First Team Workout of the 2019 CrossFit Games Announced
The 2018 CrossFit Games were held from April 14th to May 3rd at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The competition was divided into two categories: Open and Masters. All competitors had to compete under one of these three divisions to win a spot in the final event which will take place on June 6th at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
There are two types of athletes competing in the Games: Open and Masters. Open means anyone with a fitness level can enter, while Master means only those who have reached a certain fitness level are allowed to participate. There are no age limits or weight requirements for any division; however, it’s recommended that all competitors weigh between 150 – 190 pounds (70 – 100 kg). Athletes must be able to complete at least five rounds of each workout within the time limit set by their category.
Each athlete is given a personal scorecard that lists the number of completed rounds and the total time spent in each round. The higher your personal score, the better you do in each round. Your overall performance is calculated by adding up your individual scores and then dividing them by five. You may view your results here: Results | Scores | Rankings .
Athletes are awarded points based on how they perform during each workout. The points are then added up and the top five athletes in each division move on to compete in the final event. The Open division had 65 men and 58 women, while the Masters division had 21 men and 18 women.
The CrossFit Games were started in 2007 by former gymnast Greg Glassman and currently hosts over 200,000 competitors from around the world. The first competition was a simple affair with only 13 entrants; since then it has grown substantially every year.
The CrossFit Games has been called the “Super Bowl of Fitness” and has been compared to the Olympics for its international popularity and ability to draw crowds of enthusiastic fans.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (such as pull-ups, push-ups, and squat thrusts), and use of free weights. The games are intended to push participants to their absolute limits and beyond.
Crossfit uses movements that are functional and mimic movements used in real life situations. For example, deadlifts are used to pick up a heavy object off the floor like a baby or a bag of groceries. Clean and jerks are used to pick objects up off the floor and then ascend a flight of stairs. Thrusters are used to get out of the way of oncoming traffic if you fall off a motorcycle.
All of these movements are combined into a series of workouts at the Games that push participants to their limits. The workout is timed and usually lasts for five to twenty minutes depending on the type. It’s not uncommon for these workouts to continue well past the time limit and into overtime, hence the need for extreme conditioning.
Workouts are scored by a judge who determines whether you’ve completed the required number of reps for each movement. For example, in the snatch workout you are required to do five overhead squats, five squat cleans, and five squat snatches for a total of fifteen reps of each movement. If you complete all thirty reps before the time limit is up then your score for that movement is 100%. If you finish all fifteen within the time limit, but took longer than the allotted time to do so then your score will be lower than 100%.
As the competition gets tougher so do the workouts. Here are examples of two of the many workouts from this year’s competition.
Snatch: Five rounds, each for time of:
1-2-3-4-5 reps of:
• Snatch weight
Rest the remainder of the time remaining after Round 5. Load the bar with your designated weight (which should be challenging but not impossible for you to achieve).
Time Cap: 12 minutes
Rope Climb for Time: Using a 15 rope climb, complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes. Time Cap: 7 minutes
In 2009, the top three male finishers in the 30-34 age division were all arrested and charged with intent to sell for trying to sell a large amount of ephedrine they planned to use to manufacture illegal performance enhancing drugs. Although ephedrine is a legal over the counter supplement in most states, it’s illegal to sell or buy large quantities without a license.
The first Crossfit Games were held in 2007, as a way to find the most fitness athletes in the world. The top three finishers that year were named and every year since then, the competition has grown more and more extreme. In 2010, 17-year-old Texan Sam Dancer won first place in a tie breaker with a time of 11:08. In 2011, the fourth annual Crossfit games brought the best of the best of that year together to compete.
That year a 23-year-old Californian named Jason Khalipa won with a time of 10:04.
This year’s competition took place in Carson, California at the Home Depot Center and it was officially sanctioned by Crossfit. The events were similar to ones we’ve seen in the past but far more extreme.
The competition takes place over three days and includes a swimming test, a fitness test, and finally an endurance test. The swimming and fitness tests are designed to find the fastest competitors while the endurance test is designed to find the most well-rounded.
The first event is a swim test which consists of two 500-yard freestyle races. The time to beat is 2:35. In 2010, the fastest time was achieved by Australian Ryan Wolff who completed the race in 2:26. This year, the swimming test was replaced by a 400-meter run with athletes being judged on their running form.
