that Glassman used to write <2003. The time cap was 13 minutes. I fully support the time cap in this competition, but also in a gym environment. I hate when someone will turn “Fran”, a sub 5 minute workout, into a 15 minute affair. It completely changes the intended stress, so as a Programmer I’m going to account for this by scaling weights and/or capping times.

Later that day, they had:

Three rounds for time of:
8 Medicine ball cleans (150 / 80 lbs)
100 foot Medicine ball carry
7 Parallette handstand push-ups
100 foot Medicine ball carry

This seems to be another one of those, “Every good CrossFitter must do their med-ball cleans,” type of situation. Nevertheless, this isn’t a terrible workout, especially given the context that it’s for more advanced competitors. It has a bit of strongman to it, and that’s never a bad thing. The time cap was 10 minutes.

Saturday

This day started off with some football oriented stuff on the field. The first event was a “shuttle sprint” where the competitors sprinted down a 50 yard field and back, then sprinted down a 100 yard field and back. This isn’t a true “300 yard shuttle” as it is usually done in six legs (which requires stopping/starting while fatigued). 300 yard shuttles are pretty friggin’ hard. Immediately after this, they did:

Five rounds for time of:
20 foot Rope climb, 1 ascent
20 yard Sled drive

 

I think that “the games creators” didn’t foresee how difficult this one was going to be. I actually watched this on TV, and there was a lot of competitors dying in the California sun as they tried to drive the football sleds. This was capped at 13 minutes, but sled driving is amazingly fatiguing. It’s not the same as a prowler; it requires leverage and fast feet, and those things are hard to do when fatigued. Even so, I think that the 20 yards was a bit long, and it probably would have been better with 10 yards. I mean, we’re still watching people exercising, but it could have been a bit more up-tempo with the shorter sled drive.

 

A couple of hours later was the “Clean ladder”, which is a repeat of last year’s deadlift ladder (cleaning a rep every 30 seconds with ascending bars). The heaviest weight cleaned was actually 365, which is pretty impressive (nice job, Neal Maddox). Most of the top 10 male overall finishers did around 330. The heaviest female clean was 235, which was the last bar — the men didn’t reach the last bar of 385. The top 10 female overall finishers cleaned around 200, though their range was greater. This marked the event where competitors were starting to get cut for the following events.

 

About an hour later, they did “The Chipper” which was:
For time:
10 Overhead squats (155 / 105 lbs)
10 Box jump overs (24” / 20” box)
10 Fat bar thrusters, (135 / 95 lbs)
10 Power cleans (205 / 125 lbs)
10 Toes to bar
10 Burpee muscle-ups
10 Toes to bar
10 Power cleans (205 / 125 lbs)
10 Fat bar thrusters, (135 / 95 lbs)
10 Box jump overs (24” / 20” box)
10 Overhead squats (155 / 105 lbs)

 

If you know me, I’m not a fan of chippers. That being said, this Chipper wasn’t too terrible because it was capped at 15 minutes. If it was a half hour slog fest with 50 reps everywhere, then I might have a problem. Do you see the trend? Each event in itself isn’t too bad, but there are a bunch of them over the course of the weekend.

 

Sunday

The first workout was called, “Double Banger”. I’d actually be kind of impressed if there were a bunch of threesomes going on, but instead CrossFit wanted to inject that “manual labor” thing into their competition.

For time:
50 Double-unders
Low banger
50 Double-unders
Down banger
50 Double-unders
Mid banger

The “banger” portion refers to the competitor driving a heavy weight on a sliding rack by hitting it with a sledge hammer. The workout was capped at 9 minutes, so it isn’t too terrible. I don’t know what the fascination is with manual labor. Yeah, it is hard. Yeah, you’ll get sweaty. But as I say in my seminars, I can do a lot of things to get sweaty like digging a trench or have a lot of sex — it doesn’t mean it’s a good adaptive stress. Will Reebok start selling sledge hammers?

