CrossFit Games

Brent Fikowski, 21.1: Setting the Standard for Video Submissions

March 17, 2021 by
Photo credit: Brent Fikowski
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The process of hosting a worldwide online fitness competition is a massive undertaking. Since the inception of the Open in 2011 many different iterations of administering, managing, and fairly processing these competitions have been seen. No matter how in-depth the rulebook gets, and how detailed the workout standards are, there always seems to be something which creates controversy amongst those participating. 

Today we don’t want to focus on the controversies themselves though, instead we want to highlight Brent Fikowski’s video submission of Open workout 21.1 as an excellent example of what athletes can, and should, be doing to make the process easier, simpler, less painful, and less controversial for everyone. In particular, Fikowski does four things really well that all athletes should strive to replicate.

Everything is set up and ready BEFORE the video starts.

  • All the tape is clearly marked, the tape measure very visibly shows 10 inches from wall to tape, Brent is lying on the floor with a birds eye camera view showing his shoulders meeting the edge of the tape and his heels against the wall. And we do not have to wait long to be able to see any of this. 
  • He has not one, but two jump ropes, laid out and ready to go. Should the first rope break, he could easily transition to the second rope and would still easily be within the frame of the camera. 

The camera is positioned well so that every component of the workout can be seen including the clock and all areas he could potentially be exercising in.

  • After showing all the various components of the set up, the camera is then placed in the stationary position it will remain in for the duration of the video. It is not a weird lens, but it still more than adequately captures the entirety of the space with room to spare.
  • Brent backs up and asks the camerawoman to check and make sure he’s in the frame while standing in the area he will eventually do his double unders. Again, this does not take long, and it checks every box.

There are no other distracting elements to the video.

  • The only visible people in Brent’s video are him, and his judge. The clock is in the center of the frame, easy to see, with nothing obstructing it. There is no music playing while he’s showing the measurements early in the video (he actually does the entire workout without music, which, if the athlete can manage that, is an added bonus because it makes it easier to hear the spin of the rope, his feet hitting the wall before his hands move, his judge counting, and the announcement of his time at the end of the workout).
  • No one walks in front of the camera while he’s working out, he never leaves the frame, the clock is always visible, and the camera angle captures everything.

His movements are precise, clear, and easy to judge.

  • The biggest problem when submitting a video for an online review is to be able to adequately represent meeting the standard for every rep. Brent leaves no doubt from start to finish here. 
  • All athletes who are striving to be professional in this sport should hold themselves to this standard. Do not leave gray areas. In the case of 21.1, Fikowski could not have made it easier or more obvious the order of operations when doing his wall walks. He always moved the foot farther from the camera first, so whomever reviews this video can easily see the nearer foot (his second foot) touch the wall before his hands move from the taped line. 
  • The floor and his feet are visible for all reps of double unders, and as previously mentioned, because there is no music, you can hear the rope spinning beneath his feet and grazing the floor too. 

The bottom line: When it comes to the professional development of this sport there is undoubtedly a major responsibility that falls on CrossFit Home Office and specifically the Games team. However, the athletes have a role to play as well. Regardless of what Home Office puts forward as the rules for any workout, competition, or season, athletes who are choosing to compete should strive to adhere to those rules, not bend or break them. Eliminate all variables you have control over, and let your performance speak for itself. 

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