The second event is a fitness test that consists of a 1,000-meter row, 55 push-ups in as few sets as possible, and 55 sit-ups in as few sets as possible. The time to beat is 5:46. In 2010, the fastest time was achieved by Canadian Alessandro Botturi who finished in 5:13.
The final event is a combined endurance test that lasts the longest. The competitors face a couple of hundred pull-ups, a few hundred push-ups, and a few hundred sit-ups, and then they run five miles in the shortest amount of time.
This year, 24 of the fittest men in the world converged on Carson, California to find out who was the fittest. These are their stories.
The 24 competitors range in age from 20 to 38 years old and they’ve been training anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. Most of them are in excellent shape, although a few of them have significant weaknesses in their fitness that may or may not be exposed during the competition.
Athletes such as 28-year-old Noah Ohlsen and 34-year-old James Newbury aren’t just fit, they’re muscular. They’re the sort of people who could be models in fitness magazines. Others such as 24-year-old Lucas Parker and 32-year-old Marcus Hendrin are a little slimmer. They’re the sort of people who look like they live in the gym rather than spending hours with a 365 calorie venti mocha frappuccino every day.
The youngest competitor is 20-year-old Luis Tolentino. He’s a full time student and a part time Crossfit instructor. At the age of 18, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and his passion for fitness was born out of having to monitor his blood sugar all day long.
The oldest competitor is 38-year-old Jason Hartlove. He’s married and has two young daughters. He owns his own Crossfit gym in Boston which he runs with his wife. His gym is so popular that he had to create a waitlist with over 200 people just so he could get a spot.
At the tender age of 32, he suffered a heart attack that nearly killed him. Doctors told him then that his body was “pretty much broken.” After recovering from his heart attack, he transformed himself into the fittest man in his town, then in his state, and finally across the entire United States of America.
The 21-year-old Lars Ackerman has been deaf since he was a toddler. He was born with a genetic condition called Mondini Dysplasia which affects the development of the inner ear. Despite being deaf, Lars is an incredible athlete. As a kid, he played every sport you can imagine from football to swimming to wrestling.
He’s also an outstanding student who studies chemical engineering in college. However, despite his overwhelming capability, he has always struggled with his confidence. After getting teased when he was younger, he became incredibly shy. With the support of his family and friends, Lars has gained the confidence to pursue his dreams and goals in life.
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up after having dreamt of being chased by an lion. It looks around and sees that it’s still in Africa. Then it remembers that it’s still a gazelle.” — Herbert Herzog
1ST EVENT: MAX PULL-UPS
All the competitors take their places on the Pull-Up bar. They’re all wearing heavy weights that add resistance around their waists to simulate the weight of water, which will be added gradually throughout the competition. Lars is in last place right at the start. He’s seated in front of a giant clock with 20 minutes displayed on it.
As the clock begins to tick, the participants start doing their Pull-Ups. Every time they complete one, the clock moves ahead one second.
What a wonderful lead Lars has from the very beginning. He’s extremely strong in this event and he absolutely knows it. Meanwhile, other athletes seem to be struggling with their first couple of reps.
After two minutes, everyone is getting really tired. They continue to hang on with long pauses in between each rep. Nobody has fallen off yet, but this is as difficult as it gets.
The clock ticks up to 10:00 and everyone is still going. Most people are now working on absolute muscle memory and their bodies are shutting down. Reaching up for one more Pull-Up is nearly impossible, yet somehow these determined athletes manage to do it. 11:00 …
12:00 … the clock hits 13:00. Three athletes manage to pull themselves over the finish line, but they’re too tired to even raise their hands in celebration. Lars Ackerman and another athlete, however, are not finished yet. Both of them have one hand on the bar and they’re both struggling to pull their bodies up.
The digital clock seems to move in slow motion as both athletes continue to fight with everything they have in them. Muscles fail, tendons snap and skin rips. The rest of the audience holds its breath, but these two are oblivious to everything around them. Finally, Lars’ hand slips off the bar and he crumples to the floor.
The other athlete manages to pull his entire body up just in time for the clock to tick over to 20 minutes. He falls backwards against the wall and screams in ecstasy while everyone else tries to catch their breath.
“Lars has won!” Senka yells out, “He’s covered himself in glory!”
The crowd claps and hollers as Lars is helped out of the coliseum.
