"These are athletes, not soldiers" - CrossFit Games 2015

I saw the following anonymous post below on reddit and grabbed the text to save it for posterity (controversial reddit posts often get deleted).

Regardless of what you think about the 2015 CrossFit Games, discussion and dissent make our community stronger.

I'm very curious how the 2015 CrossFit Games will be remembered. The below text is not the FringeSport view on the Games, but it reflects a lot of the chatter I heard in the crowd at the Games.

Read on, and let us know what you think in the comments. Please remember that this is not the opinion of FringeSport.

As someone "on the inside" inside the athletes village I can say that the general complaints about the workouts you see here were shared by the athletes as well.

This was a lot more than "having to do Murph when it was hot." This was athletes genuinely concerned about permanent kidney damage.

This wasn't "trouble with pegboards" it was athletes with who literally couldn't put their arms over their heads and asked to perform an event they didn't even have a chance to try before they had to do it live on ESPN.

I coach a multiple year Games athlete who had serious money on the line and straight up had to be convinced to go out for the last day because they were scared for their health. Everyone accepts that they are participating in a sport where injuries are a reality. Chad Mackay injures a rib, and Neal Maddox pulls a hamstring; fine. Those are injuries that you accept as an athlete. But heat stroke and rhabdo (which were genuine and WIDESPREAD fears among the athletes) are unacceptable and worst of all avoidable if the workouts were better programmed.

At the end of the day these are ATHLETES not soldiers. This isn't BUD/S it's a showcase of athletic potential.

The athletes don't want the one who "sucked the least" to win and I HOPE the viewers don't want to see what is tantamount to a modern roman coliseum either. Anyone who says "well so and so #1 completed EVENT 12 just fine and so and so #13 completed EVENT 15 without complaint" needs to look up the definition of confirmation bias.

If a drug trial caused 10% of people to pull out because of adverse side effects it would be considered a failure. If 10% of the "fittest athletes on the planet" pull out voluntarily than this should be considered a failure as well.

IMO: The Games shouldn't be a test of survival it should a showcase of well rounded fitness. If CrossFit and the general public don't learn a lesson from 2015 I'm genuinely scared at what 2016 has in store.

What do you think?

Sam Briggs completing Murph at the 2015 CrossFit Games

Photo credit to Michael Brian, CrossFit Games 


Peter Keller
Peter Keller

Author



40 Responses

Rick
Rick

August 02, 2015

Here is an idea, why not shift the Games to a 4 weekend-type event conducted in a several environments each weekend?

Maybe 2-4 events on Sat & Sunday spread across 4 weekends. I’m thinking…
1) Mt Hood or Mt Ranier – snow events
– fly to next site on Sunday evening
– acclimate to environment and final prep
2) San Diego – water events
– fly to next site on Sunday evening
– acclimate to environment and final prep
3) Colorado Springs, Olympic Training Center – options unlimited
– final events and ceremony

Regarding programming and Games, it is painfully apparent that “training to failure” is bad for athletes and bad for business (an assumption on my part). Sure, Crossfit Games are a sport, so is the hockey in the NHL and football in the NFL. Will Crossfit Games become the next sport that has to deal with a traumatic brain injury-type (Rhabdo, kidneys) like the NHL, NFL and a host of other professional sports which have taken decades for problems to manifest? How about employing some tried and tested energy system testing similar to OPEX’s approach. I own PETN1.66 Crossfit in Northern Virginia and we departed from everything that resembles Crossfit, except the name, over two years ago…smartest decision we ever made and our clients progress has skyrocketed. That said, we spend more time defending Crossfit to a prospective client which has worn us to the absolute fringe. Crossfit has it’s own kryptonite! Is it the Games and the Games pipeline?

Dillon
Dillon

July 31, 2015

This is to Joe C. The workout is called Murph in Memory of LT. Michael Murphy(KIA Navy Seal Officer), which leads me into your next comment of an athlete being a cry baby. No they are not when there overall health is of a concern but ask a team guy if he was told he had to do it, would he? Without blinking an eye. Then move on to the next like clockwork. Does anyone at the crossfit games have to do that? Hell no, they can pull out whenever they want. Furthermore Athleticism isn’t what makes someone a “team guy” it is a hell of a lot more than that. Let’s refrain from comparing crossfit to special operations especially if you literally have no idea about one of the two subjects.

