Just do a double take before you think you are better than a CrossFit Games athlete.. So it is only just over a week after the CrossFit Games and I am scrolling through my social media feeds and responding to enquiries, watching people try and replicate the event. I think I have seen at least 20 people do Murph which is no big deal it is after all a hero wod BUT I have seen at least another 20 odd do Double DT. I have even seen one guy try to replicate the WHOLE CrossFit Games trail run and all and think he is comparable to the elite of the elite. Sometimes I don’t want to open my inbox in fear of seeing another email of someone detailing how they tested a few games workouts, weren’t far off Matt Frasers times and next year they want to go to the Games.
As I said, I have no problem with people trialling Games events with the excitement of the week however to compare your results to those of athletes who are fatigued, sleep deprived and facing less than optimal conditions is a bit ridiculous. Before you think you are even remotely good enough to be on par with these guys and girls you have to put yourself in their shoes. Being there and coaching a few of the athletes I can say the whole games experience is anything BUT replicable.
It really is the unknown and unknowable. Day one of the Games, athletes assembled in the lobby and were hustled onto a bus to the airport, made to wait (for a delayed flight) and flown to a location that was unknown at the start. There they ran 7km in grueling heat, with dust, animal holes in the ground and sharp spindley vegetation. You can not possibly compare your 3.5km out and back loop down to the creek and back with the elements that these individuals faced. With only 10mins from the last finisher they hit a 1rm deadlift and shortly after another conditioning piece that was not known until the start clock was all most upon them. They returned from this epic adventure at about midnight after more plane delays. I know one of my athletes then had dinner and a massage and went to bed finally at 1:45am only to be woken by an alarm at 530am to have breakfast and prep for the swim event in which NO ONE knew the location.
The swim start was 80 athletes pushing, shoving and bustling for position. If you have even been at the start line in a triathlon you might know a little about what this was like. Perhaps combine the start like a beach sprint flag event in surf life saving and an open water swim and maybe even a football match then try and swim 4-500 odd meters.
Next, Murph started early in the morning BUT it was still 27 odd degrees Celsius with a 50m sprint buy in to get to the stairs to start. It wasn’t only 100, 200, 300 pull ups push ups and squats BUT you had to move between stations and back to the rig each round. This was roughly 250m of extra movement in a vest, in the heat.
You could actually replicate the squat clean event and the double DT if you wanted BUT would not have replicated the sleep deprivation and the accumulated fatigue of the run, deadlift, sprint, swim and Murph workouts.
The snail workout with the berm run was another event that had significant amounts of running. Another 2km or so of accumulated runs up stairs and inclines pushing the snail that was in the sun all morning and athletes were told to wear gloves to ensure the skin on their hands was not burned. No matter how difficult you made your prowler to push it was NOTHING like this event.
The separator was in fact just that the separator. The strict HSPU were tough on the rings. Some athletes got away with more than other athletes with regards to form. I am sure the people doing this workout didn’t no rep themselves and have to drop down and re muscle up for each HSPU. Some guys were deliberately NO repping their first rep JUST to get their bodies in a better position for rep two.
The box jump deadball event. Not that hard to replicate BUT it did come quite quickly after the separator as the Stub Hub was only to be used until 9pm. Heats were changed to allow for more athletes to run them through quicker to meet time lines.
The next morning consisted of the 3 sprint workouts. What you may not have seen is between events there was a very short rest athletes had run from the finish line to the sideline and then briskly walk up the sideline back to the start line for the next event.
There is no way the next event with the ski erg rower double unders and sled drags could be replicated as the ropes used in this event were next level. Not only heavy rope BUT heavy handles. Some athletes likened it to doing triple unders or the effort required to do triple unders.
The final workout could be replicated if you had a peg board pretty easily BUT again even comparing Rich Froning’s time with that of the individual men is hard to do as being in a team Rich would have done less than a quarter of the work the individuals did.
Throughout the weekend athletes ran over 13kms, spent over 16 hours travelling between 4 bus rides, 2 flights and commutes to and from the arena. They waited on average 4 total hours in marshaling areas before their events in an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. Please have a think before you compare yourself to the these amazing athletes and the conditions in which they competed.