“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”- Steve Prefontaine
Masters Men We’ll Be Watching in Madison
After the masters division at the CrossFit Games was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the division on both the men and women’s side is stacked and ready to get back on the competition floor. With returning masters champions and former individual and team Games athletes making their masters debut, today we’re diving into the men on the masters field and giving you our top picks.
35-39: Podium Contenders (in no particular order):
Kyle Kasperbauer: A ten time CrossFit Games athlete both in the individual and masters category, Kasperbauer is a living CrossFit legend. As he closes out his final year in the 35-39 division, he is a strong contender for a podium position and possibly the gold medal.
Adrian Conway: Former individual Games athlete Adrian Conway is also a two time affiliate cup champion. While he doesn’t have as much individual experience as some of the other former Games athletes in his division, he is still a potential contender for the podium.
Nick Bloch: Despite a stacked field of former Games athletes, one time individual CrossFit Games athlete Nick Bloch managed to pull off a win for the AGOQ. In his masters debut, Bloch comes into the Games sitting in a strong position to step onto the podium this year.
Dan Bailey: CrossFit superstar Dan Bailey is a five year individual CrossFit Games athlete. In his masters debut and his return to the CrossFit Games after several years, fans are expecting big things from Bailey, including a possible podium finish.
James Hobart: A two time affiliate cup champion and multi-year individual Games athlete, Hobart’s extensive experience on the competition floor gives him a strong chance at a podium spot this year.
Catching up with Saxon Panchik: Coming off his first-place finish at Granite Games, Saxon tells us he’s ready to get back on the competition floor in Madison. Unlike nearly half of his opponents, he had the chance to compete at an in-person Semifinal before the Games. And unlike most of his opponents, he’ll be competing against his brother, Scott Panchik.
Saxon Panchik: “We’re still brothers at the end of the day, but I think when we get down on the competition floor, we’re all there for the same mission, and that’s to become the fittest on earth. When 3, 2, 1 goes, it’s showtime for all of us. When we cross the finish line, we can celebrate like brothers, but throughout that timeframe that I’m actually working out, I’m here to win.”
Takeaways from “Resurgence.” If you haven’t had a chance to watch the 2020 CrossFit Games documentary by the Buttery Bros, “Resurgence,” we have some spoilers for you as we dive into the five major takeaways from the film.
Speaking of the Buttery Bros, they were featured in Men’s Health talking about their new documentary and their journey from being let go from CrossFit HQ to where they are now. The bros also gave us their top picks for who they’d like to see do well at the Games, including Tia-Clair Toomey, Mal O’Brien, Emma Cary, Justin Medeiros, Jayson Hopper, Pat Vellner, and Noah Ohlsen.
Athletes Age: Wondering how old this year’s CrossFit Games Athletes are? Here’s a nice breakdown in order from youngest to oldest of the women’s and men’s fields.
Travis Mayer joins TYR Sport: Following suit with his training partner and Games athlete Noah Ohlsen, Mayer is the latest to become part of the athletic swimwear company.
Sara Sigmundsdottir sticks with Foodspring Athletics: Sigmundsdottir signed a new contract with the nutritional supplement company alongside her training partner BKG.
Toespacer blow-up: Add another Games athlete to the list. Emily Rolfe is now a toespacer ambassador. She joins BKG and Danielle Brandon on the toe and foot mobility train.
Podium product: Another one has hit the market for the Buttery Bros and Mat Fraser’s supplement company, Podium. “Hydro + Salt” helps you stay hydrated before, during, or after your workout.
Workout in Madison: Your experience in Madison during Games week just got a little sweeter. From Monday, July 26th to Sunday, August 1st, GOWOD is offering drop-ins to CrossFit Big Dane.
Featured: HWPO training session with Mat Fraser, perform a Hero workout with Josh Bridges, get coached by past Games athletes, and meet and greet with the Buttery Bros.
Five Rival Match-Ups To Pay Attention to in Madison
While only two individuals will be crowned champions at the CrossFit Games next week, there are always smaller victories within the Games to pay attention to—friendly duals between competitors with colorful histories.
