2017 CrossFit Open: The Seven Year Itch

2017 CrossFit Open: The Seven Year Itch

Seven years have passed since CrossFit Amplify opened its doors to the public. We celebrate our anniversary the first week of April each year.

This is also the seventh CrossFit Open. Year one of the Open occurred at Amp’s one-year celebration.

I remember marking our first year as a success and vividly recall the first anniversary day, just as I remember each and every CrossFit Open workout since then. From 11.1 to 17.5, Mike and I have welcomed the worldwide competition as a test of fitness. But we also use this chance to watch our members come together and celebrate each other. It is more than just five torturous weeks of physical tests and mental challenges. It is a reminder to us of the community that exists within the Amplify abode.

Amplify had another 100+ members register for the 2017 CrossFit Open. That makes four years in a row at that number, which is always a mark of pride to see among the 300+ participating gyms in the 11-state North Central Region.

100 athletes got the itch to complete the Open workouts and see how they rank on the worldwide leaderboard. That’s now seven years of witnessing this competitive itch, which has helped Amplify members push their mental and physical limits to do things they never thought possible. Each season we have Amp athletes complete a skilled movement for the first time or PR a lift during an Open workout. This is something you won’t see in the digits on a computer screen. A submitted score will never show the emotional struggle or the small accomplishments or the uproar of a spontaneous cheering section at our gym’s Friday Night Lights.

I write this every year: Mike, myself, and all of CrossFit Amplify could have only accomplished this with the immense help and involvement of many past contributors, our fellow trainers, and of course the AmpFam itself.

Community
Veteran members can attest that our Amplify community remains steady as an entity of acceptance in and outside of our facility. It’s a second family.

We have seen lots of changes in our community in seven years– we’ve witnessed career moves, relationship changes, marriages, babies… even loss and heartbreak. Through it all, our gym stands as a place to come together in support. The Amp community rallies behind each other with energy and passion– not just to complete the Open workout or the daily WOD, but to bond in something larger than physical fitness.

We struggle, we laugh, we scream… we even cry together. If that’s not the definition of family, then what is?

Results
The Amplify team finished 60th in the North Central Region. Another good showing among very strong gyms in the midwest.

This year’s Central Regional Events will be held in Nashville and combines the North Central and the Central East in a “super regional” for the weekend. It will be live-streamed from May 26-28.

Also, in a change of venue, the CrossFit Games is held in Madison this year from August 1-6. The best athletes and teams at Regionals will compete at the Games, the world’s premier test to find the “Fittest on Earth.”

Resiliency
The best part about CrossFit and the Open is that it exposes our weaknesses, our goats, to work on.

But at the same time, use this opportunity to look back on what has been achieved. Life is a whirlwind, but we continue to make our health a priority. We all have a life outside of the gym, and we need to be okay with the ups and downs of setbacks and progress.

Stay consistent. You and CrossFit have been through a lot, whether you just started with Amplify or you’ve been with us so long you can remember a place without turf. Our fitness journey is always a work in progress.

The only seven year itch here is the one to continue. Deflect adversity and stay resilient. Scratch that itch to constantly push to become better than yesterday.

Congratulations
So we put closure on another Open and welcome in the start of year eight as CrossFit Amplify.

Congrats to those of you who took on the 2017 Open, and we welcome those who will join in the carnage of 2018.

Cheers to five weeks, to seven years, and a future of fitness, family, and fun.

– Scott, 4.1.17

2016 CrossFit Open: Another Year Already?

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2016 CrossFit Open: Another Year Already?

Well, that was quick.

Yet another CrossFit Open comes to a close after five torturous weeks of physical tests and mental challenges. Once again, thrusters and more thrusters combined with burpees and more burpees to end the Open, helping everyone realize how humbling this thing called CrossFit can be. As if we needed the reminder?

Amplify had nearly 100 members register for the 2016 CrossFit Open to test their fitness through the five workouts of worldwide competition. That makes three years in a row at this number, which is always a mark of pride to see among the 300+ participating gyms in the 11-state North Central Region.

With the end of the 2016 Open, CrossFit Amplify also celebrates its 6-year anniversary.

I write this every year: Mike, myself, and all of CrossFit Amplify could have only accomplished this with the immense help and involvement of many past contributors, our fellow trainers, and of course the AmpFam itself.

Community.
Veteran members can attest that our Amplify community continues to remain steady as an entity of acceptance in and outside of our facility. It’s a second family.

Quite a few of you have been with us for years now, celebrating each CrossFit birthday/anniversary of your own. That dedication and love and support for what we do is immeasurable. And the friendships gained cannot be seen in our Wodify results.

This community is perhaps best witnessed during Friday nights of the CrossFit Open; the feel of our second home has a palpable sense of community as everyone rallies behind each other with energy and passion– not just to complete the workout of the week, but to bond in something larger than physical fitness.

We struggle, we laugh, we scream… we even cry together. If that’s not the definition of family, then what is?

We also had success midway through this year’s Open as we came together for 16.3 to fundraise and support Nate and Jackie Adams. When a cause comes up, the AmpFam is ready and willing to contribute.

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Read Nate’s story. Help contribute.

The workouts themselves?
Maybe you’ll agree, these seemed like some of the best programmed Open workouts to date. Some tough skills were thrown our way, and our lungs and mental will were certainly put to the test. 

The results?
Well, if you are anything like me, you were less than impressed with yourself after these 5 weeks. That’s always the best part of CrossFit and the Open, though, isn’t it? If you’ve been with us through a few of these already, you know it’s true– the Open exposes our weaknesses, our goats, to work on.

But at the same time, we should all be proud. Life is a whirlwind, but we continue to make our health a priority. We are a juggling, high-wire balancing act, with life’s events in midair above our hands. We all have many, many things going on, and we need to be okay with the ups and downs of setbacks and progress.

Whether you just started with Amplify or you’ve been with us so long you can remember a place without turf, our fitness journey is always a work in progress. Use this as a time to look back on what has been achieved. With constant push to become better than yesterday, don’t forget to look in the mirror each day at how awesome you already are. 
Support.
Each season we have Amp athletes complete a skilled movement for the first time or PR a lift during an Open workout. This is something you won’t see in the digits on a computer screen. A submitted score will never show the emotional struggle or the small accomplishments or the uproar of a spontaneous cheering section at our gym’s Friday Night Lights.

And this support isn’t really something that can be coached.

