“Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”- Francis of Assisi
The History Of The Last Chance Qualifier
Starting this Friday the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) stands as the final qualifying event of the 2021 CrossFit Games season, with four total spots to be decided over the course of four events.
In the minds of most fans, the LCQ presents a new addition to the CrossFit Games season that offers athletes a chance at redemption in earning their spot to the big show. For the more seasoned CrossFitter, the 2021 LCQ is a “2.0,” iteration of a competition stage that broke new ground for the sport over a dozen years ago.
Flashback: The 2009 CrossFit Games season brought on a host of new elements to the table. For the first time athletes would be required to qualify for the Games through a single stage of Regionals like the Great Basin, Dirty South, and “Hell’s Half Acre” Regional competitions.
The CrossFIt community was significantly smaller — the worldwide affiliate total had just eclipsed 500 for the first time earlier in the year — and with the sport in year three, organizers effectively had carte blanche to create the flow of competition for a comprehensive season foundation to build on.
In addition to the 65 plus athletes that qualified through the in-person Regional competitions, a new concept was announced late in the season that would provide a backup options for athletes that underperformed, were hurt, or were unable to compete as a part of the large contingent of military service men and women that were overseas: the Last Chance Online Qualifier.
Let us know if you’ve heard this story before: You took about 20 years off between workouts, you’re going steady with CrossFit now — big win BTW — but there are still some aches and pains that are holding you back.
So you made an appointment with a doc who doesn’t workout. He told you to just “take it easy”, or “you’re too old for that,” or “take this painkiller or shot.” Basically a quick fix, get onto the next patient solution.
Sound familiar? We thought so.
Active Life is different. Instead of quick fixes, they offer long-term, sustainable solutions that focus on the root of the injury and problem.
Kara Saunders opened up about leaving her daughter, Scotti, at home during the CrossFit Games this year.
Saunders: “Leaving her behind for the Crossfit Games is one of the hardest things I’ll ever do. I’ve ugly cried HARD everyday since making the decision that is ultimately the best thing for her. It feels like grief having to wean her from breastfeeding before I leave which is another beast in itself.”
Now that the first season of Semifinals has come to an end, it seems appropriate to look back and attempt to answer some of the larger questions about them.
Does it matter how many workouts are in a competition? And in particular with regards to this year does it matter if there are six or seven workouts at a Semifinal?
This year five of the Semifinals were programmed by CrossFit to accommodate for the fact that they had to be done virtually. That programming had six scored events. The other five Semifinals were programmed by the competition directors: four of them had seven events (West Coast Classic, Torian Pro, Granite Games, Fittest in Cape Town), while only the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge had six events.
CrossFit Games Rookie Series: Meet Colten ‘Muscle Hamster with a Mullet’ Mertens
After experiencing the CrossFit Games in 2018 with his CrossFit Kilo team, Colten Mertens shifted to individual competition in 2019 and immediately set his sights on getting back to Madison, WI one day. After three long years of training and competing, that day arrived for Mertens several weeks ago at the Granite Games in Eagan, MN, when he snagged the fifth and final spot to the Games.
Still a relative unknown to the CrossFit community, Mertens’ performance was a bit of a surprise. However, for 23 year-old who grew up working on a farm in Iowa, punching his ticket was his intention — a realistic goal he knew he could achieve, he explained.
“The main goal was to qualify. I competed with a team in 2018, and since then I knew I definitely wanted to get back to the Games (as an individual),” Mertens said.
Mertens’ Road to 2021: After switching from team to individual competition, Mertens placed 403rd in the world in the Open in 2019 and went on to compete at two Sanctionals events that season — the Dubai CrossFit Championship and the Granite Games, where he placed 29th and 26th respectively.
The following season, Mertens, who is coached by CrossFit Kilo owner Armand McCormick, made a big leap forward during the Open, finishing 109th in the world, and went on to have a solid showing at the Rogue Invitational. He placed ninth and snagged $10,000 for his event wins in the process.
And we're looking for a more scientific answer than "very". Fortunately, WHOOP tracked Team EF across the 2020 Tour and has released their strain and recovery scores. Discover just how much the riders go through across the grueling 23 day race.
Just because you can't see it when you're flexing in a mirror doesn't mean you can ignore it. Specifically strengthening your back is the most neglected way of increasing your top-end strength across all movements. Try these four exercises and start watching the gains roll in.
Pistols are the perfect demonstration of strength, technique, and a whole lotta balance. Master them in just three sessions a week with this simple program from Brent Fikowski and the team at Train Your Weakness.
We love a deadlift variation, and this one will burn your posterior chain like no other. Having a wide grip and a deficit creates a massive range of movement to work everything from your hamstrings to your upper back. Start low (and we mean low) on the weight and concentrate heavily on form until you feel comfortable adding more plates.
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