1. Noah Ohlsen v BKG: Back-and-Forth Battle
Noah Ohlsen and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson both made their rookie Games debuts in 2014, and both have continued to qualify every single year since, making this year their 8th straight appearance.
In the last eight years, Ohlsen and Gudmundsson have battled back and forth, basically swapping who beats who, every single year. Ohlsen has placed higher than Gudmundsson four times, while Gudmundsson has beaten Ohlsen on three occasions. That being said, Gudmundsson has two podium finishes, compared to Ohlsen’s single podium appearance in 2019.
Over 160 Athletes Expressed Interest in Wearing Reeboks to Claim Bonus Prize Purse
After news broke yesterday morning that Reebok was offering all divisions competing at the CrossFit Games additional prize money for each event they win while wearing a Reebok shoe, athletes and coaches expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the news. In total, upwards of $1 million could be up for grabs across all divisions.
How it’s playing: Already 147 athletes across all divisions have expressed interest after the announcement, according to Reebok.
A key question to consider is to what degree this will draw the eye of athletes from competing brands.
Yesterday alone, multiple athletes with ties to competing brands have reached out to Reebok already, according to a source with inside knowledge, but there’s still a long way to go from reaching out to jumping ship.
What they’re saying: We talked to nearly a dozen athletes across multiple divisions who all were positive about the new opportunities.
Rich Froning: “I think it’s awesome, it shows their commitment to the sports, community, and athletes.”
Patrick Vellner: “I think it’s a fun extra incentive. I’m not a guy who wins a lot of events outright but I might have to go for it on a few this year! It’s great to see Reebok’s continued commitment to their athletes and sends a clear message that they’re still going to be mixing it up in the CrossFit space.”
Scoop: The Return of Greg Glassman, and a Book Coming Out on the Origins of CrossFit
Rumors of the early stage developments of a book telling the story of the origins of Greg Glassman and CrossFit were confirmed by Morning Chalk Up on Monday.
A precursor to its publication, an Instagram account called “The CrossFit Book” launched quietly on April 30, but didn’t post again until July 7 and is now regularly posting stories from the early days of CrossFit’s founding, including quotes directly from Glassman himself.
So who’s behind this: In a word Glassman, but the Instagram page itself and the writing of the book is being handled by Emily Kaplan, a former journalist and crisis communicator turned friend of Glassman who was brought on during last summer’s PR crisis to run point on communications amid the fallout.
According to the Kaplan, “Defining Fitness,” the book’s current working title, will tell the story of Greg Glassman and his founding of CrossFit through the lens of his contrarian nature and unwillingness to conform to the fitness status quo that led to founding a counter-cultural fitness revolution that would impact millions.
“My goal is it to tell the story of CrossFit’s impact on the world and how this disruptive force for good came to be,” Kaplan told us.
Glassman has given Kaplan complete access to his personal archives, records and email communications to assist with the project.
Kaplan has already interviewed more than 60 people for the book and hopes to have it completed by late fall to be released in early 2022.
The big picture: Glassman has been silent since he sold the company to Eric Roza just one year ago until Tuesday when he made his first public comments since the sale in a New Yorker article profiling CrossFit’s acquisition and Glassman:
Glassman: “I ran a gym I would join. Formed an affiliate program that I would participate in, wrote material that, had I seen it twenty years ago, we’d all be a whole lot fitter. CrossFit succeeded because I was willing to tell the truth that no one else would tell. The world’s changed and I haven’t.”
Glassman still believes wholeheartedly in the broader mission of fixing the ills of modern health and the unique role CrossFit can play in that arena, but the key question is what role does Glassman intend to play going forward?
Struggle to keep your back upright in front squats and cleans? The Zercher squat is for you. By holding the bar lower down you're forced to work harder at keeping your back straight to avoid tipping forwards.
Put the takeout menu away and try this delicious sheet pan cashew chicken packed with a rainbow of veggies. Serve with a side of rice or cauliflower rice for the perfect weeknight dinner. This recipe can also be made ahead for some perfect lunchtime meal prep.
Struggle to find the best warm-up for squatting and end up just doing a few light sets and letting rip? Next time you're getting ready for a heavy session, give this complex a try to get your body more comfortable in the bottom position and increase blood flow.
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