What follows is a commentary and an opinion based article mainly regarding the 2015 Reebok CrossFit® Games, Individual Competition. What is written and covered in this article is not meant to be offensive to any of the athletes that are mentioned or any of the organizers involved. I truly love attending the event every year and I leave wanting to go back again the following year. If you have never attended the Games in person and are a fan of the sport, you really need to do yourself a favor and go watch them live. What occurs in Carson each year is a spectacle in both the testing the athletes must endure and the grandiose environment in which it is performed. You will have a new appreciation of how outstanding the performances are by these athletes after having seen it firsthand.
- when tickets to the Games were released there were people complaining about the cost. I can't remember what the exact cost was in 2012, 2013 or 2014, but for the amount I paid for my 2015 ticket I believe I got well more than my money's worth. If you do make the trek to Carson for the entire week, you get six days of nonstop fitness for what works out to about $50 USD per day. People that complain about this clearly have not been to many other sporting events at a professional level.
- regardless of how many top names competed in the team events they are still boring and I'm not interested. Rich Froning is a machine, even in team events. It was really different not having him compete as an individual this year.
- it is much more enjoyable and exciting to watch the Teen Divisions and Masters Divisions compete than it is to watch the Teams.
- there were noticeably less people at the tennis stadium on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday individual events. I am not sure why this was the case, I can only assume that less tickets were sold. I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that Rich Froning is no longer competing as an individual?
- having the Masters and Teams compete in the soccer stadium was a very good idea. It was much more enjoyable as a spectator and I can only imagine was more enjoyable as a competitor as well.
- having the masters and teens finals in the tennis stadium was also nice gesture. For many of them, that may have been one of their best sporting moments.
- there are a lot of master's competitors stronger than me.
- Bulletproof Coffee is not really that good. I much prefer to make my own coffee and if I am going to ruin it with cream, then I will add organic heavy cream that I can buy at the local store.
- why did Emily Abbott not win the “Most Improved” award? Not taking anything away from Margaux Alvarez who by all accounts is the nicest human on earth, but Emily finished 1st place BEHIND her in 2014 and finished 1 place AHEAD of her in 2015. I am no mathematician, but that doesn’t add up.
- 8 out of the 13 events involved a significant aspect of pressing with the arms whether that be for endurance (i.e. Murph) or intensity (i.e. Clean and Jerk, 1 RM).
- 10 out of the 13 events involved a significant aspect of pulling the arms whether that be for endurance (i.e. Swim/Paddle) or intensity (i.e. Legless Rope Climb/Peg Board).
- 6 out of the 13 events involved a significant aspect of squatting whether that be for endurance (i.e. Murph) or intensity (i.e. Snatch Speed Ladder).
- 3 out of the 13 events involved carrying an external load of some kind.
- 8 out of the 13 events did not involve a barbell.
- 8 out of the 13 events involved what I would consider odd or non-common modalities.
- 3 out of the 13 events were at or below 30 seconds for the top athletes.
- 2 of the 13 events were longer than 20 minutes for the most athletes.
- I would guess none of the events hurt (not injury hurt, just this sucks really bad hurt) the athletes as much as the Sled Sprint event did last year. None of the events this year really fit into that disgusting time frame of 30 to 120 seconds with the correct modalities.
A little history:
- the overall volume of the games this year did not seem that much different than previous years, unlike some would have you believe. People are very easy to forget what happened in 2009 back at The Ranch. I remember quite vividly because I was part of that. There were five events on the Saturday, which was day 1. I don't think anybody expected there to be that much work. Main reason, look at what the 2007 and 2008 Games presented as the testing. Day 1 of the 2009 Games began with a torturous 7K trail run and concluded with three rounds of wall balls and snatching. I remember getting out of my car at the end of the day when we had got back to the house we were staying at, I I took one step and actually fell down. Nowadays, this amount of work in one day would not be quite as bad but back then that was pretty much as extreme as you get. I remember walking out for the final event on Sunday, which was at the time a long chipper. I don't remember the exact start time of the event, but it had to be around 1 o’clock...it was hot as shit and we were standing on black rubber matting to boot. I survived the weekend unscathed, but my brother James was not quite so lucky. That was the first time I had seen what likely was a minor case of rhabdo.
