CrossFit Games

Sprints Cutting to the Core of CrossFit

August 19, 2019 by
Source: Patrick Clark
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“Sprint event was exciting.
Field went from 20 to 10.
I was happy with how this played out.
Many were not.”

If you follow @thedavecastro on Instagram, you’ve been entertained by his recap of each event of the 2019 Crossfit Games.  

Like the cuts – his posts are direct and brutal – also hitting back at critics in pointing out how the results in early events, mirrored the final standings.

Cutting the field to ten after Saturday’s sprint was arguably the talking point of the Games, and the conversation continues.

“Be better. Be better,” Castro said mercilessly at the final press conference. “Come back more prepared next year to excel at anything that’s thrown at you. All these guys did that, they all excelled at what was thrown at them when it was thrown at them.”

Clearly, sprinting is a sore point.    

Games veteran Julie Foucher told the Morning Chalk Up: “Dave is really good at sizing up the community and knowing where we’re lacking and where we need to be pushed.”

Now a big player in the CrossFit Health space, Julie believes the timing of the cut post sprint was very thought out and “decisions like that will move our sport forward.”

“I know that all of those athletes who got cut because of that event are going to be better at sprinting next year and I know that our whole community is going to put more emphasis on sprinting,” she added.

You can make the argument that it’s just an equally important physical skill to have as a heavy one rep max weightlifting.

Julie Foucher

Too much, too soon?

The second fittest man in 2018 Pat Vellner was part of Saturday’s carnage and said: 

To a certain degree the order of events dictates who advances. If you get your strength programmed right before a cut, you make the cut. If you get a weakness programmed before a cut, you don’t.

Pat Vellner

Eleven years on the competition floor perhaps makes wildcard Ben Smith the most qualified to pass judgement.

“I like the idea of cuts,” he said. “It makes things exciting and also puts some puts some pressure on each event as an athlete.”

That being said in Smith’s opinion, the sprint cut came too soon.

“The tests leading to the cuts should be balanced in typical “CrossFit” fashion, the mono structural tests should be later on after all cuts are made.”

We should have expected it

.. if you ask the sixth Fittest Man on Earth Jacob Heppner.

In a lengthy analysis of the Games programming on Youtube, Heppner boiled down both the events and their timing to the fundamentals of CrossFit as taught in the CrossFit Level 1.

Source: CrossFit Journal

“I think it was a really good representation of us moving forward, moving up the pyramid in terms of how a CrossFit athlete should develop,” he said.

Julie and Jacob are clearly on the same page.

“If it had been flipped and they did a strength event – the 1 rep max before the cut and then they did the sprint after the cut – I don’t think anyone would have been that upset or you wouldn’t hear the same kind of discussion that you’re hearing now about how the events weren’t balanced,” Julie said.

If you look at the ‘CrossFit pyramid (and take nutrition out of the equation) metabolic conditioning should be the main player. Post Madison, that theme is certainly trending on

  • 1900810; 10 rounds, 100 -meter sprint
  • 190806; Run 6,000 meters with a pack

“This is just another way of pushing us as a community to be more well-rounded,” Julie Foucher added.

Like or lump it, cuts are here to stay. 

Our friend, Armen Hammer had Greg Glassman on the phone this week to confirm the Games will return to an ‘Every Second Counts’ cut structure for the 2020 Games.

As for what the future looks like at an affiliate level Julie doesn’t expect, nor hopes, much will change. 

“CrossFit has always been about improving the health and the fitness of the average person who walks in the gym and most of those people have no aspirations of going to the CrossFit Games,” she said. 

I have a suspicion that training CrossFit as a sport or training for the CrossFit Games isn’t necessarily the best way to do CrossFit for health. We’re all chasing fitness but what we’re really chasing is health which is our fitness over our lifespan.

Julie Foucher

Julie’s been very close to what she calls the “sudden” and “unexpected” changes right across CrossFit this season. Listen to our in depth chat here.

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