Regional weekend #1 – predictions

Tomorrow the CrossFit Regionals begin! I. Can’t. WAIT! The first two regions to go are the South and Atlantic.

The South Regional is my favorite since it includes Denver and athletes I am familiar with and have worked out with (some of them). The South Regional is comprised of the old Southwest, South Central and Latin America regions.With the super regions the top five advance to the games, not the top three. In the South Region’s case that is two fewer than in year’s past. In year’s past the Southwest and South Central regions would have sent three each while Latin America sent one. Now five go from the combined region. In the Atlantic region it is one fewer (three each from the old South East and Mid Atlantic regions).

Here are my picks for the South region.

Male

My top five: Adrian Conway, Matt Chan, Christian Lucero, Chris Hoppe and Roy Gamboa. In that order. I think Chan turns it on and with his experience and strategy beats out Lucero who has really made huge improvements over the past two years. I am really rooting for Hoppe as I have crossed paths with him a few times and he is a great guy. He was in the top three last year in the Southwest region until the flu outbreak that occurred got the better of him.

Other people to watch will be Travis Williams and Sean Sweeney from the South Central and Orlando Trejo from Latin America. All three are moving to a group of more competitive athletes in that typically the guys from the Southwest perform better in the Games than those from the other two regions. I will also be curious about Pat Burke. He qualified for the Games last year (and I think it was his sixth appearance?) and he barely squeaked into Regionals thanks to athletes ahead of him declining their invitation to go team or not compete.

Female

My top five: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Amanda Goodman, Margeaux Alvarez, Tiffany Hendrickson and Natalie Newhart. In that order. CLB will run away with this region. I think the lighter weekend (only one really heavy WOD) will favor Newhart who dominated the Open in the body weight type WODs. I also saw her compete against Andrea Ager at the Turkey Challenge last November and she won that match up, too. I like Newhart to make it back to the Games and see how she improves over her performance from two years ago.

Other ladies I am excited to watch: Ager, Maddy Myers, Jenn Jones ad Alexandra LaChance. Ager because she is local, Myers because she is 18, Jones because she is a repeat Games competitor and LaChance because she is relatively new to the scene and an OPEX athlete.

Teams

My top three: OPEX Red, Ute CrossFit and CrossFit the Club. Really, this one is really hard to guess. Hard to bet against Ute who won the Games twice (with a different roster). Backcountry Black is a stacked team. Love rooting for local gyms like both Backcountry teams, NoCoast CrossFit, CrossFit 702 and CrossFit Verve. I do like watching teams better than individuals in some cases, but in the South region it is just fun all around.

Here are my top picks for the Atlantic region.

Male

Top five: Ben Smith, Noah Olsen, Garret Fisher, Jacob Anderson and Jordan Troyan. Smith wins this Region, but not by a landslide like he won the Mid Atlantic region in year’s past. This time Olsen makes it a close race. Troyan barely edges into Regionals, but makes it to the Games for the third straight year.

The only other male athlete I am interested in watching is EZ Muhammad. He is explosive and fun to watch.

Female

Top five: Sam Briggs, Emily Bridgers, Christy Adkins, Gretchen Kittleberger and Cassidy Lance. Briggs dominates. I’m calling it. I think her injury will be healed enough where she runs away with it. Bridgers is going to give her a lot to compete with and these two will clearly be the best of the best in this region, but Briggs runs away with it.

Teams

I don’t recognize any of the teams so I can’t pick who I think will win. In this region I clearly would rather watch the men and women go at it.

Time to lock down my schedule for the weekend so I can watch as much of the action as possible!!

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Box Review: Endorphin

OK – so this isn’t a review of a CrossFit “box”, but I have a category that I use for reviews like this, so I am going with it.

This past weekend a friend of mine celebrated his 40th birthday by inviting folks to come workout with him at one of his favorite places to workout. Endorphin is a “cycle/row” facility. It is NOT CrossFit. Let me preface the rest of this blog entry by saying I LOVE CrossFit (if this site isn’t evidence enough). I haven’t done any sort of group, instructor led class other than CrossFit for at least two or two and a half years. Prior to that I did do some boot camp classes at 24 Hour Fitness. I love lifting heavy. I love Olympic lifting. I love CrossFit. With that being said, take that into consideration for my review of Endorphin.

Endorphin is selling sweat. Long, sweaty classes. I think they have three or five locations around the Denver metro area and the one I went to was on Broadway and Yale. The space wasn’t all that big. They had about 20 stationary bikes and 20 Concept 2 rowers and there wasn’t much room for anything else. The rowers were close enough that when we got off the rowers to do pushups there wasn’t enough room between the rowers for two people to do pushups, barely enough room for one person to do them. And the bikes were so tightly packed that while I was warming up on my bike I started to do some arm swings and could touch the bikes behind me. It was cramped. And it was full. Half of the class started on the bikes while the other half started on the rowers. About 40 people in a small space and when we swapped bikes/rowers it was a traffic jam.