- 2010 had what maybe considered one of the most dangerous events in the history of the games. The rope climb and Burpee over the wall event to finish the games. That was the infamous Rich Froning rope climb fail, during which I believe he fractured a bone in his foot. I could be wrong. Back then there were no crash mats for athletes to come down on and Rich took what looked like a 20 foot fall/crash. Rope climbing was also not considered a common movement back then as it had not made an appearance at the Games at that time. This was also the year I had first-hand experience of what heat exhaustion does to you. I don't know how I avoided it in 2009, it may have been because I was so damn excited to be there. In 2010 I was not quite as lucky, during the Pyramid Helen event my body basically just began to give up. I remember struggling to do sets of five kettle bell swings with a 24 kg weight. 2010 was also the first year the games moved to a three-day format.
- 2011 brought swimming into the games. That was the first year a version of Murph was done. Except, in 2011 that event took place earlier in the day on the beach. 2011 was also 3 full days of competition. It was also a LARGE increase in total work volume from the 2010 Games.
- 2012 brought the Camp Pendleton event. If you look back, you will easily see that that was the longest event in the history of the Games. Spanning well over two hours for many people. Ending when it was very, very hot outside. That year I had an athlete competing at the Games and saw first hand how devastated many of the athletes were, even after the Thursday rest day. 2012 also had a grueling mid-day event with the rope climb and sled push event that happened at the track. Again, it was very hot outside and just generally a tough environment to be in. 2012 was the first year the Games moved to a four day format, with day one beginning on Wednesday. The finale in 2012 was Power Clean Elizabeth, short rest then Isabel, Short rest then Fran. Needless to say, the 2012 Games has a LARGE increase in work volume compared to 2011.
- 2013 had the 2,000m Row into Half Marathon Row, which some people people consider the most gruelling Games event of all time. I actually shed a tear every time I think about having to do those events, ouch. 2013 also had two other grueling events with the Burden Run and the Naughty Nancy. I still remember watching the heat of Froning, Khalipa and Bridges go head-to-head on the Naughty Nancy event in which I believe each of them went unbroken, completing all four rounds of 25 overhead squats at 145 pounds. Combine the 25 overhead squats with running up the stairs and over the berm for a total of about 600-700m each round you quickly realize the impressiveness of the performance you are witnessing. I remember thinking to myself, I'm really happy I'm sitting in the seats and not actually doing this.
- 2014 had the Triple 3 event on Friday morning which was a very long event ending for most athletes when it was very hot outside. The final event in 2014 was the double grace. Which by that point of the weekend was just plain mean.
- the point I am trying to make with this brief history is that people know what they're getting into. Or, at least they should know. With that said I believe you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to your most valuable asset, the athletes.
Short Discussion on Validation:
- every year, without fail, the program design of the Games is always placed under a microscope.
- every year, without fail, there are critics that think the design was absolutely horrific.
- every year, without fail, the athletes and HQ defend the program design stating how amazing it was.
- I don't think validation of the programming by the athletes themselves adds any credibility. The main reason for this is that the athletes are competing against one another will do whatever is required to achieve their goal. That's why they're at the elite level of this sport, they don't make excuses like the rest of us.
- I also don't believe it to be a very good practice when the organizers/supporters spend so much of their time defending their position and stating reasons why others are wrong and they are right. If you are constantly having to defend what you believe in the face of much criticism from various points then it may be wise to reevaluate the process in which the final product of the program layout occurs.
- just because an event itself is damn near impossible does not make it the best test of fitness.
- if the focus of the program design is on rewarding sustainability then the design will not always reward capability.
- everyone must be aware that making tests that cause the athletes to suffer and endure is very, very easy. To me, the magic of a great program design is in its ability to select and separate individuals without having to excessively leverage their well-being in order to realize this.
For a complete run down on what the actual event were, go here.
Wednesday, July 22th
Event 1 - Pier Paddle
Duration - 45-60 minutes for most
Energy System Tested - Aerobic Power
Winning Characteristics - swimming proficiency, arm pulling endurance, breathing/relaxation in the water
- how much different would the overall standings have been if they had only done the first swim and completely left out the paddling aspect?
- I'm sure for many of the athletes the second swim would pose quite a challenge given that their arms would have gone through potentially 3000 repetitions during the paddling portion of the event. This was a very simple way of rewarding the most efficient summers.