#AmpFam

The Future.
As far as regional qualification goes, Amplify has been fortunate enough to have representation for four years in a row now with individual female qualifier, and resident badass, Kristin Miller. Kristin had her best Open yet, finishing 5th in the North Central Open this year as the top woman in Illinois. We all watched her cement that spot during 16.5 and put closure on another impressive five weeks.

The Amplify team finished 33rd in the North Central Region. Another good showing among very strong gyms in the midwest.

This year’s Central Regional Events will be held in Columbus and combines the North Central and the Central East in a “super regional” for the weekend. It will be live-streamed if you can’t make it there to cheer on Kristin from May 27-29.

Kristin en route to her 4th Regional bid.

In the end, we have the 33rd fittest team in the region, the 172nd fittest team in the world, and by far more importantly, six years of growth, memories, and community.

So we put closure on another Open and welcome in the start of year seven as CrossFit Amplify.

Congrats to those of you who took on the 2016 Open, and welcome to those who will join in the carnage of 2017. Can we please wish for something different than 16.5/14.5?

Cheers to five weeks, to six years, and a future of fitness, family, and fun.

– Scott, 4.1.16

Amplify’s CrossFit Open Leaderboard

2015 CrossFit Open: Five Weeks & Five Years

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2015 CrossFit Open: Five Weeks & Five Years

Another CrossFit Open comes to a close after five torturous weeks of physical tests and mental challenges. Naturally, thrusters and more thrusters ended the Open, coupled with rowing this time around to make the final week absolutely quadtastic.

With the end of the 2015 Open, CrossFit Amplify also celebrates its 5-year anniversary.

We opened in April of 2010 on the shoulders of big dreams. Well, modest aspirations.
The goal? Stay open a year. And to make two things happen in the meantime: 1) each month’s rent, and 2) a difference in each member’s life.

Humble origins allowed us to focus on people and individual improvement, and the gym grew organically… mostly by word of mouth. One year came and went. Then two. Then three.

Here we are five years later, well-settled in a new facility with enough space and equipment to do workouts and hold competitions we would have only dreamed about in 2010.

Amplify had over 100 members register for the 2015 CrossFit Open to test their fitness through the five workouts of worldwide competition. That makes two years in a row surpassing this number, which ranks us among the highest participating gyms in the North Central Region.

Steady fitness development, growth in the community, and a consistently fun social atmosphere are all a mark of pride for us, achieved only by the class of individuals who enter the Amplify doors.

By no means do we have it perfectly figured out as a strength and conditioning facility, what amidst the giant masses of the fitness industry. But perhaps that’s why this works, here at Amplify. We’re in this together, mistakes and all, learning and striving to be fit, to grow as human beings, and to be better than yesterday.

Five years.

Mike, myself, and all of CrossFit Amplify could have only accomplished this with the immense help and involvement of many past contributors, our fellow trainers, and of course the Amp community itself.

Now lovingly titled the AmpFam, it has grown into an entity all its own– one that can be felt immediately upon setting foot in our facility.

Particularly during Friday nights of the CrossFit Open, the feel of our second home is something that can’t always be put into words; that sense of family is present in seeing everyone rally behind each other with energy and passion, not just to complete the workout of the week, but to bond in something larger than physical fitness.

As owners, the two of us have seen CrossFit grow from that where you knew almost every CrossFitter in the area by name to the current scenario of over 10,000 affiliates worldwide, with nearly 200 in the state of Illinois. Through a decade of peaking interest and through a recent surge of internet hatred, CrossFit is thriving.

Amplify has completed each year of the CrossFit Open since its addition to the competition season; we’ve seen “the sport of fitness” swell from its inception to the current live-streamed and televised event.

Each year, the new Open workouts are announced with much excitement, surprise, and even dismay. Nonetheless, we struggle through the same weekly workout that everyone in the world is completing and share in the growth of the CrossFit community at large.

This year was no different; the excitement of CrossFit Christmas comes on five Thursday nights in succession, one of which was nearby in downtown Chicago this year, with a solid AmpFam crew representing along the railings on the live feed.

AmpFam front and center on the CrossFit Games Live Stream

And the workouts themselves?

The addition of a scaled division for 2015 gave hope that all movements would be manageable by everyone who registered. For the most part that became true, although there will always be our weaknesses, our goats, to work on.

To redo or not to redo. That is the question.

Unless you’re on the cusp of qualifying for the regional, or you know, you just know that you can contribute to the team score as a competitive athlete, the rule of thumb for a CrossFit Open workout is “one and done.”

In general, it’s very difficult to replicate interest and intensity in the exact same WOD just days apart and still continue in a smart training regimen. Pull-up callus tears, anyone?

That said, repeating an Open workout can allow for improvement– some benchmarks can take place with reps or time, and that first experience can give important feedback for the second attempt. This totally depends on the workout, of course. That cave can be a dark, dark place, full of grunt and sweat and drool.

Need a reminder? Just take a look at pictures of your pain face mid-workout. Striving for extra reps, or being stabbed with a sword? You make the call.

Either way, each season we have Amp athletes complete a skilled movement for the first time or PR a lift during an Open workout. This is something you won’t see in the digits on a computer screen.

A submitted score will never show the emotional struggle or the small accomplishments or the uproar of a spontaneous cheering section at our gym’s Friday Night Lights.

15.3 Amp

15.3 Wall Ball Action

As far as regional qualification goes, Amplify has been fortunate enough to have representation for three years in a row now with individual female qualifier, and resident badass, Kristin Miller. Kristin finished 11th in the North Central Open this year. We all watched her cement that spot during 15.5 and put closure on another impressive five weeks.

In 2013, the Amplify team initially missed advancing to the North Central regional in the CrossFit Games by one spot.  At that time, top 30 teams moved on from the CrossFit Open. We were 31st.  That is, before all the declarations took place with the North Central individuals and teams. After all was said and done we did in fact qualify a team for the 2013 regional in addition to Kristin.

In 2014, the Amplify team missed the top 30 by just a few spots.

And now, in 2015, qualification has changed.
Only the top 15 teams will go to the regional, this year meeting in Minneapolis and combining the North Central and the Central East in a “super regional,” of sorts. Our team placement of 20th in the North Central a great feat, but no longer an automatic qualifier.

So the waiting game begins, and we soon see how our top rankings file in place as individuals across the region declare their desire to go team or not.

In the end, we have the 20th fittest team in the region, the 140th fittest team in the world, and by far more importantly, five years of growth, memories, and community.