At this point, there are 18 competitors left. They are about to go through the gauntlet, and I do not envy this last portion of the overall competition. The competitors were slated to complete “Elizabeth”, “Isabel”, and “Fran” in back-to-back-to-back workouts. The only pause between them was to get the results compiled. Each was capped at 6 minutes and a few competitors were dropped after each portion.

I don’t know if you guys have done these workouts, but I’ve done all three (I’ve done “Fran” in 2:30). They are a fucking doozy. One of them alone is enough to provide an adaptive stress. I realize that the CrossFit Games are not designed to be a workout to make someone better, but a test of someone’s capability. However, this would have been brutal.

The Thoughts

That marks the end of the workouts that the competitors had to complete. As you already read, Froning and Thorisdottir were the victors for a second year in a row. I wonder if that bothered CrossFit or not. Regardless, it’s pretty impressive on their part.

This competition is supposed to gauge the “fittest person in the world”. They certainly found that…in the way CrossFit defines “being fit”. Personally I’m not a fan of the crazy amounts of volume that are prevalent in the competitions. 12 intensive workouts, especially 10 in three days, is insane. Yet it’s what they choose to do, and I can accept that. Yet, I’ll disagree with how they define “the fittest”, because it puts a premium on “high intensity endurance training” as well as “the endurance to endure the high intensity stuff for several days”. I’m not equating it to long, slow distance type stuff, but it clearly has a “conditioning bias”. Moreover, it ignores other components of being fit, like agility and coordination (two things CrossFit claimed in Glassman’s “What is Fitness?”). Sure, the obstacle course tested a bit of balance, maybe some agility, but ask any practitioner or researcher in the field of “exercise science/physiology” or “strength and conditioning”, and agility is defined in very specific ways.

Why not test them in cone drills? L drill, T test, or 5-10-5 shuttle run. Or do all three with several minutes of break in between. Or even create new methods of testing agility. I suppose it starts with how you define fitness. As someone who has helped write a book on the topic, I define it as strength, mobility, and endurance. “Mobility” includes those things like agility, balance, and coordination. Strength was sort of represented with the clean ladder, and yes competitors needed to be strong to do the various workouts, yet they mostly tested their “high intensity endurance” capability. For being an organization that used to preach balance, it just seems pretty unbalanced in the form of testing.

With the method that CrossFit tests in the major competitions, you could make an argument that these people are the “fittest in the world”, but that doesn’t make them the “most athletic in the world”. By testing these other parameters it could sort of account for that. But, like I said about the Olympics, it’s just more impressive when an individual must use reaction. It requires a completely different set of physical attributes to be able to see, decide, and react with movement accordingly. I don’t know if it’s possible to include this element in the CrossFit Games, but it would legitimize it in my view.

Don’t get me wrong, what the competitors did is very impressive. The top 10 finishers are all impressive performers. Yet, at the end of the day, they competed in exercising. There’s nothing wrong with that! They are certainly “fit”, and this competition didn’t really have anything stupid in it (I’d probably grade Castro and the organizers with a B+, considering what they were trying to achieve). Yet, it just seems like CrossFit is still stuck in the frame of thinking that being conditioned is supreme. As long as they don’t try to claim supremacy over athletes, I’m fine with it. If they wanted to, then they would need to include more tests of athleticism, because an obstacle course doesn’t validate coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.  I don’t know, maybe the CrossFit Games should keep a focus on met-cons; after all, it’s a conditioning training program.

Note: In case you get offended and want to bitch at me, I don’t hate CrossFit. I’ve been involved with it for a long time and love the people I meet through it. Read this if your panties are in a wad (WOD?).

56 thoughts on “The CrossFit Games Analysis

      • Yeah def, but I like that he gave it a fair shake and despite having no background in weight lifting he basically got everything right in an unbiased way. But yeah, New Yorker articles are always so long. It took me four subway rides and two dumps to finish.