- swimming as a modality produces a relatively low heart rate (unless you are scared to death of sharks like Joe Scali) and generally lower cardiac output when compared with other modalities such as biking, rowing or running at maximum efforts. This is due to the nature of the movement and positioning of the body. When you keep that position and lay on the paddle board but also remove the use of your legs the cardiac output and in general aerobic capacity aspect becomes quite diminished and it becomes an event determined by pulling endurance with the arms and navigating your paddle board.
- this was a great event to start the games with as it was quite an epic scene. I for one was running up and down the pier following my athlete’s progress on the swim portions. I remember watching Lindsay Valenzuela pass Alex Parker in the last hundred meters of the swim to finish the event.
- I am not a fan of having swimming being the chosen modality for an endurance event unless it is incorporated with multiple other movements. I generally feel there are many other modalities that are better suited to test endurance and more applicable to human capacity than swimming is (i.e. long distance running or carrying, biking, hiking, etc.). However, I can see the value in being able to be a proficient swimmer and how it would be beneficial in arguing for this being a test of the fittest on earth.
Event 2 - Sandbag 2015
Duration - 8-10 minutes for the top athletes
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Recovery + Aerobic Power
Winning Characteristics - height/arm length, strategy, grip strength/endurance, single leg endurance
- much better than 2010. Everything about this event was better than 2010. The weight of the sand bags and the design of the wheelbarrow was much more applicable to today's athletes.
- the reason this event was a good one for testing is that it is just straight work. It's unfortunate that the height of the wall played a factor in athletic success in the event as your strategy had to change based on your height.
- there was a tonne of necessary grip strength and grip insurance at numerous different angles of lifting during this event. Grip strength and grip endurance it is likely one of the least talked about physical characteristics. However, those who possess it know its value.
- Using the red bag to signify the last bag of the event was also a great idea as the audience was able to see the progression of who was close to finishing.
- going up the stairs while carrying those bags did not look easy. I can only imagine the amount of upper body, core and leg endurance being imposed on the athlete.
- athletes that we're on the end lanes had an advantage as they had the stairs to themselves and did not have to share space. Although, I'm sure they were told that they're not allowed to use both sets of stairs but it did allow them more room from maneuvering up and down the stairs.
- I have a feeling that the sumo dead lift high pull lobbyists will be using this event to validate their arguments in the future for the functionality of that ridiculous movement.
Friday, July 24th
Event 3 - Murph
Duration - 38-45 minutes for the top times
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Recovery + Aerobic Power
Winning Characteristics - pacing, postural endurance, upper body pushing/pulling relative stamina, squatting stamina
- the first time I ever did this was back in 2008. I did it with a 20lbs vest. I did not do the pull-ups, push-ups and squats as 100, 200, 300. I did them as 20 rounds of 5, 10, 15. The way I did it is much faster and less grueling, but it hurts more because there's less resting and more continuous working.
- clearly the pull-up bars we're hot enough to cook food. Based on the amount of blisters and tape on people's hands following that event you could imagine that the pull-ups we're probably anything but pleasant. The pull-up bars need to be covered to ensure that they don't get so hot the athletes cannot safely use them. Many people have already pointed this out and previous years have shown this as well. If the athlete rips their hands severely this will negatively impact basically everything they do.
- the pull-up and push-up portions we're the most determinant of placing. Yet again, upper body relative strength/endurance is the determining factor. Although, there was a large difference in the speed of reps once the athletes got to the squatting portion. It was quite interesting to watch athletes like Samantha Briggs just pound out the squats with a consistent rhythm and body position. It was also quite interesting to watch Camille perform 300 squats with what looked like close to 300 different techniques.
- the slight variance of having to wear a vest to perform pull-ups, push-ups and squats is a great little twist.
- however, having to wear that vest clearly added to the level of heat and sweating by the athletes. Even though previous years have had events that were also long and held in very hot weather they did not have the athletes wearing body armor.
- I have no issue with the Murph event itself. I just think the event should've been placed earlier in the day to at least try to mitigate some of the unfortunate events that occurred. However, due to the size and scale of the games I am not sure how flexible the schedule can actually be.