So we put closure on another Open and welcome in the start of year six as CrossFit Amplify.

This has surpassed anything either Mike or myself could have imagined, while at the same time fits right in line with what we dreamed all along. And there are big things ahead too– it’s just a matter of what the future will bring.

Congrats to those of you who took on the 2015 Open, and welcome to those who will join in the carnage of 2016. Hey… we made it through all five weeks without burpees this year! Who would’ve thought?

Cheers to five weeks, to five years, and to the five alarm fire in our lungs from every CrossFit Open workout past, present, and future.

– Scott, 3.31.15

Amplify’s 2015 CrossFit Open Leaderboard

Words of the Week

NUTRITION fuel gauge

Food = Fuel

Nutrition. Such a wide-ranging subject.

In fact, in looking at the topic of nutrition, it would be far too difficult to do it justice in just one write-up. There are so many great sources to cite and possibly hundreds of related angles to present and debate. A daunting task for one man and one article.

So instead, let’s focus on just one aspect of things: thinking of food as fuel.

Fuel for your workouts, yes, but also fuel for your day.

The human body is like a well-oiled machine, my friends. You are a high performance sports car. A .372 HP twin turbo engine with automatic transmission and overdrive, including an integrated navigation system, front, rear and side airbags, automatic air conditioning, and cruise control.

But here’s the funny part: you are extraordinarily fuel-efficient.

i'm the driver

We have nutrition challenges here at Amplify each year to help members figure out their own bodies… what works and what doesn’t, what can be cut out and what should be added, what vices exist, etc. In fact we just ended a sugar detox challenge for those who were interested, and despite it being very difficult (particularly at the start), lots of positive feedback has come in as a result.

“I just feel better,” seems to be a common phrase.

And what a great point that is. See, it cuts to the chase… no fluff, no BS. Tells it like it is. Eat well to feel well.

It seems that growing up, if a person’s family doesn’t teach the basic concepts of eating the good food before the treats– the desserts, the truly “good” tasting stuff– then the ingrained bad habits are extremely difficult to overcome. Seems obvious, right?  Years of unhealthy eating catches up quick. Especially with sugar overdose, the brain locks in to a mindset at the neural pathway level that looks very similar to drug and alcohol addiction. This is what many reports have been showing, and the very issue that the new movie Fed Up examines.

But even if treats are secondary, even if in our development we are taught to suffer through the bland, healthy food on our plates before getting to dessert, there is still a message that gets sent. A subtle, little subliminal mistake morsel.

If we always see food as a reward, it will remain as such.

It’s not on purpose. No, parents obviously mean well with this standard set at the dinner table. I, myself do the same thing with my own kids. It’s not an easy road, and we all know that.

So what was the mistake again?

It’s the thought process. Treating food as a reward.

Animal instinct is to eat for function.  Human reality is to eat for fun.

want vs. need

Maybe it’s not fair to call it mistake, however. Perhaps that’s a harsh claim. Because eating a meal itself should in fact be enjoyable. That’s why real food usually wins the battle against supplements; nutritional sources often list the actions of chewing and swallowing as important parts of the eating process… for both the body and the mind.  [1] [2]

Also worth mention is enjoying the more modern, wholistically healthy act of socializing with family or friends.  Supporters of the eat real food mantra want us to realize that fueling up and replenishing our bodies by actually eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other mini-meals is integral to digestive health. It’s a fun and fundamental part of the human experience.

We’re not just animals, after all. We are intelligent animals. Purportedly.

So what if we combine the two notions from above: we should eat for function and for fun?

Now the food = fuel equation completes itself. It matches our wants and our needs. We need good food to thrive in our daily lives, and we also want it to taste good. Not unreasonable at all.

This isn’t an “I’m bored, what’s in the fridge?” concept, obviously.  And it isn’t an “I’ve been good all week, I deserve an entire pizza!” rationalization either.

It involves the belief that food can taste good and can actually be good for us at the same time.  Especially “good” if we look at the function it serves.

Fuel for our day.

Our brain runs on carbohydrates.  Our muscles do the same, and replenish with protein.  Our body systems use fats in so many ways… it’s unfortunate they get such a bad rap. [1]  These are our calorie providing macronutrients, and with help from vitamins, minerals, and the almighty water, our day to day tasks can be completed. We live long and we live healthy.

More specifically, as it applies here, food is the fuel for our work and our recovery.

Are you about to hit a strength workout?  Are you going into a rough MetCon? Will the work be short and uber-intense, or will it be long and arduous? And if the physical work is done for the day, what will the post-workout meal plan be?

All essential questions when looking at food as fuel throughout the hours of your day.

So where do we search for literature on such an idea?

There are so many resources out there that it may be difficult to sift through the web to find the experts, the authors, and the organizations that really care. Those who are in it for more than just a financial gain. Information ranges from a strict paleo diet plan to a general look at macronutrient ratios, from a more specific focus on the addictive nature of sugar to the benefits of just flat out eating real food.

food-vs-product

Even for those who aren’t complete newbies to the concept of looking at food as fuel, finding solid resources can be difficult. Please share in the comments if you have your favorites.

As a start, here are a few sources that may be worth your time:

Whole9 Nutrition http://whole9life.com

Mark Sisson http://www.marksdailyapple.com

Robb Wolf http://robbwolf.com

Paleo Table http://paleotable.com

 

Once we start to see food as a fuel for our body system we can find worth in healthy eating while still enjoying food. And while still having treats as our “cheats,” for that matter, if we so choose. With regards to pros and cons of being strict with your healthy diet, find out what works for you. Get to know your body and your habits. And, finally, enjoy yourself. See below.

Recommendations & Questions:
1.) Find out what works

  • Toy with things a bit and test out your personal responses to certain foods, specifically before and after working out.
  • Do you need more calories going into a workout?  Do you function better with a certain type of meal or pre-workout snack? And what about afterwards… what post-workout replenishment leaves you feeling the best by the end of the day or the next morning?
  • Record and remember what gave the best results. Seek potential help from a coach or a licensed dietician.

2.) Know your body and your habits

  • Decide what will produce the most optimal results.
  • Do you need a regimented dietary plan?  For instance, will writing down a food log benefit you? Are you the type that needs a strict plan of serving sizes, nutrient break down, etc.? Or will you be good enough with eyeballing foods and portion sizes?
  • Don’t forget sleep and its function as it relates to recovery. Combine good eating habits with good sleep habits for best results.