2ND EVENT: DEADLIFT
A few moments later, the second event begins. The weights have been loaded onto the bar. All the athletes stand around a few feet back from it. When the announcer calls out the command, they all bend down and grip it to see who can lift it the fastest.
“On your marks…”
The competitors bend down and grip the bar.
They straighten their legs and Archos’ massive bulk makes the entire stage rumble. Lars Ackerman seems to stand nearly straight up, using his powerful legs to lift it a few inches off the ground.
And before anyone else has even started pulling, Lars slams the bar back onto the platform with a thunderous crash. The bar bends and the weights crash to the floor, but are ultimately held in place by a system of pulleys. The announcer seems baffled for a moment, but then quickly recovers.
“Lars Ackerman has lifted 5 times his body weight! That is the second highest score ever recorded!”
The crowd goes wild and begins chanting his name.
“Lars! Lars! Lars!”
He raises his arms above his head to acknowledge the crowd’s support.
Lars leaves the arena and the second portion of the event begins. The bar is loaded up with hundreds of extra pounds and the contestants have to try to lift it as many times as they can in a two minute period. Each rep must be started from a dead stop and after going for just a few seconds, athletes are seen dropping out of the competition one by one. After two minutes, only Lars is left and he very slowly eeks out 10 more reps.
The crowd goes wild once again and he leaves amid their praise.
That Friday, you receive your first payment. You’re not sure how much it is, but it’s more money than you’ve ever seen at one time in your entire life. You decide to celebrate by buying a hot dog from a street vendor. As you eat, you watch people pass by, enjoying their weekend.
You check to see how much money you have left and put the remainder in your pocket, as you’ll need it for the week.
The days pass by a bit more slowly after the excitement of the last two events. You and Ian spend a lot of time at the arena, but there isn’t much to do while you wait around. The third and final event is the only thing that stands out.
3RD EVENT: LOG LIFTING
This event takes place over two days and is a test of sheer strength. Much like the deadlift, athletes must see how many times they can lift a giant log off the ground in a minute. Due to its length and immense weight, it cannot be flipped over like a barbell so competitors lift from both ends in an attempt to spin it around. The Log is prone to shifting when lifted and whoever lifts from underneath must take care to not get crushed.
This is especially dangerous as the winning strategy seems to involve getting as close to your opponent as possible in an effort to push them out of the way. No technique seems to give a distinct advantage, so this comes down purely to strength.
The day before the event you begin your training. After working your usual shifts at the inn, you go for long walks with Lars around Chail. You both live in an outskirt village far from the city center, so it takes a whole hour of jogging just to reach the city gates. Once there, you spend several hours practicing your technique.
It’s different from what you’re used to and can’t be perfected in such a short time, but you manage to build up a sweat all the same.
You continue your training the next day and are joined by Ian, who is eager to practice alongside you. You welcome the company and the three of you spend the whole day lifting logs, taking breaks and then lifting some more. The exercise is by no means boring as you are preparing for a major event. That night, you return home feeling exhausted but satisfied that you gave your all today.
You sleep well that night and are outside well before sunrise as usual. The next two days pass idly as you await the announcement of the events.
The morning of the third to last day arrives with a light rain. You walk outside and find Ian waiting for you under an awning. He looks as tired as you feel.
“You should’ve woke me,” you say. “I could’ve joined you for another training session.”
“I did try,” Ian replies, “but you were dead to the world. I’ll wake you up for the final event announcement.”
“I doubt whether I’ll be able to get back to sleep, but I’ll try,” you say.
Hours later, you receive a message from Ian.
Ian: The events have been announced! Let’s meet up at the arena as soon as possible
You: I’ll be there soon
The events are as follows:
1ST EVENT: BATTLE ROYALE
This is exactly what it says on the tin. A royale battle between all twenty of the remaining competitors. There can only be one winner, so everyone is expected to fight until dead or surrender. Haygarth has specifically stated that he will not accept any surrender and anyone who runs from a fight will be labeled a coward and will be immediately eliminated.
The rules are as follows:
-All competitors start in an open field midway between all others.
-Once the announcement has been given, there is no going back.
-The fight will end when only one person is left alive or when someone surrenders.
2ND EVENT: HASP & HOUND
A simple competition of speed and guile. Competitors will be released into a large field at sunrise with a hunting rifle and a hatchet. They must hunt down and kill as many hounds as they can before the sunset. The rules are as follows:
-Only the heads of the hounds count towards your score.