Event 4 - Speed Snatch Ladder
Duration - 30 seconds in the 1st wave to over a minute by the end
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Potential + ATP-CP Recovery
Winning Characteristics - fast set-up, contractile speed, precision
- in case you haven't been following the open, regionals or games for the past five years let me help you. Rarely, and I mean rarely, is a snatch or clean and jerk performed in a similar setting as would be expected in a weightlifting meet. Every year that a snatch or clean jerk is performed at the games for a max effort of some kind it is typically in concert with it unknown scenario. The last when I can think of where it was a max lift without much else involved was in 2009 when we were to establish a one rep max snatch. However, back then not many of us really knew what we were doing.
- in 2012 there was a clean ladder, however this was after a grueling event earlier in the day of sled pushing and rope climbs.
- in 2013 there was a clean and jerk ladder, however this was after the Naughty Nancy event which included 100 overhead squats at 145/95 pounds for those that finished.
- in 2014 there was a clean speed ladder, however this was a new layout for individuals and was taken place on the Saturday night.
- in 2015 there is the snatch speed ladder, however this was done after Murph.
- in 2015 there was also a clean and jerk max, however there were only two attempts allowed and this was also on the Saturday evening of competition.
- one of the things that continues to occur in fitness competition is that your technique and process for lifting has to be adjustable to the scenario. Refining and mastering the set up for max effort snatch and clean and jerk attempts is paramount. However, being unable to adjust will ultimately cause you to fail. The different set-up positions and timings need to be practiced.
- one of the most obvious things to see with speed ladders like in 2014 and again this year is that the speed of muscular contraction of athletes varies substantially at high loads. Samantha Briggs would be considered someone with the slow contraction speed. If you compare her to Brooke Ence, you will see two totally different people. Obviously, the fact that Brooke is stronger than Samantha makes her look faster at the same weight. But, Brooke has the ability to lift max effort attempts faster then Samantha can lift her max efforts (google: contractile speed and muscle fibre type).
Event 5 - Heavy DT
Duration - 12 minute time cap for most
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Recovery + Aerobic Power
Winning Characteristics - pacing, movement efficiency, overhead competency
- Nick Urankar finished 2nd on the CJ 1 RM, but finished 29th on the Heavy DT
- EZ Muhammad finished 7th on the CJ 1 RM, but finished 31st on the Heavy DT
- Rob Forte finished 32nd on the CJ 1 RM, but finished 4th on the Heavy DT
- Ben Smith finished 2nd on the CJ 1 RM and also finished 1st on the Heavy DT
- Brooke Ence finished 1st on the CJ 1 RM, but finished 18th on the Heavy DT
- Annie Thorisdottir finished 28th on the CJ 1 RM, but finished 4th on the Heavy DT
- Katrin Davidsdottir finished 10th on the CJ 1 RM and also finished 2nd on the Heavy DT
- the main thing to take away from these results is that strength will not predict work capacity in events like this, even if the event involves a relatively high load barbell movement for multiple reps. Of course, being strong helps you move the bar with greater ease, assuming your technique is efficient. However, that aerobic system is the back bone that runs these performances. Unless you are fit in this way, you have no chance of finishing high on an event like this.
- the women's weight should have been 135lbs if the men's weight was 205lbs. 145lbs on the bar for women was slightly too heavy.
- why was the audience, both at home and at the event, allowed to have a say? Obviously, this creates more interest for some. Does it create more validation for the Games to be considered the best test of fitness? Changing the loading on this event and the overall work volume (i.e. Heavy DT vs. double DT) WILL cause a difference in the standings and the overall subsequent performance of the athletes on Saturday/Sunday. You would likely see athletes like Sam Briggs and Jacob Heppner finish high on the double DT option, when compared to their finishes on the Heavy DT.
- I would assume that if the regular length barbell were used in this event you would see faster times for everyone. Mainly because the cycling of the hang power cleans and shoulder to overhead would be easier.
- bending posture/stamina is poor amongst main competitors, teams, masters and teens included. The 205lbs on the deadlift for the men, 145lbs for the women is not a challenging load for few reps. For multiple reps, obviously things change. When it’s for time, things change. When several thousand people are cheering for you to go faster, obviously things change. But, those other factors didn’t seem to change aspects of other events (i.e. technique on the Snatch Speed Ladder). I am not entirely sure why this is occurring at the highest level of the sport.