3.) Enjoy yourself

  • My final addition to the nutrition discussion is to allow yourself to enjoy life with food. More specifically, to allow a cheat here or there.
  • Will allowing a cheat meal spiral out of control? See number two above. Have an off meal or maybe an off day? Don’t throw out the entire day or week because of it– you wouldn’t take your car to the impound because of a flat tire. Just had that second or third alcoholic beverage? Enjoy it.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.
  • If you feel off track, slap yourself on the wrist and get back to your healthy habits. But for crying out loud, you’re only human. Don’t stress any more than needed. Eat, live life, and see the big picture.

 

For now, there’s a look at the concept of using food as fuel. So fill ‘er up with some high octane nutrients and get after it.

Your mileage may vary.

– Scott, 7.1.2014

hersheys

2014 CrossFit Open: The Amp Community at Large

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After the Open: The Amp Community at Large

Another CrossFit Open has come to a close, after 5 weeks of physical tests and mental challenges, ending with an inevitable Thruster/Burpee combination– which everyone now realizes tastes exactly like… burning.

CrossFit Amplify had over 100 members register for this year’s Open competition, by far exceeding any expectations the coaches had about involvement.  This was also one of the largest numbers in the Midwest and North Central Region.

We set a lofty goal of around 75-80 athletes, and had hopes of hitting that mark only because of increasingly solid involvement over the past few years.  Our experienced members are good about passing on encouragement to newcomers.  In fact, our gym is better than just “good” about things like that– yes, the Open is a great bonding experience but it’s because of the Amplify community, not because of the weekly workout.

Let’s be honest: the weekly workout is always horrible.

It’s not necessarily a bad workout choice, per se, although sometimes the Open includes skills or movements that not every CrossFitter has.  (IE: double unders, chest to bar pull-ups, muscle-ups, etc.)  Moreso, the issue is that even at just 7 or 8 minutes in length, the Open workouts are enduring tests of work capacity and stamina and mental fortitude and sheer will.  Gut checks.  Suckfests.

Jason J. and Katie M. finish up Open WOD 14.5

Jason J. and Katie M. finish up Open WOD 14.5

As Amplify coaches we always set the weekly Open workout as our Friday WOD.  This proves to be fun and exciting to have our entire gym, Open athletes or not, push through the same workout as everyone else in the world… including the elite athletes.  You know, those ab-ridden, superhuman TV stars even our non-CrossFit friends and family can watch on ESPN each July. (“Can you do that?”  “No, mom… *sigh* Those are the elite.”  “Well you’re elite in my book, sweetie.”)

And how do we stack up in comparison to the rest of the world?  For us mere mortals, fair. Average. Maybe above average.

But that brings us to the point.  Bigger than all this, more importantly for our trainers and members, is the exponential growth of Amplify unity.

It gets difficult to put in writing without making it sound trite.  I’ve touched on this before.  (Check it out HERE, you carnies.)

It always ends up sounding a bit cliché or repetitive: the community at Amplify is amazing.  The feeling of family is unbelievable. The people here are incredibly supportive; it’s more than just a gym.

Yet it’s true.

We often have athletes complete a skilled movement for the first time during an Open workout.  Have only done a few double unders before?  Knocked out 30+ in the WOD.  Can hardly get one chest to bar pull-up?  Got 10 before the time cap.

A submitted score will never show the emotional struggle or the small accomplishments or the uproar of a spontaneous cheering section at our gym’s Friday Night Lights.

To hammer this point home, this Open season my wonderful wife, Sarah, and I welcomed a baby daughter to the world.  Little Elliott.  She was born on one of those Friday nights, during 14.4 in fact, while much of Amplify was cheering each other through endless Toes to Bar and Wall Balls and Power Cleans. I could sense it without actually being there.  And as we shared the great news with family and friends, making it Facebook official of course, best wishes and comments poured in from our friends at Amplify. (“Future CrossFit Games champion!”  “So when will Sarah complete this week’s Open WOD?” many joked.) I’m also sure that a warm welcome will be waiting as we bring the baby in to see our Amp family for the first time.

This, this is the stuff that can’t be seen in the numbers or the final results.

Amp Ladies 2014 Open

Some of our amazing Amp Ladies, 2014 Open

And now the waiting game begins, at least until April 14, as we see how our top rankings file in place in order to bring a team to Navy Pier in Chicago for the regional fun.  (Read about how regional invitations work on the Games site HERE.)

Last year, CrossFit Amplify had initially missed advancing to the North Central regional in the CrossFit Games by one spot.  Top 30 teams move on from the CrossFit Open. We were 31st.  That is, before all the declarations took place with the North Central individuals and teams. After all was said and done we did in fact qualify a team for the 2013 regional, to go along with Kristin, our individual female athlete and resident badass. It was all a whirlwind of disappointment and excitement and frustration and pride… but a great learning experience in all aspects.  (Check out a more detailed wrap up of last year’s regional action HERE.)

So we wait again with only hopes and guesses for 2014.

And whatever the outcome, whatever comes of our team, I know that the 100+ other Amplify members will be there cheering on Kristin and uniting in the experience once again. If the team qualifies it’ll just be the paleo icing on the cake.   Because, in essence, the effort of the top athletes at the regional is the work of many.  Yes, of course our competitive athletes do the work, day in and day out.  But the team is in fact the Amp community.  Those few on the big stage are representatives of us all.

That’s the stuff that the Open season is about.

Once again I am more than proud to call all of you, the CrossFit Amplify community, our “team.”  Cheers to those of you who took on the 2014 Open, and welcome to those who will join in the carnage of 2015.

Now please, let’s vow to never do that combination of Thrusters and Burpees again. Well, at least until next year.

– Scott, 4.3.14

Amplify’s 2014 CrossFit Open Leaderboard

Garage Games: Amplify Open

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April 12-13, 2014

We are proud to announce the Second Annual Amplify Open!  After the CrossFit Open, come show the Midwest what you can do.

Individuals will be on Saturday.
Masters and Teams will be on Sunday.

Cost: $80 per Individual, $185 per Team.
Check in time: 7:30am. Start time: 9:30am.

Teams will consist of 3 Athletes: 2 Males and 1 Female
Divisions: Men’s Rx, Men’s Scaled, Women’s Rx, Women’s Scaled, Team Rx, Team Scaled and Men/Women’s Masters.
Division Limits: 30 Individuals per division, 35 Teams.