        • ‘In 2004, when Mariusz Pudzianowski, the dominant strongman at the time, was asked when he’d last taken anabolic steroids, he answered, “What time is it now?”’

          Lol’d at that.

        • Great read from a great mag. Yeah, New Yorker articles are long as (two) shit(s), but in a media environment of twatter soundbytes, where else can you get a thoughtful, 10,000 word treatment of a subject?

  1. Shouldn’t the double banger have been called the triple banger? That bugged the shit out of me, especially since Castro was so smug while explaining it.

  2. I didn’t watch any of it live, but I went back and checked out the workouts and watched some vids, and came away much more impressed than I expected. I think they did a good job of finding (and rewarding) the best Crossfitters, and it looks like everyone was entertained. I haven’t talked to my friends that went, but I assume they had a blast based on their facebook posts. Overall, I give it an A-. The clean ladder video is particularly dece.

    If they just tested athleticism, real athletes could come in and clean shop. They have to have an extremely heavy skills-bias, and I accept that.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I’d coach someone who was interesting in competing as a CFer since then, which is pretty fun in its own right.

    • I came to the same conclusions. Seems like a much better games overall than last year. I wouldn’t mind if Dave Castro developed a lifelong case of laryngitis though.

      I’d like to see the top 10-20 male and female CFer’s training logs for the last year to see how they chose to prepare and see what kinds of similarities I could draw out.

      • Similarities for dudes: Have around the standard 200/300/400/500 1RM for the classic lifts and be sub 8% bodyfat. Spend as much time practicing the skills you suck at the most (double unders, rope climbs, Oly, etc). Jack up your pain tolerance. Profit.

      • These folks have been following Rudy Nielsen’s programming (aka The Outlaw Way):

        http://outlawcoach.wordpress.com/

        Individuals -
        -Talayna Fortunato – 3rd
        -Elisabeth Akinwale – 7th
        -Candace Hamilton Hester – 27th
        -Candice Ruiz – 29th
        -Alicia Gomes – 32nd
        -Christen Wagner – 41st
        -Rika Diederiks – 43rd

        -Chad Mackay – 9th
        -Patrick Burke –16th
        -Justin Allen – 26th
        -Austin Stack – 34th
        -Kevin Simons – 37th
        -Jason Hoggan – 38th
        -Brandon Phillips – 42nd

        Teams
        -CrossFit Central – 13th
        -CrossFit Champlain Valley – 18th
        -Team Butchers Lab – 23rd
        -CrossFit CDR – 24th
        -CrossFit 7 Mile – 41st

  3. I was wondering if Ye Olde’ “GAMES” would be addressed here or not…
    I watched a couple hours of it on Saturday afternoon, and from a TV viewer aspect, had I not been familiar with CrossFit, I probablyl would have flipped right through. I found a lot of the workouts to be pretty convoluted and sometimes hard to follow.
    I can see the point of testing someone’s ability across different skillsets/events/WODs/etc., but it just felt like overkill. I’d rather see a day or two of really intense, basic workouts than a few days of overly complex activities ruled by a complex point system.

  4. I started up with CrossFit two years ago. About a year into it I injured myself, not because of programming or anything, but because I tried to pull a DL that was WAY too heavy for me at the time. While rehabbing I stuck primarily to weightlifting and now I am lifting heavy four days a week and putting in some (not much) time on the rower. I doubt I will return to CF, but that is because I am just not interested in it anymore. That being said:

    “As long as they don’t try to claim supremacy over athletes, I’m fine with it.”

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. And maybe the top CFers understand that, but there is an overwhelming school of thought with in the community that they are athletes and every trainer is a coach. All the time people are saying ” (Random elite athlete) would be so much better if they did CrossFit”. I fully admire the amount of dedication those that made it to the game have, but no, they aren’t elite athletes. Every elite triathlete would laugh at the time it took to complete that first event. Elite lifters would have made it through the clean ladder easily.

