CrossFit HQ Encourages Affiliates to WOD with the Games

September 15, 2020 by
Courtesy of Emily Rolfe (
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While it’s fairly commonplace for CrossFit enthusiasts to attempt CrossFit Games events to see how they stack up against the best in the world, it’s not usually possible to do the entire CrossFit Games weekend at your home gym.

  • The more insane among us probably attempted the half marathon row in 2013, or maybe even the marathon row in 2018, but it’s hard to mimic events like the obstacle course at Camp Pendleton military base circa 2012, the ocean swim in waves big enough to surf at Hermosa Beach, CA in 2014, or the 2017 cyclocross course in Madison, WI.

This year, however, if you have the fitness level, it’s entirely possible to test yourself against the best CrossFit athletes in the world at this weekend’s unprecedented online CrossFit Games.

One big thing: CrossFit HQ is encouraging the community to participate from home.

  • “WOD along with the Games,” they suggested in their September 9 Affiliate Update.
  • The Update also announced they will be releasing “scaling guidance and lesson plans” for affiliates who want to “replicate the events” in their home communities.

Encouraging affiliates to participate in the Games weekend by doing their own versions of the workouts fits with the message of the 2020 CrossFit Games. In a short video posted to YouTube four days ago, CrossFit Director of Sport, Dave Castro, outlined how this year’s Games were different.

  • “What’s more important than the Games, is the community and the affiliates and everyone who is doing CrossFit,” Castro said.

Justin Bergh, General Manager of the CrossFit Games:

  • “The magic of this year’s Games is the return to the box, the place where every athlete starts their CrossFit journey. We all have an unprecedented chance to take on the test exactly as the actual Games athletes will. In a typical year, that’s not even a theoretical possibility, as the stadium equipment, layouts, and terrain just can’t be replicated in a local box. This year, we think the accessibility of the programming will be one of the most extraordinary and unifying parts of the event.”

Though CrossFit HQ is providing specific scaling options this year, the concept of joining in from home isn’t new for Jon Harwood, the owner of CrossFit Throne in Lubbock, Texas. Each year, Harwood programs CrossFit Games workouts for his community in a way that allows people of all levels to play along.

  • “Usually we play the intensity game,” he said, where he challenges his athletes to scale the load, distance or skill level in a way that lets them “to match or beat” Games athletes’ scores. He intends to do this again this year.

What they’re saying: “This is a great idea by HQ. I will look into programming some of these (workouts) for our gym,” said Corey Uebelacker, the owner of Renascent Athletics in St. Burien, WA.

  • “I’ll definitely be programming their workouts, probably modified to fit our gym,” added Dawn Hussey, the owner of CrossFit Rua in Chicago, Il.
  • Mike Corcoran, the co-owner of CrossFit Mill Street in Vienna, VA is another who is planning to incorporate the Games events into his programming. “Our members are more excited than I expected for this year’s Games. With it being online, I didn’t think it would draw as much attention. Seeing everyone workout in their own space, without the crowd, and not being able to gauge where their competition is, makes this year very exciting. You’ll find out who is able to push themselves on their own the hardest,” he said.
  • We definitely will be looking at the workouts and the scaling. In my experience, people like to try some of the workouts the games competitors do and this will be no different,” offered Jack Wiggen, the owner of Bull City Community Fitness in Durham, NC.
  • Justin Brown, the owner of CrossFit Vice in Coral Springs, FL added: “We definitely plan on doing the WODs programmed for the Games. Our competition class will do the WODs as prescribed, and the class will do a scaled version. I’m sure we will cherry pick the WODs to make it doable for all,” he said. “We want members to feel part of the community at large…When a member does the same or similar workout as Tia Clair-Toomey, she feels accomplished,” he added.

Notable: It’s not just lifestyle athletes who will be attempting some variation of the Games this year. 2019 Games athlete Emily Rolfe, who qualified for the 2020 Games via the Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival only to be removed from the roster due to COVID-19 reshuffling, is planning on doing a mock version of the Games this weekend from her hometown of Richmond, British Columbia.

  • Rolfe’s goal is to give her “closure to my very long and stressful season,” and just “to see how I stack up against the other girls,” she said.
  • She added: “After this, my coach and I can start planning and looking toward 2021.”

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