-Hounds are infected with the Wulven gene, meaning they are nearly invisible in the night and only give off a faint odor in the sunlight.
-The first to reach a score of ten wins.
3RD EVENT: SHOOTING SPREE
This is an all-out battle against the other competitors with only a rifle and six bullets. The competitors are given three minutes to reach a vantage point and must then shoot five of the six assigned targets. The six targets are as follows:
-Far left: Barnabas
-Top right: Lilith
-Far right: Antaeus
-Middle left: Hans
-Middle right: Elios
-Bottom left: Cecilia
…and the one that you’ve been dreading. It’s target is revealed last, after the first five are shot.
-Bottom right: Kyros
You raise your gun and take aim. Your first shot misses the tiny target, but you quickly correct. You hit the mark with the second shot, hitting Hans in the leg and causing a mighty howl.
The sun is beginning to set and you can barely see your target any longer. You fire again, hitting the mark and bringing Hans down. A howl sounds in the distance and you’re certain that it’s an Alpha. This is confirmed when an answered howl comes from the opposite direction.
The Alphas are coming.
You reload your rifle as quickly as possible and search for your next target. It’s too dark to make out anything now though, so you rush down and hope for the best. You find a cave and decide to wait out the night inside it. Just before you’re about to go in, you hear rustling behind you.
“Hey!” a voice cries, “What are you!?”
You turn and look at your aggressor. He’s one of the ox-men, the Oalkwardners, and he doesn’t look too happy to see you.
You’re not one of my people, what ya doin out here?”
You ready your gun, but the creature swipes it from your hands with unnatural speed.
So, mercenaries eh?
I had a feeling I’d be seeing you lot here. The Alpha’s been leading more and more of your kind to their deaths recently. But trust me, that’s not the way to bet.”
You look at him quizzically as he hands you back your rifle.
What are you on about?”
He looks out into the darkness and shouts.
“Oi! Trant! Bring some more of those blue flowers, these mercenaries want to talk!”
Soon, another Oalkwardner comes running with a bag of Blue Dream Flowers, the native species’ name for the addictive drug commonly known as Blue Dreams. He gives you a particularly large amount, then runs off.
What’s this for?”
“Oh, we’re having a little party! You’re invited!
But only if you get all your friends in on it, eh?”
You look at him, then at the bag of flowers. They’ll definitely trust me more if I have some…but I can barely think straight as it is. This stuff is really strong…
“I don’t know man, I think I’m good.”
The Oalkwardner shrugs and begins to leave.
“Suit yourself,” he says, “But you’re missin’ out.”
The Oalkwardner walks away and leaves you by yourself. The only problem is, you can’t find your way back to camp without a flashlight, which you don’t have. With no other option, you decide to wait in the cave for the night. Everything is quiet, and the only noise you hear is the howling of the Alphas in the distance.
You hope to any deities that may be listening that they don’t find you.
Suddenly, you see three red glows in the distance. The Alphas have found you.
You look around for a place to hide, but there isn’t anyplace to hide in the cave. You look around for a weapon and see your rifle, but you doubt that it’s any good against three Alpha Beings.
You hear the growls getting closer and closer, they’re nearly here. Suddenly, the Oalkwardner from before runs in, holding what looks to be the same bag of Blue Dream Flowers. He’s not alone though, he’s brought an entire entourage of Oalkwardners with him.
“Let’s party!” he says gleefully.
He opens the bag and pulls out a handful of Blue Dream Flowers, and pops them into his mouth. He then offers some to the other Oalkwardners, who eagerly accept. He turns to you and extends his hand.
“Come on, friend! These flowers will take you to places normal dreams cannot go!”
Well, there’s nothing else to do. You accept the man’s offer and eat the flowers. The world quickly fades away and you find yourself in a place unlike anything you’ve seen before…
The Oalkwardners gather around you, staring and pointing at you. They seem bewildered by your appearance, but are loving every minute of it.
“Dude, he’s bloody real!” one of them says, “I can’t believe it! We actually found one!!!”
“Oh my god, this is so cool!” another exclaims.
“Guys! Check it out! You can see his heart beat!” yet another says in awe.
The Oalkwardners continue to talk about you in disbelief when one realizes something.
Hey, where’d the other one go?”
he asks, “There was two of them!