- 16/39 Women finished within the time cap
- 19/40 Men finished within the time cap
Event’s 6 and 7 - Sprint Course 1 and 2
Duration - about 20 seconds
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Potential
Winning Characteristics - agility, speed, athleticism, timing
- IMO, the simplest of events are the most exciting. From many accounts, this was the most exciting event to watch.
- I really liked the combination of the zig-zag + a decent distance for sprinting + 3 hurdles. To then run it in reverse was a great touch. Added an additional element of adaptability.
- However, due to the additional components involved in the event, it was not really a fatigue repeatability design as the athletes were “learning” as they went through on the first one (event 6). What I mean by it wasn’t a true fatigue repeatability design is that some athletes (60% of Women, 47% of Men), because of their learning, were able to go faster on the 2nd run than the 1st. Which, in a true design, that % should be closer to 0% (i.e. 30 sec max cals on AirBike/30 sec rest/30 sec max cals on AirBike). However, the 2nd sprint was indeed in reverse, not an exact replica.
- ALL of the top 7 women overall finishers went faster on the 2nd run when compared to the 1st. Adaptability and physiology!
- 3 out of the top 7 men overall finisher went faster on the 2nd run when compared to the 1st. I would assume that there were less men able to go faster on the 2nd run due to a general notion that on average males have slower Creatine Phosphate recovery (read - short term maximal power recovery) than women, as seen in my testing results.
- the hurdles were NOT a test of jumping, they were more of a test to see who couldn’t maneuver them in an efficient manner. I remember watching Stacie Tovar on the start line and picking her to win her heat. Turns out she couldn’t time the jump over the hurdle correctly, which lost her a lot of time. The ability to manoeuvre the hurdles AND maintain your stride was paramount. From watching Anna Tunnicliffe, she landed on her right leg each time she jumped the hurdles (if memory serves me correct).
- this was not about who was the fastest or most powerful, IMO, as there were too many slow/enduring athletes that finished really high. The reason they would have finished his is that they are proficient runners (i.e. Anna Tunnicliffe, Kristin Holte, Alex Parker, the men’s side is less obvious).
Event 8 - Soccer Chipper
Duration - 4:30 mins at the fastest to 12 min cap
Energy System - ATP-CP Potential + ATP-CP Recovery
Winning Characteristics - hip extension speed, grip strength/stamina, upper body pulling relative strength
- 27 out of 38 men (71%) completed the event under the time cap. Men have greater upper body relative pulling strength compared to women.
- 7 out of 38 women (18%) completed the event under the time cap. The Women's pig was too heavy for it’s size.
- this event was boring. Slow and uneventful (unless your name is Ben Smith).
- the 50ft unbroken HS walk is always challenging. I think the 250ft HS Walk for time at the Regionals should have had a larger requirement for minimum distance, which was 10ft. 10ft is a lot different than 50ft. I could slog my way though 250ft with 10ft increments, no chance I could manage 5 x 50ft unbroken. Just an observation.
- there was quite a huge difference between people that could move that pig and those that could barely get a few done. Some people, especially Spencer Hendel, really made that pig flip look easy.
- the addition of a fat rope for 2 of the legless rope climbs seemed redundant to me.
- once you fail a legless rope climb, it’s all over - see Matt Fraser. I felt so bad for him. I knew once he failed once that he probably wasn’t going to finish the event. This being based on personal experience failing that movement and observational experience year after year watching athletes fail that movement and knowing the required recovery time on that event. What comes to mind seeing a top athlete get humbled by legless rope climbs was back in 2013 when Camille failed repeatedly on the Thruster/Legless Rope Climb event. She continued to fail, even on a 45 seconds rest. Once you fail that movement, you need a LONG recovery time. In a competition like the Games, an extra 30 seconds rest must seem like an eternity.
Event 9 - Clean and Jerk, 1 RM
Duration - few seconds
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Potential
Winning Characteristics - strength, power, speed, efficiency, strategy
- if the Clean and Jerk was placed on Wednesday, it would have been a much more exciting event as the loads being lifted would be MUCH higher on average, for obvious reasons. Placing the Clean and Jerk at this point in the weekend makes for a very different experience, as does the rule of only 2 attempts.
