First NPGL match has happened

Hyperbole. Patting yourselves on the back a little too hard.

Hyperbole. Patting yourselves on the back a little too hard.

I tried to watch the NPGL match last night between the New York and Los Angeles teams. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t get interested.

I follow all of the teams on Twitter and a few of them on Facebook. I have watched videos of them marketing themselves by spontaneously breaking into a WOD in Central Park. I have really been curious how the athletes will continue to participate in the NPGL and CrossFit sanctioned activities or if soon one entity will ask that they strictly perform for that said entity. I see some of the athletes are particpating in large national competitions like the Granite Games – how does that interfere with their team practices or matches? What about that some of the athletes live hundreds or thousands of miles from where the team is located? Is that really being a professional? During football or baseball season the players don’t live somewhere other than where their team is located and they certainly don’t participate in other competitive football or baseball competitions or games outside of their league. Could you imagine players in the NFL playing Arena Football, too?

Just doesn’t feel like a pro league. But, hey, it is still only year one, right? This could all change in five or 10 years.

What I think needs to change:

  1. They need a main lineup that is used 95% of the time. All the rotating makes it seem so much less impressive. What makes the CrossFit Games so impressive is that the same guy that can clean 350# can also walk on his hands for 50 yards or meters at a time. In the NPGL “players” (aka exercisers) are rotating so often it just doesn’t seem as impressive.
  2. And to dovetail on #1 – what’s the point of a “starting lineup” when you rotate between people so often?
  3. If #1 is not on the table to change – how about limiting the number of substitutions per inning or round or whatever they are calling each five minute race. Using 10 people (that’s what it feels like) to complete a WOD that typically is completed by one CrossFit athlete takes away a lot of the challenge.
  4. If the scoreboard is going to show a team in blue and a team in red, don’t let the team represented on the scoreboard by the color blue wear red shirts. God damn that was confusing. For all the thought supposedly put into the fan experience that was a huge whiff.
  5. And, finally, the biggest thing they need to change is the Grid itself. It is such a limiting factor to what they can test. Rope climbs, handstand pushups, Olympic lifting, bar work, ring work….then what? Sure other sports have a defined playing field, but this isn’t really a sport yet, is it? It feels like that at some point this limited set of movements will be mastered and just cannot be performed faster/better. There has to be a ceiling of sorts, right? If they have 10 people per team they could have one person that can fly through HSPU, strict, deficit, free standing, whatever. In other sports you are directly competing with someone else and they can PREVENT you from doing whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Maybe in the NPGL needs some sort of defensive option? Maybe the other team can shoot their opponents with water guns to make them slip off of bars or loose their balance/concentration with other work? I guess this is why they moved from the Pro Fitness League as it really isn’t testing fitness in any way. It’s which team can perfect the movements limited to the GRID.

Number five is the main reason why I don’t think this is going to catch on, in my opinion. Then again, I don’t like soccer and that is doing pretty well, ain’t it? Maybe this does take off. Maybe this is just the first year and there will be some serious changes and it will get better. I love watching CrossFit competition – local or national. I love watching team competitions more than individual, but I just can’t get into the NPGL. Again, I think the size of the team and the frequent substitutions makes it so much less impressive. Cut the roster to five or six and now maybe we have something I will watch.


I have had a few goals for a year or two now: 300 back squat, 400 deadlift, 225 clean, 200 snatch. I have power cleaned 225, but I don’t think I have squat cleaned it. I think I would like to add getting 250 overhead to my goals. I can’t forget a free standing handstand and a muscle-up, too. I am able to hold a free standing handstand for a brief second or two, but I really want to get up and hold it for a nice period of time.

Today I finally hit 300 back squat! Looking at my black book, in April of 2012 I started tracking my back squat and in April of 2012 my max was 185. I have added 115 pounds in just over 2 years. I think that is good? To be honest, I don’t know. What I do know is that if I had been actually TRAINING for more of those 2 years I bet I would have hit 300 sooner.