Registration Deadline is March 25: http://www.thegaragegames.com/events/2nd-annual-amplify-open/
Facebook Event page will post updates: http://www.facebook.com/events/287607211389657/

Check the above links for information regarding workout movements and other information.

Several Sponsors have committed to the event:
Reebok
Quest
RockTape
Progenex
FitAid
Fight Through
Atlas Wraps
SoRock
Lululemon of Naperville

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THIS WEEKEND:
– Doors will open at 8am on Saturday and Sunday.
– First event will begin at roughly 9-9:15am on Saturday and Sunday.
– There will be no spectator fee for this event.
– Look for event parking across the street from Amplify.
– If you haven’t filled out a waiver from the Garage Games site, they will be provided at the event.
– Saturday division order: Men’s Scaled, Men’s RX, Women’s Scaled, Women’s RX.
– Sunday division order: Team Scaled, Team RX.
– Team WOD changes: Team WOD #1 will have a time cap of 16 minutes.  On Team events involving pistols or DB Snatches, alternating is not required but you must do 10 each side.

2014 RESULTS

2014 Amplify Open RESULTS

 

2014 WORKOUTS

Individual WOD #1
6 minute time cap.
Add a second to the 6 minute cap for every rep not completed.

RX Division
30-20-10
Wall Ball Shots (#30/20)
Toes to Bar

Scaled Division
30-20-10
Wall Ball Shots (#20/10)
V-Up (hands and toes touch at the top of the V-Up)

Individual WOD #2
6 minute AMRAP
Score = total reps.

RX Division
Squat Clean to Thruster Ladder

Athlete must complete 4 reps of the indicated weight before increasing to the next level.
A pause after the Squat Clean is NOT allowed.
If the athlete has time remaining, AMRAP the final weight.
Athlete responsible for changing their own weights as indicated.

Men Rx: #135/#155/#185/#205
Women Rx: #85/#105/#135/#145

Scaled Division
Power Clean to Shoulder to Overhead ladder.
Athlete must complete 4 reps of the indicated weight before increasing to the next level.

A pause after the Power Clean IS allowed.
If the athlete has time remaining, AMRAP the final weight.
Athlete responsible for changing their own weights as indicated.

Men Scaled: # 115/#135/#145/#155
Women Scaled: #55/#65/#75/#85

Individual WOD #3
8 minute time cap.
Score = total time.
Add a second to the 8 minute cap for every rep not completed.

RX Division
35 Pull-ups
75 Double Unders
30 Handstand Push-ups
75 Double Unders
35 Pull-ups

Scaled Division
30 Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-ups (CrossFit Open Standard)
150 Single Jump Rope
10 Wall Climbs (chest to touch wall)
150 Single Jump Rope
30 Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Individual WOD #4
12 minute time cap.
Score = total time.
Add a second to the 12 minute cap for every rep not completed.
15 Pistols per leg. Do not need to be alternating.

RX Division
Row 75 Calories
30 Pistols
15 Hang Snatch, Power or Squat catch (#145/#100)Scaled Division
Row 75 Calories
30 Goblet Squats (#55/#35)
15 Hang Snatch, Power or Squat catch (#95/#65)

Team WOD #1
16 minute time cap.
Add a second to the 16 minute cap for every rep not completed.

25 Double Under buy-in per athlete before the start of each movement.
Each athlete must complete 20 reps in a row per movement until the team reaches 60 reps.
Remaining 50 reps of movement can be split anyhow.

RX Division
110 Wall Ball Shots (#30/#20)
110 Toes to Bar
110 Dumbbell Snatch (#70/#45)

Scaled Division (*30 single jump rope buy-in per athlete)
110 Wall Ball Shots (#20/#14)
110 V-Ups
110 Dumbbell Snatch (#50/#25)

Team WOD #2
16 minute time cap.
Score = total time.
Add a second to the 16 minute cap for every rep not completed.
Waterfall rules. One athlete must complete the entire complex before the next athlete starts.

RX Division
Row 500 meters
20 Pistols
10 Hang Power Cleans (#185/#125)

Scaled Division
Row 500 meters
30 Kettlebell Swings (#55/35)
10 Hang Power Cleans (#135/#85)

Team WOD #3
16 minute time cap.
Score = total time.
Add a second to the 16 minute cap for every rep not completed.
Only one athlete can be working at a time. Each athlete is responsible for a set of 40/30/20.
Team is responsible for changing out their own weights.

RX Division
40 Back Squats (#135/#95)
30 Pull-ups
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#135/#95)
——————————-
40 Front Squats (#95/#65)
30 Pull-ups
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#95/#65)
——————————-
40 Over Head Squat (#65/#45)
30 Pull-ups
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#65/#45)

Scaled Division
40 Back Squats (#115/#75)
30 Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-ups (CrossFit Open Standard)
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#115/#75)
——————————–
40 Front Squats (#95/#55)
30 Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-ups (CrossFit Open Standard)
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#95/#55)
——————————–
40 Overhead Squats (#65/#35)
30 Jumping Chest to Bar Pull-ups (CrossFit Open Standard)
20 Shoulder to Overhead (#65/#35)

 

Final WODs announced as the week progresses!  Stay up to date on the Facebook Event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/287607211389657/

 

LAST YEAR: 2013 WORKOUTS

Individual WOD Tally Sheet

MASTERS WOD Tally Sheet

TEAM WOD Tally Sheet

 

LAST YEAR: 2013 RESULTS

MENS RX – RESULTS

WOMENS RX – RESULTS

MENS SCALED – RESULTS

WOMENS SCALED – RESULTS

MASTERS – RESULTS

TEAM RX – RESULTS

TEAM SCALED – RESULTS

Competition

Competition sore loser

Competition

As an athlete, the feelings before a competition can vary with each person, and with each game/match/event that an individual competes in.

Some get prepped calmly and actually relish in the pressure of competition, while others have certain nervous habits or even anxiety-driven superstitions that become ritualistic.  Take a professional sport like baseball for example. Ridiculous, at times.

In the CrossFit world, more and more competitions are popping up that test fitness.  In some cases it’s for the better, and in other cases maybe that’s not so true.  I mean, how did we take exercise and make it a sport?  Is that even possible?  In any event, it seems that the “sport of fitness” is growing, so we might as well address it.

First, many of us were drawn to CrossFit because it fit the bill– it filled our competitive edge as current or former athletes, or else it intrigued us because it contained that competitive fun.  And at the same time simultaneously involving support and team camaraderie that prove we’re the social animals we are. Sure, a lot of people simply enjoy the variety and intensity (and the results) of CrossFit workouts, but many others thrive on the focus of measurable fitness.  One with some backing research and numbers-based strength progressions, and one that also defines power output in time domains.