Other than that good article I enjoyed the read.

Joe C
Joe C

July 30, 2015

Hey Mer- You are right. It shouldn’t have been called Murph. It was a weighted Angie with a weighted mile run before and after. I wouldn’t call the athletes a bunch of cry babies either. What they are doing is beyond what most “Team guys” could do athletically. As a matter of fact I don’t think any competitor out there this year was/is a SEAL.

Jerry Collett
Jerry Collett

July 30, 2015

Strength Coach for 16 years (BS,CSCS, USAW, CFL1, blah, blah blah credentials to go along with it), 5+ years avid CrossFitter and the programmer for my CF Box for the past 3 yrs and I agree the programming was way off. Way too much volume and the “unknown and unknowable” should stick with the MetCon, not the movements themselves. If HQ does not put it on main site, then it should not be expected to be seen at the Games. Test the athletes based on the demand it is going to take on the body and program accordingly. Power then strength then edurance. Let the athlete be tested in each category when the body is most likely going to respond the most effeciently. Let the most rounded athlete win. Not the one that can avoid Heat Stroke, Rhabdo, Kidney damage, etc. The Games were exciting and had a lot of really amazing events and test, but it also made me cringe at the same time. From a business standpoint this really makes it hard to convince the uneducated public to walk in your doors after they see the Elite of the elite drop out of competition because it was just too much. I hope CF HQ can learn and evolve. Time will tell.

Mer
Mer

July 30, 2015

You fags need to stop calling it “Murph”. Can’t run a mile, do some pull ups and push ups unless you’re in an air conditioned gym, then don’t call what you’re doing anything related to the Navy SEALs or the legend of Mike Murphy. Mike did it in Afghanistan, not southern California in a stadium. Bunch of cry babies.

Linda strawn
Linda strawn

July 29, 2015

Maybe Castro wants the Games to resemble American Ninja Warrior or Spartan Race? It reminded me of those documentaries on BUDS Navy Seal training in which only a small portion can pass. Crossfit shouldn’t be that extreme I lost much respect for the brand during the 2025 games.

Juan M Jones
Juan M Jones

July 29, 2015

I completely disagree. "Everyone accepts that they are participating in a sport where injuries are a reality. " injuries are a reality in any sport, and in life. worst argument ever.
And if you dont understand the “Pegboard” surprise, you dont understand crossfit philosophy. Crossfit programming is for any circumstance that can emerge, and CF Games are the ultimate crossfit test.

Ross
Ross

July 29, 2015

Drew….I am a Crossfit athlete. I started at the age of 12..now 21. I am in college and 2 years ago was a strength and conditioning intern for the football team. D1AA. I can agree with you that some of the classes are random. I can agree with you that the “pull it from a hat” seems a bit strange. However….the strength component to Crossfit and the cycles that we put our athletes on are not random. In order to build strength, we need a set format. A common program used I would say would be “Wendler” allowing athletes to start to get to know their percentages of their squats, deadlifts, press, and so on while not being super complicated. What is random would be the class met cons, which I believe can be chosen at random. People can be rushed to figure out movements yes, but Crossfit has put in place what we call “scaling options” to allow one to build up to say Muscle Ups or Snatches. When it comes to under recovery, that is just a lack of the certain individual listening to their body, the every day athlete is told to say come in 3 days on 1 day off 2 days on 1 day off. The elite athletes, are coached at a different level and perform at a much different level, some being able to complete 60+ pull-ups unbroken while being able to have a 400 + lb back squat and a sub 5:20 mile. The Crossfit Games is just like someone testing an iron man is not meant to be completed day in and day out. You build up for it to do once a year. No other competition is like this one because this does test the fittest in the world. Yes there is risk, but it wouldn’t be fun for the athletes if there wasn’t. The people in the stands for the most part participate in Crossfit, but the ones on the field, they live and breathe it, they love every aspect of Crossfit from the simple workouts like Fran to the ones that blow peoples minds away like Murph when people can complete it sub 40 mins. Talk to a Games athlete, they might disagree with a few things sure, but that might be because something inside is scared to complete it or they are frustrated if they didn’t do as well as expected. This is a sport just like any other, and I am not saying that every gym/box out their is perfect, because just like standard weight lifters and personal trainers their are some that do it wrong and some that do it right. You just need to find the box that coaches you the right way.

