CrossFit Games

2023 CrossFit Games Individual Programming: First Look

August 2, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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With just one day left before the Individuals take the stage in Madison for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games, seven tests have been released thus far on the CrossFit Games website. The CrossFit Games has a reputation of crowning the “Fittest on Earth” via its well-rounded programming and versatility of tests. Here is what we see based on the tests released so far. 

Four of the seven tests favor specialists: 

  • Endurance: The individual competition will kick off on Thursday with “Ride,” which is a 40 minute AMRAP of mountain biking on a closed loop. This will be followed by the top 30 athletes doing the “Cross-Country 5K” on Saturday. Both of these tests favor specialists who have a strong background in either monostructural skill and time domain. 
  • Gymnastics: “Inverted Medley” is scheduled for Thursday and will feature handstand walks over a ramp, free-standing handstand push-ups, pirouettes and a new movement – the pull-over. While the novelty of the pull-over might make noise in this test, the specialists who are strong upside down are going to dominate. Most of these athletes will be able to figure out an efficient pull-over technique, but the execution demand of the inverted skills will be what makes or breaks this test for someone. 
  • Weightlifting: It’s been a long time coming and we’re finally going to see a traditional Olympic Weightlifting Total at the CrossFit Games. After last year’s step away from the barbell and introduction of the sandbag ladder for the strength test, it’s going to be exciting to see specialists showcase their strength, speed and technique in the Coliseum on Saturday. 

Cuts will continue to be controversial: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the cuts at the CrossFit Games. This year’s individual field is scheduled to be cut from 40 athletes down to 30 at the end-of-day Friday and then from 30 down to 20 after Saturday. With nearly 60 percent of the programming that has been released favoring specialists, it makes it all the more crucial for athletes to have filled any holes in their fitness. 

We can also anticipate that for any bubble athletes, the order in which the events are lined up will likely play a role in who is able to survive the cuts throughout the weekend. In fact, the bottom ten individuals won’t have the chance to run the Cross-Country 5K or compete in the Olympic Total. 

The bottom line: With the programming favoring specialists, it is even more important than ever for the top title contenders to have filled any holes in their fitness to avoid finishing outside of the top 10 on any given test. A glaringly poor finish in just one test early in the weekend could indicate a premature end to some athletes’ 2023 competitive season. With Sunday still a mystery, we look forward to seeing how the unknown tests will play a role into the overall tapestry of programming designed to crown 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games champion.

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