Me, I tend to get competitive with something as simple as board games with the kids.  Maybe you don’t sink your daughter’s battleship like I do, but even if you’re a little like me, CrossFit workouts fulfill that competitive itch quite nicely. And with less tears.  (Debatable.)

 

So let’s examine the pros and cons of competition in CrossFit, both in the weekly workouts and in the fundraisers and competitive events that pop up– from smaller ones in your area to the worldwide stage of the CrossFit Games.

To start, CrossFit did not have yearly competitions until the all-call of the first CrossFit Games at Dave Castro’s ranch in Aromas, California.  After its inception in 2000, CrossFit founder Greg Glassman was finally open to the idea of a fitness competition after discussing the possibility leading up to the first Games in 2007.  Find more info on the history of the CrossFit Games here.  You can also read a little more about the history and some of my own thoughts on the CrossFit Games (with a focus on 2012) in the Words of the Week archives.

If we leave the main event out, including not just the Games in Carson, California, but also the Regional events and the Open that lead up to it, there are still many ways to be competitive with CrossFit.

It was just in the last couple years that competitions really started to sprout up in CrossFit affiliates. Now it’s seemingly monthly, and if you look hard enough, nearly every weekend if you’re willing to travel a bit.  It used to be more of the fundraiser that got CrossFitters together.  They were and still are great ways to get together with mutliple CrossFit boxes nearby for a little friendly competition in the name of a good cause.  Now, the competitive side of local fitness is booming.  Amplify has joined right in by hosting a few that have included Garage Games and Power Athlete series events.

Does this mean it’s a good idea to compete each weekend?

Well, the first answer is no.  The second answer is, basically, you already are.

Being involved in a multi-event CrossFit competition means putting the body through often 3-4 different workouts a day.  Sometimes two days in a row.  Even if these events are relatively short (10 minutes or under), this is a lot.  Pushing to bring out the best in a test of your fitness can only have you peak and recover once in a while.  Depending on your recovery (age, nutrition, sleep, and weekly workouts that follow), the magnitude of a CrossFit competition means a typical body won’t be able to withhold that type of stress more than twice a month.  If that.

Look at the CrossFit Open.  One competitive workout a week for 5 weeks.  Some CrossFitters tried the WODs multiple times and it helped.  But in interviews many of the Regional advancements did not come from athletes going through each Open workout more than once or twice.  They hit it hard, then kept on course with their weekly training.

Likely, if you’re not an elite CrossFit competitor, a competition to test yourself is just a fun and challenging thing– like a runner or triathlete might get in a race, or an active athlete would play a game.  I’ll argue that a two day CrossFit competition has potential to be more grueling than a baseball or basketball or soccer game; several games a week are possible in those sports.  Even so, this test can be a good thing… a positive trial of assessment.  And fun.

CrossFit athletes can also compete in powerlifting or weightlifting competitions, again through local gyms or held in sanctioned events through USAPLUSAW, and other organizations.  A quick Google search can help you with those.  These are slightly different in that yes, it may be a difficult test of fitness, but in general it’s not quite as tough on the body as a 6-8 event weekend.

Here’s the other side of the coin: CrossFit workouts are mini competitions in themselves.  Keep this in mind.  Particularly if you look at a good week of workout programming, your quality MetCon days are a smaller scale competition.  So in this case, yes, a weekly competition is okay– in a way you’re already there. In fact, it’s that intensity and tests in strength that keep your body on track to a stronger, faster you.  This is good.  This competition is necessary.

Think about it… if your gym posts your workout scores on a white board like so many CrossFit gyms do, then competition is inevitable.  But please, please, for the sake of all things Glassman, do not let yourself chase the almighty clock.  Do not let yourself chase a number on the wall by sacrificing form, ROM, or safety. This is always a competition with yourself, first and foremost, so have the integrity to check your ego at the door and see this for what it’s worth: a fitness program.  Then after that, maybe, just maybe, it’s a competitive event.

 

Recommendations:

1. Set your sights on important competitions that seem worth your time, money, and energy.

  • These things can get costly, and not just on your bank account.  Payouts can be great but only if you’re a top tier athlete in your area.  Otherwise the cost of potential injury or overtraining is too high for it to be a smart thing to hit up too many competitions each year.

2. Hone in on what preparation you need.

  • Do you get nervous before competitions?  Use that nervous energy and related adrenaline to fuel your performance.  Warning: being too amped up before an event can backfire quickly.  An already elevated heartrate can sabotage a CrossFit workout almost before it starts… especially in longer events.
  • Do you get nervous before workouts?  Awesome.  As along as it’s a healthy fear of upcoming work, not dread.  Don’t be mistaken– a little goes a long way.
  • Take care of common sense items: Plan nutrition for the day, recovery in between workouts, clothing/shoes/equipment needs, etc.
  • Think strategy, but don’t overthink strategy. You’ll psych yourself out.
  • Taper or don’t taper, depending on what your body responds to.  Oftentimes taking a day before competition completely off means going in “stale.” Sometimes it’s what works for who you are.  Learn this and keep track of when and how you compete at your best in regards to the week leading up to it.

3. Learn how to lose.

  • Unless you’re one of the 2013 Games winners, you can take away valuable knowledge from competitions.  And actually, even they do the same. They’re learning experiences.  If you won, good on you.  Take something away from it on how to continue that streak.  If you lost, well, was it fun anyway?  Did you hit a good workout/score/lift/PR or maybe something else positive?  Otherwise, evaluate the experience and move on.
  • Other athletes have insight too.  Tap into that, and not just because meeting others in your sport or hobby can be cool.  “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t,” as Bill Nye explains simply.

 

It’s a competitive world, and CrossFit dives head first into that notion ocean.  It’s up to you to keep the intensity alive in your workouts but be smart in your choices of the many competitions abound.

Good luck!  Have fun, stay safe, and be strong. I’ll be there cheering you on to beat everyone but me.

– Scott, 7.15.2013

2013 CrossFit Open: On the Bubble

sad-bubble

After the Open: The 31st Team

It’s official. CrossFit Amplify has missed advancing to the North Central regional in the CrossFit Games by one spot.

Top 30 teams move on from the CrossFit Open. We are 31st.