Lima
Lima

July 29, 2015

I agree with all those who think the programing was full of holes and Murph was potentially hazardous and harmful. The results and repercussion make it blatantly obvious. And then the pegboard was the icing on the cake. Too much thought went into creating a spectacle (to rival ANW, nonetheless). Not enough thought went into actually designing a safe and comprehensive test to showcase elite fitness and athletes.

‘They knew the risks’, ‘only a few got injured’ are facile arguments best left for the cultists.

Jackson Marshall
Jackson Marshall

July 29, 2015

CF Games is a test of the Elite.
A. It is not reflective of the broader community, no sport is.
B. Athletes being concerned without actual incident are not measurable data points. Just fear…
C. Elite athletes risk injury, Murph – think Iron Man.
D. A load of athletes were drinking beer at the awards ceremony – valid rhabdo concerns I think not.
E. Creating a marketable product for TV is what allows the games to exist at this magnitude, someone needs to pay the bills.
F. Liking the workouts is irrelevant by definition of the very sport and is not scientific
G. CF is not barbell workouts
H. The Games has evolved with the capacity of the athletes, CF as a global sport is not even 10 years old. Organisers only have one opportunity per year to test and reflect. They have a maximum of 9 data points for the past years, 4 at this level of competition. It’s going to take a few more years yet for it to organically find its place of residence.

Jacob
Jacob

July 29, 2015

Agreed, this year was an utter crossfit fail. The goal of programming should not be more volume longer workouts. If trying to get some legitimacy as an actual sport the workouts and volume should stay relatively the same so athletes can actually get better and strategize, like any other sport. It just seems like a circus and athletes were treated like dancing monkeys. Dave Castro needs to step back cause his idea of programming is just longer and harder and this year was this culmination of that failed approach. It seems like when he puts out these workouts it’s just for shock value. Hopefully they can take this as a learning lesson and move forward constructively and quit the circus act.

Felix Rivera
Felix Rivera

July 29, 2015

After several years studying and trying different training methods I embraced CrossFit because of its philosophy and the challenging spirit that it arises between athletes. But I have to say that money and show are becoming more important. I don’t know of any other sport where the public decides what the athletes must perform. Except in the arena of Romanian Circus and that was quite some time. Well, at the end, as others have said, there is always the option to say “no”. For my part, I’ll encourage my athletes to become fitter and not the more injured.

Karen
Karen

July 29, 2015

Totally agree! I understand the purpose of the Games is to challenge the limits of human fitness, both physically and mentally. I also understand that the Games are a sport, whereas the WODs we do in our Boxes are fitness programs. But, there were far too many injuries of a wide variety at these Games. Are we challenging human fitness at the expense of the potential to create a society filled with functionally fit citizens who won’t rely on dialysis clinics, gastric bypass surgery and all number of meds to get through each day? Are we truly creating a “broad, general and inclusive fitness” community-minded program, or are we only out to “forge elite fitness?” It’s beginning to seem like the latter to me, and THAT is being done at the expense of the short and long-term health and well-being of our elite CrossFit athletes. As my coach tells me every so often, “It’s okay to rein it in a bit.”

Kevin Hughes
Kevin Hughes

July 29, 2015

Rachel B- loved your view.. email me.. we have lots to discuss.(kevin@crossfitftf.com) Frank, it unfortunately already has turned off some people, but it has also turned on some others, Peter- yes.. perfect test of fitness.. and there are a few other things but it would be interesting to watch that..

