Reps Ahead Successfully Concludes Its First Pro Match and Crowns James Sprague the Inaugural Winner

October 26, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Katie Berg | @katieberg
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This year, Reps Ahead founder Phillip Thomas brought his idea to revolutionize the sport of fitness to life with a new competition style format “Reps Ahead.”

One big thing: Back in September, the brand announced that they would be hosting their first official pro match on October 7th featuring Games competitor James Sprague against Tyler Eggiman at Black Goat Fitness in Washington.

  • The event was intended to showcase the new style of competition, as well as add a new layer of legitimacy with multiple Games athletes involved in the event, including ten-time Games competitor Cole Sager as one of the judges.

Remind me: The competition style format is a variation on the traditional AMRAP. However, instead of simply needing to beat their competitor by at least one rep at the call of time, athletes can “call time” on their own terms by edging a certain number of reps ahead of their competitor.

The details: While complex on paper, the event is quite simple for the viewer to understand. The athletes were given a simple triplet of 12 box jumpovers, six hang squat cleans, and 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups.

  • Athletes were given an allowance of eight rounds, each consisting of two minutes of work and one minute of rest. During the work time, athletes attempt to pull 14 total reps ahead of their fellow competitor.
  • At the start of the next round, the reps ahead accumulated remain and athletes continue to try to amass the 14-rep lead.
  • At the end of the first round, Eggiman sat six reps ahead of Sprague. Eggiman would continue to hold this lead for the next few rounds, nearly beating Sprague.
  • However, by round five, Sprague’s fitness would prevail as he pulled off a breakaway and managed to separate himself by 14 reps and earn the first pro-victory title.

What they’re saying: The feedback on the first match has been incredibly positive.

  • “Reps ahead was an amazing fitness competition like no other,” said Sprague to Morning Chalk Up.
  • “The suspense and intensity as an athlete from the start to finish feels elevated in this kind of format and I was hooked from the second the clock started,” he continued.
  • This format allows you to play your competitor and have more strategy that’s based on someone else, usually in CrossFit it’s you against yourself. So with this format, it felt like reps ahead helped close the gap of making Crossfit competitions easier to follow and more fun to watch,”
  • “I will definitely be looking forward to the next one!” Sprague concluded.
  • Competitor Tyler Eggimann had similar sentiments, “The crowd is a lot more engaged, they are able to see exactly where the athletes are at the whole time,” he said.
  • “There is only one event with two people so everyone is focused just on those two people competing. Even if you don’t really understand Crossfit it’s exciting to watch and easy to get into,” he continued.
  • I would go watch even if I wasn’t competing. I love watching athletes suffer in workouts when I don’t have to do it,” he concluded.

The big picture: With this exciting new competition format starting to make its way onto the scene with participation from top athletes like James Sprague and Cole Sager, the future certainly bodes positively for the brand. The excitement for both the spectators and the athletes is clear both in person and through the livestream and as this format continues to grow, we will certainly be seeing bigger events and names come into the conversation.

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