The CrossFit Open brings 5 weeks of physical tests and mental challenges, and came to a close this year with a grueling and fast-paced take on the classic “Fran.” It also came to a close with disappointment, in a way, because we have worked so hard and have missed out by so little to represent our gym in regional competition.

This week I personally attempted the final workout, 13.5, two times. And I hate to repeat Open WODs. Both times I expected to move past the first 4 minutes of work to gain the “bonus round,” achieving time for more repetitions and contributing to the total team score. Many of our other members expected the same. Falling short of a score of 90 by just three reps (and in the case of others, just two reps or even one measly pull-up) meant no chance of additional work. No chance of a better score. And now no chance of bringing a team to Navy Pier in Chicago for the regional fun.

I stressed over this workout more than previous weeks this Open, and felt like I let the team down after Friday night’s WOD. “It was in my wheelhouse… I should have done better than that,” I thought. I’m sure I’m not alone in this– others probably felt the same way. I was legitimately dejected, but knew I had another chance. I knew we had more chances. Redos are part of the Open, especially for the teams. But as it were, the scores didn’t fall where we wanted them to. Oh, don’t get me wrong– the efforts were there this weekend. In most cases we writhed on the floor in complete oxygen debt, left only with the agony of mental defeat and the taste of “Fran” coughing up from our lungs. Still with a chance, we were reluctantly glued to our computer screens with hope while time ticked down on the 7pm cut-off on Sunday. After all was said and done, scores filtered in and validated what we feared: we were 31st.

The Open Aftermath

As I Fran-coughed all night and had the time to think more and more about things this week, I realized I really didn’t have one more rep in me. At least not this time, at this point in my life and fitness journey. I poured as much into this week’s test as I could. We all did. And we have to be okay with that. It’s the same thing we all have to accept sooner or later– failure. At some point, something is going to beat you. It’s been said before: Failure is an important part of CrossFit.

We did what we could, and came out one spot short. So it is.

There is a 31st team in every region. A 49th individual too, just missing out. There will be a fourth place finisher in each region that doesn’t qualify for the Games. As long as competition exists, there is a “one-spot-out,” a “just-missed-it,” an “on-the-bubble” everywhere, in everything.

In these 5 weeks, and in a year since the last CrossFit Open, we’ve developed that much more camaraderie and unity at Amplify. Things you can’t see in writing. We have proven that this community of people that have a common goal can come together and have fun doing things we never thought possible. Many of our new members succeed weekly with feats to mark off their CrossFit checklist. Many of our experienced push themselves to a point of exertion that borders masochism. That struggle and suffering bonds us, no matter where we fall in our team ranks.

We have taken a fitness regimen and had some competitive fun with it– taking the already time-intensive CrossFit workouts and placing our fitness against others across the area and across the globe. We’re 389th in the world, after all. Not a very impressive number, maybe, but there were almost 3000 teams registered this year and 138,000 individuals.

When it comes down to it, I am ultimately reminded of something important by my wife (might I add, my smart and beautiful and understanding and compassionate wife…). As I sat and worried about team scores and watched as we were bumped spot by spot out of future competition this season, she said something that rings true. Something she didn’t know I picked up on.

“CrossFit isn’t just about the competition,” she said.

And it’s not.

I am more than proud to call all the CrossFit Amplify members our “team.” No matter what week or time of year. But more than that is the reality we see day in and day out…

Each and every person here, in the gym, putting work in by sweating and struggling to better themselves is not measurable in a score of repetitions.

Well done, number 31. Cheers to us. Now back to work we go.

– Scott, 4.8.13

 

EDIT: The Qualifying Team!

Well, well, well.  So that happened.

In a turn of events where advancing teams opted out of Regional competition because of one reason or another, CrossFit Amplify was in fact asked to compete in the 2013 North Central Regional.

We qualified!

Humbly accepting the invitation for advancement and putting our top 6 athletes in contention for the weekend, Amplify was going to Navy Pier excited and honored to be competing with the region’s best.  Kristin M. was already an individual qualifier, so that put Cynthia G., Michaela O., and Kayte K. as our female representatives.  Our men included Erik M., Sean O., and Joey T.

Prepping for the posted team workouts, the group did their best on short notice to specifically ready themselves for Day 1: Team “Jackie” and then the dreaded Muscle-up/Overhead Squat workout.

To state the obvious, the muscle-up is a tough exercise.  Our women went in with a combined lifetime total you could count on one hand. But nonetheless, we took the competition stage early Friday morning, May 31, with nervous energy and a chance to prove our worth.

Right off the bat, Cynthia and Sean put forth a 25th place effort in “Jackie” and the team set their sights on the Everest facing them: advancing to Day 2 through Events 2 & 3– the Overhead Squats and Muscle-ups.

Heading into the Overhead Squats, the ladies threw up great numbers on the barbell as the men went to work on their muscle-ups.  Completing a huge number of 48 muscle-ups in 7 minutes, the 3 guys switched off and went to work on the OHS.  Joey and Erik put forth #235 efforts and Sean hit a massive #255.

The Amp women set solid squats and rested their shoulders to switch positions to the rings. The time had come.

Cynthia set up to take the rings first, in an effort to get 3 MU’s and advance the team with the minimum rep count for the event.

Cynthia on the rings

To the roars of the Amplify Nation of spectators, her first attempt was successful.

Hearts broke as seconds later we all learned her heels had passed higher than the rings, which was against the rules for the event, and thus a “no rep.”  With nerves unbroken, she took the rings again and gave her all– she managed one full rep in the time allowed, while the crowd fought and struggled with every attempt and every miss.  We were there together, after all– competing or not– and it was a team effort.

Hugs and high fives all around, the team put forth their best effort for the weekend and we knew it. On the North Central leaderboard for 2013, Team Amplify has a “DNF.”  Did not finish.  But in the eyes of this growing community… of everyone from our brand new Elements classes to Amp’s veteran CrossFitters… we were there.  We proudly competed.  And with the gained experience and continued mash-up of fun and hard work in the gym, we plan to make waves in the future.

After the team events, Kristin M. went to work as an individual, making the Amplify community proud as she battled through 3 days of tough workouts and great competition to come in 14th overall in the North Central Region.  Consistency and a well-rounded repertoire of bodyweight movements, skill work, and heavy lifting propelled her to that spot. And she deserved it. Her strength of will and experience with competition perhaps shined best as her highest finish of the weekend came with the last event– she raised eyebrows and finished 8th, ahead of some previous Regional and Games competitors.  Smiling from ear to ear.

