“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Paige Powers Takes TYR Wodapalooza as Emily Rolfe Tears Calf and Drops Off Podium
The second and final day of individual competition at TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL started with Emily Rolfe looking fairly secure in first with a 45 point lead over Emma Cary in second, while Paige Powers sat in third.
But it took only one event to shake the leaderboard up, and after the second event of the day, it became obvious that the race for the podium was still anyone’s game and would very much come down to the final two-part event.
In the end it was the two-time CrossFit Games teen podium finisher Powers who took the title.
After her win, 2022 CrossFit Games rookie Powers said even more exciting than the win is what this weekend has done for her confidence.
“This is the first time I feel like I found my confidence in the elite division. I just haven’t felt worthy for the past two years I have been in it, but now I really feel like I can hang with everyone. I think this weekend was so much more about me finding my confidence back again after being in the teenage division,” Powers said.
Let’s take a look at how the day unfolded.
Event 5: We Have Lift Off — The first event was a two-part workout worth 100 points, but where the first part of the workout—a max clean and jerk—was worth 60 percent, while the second part—a max time parallette freestanding handstand hold—was worth 40 percent.
Big lifts were put up across the board, with Cece Cronin posting the heaviest lift of 256 pounds, and Dani Speegle right behind with a 255-pound clean and jerk. Paige Semenza rounded out the top three with a 247-pound lift.
Speegle, who entered the day in seventh overall, quickly turned her attention to the max handstand hold event and put forth another impressive performance. Her one minute and six second hold was good enough for fifth overall, and enough to launch her from seventh to fourth overall, just four points out of third.
But it was Rebecca Fuselier who posted the longest handstand hold time of the day—1:27.44—while Elisa Fuliano was second (1:22.47) and Rolfe third (1:19.87).
On the other side of things, Cary, who entered the day in second, did herself no favors on Event 5. She placed 15th on the clean and jerk and 26th on the handstand hold, sliding her from second to sixth overall.
Event 6: Double Shot with a Splash – As per Wodapalooza tradition, the athletes were faced with an open water swim in a two-round workout of 50 wall balls, an open water swim and 150 drag rope double-unders.
Freya Moosbrugger showed her swimming prowess when she dominated Heat 1, but her score was easily overtaken by multiple athletes in the second heat.
Powers, who entered the event 22 points behind Rolfe, the leader, took advantage of the event to gain some valuable points. She was fluid on all three movements and stuck near the front of the pack the whole way.
Powers was able to take the clear lead during the second swim before executing her heavy rope double-unders well enough to finish ahead of a hard-charging Brittany Weiss, scooping up an event win.
It looked as though Powers would pick up maybe just 10 points on Rolfe, who was the third athlete out of the water and to the double-unders, however, Rolfe appeared to be in pain during the double-unders. Eventually, she put her rope down and stopped even attempting reps before calling it quits and signing off on her judge’s workout sheet with time left on the clock. Rolfe, who ended up placing 25th due to her DNF, later discovered she suffered a Level 1 calf tear.
According to her husband Kyle Rolfe, after the event Rolfe went for a massage, cried some “tears of frustration” as she hobbled back to the hotel for a shower, and then made the decision to compete in the final event, as it didn’t look too taxing on the calf.
When the numbers were crunched after the swim event, Powers found herself the leader and with a 37-point lead over Rolfe, while Speegle was just one point behind that.
Meanwhile, Michalyshen’s quiet yet consistent performances were starting to pay off, as she found herself in fourth, but just 13 points out of second, heading into the final event. And Cary,’s solid fifth place finish on the swim put her back in fifth overall, and just 15 points off the podium.
In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil recapped the entirety of day one at TYR Wodapalooza which featured interviews with Ricky Garard, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Roman Khrennikov.
Also, in case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s CrossFit analyst Joey Adduci has a great breakdown on how you can scale all the TYR Wodapalooza workouts for your home gym.
Local love: Great story in the Kitsap Daily News about CrossFit NXNW in Port Orchard, WA narrowly missing a devastating flood.
Interesting read: A new study suggests that exercise can prompt changes right down to the DNA level.
Ricky vs Roman: CrossFit's Next Great Rivalry Continues at TYR Wodapalooza as Garard Comes Out on Top
The2023 TYR Wodapalooza came to a close for the individual athletes on Friday, January 13. They took on three more events–two with two parts–and they battled for the three podium spots. The race ultimately came down to Ricky Garard and Roman Khrennikov, who put on an incredible show and continued CrossFit’s next great rivalry as the Australian nudged out his counterpart.
Event 4: We Have Lift Off – The opening event on Friday was a two-parter, but it was only worth 100 total points. The athletes started with three lift attempts where they had 20 seconds to attempt a one-rep max clean and jerk. They then transitioned to a parallette free-standing handstand hold for max time. The lift accounted for 60% of the score while the hold was the remaining 40%.
Guilherme Malheiros was the story of the clean and jerk. The Brazilian has a reputation for impressive lifts, and he did not disappoint.
Malheiros stunned the announcers by successfully lifting a record-setting 395 pounds. He was unable to turn in a strong time on the handstand hold, but he still locked up some crucial points considering that he entered the event 30th overall and left 18th.
Try as they might, none of the other athletes could get within reach of Malheiros’ weight. Though several turned in better handstand holds. A fitting example is Cole Greashaber, who only finished 18th in the lift before easily winning the handstand hold.