Soon, they’ll have ions running around the arena while the athletes are working out… (you have to learn to drive with the fear.. Talladega nights) and I’ve been around CF since early 2001… so I am an OG saying this… watching the change has been super hard for someone who (used to) loved CF from the old days

Frank Zedar
Frank Zedar

July 29, 2015

Watching the 2009 Games videos shows a primitive display of athletic challenges… It was awesome! The 2015 games was not so much. It’s morphed into a “made for TV” extravaganza… and looks NOTHING like what a week at a local box would look like. “Challenging” has given way to “Bizarre.” I hope some lessons were learned and we get back to becoming more centered. We want to be more inclusive, right? We don’t want people to shake their heads and walk away from our sport…

Claire
Claire

July 29, 2015

I’m glad to see others had some of my thoughts about the games. I was fairly disappointed in the programming this year. With Murph, I think it simply would’ve been better to schedule the event earlier when it’s not quite as hot. They moved the beach event earlier for the benefit of the athletes, why not do the same for Murph? The fact that so many athletes withdrew due to injury or heat problems definitely concerned me (that’s not even including athletes like Kara Webb, who had to be taken off on a stretcher but just didn’t withdraw).

I also think Dave Castro went a little overboard on the odd objects this year. I know that Crossfit is supposed to be about being prepared for anything, but at a certain point it just seemed like Castro just wanted to play with designers at Rogue and fit the stuff in come hell or high water. I liked some of the events, but did we need the special paddle boards AND the sandbags and custom wheelbarrow AND the pig AND the yoke AND the peg board all in the same Games? It further disappointed me that we didn’t even see a barbell (in an individual event) until the end of day 2. I definitely preferred watching the events of 2013 and 2014 more than this year’s.

Mark
Mark

July 29, 2015

It didn’t take too long for the athletes to realize that the pegboard event was moot if they hung together and waited for the time to elapse. Shame really. Lat years final events were strong Crossfit movements…rope climbs and Grace, modified to reflect the level of the athlete at the games.

This year, not so much.

It was a shame the ESPN cameras weren’t rolling for the Yoke carry, which turned out to be a great event.

Rachel B
Rachel B

July 29, 2015

having a CFL1 cert does not guarantee that one will agree with the crossfit methodology or the programming at any given crossfit gym. All CF gym owners go through this cert ( and now more) and guess what…some of them still program completely randomly and not just varied. Are there some decent CF gyms that program intelligently? Yes. But it can be very difficult to find. It is also difficult to convince some people that they are participating in a potentially injurious program. Generally speaking, once someone buys into the “community” they can become pretty blind to facts. irresponsible programming does exist widely and can lead to overuse injury, overtraining, and is potentially harmful in many ways. Crossfit has gotten a lot of people off the couch which is great. But ignorant coaches and those with the same mindset of Castro (a real douche bag) have caused many unnecessary injuries. I have seen it happen many times. I am a crossfitter and a CFL1 active coach who knows that if done intelligently there is minimal risk and it works!! But most (yes most) gyms just don’t get it right.
With that said, the games are a different animal. The athletes that crossfit as a sport and as a career are aware of the risks that are involved with the open, regionals, and esp the games. Castro and HQ don’t care about the long term or short term health of these guys. That is a fact and until the athletes refuse to do some of the idiotic programming it will only progress. As with any other sport, there will be injury jas those athletes push the limits.
In the past, I looked forward to the games but not so much anymore. I did not enjoy watching the programming of this year’s games. In my opinion, there were steps that could have been taken to protect the athletes health that were overlooked or potentially (likely) ignored. I no longer do the open ( for many reasons) and probably won’t watch or follow the games next year as I have progressively gotten bored with castros spectacles. I respect the athletes that work hard to get there but really the games and Castro have lost my interest and respect.

SN
SN

July 29, 2015

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get to watch much of the games cause I have things to do. What I did see didn’t really concern me as being a safety issue. That being said I saw maybe 4 events. This article does bring up a good point to consider, and makes you question what are the limits to the spectacle? It’s like iPhone or a new car, every year something gets a little bigger or better and for a little extra cash you get this special submarine radar for your phone you don’t need. I’m curious as to how much that is going to play in to programming. The thought of “this is on ESPN and we need to stand up to compete with the MLB and the NFL”.