- HQ does a good job, or at least I think they do, of making people realize that they had better get good at weightlifting in various scenario’s. They do this every year. Yes, there will be some kind of max effort weightlifting, but it will not be served to you in the typical scenario. For example, Dmitry Klokov’s max Clean and Jerk is 242kg’s, but HQ wants to know what his max Clean and Jerk is with a mild to severe case of Rhabdo.
- for the top athletes, they are still going to hit near or above the 1RM’s, regardless of what they have been put through. Rich hit a 365lbs Clean and Jerk as part of the Team competition. Ben Smith said that his Clean and Jerk of 347lbs was close to his best. Davidsdottir has a listed Clean and Jerk max of 98kg/216lbs, who knows if that is up to date. But, she did hit a 217lbs Clean and Jerk during this event. Bottom line, you HAVE to be able to recovery between events and over the entire weekend if you want to be able to compete at the highest level. Possessing this ability requires the athlete the eat enough of the right food, get enough quality sleep, progress to a point where they can safely handle a large volume of quality training and develop their network of blood/mitochondria/02 delivery - a.k.a. aerobic system. However, you don’t always need to test certain things to know certain things…based on the other available test/data, you could confidently assume who would be best a this type of an event (i.e. max Clean and Jerk when you are beat to a pulp), even if you did the event in a fresh/non-fatigued setting (which would make for a better fan experience and a safer event overall).
- having 2 attempts really makes for some tension on the 1st attempt. The flow of the event was great. Allowing only 1 athlete lift at a time gives the audience the ability to focus and also allows the athlete the opportunity to be in the spotlight, something they have worked very hard for. I believe this was introduced to the Games in 2014 with the OHS. This was a great addition.
- you don't need to train in this scenario to be good at this scenario…meaning, it still makes the most sense to train to improve your Clean and Jerk in a non-fatigued scenario instead of trying to improve it in a fatigued state.
Event 10 - Triangle Couplet <— what does this even mean?
Duration - 4-6 minutes for the top athletes
Energy System Tested - depends
Winning Characteristics - grip/hand health, pressing/pulling strength of arms, squatting speed
- this was a very predictive event for the male athletes. ALL of the overall finishing top 10 males finished in the top 10 on this event. That sounds weird, but it is true. The spread of times for the top 10 males was 4:43 to 5:39.
- However, the top 10 women in this event was not predictive of overall placing. The spread of times for the top 10 women was 4:47 to 6:53.
- The reason for the faster male times is simple (like you would see in Murph and the Soccer Chipper), upper body relative strength/stamina.
- Camille finished 1st in the Bar Muscle-up event from 2014 (21-15-9 Complex) and also finished 1st in this event.
- I thought this event was going to be much more exciting, but, it wasn’t. I really like the design of it and the weight selection.
- energy system utilization for this event would greatly depend on your ability/time. For the males/females finishing in the bottom 5 of this event they will be taking lots of breaks/rest/fractions during the event (mainly during the bar muscle-up portion). Some people took 2x (or more) as long to finish this event as the top competitors…this is not a slight on them, this just means that the ATP required to produce their performance would be derived, to a much greater extent, from Creatine Phosphate.
Event 11 - Midline Madness
Duration - 12-14 minutes for the top athletes
Energy System Tested - Aerobic Power
Winning Characteristics - Pacing, Running
- I really liked this event.
- mainly, this was a running event. If you run well, you did well. If you can't run, you didn't. The yoke did not effect things too much, but it did add an extra unwanted pounding on the legs.
- I witnesses athletes wearing WEIGHTLIFTING BELTS for this event. Why would you have to wear a belt for an event like this. The yoke was not nearly heavy enough for these athletes to require this. Maybe it is entirely a mental thing? The real answer is that these individuals need to train accordingly to fix this issue. Not to mention how much time is wasted by adjusting the belt prior to and after the yoke carry. Breathing is the most important part of this event, why wear something that negatively effects that?
- Because the yokes were not too heavy, they were basically just glorified lane markers, which did make for awesome viewing for the spectators.
- I told my one athlete, Alex Parker, to "go for glory" on this event. Running is her strength. However, she went a bit too hard on the inclines/declines of running the berm and stairs. She was on pace to win her heat after 3 rounds, then her legs EXPLODED. Oh well, at least she went for it. Like I said, pacing is critical!
