The Sport of Fitness

CrossFit chooses to define fitness as (partially) as the 10 general physical skills: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

A triathlete excels in cardio and stamina, but doubtful they are very fast or have a lot of strength. Weightlifters are very strong, but they do not have any cardio endurance. Yoga folks are very flexible, but can they run or lift anything heavy? CrossFitters on the other hand….

How well did the 2016 CrossFit Games test those 10 general physical skills?

  1. Cardio – I think a 7k trail run or Murph will test this just fine
  2. Stamina – Same as above, but also the plow pull tested stamina
  3. Strength – doesn’t get much better than seeing how much you can deadlift
  4. Flexibility – I think doing a muscle up….into a handstand push up on the rings tests this pretty well.
  5. Speed – suicide sprints required athletes to move fast, same with 100%
  6. Coordination – Again,  100% required coordination on the box jumps….oh…and let’s walk on our hands for 280 feet
  7. Agility – suicide sprint, 100%, the 7k trail run, ability to do double unders with a heavy and heavy handled rope
  8. Balance – rope climbs, muscle ups, staying on your feet going up and down the steep inclines of the trail
  9. Accuracy – you better be pretty accurate when you climb those ropes or properly position your hands to push the snail

And I didn’t even touch on all of the events. I would say the 2016 Games tested all 10 of the general physical skills.

Another standard CrossFit uses is the whole “unknown and unknowable” standard. Presented with any task a fit person will be able to do it. Ask a weightlifter to show up and do Murph. Ask a triathlete to show up and start a deadlift ladder at 400 pounds. Ask a marathon runner to show up and…well…do anything other than run.

I would say the snail, the ring handstand push ups, the heavy ropes, the trail run and peg board all satisfied the unknown and unknowable pretty well.

Finally, there are the three metabolic pathways: Phosphagen (very short), Glycotic (medium) and Oxidative (long). The Games certainly tested all three. Ranging from 35+ minutes in the 7k trail run to about 3 minutes in 100% (or even shorter in the single deadlift attempt).

So, ya, I would say the CrossFit Games found the Fittest People on Earth. Don’t agree? Toss your hat into the ring and sign up for the CrossFit Open in 2017. Or try to find a better way to define fitness, but I would say Glassman has the bases covered.

My thoughts of the 2016 CrossFit Games

First, let me get out of the way how stupid I am. Here were my predictions before the Games started:

Women (my picks)
First: Kara Webb
Second: Emily Bridgers
Third: Sam Briggs
Fourth: Sara Sigmundsdottir
Fifth: Margaux Alvarez

Women (actual finish)
First: Katrin Davidsdottir
Second: Tia Toomey
Third: Sigmundsdottir
Fourth: Briggs
Fifth: Kari Pearce

I didn’t pick the winner or 2nd place. I did however get 3rd and 4th place correct, just in the wrong order. Bridgers and Alvarez were far off of the pace: Bridgers finished in 29th place and Alvarez in 22nd. I wonder what happened to Bridgers? She looked unstoppable after Regionals in 2015, but hasn’t shown much since (24th at the Games in 2015). Alvarez fell off a bit this year. Last year she finished in the top 10. I wonder if her move to Montana to be with her grandmother took away just enough attention to cause her to slip.

As for the winner, Davidsdottir, I guess I am not still a big believer. However, hard to argue with back-to-back wins. Not sure why I don’t believe. I guess I am blind. And 2nd place finished Toomey proved that last year wasn’t a fluke, too.

Men (my picks)
First: Mat Fraser
Second: Ben Smith
Third: Josh Bridges
Fourth: Scott Panchik
Fifth: Jacob Heppner Continue reading

CrossFit Games predictions and who I want to win/lose

Time to start geeking out! The CrossFit Games start tomorrow (for those not between the ages of 19 and 40).

Thanks to Netflix I just watched the “Fittest on Earth” last night. Just finished watching the epic 2 hour documentary on the California Regional on YouTube and now my attention is turned to my schedule – how much of the 2016 CrossFit Games can I watch live vs watching later on video? The more the better if you ask me…but I have a going away party on Sunday and my last baseball game on Saturday. Both of those will seriously impede my CrossFit Games watching schedule.