The Oalkwardners stop for a moment and think. Then, one looks at you in horror.
“Oh no…he’s eaten him!”
The Oalkwardners gasp in terror. You have a bad feeling about what’s coming next…
“Oh nonononononono!” the leading Oalkwardner says, “We need the flowers! Quick! Back to the caves!”
He scurries off into the darkness, and the rest follow. You’re about to get up and follow them when you feel a presence in the back of your mind…
You see a burst of images from the Beings eyes. It’s hard to make out all of it, but you see the Creature in all its unearthly horror. It’s not a single entity, but rather a collection of hundreds of tiny creatures, writhing and tied to one another. They seem to make up one massive, amorphous mass, with tentacles that stretch out for miles.
“There you are,” it says, “Now we can finally talk. I’m sure you have many questions for me.”
“What…what the hell are you?” you manage to say, “
And how do you know what I’m thinking?
I’m the Gahl’vuhr Sehn, though everyone on your world just calls me the Unknowable. Trust me, it’s much catchier that way. And to answer your first question, I’m inside your head because my people are bonded to you. You’re quite lucky, you know. Most of the time, we’re killed when our Beings are killed.”
It’s obvious that the Unknowable, or whatever it is, has the advantage. Your best bet is to try to stall for time and hope someone finds you.
“So…what now?” you ask, “
Are you going to eat my brain?”
“Hehe, not today. Though I will say your body looks…distractingly delicious.”
Well, that’s up to you, isn’t it?”
You feel an oppressive weight on your mind. The creature’s presence is overwhelming, and you feel like you can’t think.
What do you mean?”
you ask, trying to ignore the pain.
“I mean, this is a wonderful opportunity for you. You get to decide the fate of hundreds of Oalkwardners. You could either grant their souls mercy, or condemn them to an eternity of torment.”
“And…option two is on the table?
“Of course! You have the ability to do anything you want!
Why would I offer you something you couldn’t do?
Just remember, those souls are mine.”
You feel another weight on your soul. The Unknowable has marked your soul as his own, and now he can reach it whenever he wants. You try not to think about what will happen should you disobey him.
So, what’s it going to be? Will you join me, or condemn these souls?
The choice is yours…though I suppose I’ve already influenced you. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.
Now, shall we go see these little rodents?”
The Unknowable extends his hand, offering to pull you up.
You stare at the creature warily, and shake your head.
What’s it going to be, friend?
Work with me here. I saved your life. We’re going to accomplish great things. Just imagine what you could do with an army of our size at your command. We could conquer the world! Think about it, the world is your oyster. All you have to do is reach out, and take it. We could even take over Nyttrus if you really wanted. Now come on, be smart…join me.
The Unknowable lets out a mighty roar and in that instant you feel a great pain shoot through your head. You scream and collapses to the ground, clutching your skull. Your mind is on fire, as though someone poured gasoline on it and struck it with lightning. The pain is unbearable and you cry and wail as you’re literally driven mad.
It feels like a thousand years go by before the pain begins to subside. When you open your eyes, everything is blurry.
“I’m sorry, friend. I thought you would come around quicker, but I can see that you’re quite determined to stay defiant to the bitter end. I can appreciate a good fight, so I won’t torture you for long. Though I will say this…you will be remembered.
Say goodbye to your world, for when I leave, it will be in smoldering ruins.”
The Unknowable’s voice becomes more distant, as you feel yourself being pulled upwards. Pain engulfs your mind, and everything goes black.
You awake back in the chamber where you first woke up. You look at your hands and rub your head, trying to make sense of everything that just happened. The word “Unknowable” is burnt into your brain. You shudder at the thought of such a creature having access to your mind.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Gender Bias in Sports Commentary: the CrossFit Games (J Carlsson – 2019 – diva-portal.org)
- ‘Bigorexia’Exclusive Clip: How Social Media Is Making Bigorexia Much Worse (J Ladon – Power, 2019 – generationiron.com)
- The Effects of Acute Caffeine Supplementation on Performance in Trained CrossFit Athletes (JA Stein, M Ramirez, KM Heinrich – Sports, 2019 – mdpi.com)
- Monitoring training load, well-being, heart rate variability, and competitive performance of a functional-fitness female athlete: A case study (RA Tibana, NMF Sousa, J Prestes, Y Feito, C Ernesto… – Sports, 2019 – mdpi.com)