The 1st 50 pounds or so added to my BS was just doing CrossFit and doing weighted back squats – something I very rarely did prior to doing CrossFit. I did 3 separate Smolov Jr cycles, to varying success. Now, the last 3 months I have been doing OPT programming and that has put on about 20 pounds to my squat in about 3 months.

Either way, it is nice to finally hit 300!

No one should golf ever again, it’s too dangerous

I can safely say that after watching the video below that anyone who swings a golf club is a moron. It is too dangerous! I think all golf courses should be closed. If you like to hit white balls you should play baseball. It is much safer. Why is baseball safer? Because I say so.

Pay no mind that the vast majority of the fails in this video did not occur on the golf course, or even occur when really playing golf as intended, it is people swinging golf clubs at a ball of some sort. All golf is extremely dangerous!

I kid, of course. But it is no different then when a video like this is released I get emails, Facebook chats and other communications from family and friends telling me how dangerous CrossFit is because someone fell from a pullup bar hanging from the door jam of their bedroom.

Rich Froning AND Jason Khalipa?!

Call me what you will; CrossFit conspiracy theorist, nut job, guy-who-just-doesn’t-trust-Castro, whatever….but….

So we all know that Rich Froning has been saying 2014 was his last year competing as an individual. He has said he wants to spend time doing other things, like spending time with his new daughter. Maybe working out four or five times a day, seven days a week isn’t the most healthy thing? If he ever returns to competing individually in CrossFit, who knows.

But now Jason Khalipa is also retiring from competing as an individual? The guy who says he trains the way he does simply because he loves it. I haven’t read anywhere that his daughters would keep him from his garage for a late night WOD. His first daughter didn’t stop him, but now his second will? Or whatever his reasoning.

I applaud anyone who puts his or her family first. I can’t hate on either of these guys for that (if this is Khalipa’s reasoning). But I can’t help think that Dave Castro wants to do whatever he can to absolutely squash the National Pro Grid League (I can’t even type that without wondering what in the F a “grid league” is…and I know what it is – worst. name. ever.). The NPGL is team based and it is poaching highly recognizable CrossFit athletes. Valenzuela, Ben Smith, Sidelle, Hackenbruck, the list goes on and on.

Castro’s ego cost him relationships with Greg Everett and Robb Wolf and any guys who has to change t-shirts every time he makes an appearance, even if those appearances are just an hour apart, and seemingly puts entirely too much emphasis on his hair – rubs me the wrong way. His ego is very large and since the CrossFit community has glossed him “THE Dave Castro” he just cannot bear to lose any of his spotlight. Spotlight that may be stolen by the NPGL.

Enter Froning and Khalipa and possibly super-mega-CrossFit Games teams. I can’t recall where I saw it or read it, but someone asked Froning if he would invite some of the best female athletes in the world to workout at his box in Tennessee to get around the rules to form a super team for the CrossFit Games season – he said he would without a doubt.

Enter my conspiracy theory: Castro has asked both Froning and Khalipa to go team and form super teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one more big name athlete go team in 2015 and have a team with three, four or maybe even six individual Games athletes on it. Start publicizing that immediately. Along with the US vs Europe competition there will be other team based CrossFit competitions. Maybe not the same format as the NPGL has with their grid, but team based CrossFit competitions. The same team in each event. Khalipa has a West coast team, Froning is Central or East coast. Maybe Camille starts a Canadian team. These are all the biggest of big names in CrossFit who haven’t signed with the NPGL and they all happen to be buddies with Castro and CrossFit HQ.

Put together a few super CrossFit teams, put a few matches of some sort on the internet and try to squash the NPGL before it takes off. Just like how the UFC started putting out free fights the same night as Strikeforce had pay-per view events. Strikeforce was just starting to embark on UFC territory and the Dana White made sure that didn’t happen by offering free fights on Spike TV the same time Strikeforce had fights on PPV. And the UFC didn’t put up no-names, it put its biggest fighters on TV – for free! Will we see Team Froning vs Team Khalipa aired on the internet the same time the NPGL has matches?

I guess this conspiracy theorist thinks so.