Masters Fitness Collective Expands for 2021 with CrossFit Licensing Deal and More

February 28, 2021 by
Courtesy of Kay Wiese
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At the end of August 2020 in Fort Wayne, IN, masters athletes came together to celebrate their fitness and end their season at the Grand Wayne Center. While it won’t replace the CrossFit Games this year, the Masters Fitness Collective wants to take competitive masters fitness to a new level in 2021.

One big thing: In 2021, The Masters Fitness Collective will partner with CrossFit as well as Loud and Live to bring the masters community together like never before and give masters athletes an opportunity to compete beyond the CrossFit Games with major changes to the event overall.

  • “We’ve been talking to Dave Castro and Eric Roza for the last six months,” said event director Bobby Petras.
  • “Castro and Roza were very gracious in recognizing our efforts,” he said, acknowledging that last year’s Masters Fitness Collective essentially served as a replacement for the 2020 CrossFit Games.
  • While they don’t expect to replace the CrossFit Games this year, The Master’s Fitness Collective hopes to be a way to give masters more opportunities to compete at events that focus solely on the masters’ community.

Expanding the event: Not only will the event expand through the official CrossFit license, Petras revealed some other big changes.

  • More opportunities to compete: In an effort to expand the full experience of the event, the Masters Fitness Collective will offer a full day of competition open to all age divisions and abilities.
    • The event will now kick off on Thursday with a partner style competition as well as a lift-off, open to all age divisions and levels, similar to Wodapalooza’s Thursday liftoff.
    • “Thursday will be a team partner competition cannonball style, where you do four to five workout in a row with your partner featuring a blind leaderboard,” said Petras on the partner competition.
  • More divisions: One of the key parts of the Masters Fitness Collective for the 2021 season will be giving more athletes the ability to compete. 
    • Petras announced the addition of a 30-34 age division, as well as the return of the 65+ division.
    • “I feel like the 30-34 athletes will become more like the NFL running back over the next 5-10 years, where you hit 30 and your professional career is done,” said Petras.
    • “You have a lot of kids starting CrossFit at 13-14 years old, so by the time they hit 30, they’re going to have almost 2 decades of competition behind them,” he continued.
    • “I’m not saying they’re not going to be fit,” he said.
    • “When you think about who is going to win the games and be able to dedicate the time to be at the peak of their career, we want to be able to offer these people more opportunities to compete,: he added.
    • “There’s a professional CrossFit division,” he continued, referring to the individual division, “and there’s an amateur side, which are the masters athletes who love the sport and aren’t trying to make a living from it, so why not add more divisions,” Petras concluded.
    • Petras was also excited to bring back the heavily requested 65+ division.
    • “The 65+ division is very outspoken, so I think they’ll be well represented,” Petras said.
  • More athletes: Last year’s event featured ten athletes per division. This year, the Masters Fitness Collective hopes to give even more athletes the opportunity to compete. 
    • “A big goal of ours is to expand the divisions,” said Petras.
    • “We’ll have at least twenty and potentially thirty athletes per division,” he continued.
  • More ways to qualify: Last year’s event invited the top finishers from the age group online qualifier, as well as top athletes from their own online qualifier.
    • This year, athletes will still begin their qualification process through the open and age group online qualifier. 
    • There will also include a final 1-3 day qualifier to determine the final pool of athletes for the championship.
    • Next year, the qualification process will expand as the Masters Fitness Collective partners with Loud and Live to use some of their sanctional events to qualify athletes to the event too.
  • More prizes: Last year, the Masters Fitness Collective offered one of the largest prize purses outside of the CrossFit Games for masters athletes. This year, they hope to expand that to further incentivize masters athletes to compete.
    • “Last year, winners got a $1,500 cash prize and product prizes that brought their total winnings close to a $5,000 value,” said Petras.
    • “We already have sponsors who want to step up,” he added.
    • The expansion of the number of athletes competing coupled with more sponsors coming into the event will help increase the total prize pool for the athletes, giving masters even more of an incentive to compete this year.

The big picture: The expansion of The Masters Fitness Collective is representative of a collective expansion of the entire competitive masters community. Not only will we see the expansion of the Masters Fitness Collective, but also the Legends Masters Competition. As the CrossFit Games season expands for the individual and team division, the expansion of these two competitions reflects a concurrent expansion of the masters division as well and an overall growth of the sport of fitness.

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