As I watched the Fittest on Earth last night I remembered why I can’t root for Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet – she is just too entitled. Sure those no-reps on her snatches were close, but when that happens you have to move on. Not throw a temper tantrum and cry like a four year old at the finish line. Suck it up and move on. Happens in every sport. Kara Webb on the other hand? Would love to see her win.

So who do I want to see win or do well? On the ladies side I would love to see Webb, Margaux Alvarez and Becca Voigt all do well. They seem like some of the ladies that would be the most fun to hangout with. Down to Earth, positive and just cool.

No, I’m not rooting for any of the ladies (to which there are quite a few) that I think are hot. Brooke Wells, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Stacie Tovar are all pretty hot, but I couldn’t really care how they place.

I would love to see a really strong showing from Sam Briggs. I find it hard to believe that she isn’t the fittest women on Earth just because she can’t lift as much as the others. When you watch her do any event that requires lung capacity and “grunt work” she usually not only wins, she wins by a wide margin. She just doesn’t have the body type to move heavy weight. Has nothing to do with her work ethic or her training, she just isn’t going to be able to deadlift, squat and push as much weight as the other ladies. Much the same as why almost ALL of the males are 5’10” and under. Sure CrossFit is testing fitness, but it seems that this sport really favors a very particular body type in both males and females. I’m guessing Lebron James is pretty fit, but he could never win the CrossFit Games due to his measurements.

Women I don’t want to see do well? CLB is at the top of the list. The only other one is Chyna Cho and I think the only reason I would root against her is because she always types in all caps on her social media and since I am an IT person by trade it feels like she is always yelling and typing in all caps is a pet peeve of mine. Pretty lame reason not to root for someone…

As for the men? I would love to see Josh Bridges win it all. That guy is too funny. Would also love to see a “smaller” guy win it all. As for the opposite end of that spectrum, same goes for Spencer Hendel – love to see a “big guy” win it. Anyone other than another 5’8″ – 5’10” 190’ish pound guy. Would also love to see Lucas Parker win it all, because, who wouldn’t? That beard? All that body hair? His humor. His pre-lift routines. So awesome. Also really like Sam Dancer because he is freaky strong and does absolutely amazing things with individuals with various disabilities. He has a huge heart and would love to see that rewarded.

As for those who I would root against? Christian Lucero leads that list. Some of the secondhand stories I have heard from when he was in Colorado – why he left Backcountry CrossFit and CrossFit Unbroken. He seems like the kind of guy who says nice things and then turns around and does just for himself. Again, this is just the feels I get from social media and stories, never met the guy. Other than Lucero, maybe I would root against Noah Olsen and Roy Gamboa of all people…but…don’t ask me why. I don’t have a solid reason. I don’t want to say that I dislike either of these two, but I just can’t see myself rooting for them.

On the teams side? I am only rooting against one team: Team Dynamix. I can’t stand Andrea Ager for the same reasons I mentioned for CLB above. I have also seen quite a few instances where she is way too entitled in person when she was in Colorado. I have written about her in the past and why I don’t like her. I have to root for the local teams: Backcountry and CrossFit Omnia. I guess I would root for Mayhem, but not because of Rich Froning but because I like Lindy Barber and her story and the fact that Elly Kabboord can take all that crap from that team and still laugh and smile makes her endearing.

My predictions:

First: Kara Webb
Second: Emily Bridgers
Third: Sam Briggs
Fourth: Sara Sigmundsdottir
Fifth: Margaux Alvarez

First: Mat Fraser
Second: Ben Smith
Third: Josh Bridges
Fourth: Scott Panchik
Fifth: Jacob Heppner

First: Mayhem Freedom
Second: Invictus
Third: CrossFit Overtake
Fourth: Dynamix
Fifth: CrossFit Fort Vancouver

Bring on the hours and hours of watching CrossFit on the internet! (And getting really upset when they show it only on ESPN and they don’t show all of the heats…)