- This is a gruelling event. Having to push the pace on the stairs and up the inclines is challenging. There are many times in events like this that make the athletes just want to walk for a few steps. This event would have worked out to basically just be 12-14 minutes of pure pain.
- Sam Briggs would have finished in 8th position on the Men's side of the competition with her time. Wow!
- Sam Briggs and Jacob Heppner won this event. Sam Briggs finish 34th on Sprint Course 1 and 31st on Sprint Course 2. Jacob Heppner finish 31st on Sprint Course 1 and 34th Sprint Course 2.
Event 12 - Pedal To The Metal 1
Duration - 6 min Cap for most
Energy System Tested - ATP-CP Potential/Recovery for most
Winning Characteristics - do you own a pegboard? have you ever used a pegboard? Upper Body pulling strength, adaptability.
- Men have greater upper body relative strength than women, which accounts for the following results.
- 12 of 36 Men did not achieve 1 successful Pegboard Ascent.
- 19 of 36 Men did not make it past the Pegboard Ascents.
- 6 Men finished the event.
- 25 of 37 Women did not achieve 1 successful Pegboard Ascent.
- 34 of 37 Women did not make it past the Pegboard Ascents.
- 0 Women finished the event.
- This event was an absolute snooze fest. Without a doubt, the least entertaining event to appear in the CrossFit® Games finals. However, the race between Mat and Ben was a good one. The crowd got really into that part.
- the pegboard is not actually that hard to do if you have the chance to practice on it. However, if you have never used it before, it is hard to get used to that movement within 6 minutes. You have to learn how to use your legs, how to shift you body weight while holding the peg, etc. When I first tried a pegboard, I thought it was impossible. But, 5 minutes later, it did not seem that hard anymore.
- the rower and the airbike were used is a very poor manner in this event. They were just there.
- the single arm db squat snatch is quite the challenging movement, encompassing many critical components from requisite shoulder mobility, mobility through all portions of the squat, rotational stability, etc.
Event 13 - Pedal To The Metal 2
Duration - 6 min Cap for most
Energy System Tested - Aerobic Power + ATP-CP Recovery
Winning Characteristics - Upper Body Relative Pushing Strength, Kipping Proficiency, Grip Strength, Deadlift Strength
- Men have greater upper body relative strength than women, which accounts for the following results.
- 20/36 Men finished this event.
- 10/37 Women finished this event.
- this event was more exciting than Pedal To The Metal 1, simply due to the fact that more athletes made it past the 1st gymnastic component of the event.
- one thing that bothered me from this event was that if you did not complete even 1 successful pegboard ascent, you finished 13th, why not last place? Tia-Claire Toomey completed 1 successful pegboard ascent, which gave her 6th in the event. Tia finished in 2nd place overall. Not saying that Katrin did not deserve it, but if you don't successfully complete even 1 portion of the event, should you not automatically finish last?
- Katrin Davidsdorttir made a smart decision and basically just stopped trying to attempt the Pegboard with about 3 minutes remaining in Event 12. Giving her 5 minutes of total rest before beginning the of Event 13. Going into this event, she was 17 points behind Sigmundsdottir.
- In both the Men's and the Women's final it was basically a winner take all between the top 2 athletes (Mat vs. Ben and Sara vs. Katrin).
- The HSPU portion decided the winner. For the women, Katrin finished her 12 HSPU about 3 minutes faster than Sara. For the men, Ben finished his HSPU about a 1:15-1:30 min faster than Mat. In a short event like this, overcoming that deficit is impossible.
- before this event began I had flash backs of sitting in the Tennis Stadium watching Jason Khalipa completely blow-up on paralette handstand push-ups from the 2012 Games event of deficit handstand push-ups and med ball carries. He started his 7th and final HSPU at 5:25. He failed the final HSPU 7 times. It took him about 2:30 min to finish the last HSPU. It was hardcore back then, your head had to touch steel at the bottom of the HSPU's! When Mat failed his last HSPU on this event it was like reliving that Khalipa moment. Mat failed his 12th and final HSPU 3 times, costing his 50 seconds, and ultimately, the title of "Fittest Man on Earth". Sara also failed numerous reps, costing her the title of "Fittest Women on Earth”.