    I have heard the saying “Jack of all, Master of none” which sums it up pretty well.

    • “they are athletes and every trainer is a coach”
      -I don’t know why they are not. I think rodeo clowns are athletes. They are bada$$es in their “sport”. I couldn’t compete.

      Do I agree with the programming? No, but my opinion doesn’t usually count.

      I think the general misconception comes from thinking that main-site programming is the best way to train for these beat down competitions, instead of the stuff advocated for on this site. If you want to compete in these things, sure, do it, but be smart about the progressions to get there. I think part of it is that the general crossfitter doesn’t realize these games athletes aren’t doing the ass kicker wod of the day every day, they are following individualized progressions.

      • The way that I define an athlete is someone who competes in a sport. That requires a definition of sport, and my definition requires standardization. That’s why I leave out CrossFit from inclusion “as a a sport”, but not out of spite.

        There are CrossFitters who are “athletic”, but I don’t like giving everyone the term “athlete” simply because they are now doing some squats and jumps. I would probably call someone an athlete who is not actively competing in a sport if they were athletic, but I don’t know how I’d quantify this. Again, I do not like the blanket term of “athletes” for people that do CrossFit. There are probably some competitors from those games that are bad athletes.

        “Athlete” assumes too much while “trainee” is usually a better distinction.

  5. Does the definition of “fit” not include strength? Besides the “clean” portion of this “competition,” was there any real test of absolute strength? You make a good point about them sticking to conditioning, because that’s what Crossfit is, but if so, then they probably shouldn’t stick buzzwords like “strength” and “power” in their definition of “fitness.” I don’t understand why there was not at least one test of absolute strength each day.

    Also no softball toss.

      • I think he means more specific to strength. The medball toss off of a GHD isn’t a strength thing at all, that could be considered power (although I think it’s still silly) in the same way that shot put isn’t considered strength.

        And yeah, 150 lb medball work is hard, but sustaining heavy stuff over time isn’t strength either. I don’t know if they need more strength stuff to serve their purpose, but they probably consider the clean as the strength element (which I don’t mind too much).

    • The team portion had 2RM front squat, but other than that, pretty much all of the Regional/Games stuff was more Oly than pure strength…

  6. Justin, while I realize that there is a technical definition of fitness (I believe this is defined your book ‘Fit’) I’ve always kind of though it’s tough to really pin down. To me, the definition of fit, or fittest, seems to be heavily reliant on the context within which it is applied. For example, within the context of a marathon a marathon runner will possess more fitness than a powerlifter, but this would obviously not be the case in a lifting event. I can see what Crossfit are trying to do with their ‘fittest man/woman in the world,’ thing but at the end of that day aren’t they just finding the fittest person within the context of their own testing protocol? And wouldn’t this be true of any fitness testing protocol?

    • It’s true if you don’t have a quantified definition of fitness. If you go off of the idea that they aimed to test the “10 elements of fitness” that Glassman acknowledged, then I don’t think this competition did that. Instead, I think that they tested it within the context of what CrossFit is.

      For the most part, I’d agree with CrossFit with how they did it this year, but I’d probably have events more balanced in the three elements (strength/mobility/endurance) instead of focusing so much on the endurance aspect.

      I guess CF would argue that “stamina” is needed to get through the entire weekend, but they added a different element (endurance over several days) by having so many workouts.

      But, I’d submit that a representation of fitness is dependent on the metrics, yet I would have done it a bit different to be more well rounded.

      • Stamina is needed because they have a week long ESPN contract and they have to keep content rolling out. if your athletes are done faster and have fewer work outs to do, even if it means they are lifting more weight, you have less TV / computer time: ie this is a business and they want to make $$

        Do you think castro glassman and crew really think about what defines fitness?

        professional contrarian.

        • I think I forgot to leave out a statement like this. I had planned on saying something like,

          “However, this is a televised event, and there needs to be events worth televising. That may detract from what would be the best types of events.”