That also being said I’d like to submit the idea that these workouts were programmed with future games in mind. During the open and the games last year Castro re-programmed previous events from previous years to retest their fitness. The first time those were tested I’m sure there were complaints and concerns, etc. Retested those workouts were no problem. These sort of things push our training and really test what the limits of the human body is. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the peg board and murph make a return in a couple years.

Also, I 100% get the heat concern. However, I am from the South and the definition of “hot” in California and “hot” here in the south. That’s my 2 cents worth.

Jorge
Jorge

July 29, 2015

The way I see it, the crossfit games are about knowing who the fittest on earth is, regardless of the weather or place, you cant get to know who the fittest on earth is without giving them the thoughest events (workouts) on earth

William
William

July 29, 2015

See I thought about this too, even the commentators mentioned it. I don’t think it was the programming. Back in 2011 or 2012 there were devastating events programmed as event 1. However, both events were entirely outside. I really think the stadium messed them up the most. There was no air flow down there once so ever. If that had bad back at the beach or even some place where there was a breeze I don’t think it would have been as big of an issue. Nothing of that duration should ever be programmed in the stadium again…

James
James

July 29, 2015

This was the toughest Games programming to date.

But, the biggest ‘programming’ issue I saw was doing Murph in SoCal during the hottest part of the day. Outside of that, it was just a long, tough competition.

But, that’s what the CrossFit Game are supposed to be about.

Complaining that there is a lot of work and a lot of volume at the finals is mostly sour grapes to me.

The peg board being unveiled late and not giving the athletes time to practice was very tough on the women, obviously. But, that is part of the unknown and unknowable.

Rich Froning was right when he said that mental toughness isn’t one of the 10 physical skills, but it should be.

Dylan
Dylan

July 29, 2015

Maddy Myers got Rhabdo, Annie not as bad but had severe heat stroke enough she lost her confid nice in being in the event. The programming wasn’t bad the heat and scheduling in it

Lyman
Lyman

July 29, 2015

Drew you keep harping on this random “pull it from the hat” programing. I Know that the first year (or one year) this was done. But if you are saying that this is what is happening at the Games now, or that this is happening at Crossfit Boxes then you are exposing the fact that you are probably very biased re Crossfit, not to mention grossly in error. No matter how many three letter acronyms you list on your post, the one that would be most beneficial to you is CFL1. Because then you might more intelligently speak to Crossfit programing, and Crossfit as an exercise methodology. As a side not. In the CFL1 coaching course they speak of the Hopper (correct name for it) and they use it as representation of how not to program. The Crossfit box I attend has a very detailed Cycles for the entire year. You are confusing random with varied. Crossfit if extremely Varied.

Dr Gonzo
Dr Gonzo

July 29, 2015

But this is akin to the Games of old, minus the fact you don’t die if you lose. What part of current Western civilization does not worship pain and suffering (or blood and gore)? These type of competitions are built into our DNA. Criticize it or “like” it, either way, society craves competition like this. However, the Games is not the style of CrossFit that 99.9% of the CrossFit community experience day-to-day. The CrossFit Games is a spectacle, whereas your daily WOD at your local box is real life function training. It seems as if people confuse the two variations.

Ashley G.
Ashley G.

July 28, 2015

1. Nicole C.. Are you serious? Do you know anything about crossfit? Have you read any bios or have any knowledge about what these athletes do on a daily basis? They don’t just lift heavy shit. They have endurance coaches. They run. They row. They swim. The do cardio every day. And yoga/mobility/stretching is a HUGE part of their training and recovery too. Ever hear of rom wod? Look into these things.
2. They are professional athletes. They know their bodies. If they didn’t think it was safe they pulled out (Annie, Neal) Murph in humid weather seems like cruel and unusual punishment to us average crossfitters but people do this every day in other states (texas) too. They have the choice to participate.