When I was talking to my friend last week prior to the class he stated that there were some “beasts” that would be attending. He said this because I said I was hoping to compete in some form with folks in the class to see where my CrossFit training stacked up against a group like this. Before the class started I didn’t see any beasts. Lots of skinny people. Very little muscle definition in any of them. What you would expect to see in a class that stresses long aerobic activity with little to no resistance training.

The class was 15 minutes on the bike (think cycle classes) with a brief transition to the rowers for about 15 minutes – times 2. So the class was just over an hour and it was basically constant aerobic movement. Here are my observations: Continue reading

Regionals Day 3 Announced

Before we talk about day 3 at Regionals, let’s watch this video of Jason Khalipa doing “Randy”.

The other day when “Hero Day” was released I wondered if anyone would go unbroken. Question answered. The athletes will have to move up the floor after every 25 reps, but as you can see Khalipa can move up without putting the bar down. He does “Randy” in about two and a half minutes. The chatter on Instagram has been if anyone will break two minutes and after watching Khalipa I don’t see how anything less than two minutes is possible. In watching that video Khalipa didn’t exactly take a break at any point.

On to day 3

The first WOD on Sunday is a lung burner: 3 rounds of 25 calorie row, 16 chest-to-bar pullups and 9 deficit handstand pushups. Another WOD that the best in the world will just step on the gas and go. I am guessing the best men complete this WOD in about six minutes. One minute to row followed by the pullups and HSPU in about a min…times three.

The final event of the weekend is similar to the final event last year. Last year the athletes had to complete 64 pullups and then like 11 or 15 overhead squat at a heavy weight, I think the men had to do 185. It was a ton of fun to watch. This year the athletes will do 15 muscle-ups and then a clean ladder (205, 225, 245, 255 and 265 for the men). Those weights to the best in the world are light and they will fly through them. They do have to be squat cleans, but still, this will be an AWESOME sprint to watch to end the weekend.

I cannot wait. Eight days until Regionals kick off. The team WODs should be announced soon. In year’s past I have liked watching teams almost more than individuals because I can root for the boxes I know – like Kilo from Iowa or Front Range or Back Country here in the Denver area, but this year we have the super teams that have Khalipa in NorCal and Rich Froning in the Central. I’m almost giddy…

Saturday at Regionals is going to start off with a bang

The WODs for Regionals on Saturday were released yesterday on the Games website.

Event 4 and Event 5 are basically the same as the first two events from 2014. In 2014 athletes had three attempts to find their max hang snatch and then a single attempt to walk as far as they could on their hands in three minutes (without falling over). In 2015 athletes have to walk 250 feet as fast as possible and falling down is allowed. Then they have to find their max snatch (from the ground, no hang). Will be fun to see how much people have improved since last year.

But Event 3, holy cow! The athletes will have 26 minutes to complete all of this…

1 mile run
50 overhead squats (135/95)
100 GHD situps
150 double-unders
50 sumo deadlift high pulls (135/95)
100 box jump overs (24/20)

Whoa. That is a LOT to do in 26 minutes. If I had to guess I would think that it would take me around 40 minutes to complete all of that. Assuming I am healthy and fresh. 50 OHS at 135 after running a mile – no thank you! 100 GHD situps by themselves is a workout for me. I don’t think I could do 100 GHD situps, full range of motion, in one session, much less after all the running and OHS. 100 box jump overs? AFTER ALL THAT OTHER STUFF?! Whoa.

Last year there weren’t many athletes that finished the long chipper and I wonder if the majority of the athletes will NOT complete all of this work in 26 minutes. It’s going to be a grinder….a grinder with an aggressive time cap.

I am guessing the final individual WODs will be released later today. About one week until the South Regional!

First two Regional WODs announced

The CrossFit geek in me is excited! This means that I am excited since I am a CrossFit geek! The first two Regional WODs were announced yesterday.

Randy

I did Randy when I was in Seattle visiting a box about two years ago. I think it was around two years ago. I feel like I finished it in about five minutes. I don’t have the exact time with me, but I feel like five minutes feels about right. I think if I did it today I could do it in under five minutes if my grip holds up. This means the best in the world will get it finished in about 90 seconds? One rep per second? Do they do it unbroken? It is the first event of the weekend and it is definitely a sprint so I expect to see quite a few guys/girls do it unbroken. Once their hands grip the bar they won’t let go until 75 reps are completed.

Tommy V

I have never done this one, but it feels like it will be an all out sprint, too. They have a 16 minute time cap and I am guessing it will take most athletes less than half of that time to complete.

Two sprints to start the weekend, quite the change from last year. Last year the first two events were highly technical and not really a time constraint. When I say time constraint it wasn’t like the first two events last year the athletes had to work hard and feverishly to complete the work – they had plenty of time to do what needed to be done. This year the first two events will be an all out race. TONS of fun to watch. Just like Jackie a few years ago – the athletes will need to move fast and furious to win the event. The weight is light and the movements are easy. Just get the work done as fast as you can.

Those athletes who have been spending a lot of time training heavy this year might not do as well as those who have been working hard and fast and working on their short burst engine. Although, if you can snatch 300 then doing 75 reps at 75 pounds might be like doing air squats.

Less than two weeks until we get to start Regionals with the best Region – the SUPER SOUTH!