          RE: Castro/Glassman/et al — I think they have both the marketing aspect and their notion of fitness in mind as opposed to only being concerned about the money.

  7. I think the crossfit games has some cool elements, i didn’t know about the mini-triathalon. If they had in some agility/skills comps and a strongman day that would be more of a “fittest person in the world” type of competition in my mind.

  8. Just wait. Some company will start selling sledgehammers exclusively for fitness now. At least it will make for some lolzy commercials.

  9. The Crossfit Games doesn’t find the fittest person on earth. It finds the fittest white guy on earth that can afford $150/month to train at a well equipped Crossfit facility. Considering how dominant black athletes are in other competitions, it’s a little odd that there’s so few competing in the Crossfit Games isn’t it? It’s a financially prohibitive endeavor without a doubt…

    • To be fair, you don’t need to belong to a box to train for the games. It may not be common, but I think Ben Smith (I think that’s his name) trains at home for instance. Now that $250k is on the line I bet you’ll start to see more people from outside the CF world in the Games. It may sound like heresy, but I could even picture ex-Olympians giving it a go as soon as they’re done competing in their Olympic sport. For a lot of them $250k would be a bigger pay day than anything else they would do.

      • Yeah you don’t NEED to, but I mean outfitting a home gym with the equipment you need to prepare for the Crossfit Games is no small task either.

        You’re right though, hopefully the pay check will bring out a bigger variety of people in coming years. It would be pretty cool to see what some mega-athletes could do after training for something like the games.

        Related note, has anyone been following AJ Roberts new Crossfit log? This guy:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLOlLhT8tMg&feature=player_embedded

        Left Westside Barbell after deciding he had accomplished what he wanted to accomplish and is now going to try to win the Crossfit Games next year. Should be cool to follow.

      • Totally, and you’re already seeing this happen. Google Gord Mackinnon. He’s dominated the men’s Masters 50-54 the last two years. Old dude with a home gym, who just happened to be one of the top international rugby flankers, playing for the Canadian national team for 11 years.

    • Aren’t most sports expensive to train at a high level? I’m sure that the vast majority of top athletes spend at least $150/month on their training. The difference is that CF doesn’t pay that much if you win, so it’s not going to attract the absolute highest caliber of athlete.

  10. After watching some of the online clips, i was impressed with those people and their conditioned selves. You couldn’t argue that it wasn’t a high workload.
    Using your definition of fitness Justin, you could determine each of those competitors as more fit than the majority of the populace of the world.
    As for comparing the relevance to the Olympics, while the world is still learning about Crossfit, the Olympics and the marketing bonanza it has become is still the juggernaught alongside the Soccer World Cup.

  11. Very fair analysis. As with everything else on this site, I think you did a good job of highlighting the good points while also adding in your opinion of how you would do things differently to improve on it.

  12. I agree with most of the analysis. I would have loved to see Castro throw in a Corssfit Total to test absolute strenth (1RM squat, deadlift, overhead press) but I think there was one very good reason for not doing that…the risk of injury. It is one thing to push those types of heavy weights, but another thing altogether to go for heavy 1 rep maxes in the context of a weekend with 12-15 other brutal workouts when $250,000 is on the line.

  13. good analysis. My thoughts…

    1) the definition of fitness is so wide open that it is hard to ever say “the fittest on planet whatever” because every one has their own reality. To place a standard on fitness is almost impossible. Yes an overweight 40 year old is less fit than a 25 year old athlete or crossfitter but what separates the fit from the fitter or the fittest. is it bodyfat? Is it is strength? is it endurance? is it the ability to throw a medicine ball while doing a GHD sit-up? If fitness is truly a goal then why not have a blood work test or a VO2 max test added in also or even throw in other medical tests. Crossfit has created a standard (albeit it is an artificial standard of their own accord) and a niche that gives them the marketing right to call someone the fittest.