Ren
Ren

July 28, 2015

I think Drew has some great points. I love training and coaching crossfit, but found myself at times while watching the events feeling concerned for the athletes wellbeing. You can prepare your body as much as possible by training at competition intensity but you’ll never be able to replicate competition day intensity with all the added external and internal pressures.
Simple things could have been avoided like performing Murph early in the morning, its always ridiculously hot at the Games why would you schedule such a demanding event in the heat of the day?
To me this year it just seemed that every event had to be that extra bit too long, too heavy, too demanding when stacked event after event. I just hope it wasn’t for entertainment sake.

Gitta
Gitta

July 28, 2015

Exactly they are athletes not soldiers!!! Soldiers don’t have the option of saying yes I will do that or no thanks I will pass on this coming deployment and stay with my family instead…… If the feel like it was too hard for them all they had to say is no thanks I’m not going to do this workout and that’s it, or show up in the floor and do as much as they felt like doing without breaking themselves. The only thing is that they won’t get any points and at the end the one with more points wins the title of the fittest woman/man/team on earth. I don’t know see any wrong with that, I believe a good athlete knows his/her body and knows how hard they can go. FYI many of these athletes do only cardio in a regular basis, I also know a lot of these athletes do yoga and stretch A LOT before and after a wod…… Most of these comments are obviously from people who has never don’t Crossfit before and maybe jealous of not having what it takes to start a new sport in which every year more and more people around the world are getting into. I have back problems from when I was in the army and guess what??? I still do CrossFit, I have to scaled a lot sometimes, I know I can do most of the movements and most of the RX weight, but I don’t because I don’t want to mess up my back, that’s when you know you have a good coach, when they always help you finding a way to get a wod done according to your abilities ?
Happy Tuesday!! Be happy!

J
J

July 28, 2015

I saw a posting that Annie thorisdottir had a heat stroke and was having kidney issues by the end of it so that may be what the article is referring too but not sure

Jason
Jason

July 28, 2015

At what point were any of the athletes scared of rhabdo? I’ve rarely seen rhabdo in extreme ultra endurance events. Were there that many concerned athletes? Or was it two or there and this author is extrapolating and embellishing for drama sake on paper?

While very intense and taxing over days of competition; the athletes had ample recovery and nutrition down time between events to keep that risk to almost nothing.

Murph is an hour long event. Even done at max effort there is no risk of kidney damage with proper nutrition and hydration. You go into it hydrated and it isn’t even necessary to ingest anything during the event.

I think it’s safe to say that hydration and nutrition were paramount between events and during night time recovery. If it was, I’m not quite sure why anyone was in fear of kidney damage.

Drew
Drew

July 28, 2015

Hello Dave Castro,
I had no idea that you were going as Bill G. (I got the jokes). The original manuscript for crossfit called the exercise selection “pick from the hat” method. I’m literally referring to the original model of crossfit. There is a difference between scaling a workout and progression. The assumption that I haven’t looked into crossfit is a presumptuous allegation on your part. I’m not suggesting that crossfit does a bad job at programming for crossfit, I’m suggesting that crossfit does a bad job at programming for sports. Feel free to hate on that suggestion as well.

Neuromuscular adaptation will occur no matter what (as long as high intensity via %1RM or movement speed intensity). What I suggested is that the programming is not optimal at developing nuromuscular strength/speed that could come from more simple and more direct programming. Rather than do the randomish group style training that crossfit classes do.

But hey, that’s just my professional 2 cents. I guess you’re unbiased opinion towards crossfit has shown me the light. Live and learn

Chris H.
Chris H.

July 28, 2015

Lame analogy, but you’re right. Unlike soldiers, they actually have the CHOICE as to whether they want to participate and do “battle” at the Games. Soldiers do not, they have to put their life on the line and do what they’re told.

Bill G
Bill G

July 28, 2015

Drew, I’m not sure how hard you’ve looked into the programming for a CrossFit gym, but it’s safe to say you didn’t do a whole lot of searching based on the fact that you said this, “The general programming of Crossfit classes is so random that neurological and muscular adaptation are so much slower than simple exercises structured with direct sports performance benefits.”