Amplify at Regionals 2013

Thanks to all who came and supported or cheered on from home. In whatever capacity, it meant a lot, so thank you.  Here’s looking ahead to 2014.

Regional pictures are on our Facebook page HERE.

Olympics

Olympics

Just like every four years, with the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics I’m pumped to watch the best athletes in the world do what they do.

In case you’ve ignored all social media lately, the Opening Ceremonies were on Friday the 27th, and events will run through August 12th.

The history of the Olympics is somewhat interesting… the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC, and were actually closely linked to religious festivals and rites of passage for young people.  It also encouraged good relations between the cities of Greece. Traditions began, some of which we still see to this day: the torch ceremony to honor the Greek god Zeus; palm branches and olive tree wreaths for winning athletes; spectators throwing flowers to participants; and red ribbons tied on the head and hands as a mark of victory.

The ancient Games were simply a one day event and the events included running, long jump, shot put, javelin, boxing, equestrian, and pankration (martial art combining wrestling and boxing).

Crazy Old Footage from London 1908

The Olympic Games have obviously expanded  into summer and winter competitions, and looking at this from a spectator’s point of view, I’m a fan.

It can be hard to look past the sporadic violence and political and religious upheaval that has occurred throughout the years, especially since inequity still exists where citizens of some nations do not have the freedom to train or compete at this top level.  But a generally peaceful worldwide competition is fun and inspiring.  Especially cool is to see the “post-battle” respect between athletes of competing countries (ie: soccer players exchanging jerseys after their match).

Best of the Olympic Games

The London 2012 Trailer

From a CrossFit and physical fitness standpoint, the athleticism we see is impressive– I can pretty much watch anything and everything TV and internet coverage provides.  Maybe you’re like me… some of the performances make my jaw drop.

In seeing the sports/exercises we use regularly in our own CrossFit training, these are the events that really catch my attention.  But we have to understand these athletes are specialists.  Many Olympians are overall great athletes, but it’s their skill(s) in their specialty area that has allowed them to get to the elite level.  Perhaps a Decathlon/Heptathlon track athlete has the versatility we might strive for in functional fitness training, but even these athletes aren’t put through weightlifting, gymnastics, swimming, or other events.  This is no knock on any Olympic athlete– the contrary in fact.

This is what a base training  program focusing on overall strength and conditioning can allow– high end, elite sports.

Because we’ve put ourselves through some of these movements (in some cases, not very well), it’s easy to drool over the physical skill and the times/numbers posted by the elite.

Let’s check some awesome performances in a few Olympic sports/exercises that we commonly use at Amplify…

Weightlifting:

Women’s Gymnastics:

Men’s Gymnastics:

Track & Field:

 

The 2012 schedule is here: http://www.london2012.com/schedule-and-results/

I know I’ll be watching.

-Scott, 7.30.2012

The CrossFit Games

Games

The CrossFit Games, to be exact. http://games.crossfit.com

The 2012 Games are July 13-15. And as they near each year, I get more excited than the last. But I also worry more and more, almost cringing in anticipation of what might we might see pop up in the workouts or skill segments. (Softball, anyone?)

See, there’s a history here. Things weren’t always as they are now. Most of you already know this. CrossFit has grown, arguably both for the better and for the worse. And in remembering the first Games and then really seeing it take off with the second and third annual competitions, I stay enthralled with what will happen each summer. Ever seen “Every Second Counts” or YouTube footage of The Ranch in Aromas? Great stuff. But each year I find myself desperately wanting CrossFit to stay true to its roots… basically, I’m worried about us jumping the shark. (Or is it too late?)

We are hitting the 6th year of competition. It’s been an interesting last two years, with ESPN airing Games footage and Reebok picking up sponsorship, both plugging the sport of fitness. The terms “Fittest on Earth” and “World Record” come with an asterisk. Don’t they? I mean, a snatch world record??  It has me wondering if it’s too elitist to get a Prebok shirt.

Nonetheless, as much as we can laugh at the ridiculousness that can happen when any business or brand grows with success, I will be glued to the TV and computer as much as I can be this weekend (and as video updates get released in the weeks to follow). I’m a proud supporter of CrossFit, and will defend it through the ups and downs as long as it continues to make sense.

For instance:

2011 Excitement  http://games2011.crossfit.com/finals/workouts.html
It was fantastic. Amidst the calls of selling out, last summer we saw incredible athletes doing incredibly grueling workouts. In my mind, easily the best thus far in terms of testing wide-ranging fitness components and time domains.

The 2012 Open  http://games.crossfit.com/content/open-workouts
Remember? It was the “all-call” this spring for any and all athletes across the world to attempt to qualify. You and me, we were there. How’d you do? Despite the burpee fiasco of 12.1, the top athletes seemed to make it through. That’s the goal.

2012 Regionals  http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/regionals-individual
The Open of course led to the Regionals, where we saw some more amazing performances and finally have consistent workouts across all regions. There were issues: athletes in the final regionals had a significant, yet equal, advantage of practicing the workouts for longer. The range of motion standards needed a close eye. (Looking your way “Diane.”) Even with this and world records* being shoved down our throats (read: littering our Facebook feed), the workouts/programming were LEGIT.

So who’s gonna win?
Will we see these two dethroned in a week’s time? Will the big names shine, or will a relatively unknown champion be deemed the “Fittest on Earth?”
Rich in 2012: http://youtu.be/u_RzyIJi8qc
Annie in 2012: http://youtu.be/nNzdFy6m9kc

 

Some of the 2012 events have already been announced.

They look a little like last year combined with this year’s Regionals. I’m not sure I understand the GHD Med Ball throw; this has already been beaten into the ground by critics, even in the short time since being announced. But I do have to say, this event may win the annual Reebok CrossFit Games “Shark Award.” (The trophy has Greg Glassman on water skies, riding a Reebok branded sharkfin through the waves. He may or may not be holding a softball proudly overhead. Prototype TBA.)

My true hopes for the weekend:
We see something new. We see something old. We see something heavy. We see both short & long time domains. We see another cool swim WOD, some technical skills, and rings, ropes, sleds. Maybe even some tires or stones? But we don’t leave the basics. If it makes sense, I’m a supporter.

A lot of this is already set. Good. We can all watch it unfold here: http://games.crossfit.com/live-stream
Now don’t get tricky, Dave, and let’s find the best athlete out there this year.

And for the record, I’ll be rooting for Speal.

-Scott, 7.9.2012