    2) that being said I agree that the volume that the competitors had to go through is insane and I think partly that crossfit thrives on a bit of controversy whether it is volume, or lack of equality in the 10 categories of fitness, or in the 1 or 2 weird events they throw in.

    3) I also think that the games gives crossfit a bad name. In reality the games athlete is less than .1 percent of the crossfit population. I compare the games to men’s professional softball in the regard that it is a place where athletes go to replace their first sport. The evidence or shift will be when kids skip other sports and choose to only compete at crossfit.

    4) the most annoying thing in regards to crossfit and its detractors is the necessity for everyone to whip out their credentials and get in a pissing match about how you have to be strong, or you have to have endurance, or you have to have skill. To me half of the problem is that people neglect the fact that it is mostly about training for health and fitness (exercise and nutrition) versus training for competitive events (whatever that event may be from powerlifting to crossfit).

  14. Why is everyone up in arms over their claim of “Fittest in the World”? World’s Strongest Man uses a similar phrase, and does it truly determine the strongest man in the world? It isn’t even the heaviest strongman competition as the Arnold would probably take that crown. I don’t see many people taking issue with WSM’s claim.

    I feel like most people’s hang up with CF is all the baggage outside of the Games. All the stupidity of HQ, the questionable programming on the main site, tons of moronic stuff happening within the CF community, etc. Take the Games on their own, without taking any of that other stuff into account, and I think you have a pretty legitimate contest. Are there things I would change? Sure, but there are things I would change about football (rules overprotecting the QB), soccer (need to be harsher on diving), etc. so I don’t think the CF Games are unique in that viewers would do some things differently.

  15. Wasn’t able to watch any of the Games or pay much attention to the events. Based on my quick read, they seem to be a lot better than last year (with some exceptins). I’ve always been annoyed by crossfit’s marketing gimmick of “fittest on earth” and it’s event more painful when they go to lengths to try defending the claim. These people are fit-ER than a majority of the population and they do well in their specialized field. Leave it at that.

    Few things I wanted to throw out:
    1) With the ESPN contract, the programming for the Games has to cater to the audience. While a 1RM backsquat is awesome, most of the general public doesn’t have the attention span or interest to watch 100 people squat. Flexibility is part of the definition as well, no one complains that’s not tested. Further, the programming doesn’t need to combine all of what crossfit is into one weekend. All of the people who qualify or are seeking to qualify in the future incorporate a decent amount of strength training into their programming. Maybe not as much focus as most on this website, but everyone has different goals.
    2) Don’t think the medball clean was intended to be a slap in the face to Greg Everett. They may have called it a medball clean, but getting a 150# medball to your shoulder is more like lifting an atlas stone than it is that stupid medball squat clean that they try teaching in Level 1 certs.
    3) Would love to see a followup post with your thoughts on what the training program for someone seeking to qualify for the crossfit games should look like. Always learn a lot from your programming posts. Do you currently program/consult for anyone with this goal?

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  17. I figured the Medball Clean as well a safer version of an Atlas stone clean. Don’t have to worry about dropping one and creating hamburger foot.

    I like the Obstacle courses but wish they would have done them without omitting some of the obstacles.

    The Glute Ham Medball throw was ridiculous and retarded. I’d rather just see a backwards overhead medball throw. Used to do those and it was pretty fun. Softball throw was mildly interesting. I’d rather see them throw a discus or shotput. Why the hell not?

    Nice to see they had a mini triathlon. Let’s face it, we just want to see clips of it and not watch it for an hour.

    I think last year they did L sit test as one of the pre-events. Most people did them barely shitty, bending their knees to the point it wasn’t an L but at times a tuck or criss cross L. Lame. Judging fiasco.

    I like standing long jump but it’s probably pretty boring to watch. Sometime like broad jump across 50 feet in a metcon might be interesting but judges would have to be super strict people didn’t step out of the jump or hop or other BS.

    I thought they did some sort of HS walk test last year as well.

  18. Pingback: CrossFit Tropics » Tuesday 28 August 2012

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