Each gym programs for themselves and their athletes. Just like each personal trainer, coach, etc would train differently from one another. They don’t all program the exact same. A GOOD, quality CrossFit gym doesn’t randomly program workouts. They use the same idea of mesocycles and macrocycles to build a solid foundation of fitness. In fact, many gyms even have two different kinds of classes. Those for more advanced athletes that already know a majority of the movements and have the ability to do them fairly well and an introduction class that builds up body awareness, the neuromuscular memory of what each movements should look like, etc.

But don’t fret. Most people that write off CrossFit as a whole generally don’t do much digging into it.

Jeff
Jeff

July 28, 2015

It’s always a good idea to recommend and be aware of things that make something safer.

Until then we have still have sports where you hit another human being as hard as you can at full speed, another where you punch the other guy in the face until he’s unconscious, and others where you run bike and swim till you collapse (ever seen the finish line of a triathlon?)

This article certainly has relevance but it casts a light on several sports, not just the Crossfit games.

Nicole C.
Nicole C.

July 28, 2015

Having been a spectator at the 2105 games and having read this article…
If you will entertain me for a minute and welcome my chiming in. The top two things I noticed were lack of flexibility and cardio in all of the athletes. A bunch of those athletes looked stiff (lack of stretching/yoga) and lack of cardio. I would like to know how much time is spent stretching out the muscles and doing cardio. There would be different results if each and everyone of those athletes dedicated a few days a week solely to cardio- I mean body weight cardio- nothing weighted. Such as swimming, running (without the weighted vest) cycling, ering (rower machine), etc. I also can’t fathom the drastic change each and every athlete would experience if they spend a minimal of 20-30 minutes of stretching/yoga or some form of stretching 3-4 times a week. Cardio and flexibility is free speed. If there is a coach out there that can harp on cardio, it will make their athlete/s much, much stronger – allowing the muscles to breath with more exhaustion and faster recovery times.

Dan
Dan

July 28, 2015

Castro missed on the pegboard. ZERO reps on pegboard got your 13th. 2 reps got you 4th. That’s a programming fail.

These other claims of heatstroke and rhabdo have no names next to them. Who are we talking about? What did CFHQ do wrong here? I’m willing to accept something went wrong, but there is zero substance to this article

Peter Keller
Peter Keller

July 27, 2015

I’m reminded of a great article on Breaking Muscle that suggested that this would be a fantastic test of fitness that would be completely boring for the competitors and spectators:
Workout #1: “Fran”
Workout #2: 10 minutes to build to a max back squat
Workout #3: Row 3,000m

Danny
Danny

July 27, 2015

Suck it up.

Brian roach
Brian roach

July 27, 2015

Honestly, I was curious if I was the only one thinking this way. I look at CrossFit like I do any sport. I marvel at how well the pros do it compared to myself. How easily they string together double Unders and pull-ups. How quick they spring back up for box jumps. How quickly and how long they can move the bar. I didn’t get this feeling watching the 2015 games. In fact, I thought it was shameful watching all the girls stand around during the 2nd to last event. I would love to see Dave Castro come out and say I messed up. He won’t and if he does he will drop an f bomb that isn’t needed. It really started with the open when he started one of the events with muscle ups. How any people had to score a zero. I am curious to see what this does for next years participation.

Drew
Drew

July 27, 2015

As a strength and conditioning coach (university: BS, MS, EPC) who has gone secular in a NON-CROSSFIT way (there are very few of us now a days) this has been one of the negative thoughts I’ve always had towards crossfit. The general programming of Crossfit classes is so random that neurological and muscular adaptation are so much slower than simple exercises structured with direct sports performance benefits. The “pull it from a hat” method has never sat well with me. The crossfit games is just a much larger and more expansive version of what I feel a lot of competitive athletes (JR high, HS, and college +) deal with when they start crossfit. They’re unfamiliar with movements and they have to rush to figure it out and fail in the process while becoming exhausted and overreaching in the process. Sure, coming 3 times a week is not the same as doing 15 or whatever competitions in 3 days with random hat drawn exercises but the same principle applies. Randomization + unfamiliarization + Under Recovery = Poor adaptation, damage and overtraining

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