Box Review: CrossFit Parker (and the Parker Duels)

Oh, there is a KB there...I hadn't noticed...

Oh, there is a KB there…I hadn’t noticed…

This review has probably been a long time coming since I did 12 Days of Christmas there before the end of the year. I never reviewed it because, well, I am not sure. Maybe because it wasn’t a typical class? It was a typical class structure with a group warmup, instruction/demo, WOD and cool down, but 12 Days of Christmas is never a normal WOD.

This weekend I competed in my first CrossFit competition at CrossFit Parker in their Duels competition. It was a two man/woman team event. Two teams “dueled” in each WOD with the winner advancing in a NCAA bracket style format. It was a lot of fun and I am definitely competing again.

First let me talk about the box itself and then I will talk more about the competition.

The first thing you notice about CrossFit Parker is their logo with a pinup style girl posing. Pretty unique as far as I can tell among CrossFit boxes. Usually boxes incorporate a kettle bell, barbell or Olympic lifting into their logo, not Parker, they go sexy lady logo.

The next thing you notice is the space: it is pretty big. The box is one of the bigger boxes I have visited with only Bold City CrossFit in Florida being bigger. Lots of great equipment and some really good pullup/monkey bar structures that look like they could be a lot of fun. There is a enclosed kids play area, four restrooms and even a sitting area that the athletes can use. It is sort of difficult to find, but isn’t everything in life that is worth finding/getting a little more difficult to find/get? Parker is no different: it is worth the effort to find.

The people at Parker are great. During the 12 Days of Christmas the members of CF Parker were very friendly and outgoing. The coaches were awesome and I had one of them in my group for 12 Days (there were teams of four because about 40 people showed up for the WOD). The owners are great and CrossFit Parker exemplifies what CrossFit is about as it relates to the community.

With all that being said when I saw that Parker was offering a competition I figured it was a great place to get my feet wet.

The morning of the competition I arrived plenty early and there were signs up for parking (where to park and where not to park), people out front directing folks where to go sign in and also helping ensure people set up their tents where they should.

Me, in a pile, after burpees and thrusters

Me, in a pile, after burpees and thrusters

It was a smaller event with only 32 teams (64 athletes) but it was set up very nicely. The heat times were clear and from what I could tell every heat started EXACTLY on time. There were no delays and enough cushion between heats that the next heat could get setup and start on time. And even with the cushions it felt like the event moved along at a really good pace with very few breaks.

Here were the WODs from the event:

WOD 1
21-15-9 of thrusters (95/65) and bar facing burpees
Partner A did 21 thrusters and 21 burpees, then partner B did 21/21, then 15/15, etc
The kicker was that you had to hop over the bar, both feet jumping, not skipping, not stepping, but hopping. It absolutely blew up my quads.

WOD 2
7 min AMRAP of deadlifts (225/135)
One partner had to hold their chin over the bar while the other partner did deadlifts. Reps only counted when the partner had their chin over the bar. You can switch as much as you want.

WOD 3
Partner A carries a sandbag (45/25) over a wall, around half of the building and drops it in a designated area and performs an exercise. Once done with that exercise they pick the sandbag back up, back out the building, over the wall and drops it into a designated area where they started. Partner B does the same. They alternate for 6 rounds with the exercises to be completed were 10 power cleans, 10 shoulder to overhead, 30 double unders, 15 pullups, 10 front squat and 10 ground to overhead. Partner A MUST do power cleans, double unders and front squat, in that order. Partner B must do shoulder to overhead, pullups and ground to overhead.

WOD 4
2 rounds of partner carry about 50m, then 50 total team box jumps, 50 total medball situps and 50 OHS.

WOD 5
This was the final WOD and they secured an obstacle course at a local firehouse training facility and this was the main prize for the teams. The course looked awesome and on top of the course there was a 200m out and back where the teams carried a 4×4 and finished with 150 wall balls.

It was an awesome event and if they have it again next year I will do it again.

The obstacle course

The obstacle course

The only suggestions we had (there were five teams from CrossFit Crush – my home box – that participated) was that the first WOD being non-elimination was a bit screwy and the female weight on the deadlift WOD was light when compared to the male weight.

The first WOD was the only WOD where a team couldn’t be eliminated, but rather it was used for seeding. Sort of. If you won WOD 1 you went into a winners bracket and if you lost you went into a losers bracket. However, no matter which bracket you were in for WOD 2 if you lost you were out. Winner bracket? Lose? Out. So the way it worked out was that there were teams competing in WOD 3 that lost to teams in WOD 1 and it didn’t feel right. My suggestion would be to just have everyone compete at WOD 1 and not versus another team. Each team finishes with a time and then teams are seeded based on those times. The team with the best time faces off against the team with the worst time for WOD 2. The team with the 2nd best time faces off against the team with the 2nd worst time, etc, etc. Would give WOD 1 some value and still motivate teams to move their ass.

The second complaint is that when guys typically move 225 women typically move 155, not 135. 225 is a heavy weight for most guys and 155 is that sort of weight for women. It seemed like the ladies moved their bar easier than the guys, but then maybe that was just us guys looking for an excuse as to why the women beat us?

Other than those two gripes it was an amazing event. Ryan, Rick and team did a great job. I highly recommend CrossFit Parker for their classes and any future competitions.

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3 comments on “Box Review: CrossFit Parker (and the Parker Duels)

  1. Thank you for the kind review, it means a lot to us coming from those who competed! We couldn’t agree more on the faults, we will definitely learn from our mistakes for next year. Thank you Rick, Lea and volunteers for making it such a great event! I also want to give a shout out to all the competitors and boxes that participated. I was a little scared opening up our Box and property to others, however at the end of both day’s the Box was kept intact and the tent and parking area actually looked cleaner than before we started! So, THANK YOU!!

    Ryan Lilienthal
    CrossFit Parker

  2. […] I competed in the “Battle at the Rock” this past weekend at CrossFit Castle Rock. This was my first solo competition and only my second competition (my first can be read about here). […]

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