The early heats brought the thunder during the clean and jerk, but the podium contenders just performed consistently. Garard, Patrick Vellner, and Khrennikov all maintained their stops atop the leaderboard after turning in strong lifts and consistent times on the handstand hold.
Event 5: Double Shot With a Splash – This grueling event featured two rounds with three movements. The athletes started with 50 wall ball shots (30 pounds) and then they completed an open-water swim. They capped off each round with 150 drag rope double unders.
Once again, Malheiros turned heads during the first heat of the workout. He was calm and collected throughout both rounds as he posted the top time at 16:12.16. He needed to stay above the 20-athlete cutline, and this time ultimately secured fifth place in the event and 13th place on the overall leaderboard.
The second and final heat was all about Khrennikov and Garard. The two podium finishers from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games continued their back-and-forth battle that has lasted several months across multiple competitions.
Khrennikov finished the second set of wall ball shots first, but an issue with his goggles opened up the door for Garard to take the lead once again on the swim.
The battle between Garard and Khrennikov came down to the final set of double unders. Garard had the lead, but he stopped on his second set of 50 while Khrennikov kept going.
A missed rep by Khrennikov opened up an opportunity for Garard, but the Russian ultimately crossed the finish line a tenth of a second ahead for his third event win.
While Khrennikov and Garard battled for first, Brent Fikowski did normal Fikowski things. He calmly worked his way through the event and finished third overall to lock up another 90 points and keep himself within reach of a potential podium spot.
What about Vellner? The perennial TYR Wodapalooza champion had to take several breaks during his final round of double unders. He finished the event 12th overall, but he dropped below Khrennikov on the overall leaderboard.
Gui Malheiros Sets CrossFit Clean and Jerk Competition Record at TYR Wodapalooza
Gui Malheiros made history at TYR Wodapalooza on Friday, hitting a 395 pound clean and jerk in the first part of “We Have Lift Off.” The lift was a personal record for Malheiros, which he admitted was unexpected since he hasn’t been lifting heavy. The lift was the heaviest recorded clean and jerk at a CrossFit competition.
In a post-event interview with Niki Brazier, Malheiros said he hasn’t touched a heavy barbell in two to three months. Malheiros came into day two on the bubble of getting cut from the competition, but was able to get an event win in this wheelhouse workout.
Remind me: The previous record for a clean and jerk in a CrossFit competition was co-held by Australian Jake Douglas who lifted 387 pounds on day 1 of the 2019 Down Under CrossFit Championship and Tola Morakinyo who hit that number at the 2017 CrossFit Games.
The bottom line: The fact that Malheiros can take months off from lifting and return to the floor to not only set the clean and jerk record, but also set a personal best is a testament to his superhuman levels of strength, power and speed.
Malheiros may not be sitting where we all expected on the leaderboard, but it’s important to note it’s the offseason and he has been very open about his lack of training frequency. As we gear up for the competition season, expect to see Malheiros return to full form by the time Semifinals come around.
Girls Who Lift: Women Continue to Crush Clean and Jerk Numbers in CrossFit Competitions
Ten years ago, a women’s 200-pound clean and jerk would have been competitive at almost any level of CrossFit competition.
Case in point: 205 pounds was good enough for a respectable 15th place in the max clean and jerk event at the CrossFit Games in 2013, amidst the fittest women in the world.
That same lift placed 31st at TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL on Friday.
Why this matters: Max lifting events are not only a crowd favorite, but they’re also a great opportunity to take a look at how the sport has progressed, and continues to progress, year-after-year. And Friday’s opening event in Miami—a one-rep max clean and jerk—was no exception.
Looking at the numbers: When we compare the female athletes competing in Miami this weekend to the 2015 CrossFit Games—the last time a one-rep max clean and jerk was programmed at the Games—the Wodapalooza athletes blew them out of the water.
Cece Cronin posted the heaviest lift on Friday in Miami with a 256-pound clean and jerk, while Dani Speegle was right behind her with a lift of 255 pounds. Paige Semenza rounded out the top three (247 pounds).
In comparison, the top clean and jerk at the 2015 Games belonged to Brooke Ence, who lifted 242 pounds, while second and third place posted lifts of 240 and 232 respectively.
Further, it’s worth noting that the top five lifts at Wodapalooza this weekend were heavier than the absolute best lift in the world in 2015.
But perhaps even more impressive than that is when we consider the depth of the field.
In a field of 35 athletes at Wodapalooza, 22 athletes hit 220 pounds or higher, whereas in 2015, only nine athletes (of 38 who competed) were able to reach that milestone.
Further, on the bottom end of the leaderboard, only two athletes failed to clean and jerk at least 200 pounds on Friday, compared to 2015 when 11 athletes posted lifts less than 200 pounds.
The big picture: As we watch Wodapalooza this weekend, it’s easy to become numb to what we are seeing. We expect Dani Speegle to clean and jerk 250 pounds, and hardly blink when she does. But when we take the time to look at where the sport was at 10, eight or even three years ago, and compare that to today, it becomes just that much more evident just how impressive and superhuman the athletes competing today really are.
Sara Sigmundsdottir Launches Comeback Season in Miami
Fans and athletes alike cannot think of CrossFit without Icelandic powerhouse Sara Sigmundsdottir, who is back on the competition floor at TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL, after falling short of making the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games and a wave of injuries over the last few seasons.
Sigmundsdottir has made six CrossFit Games appearances, finishing on the podium twice. She is also a three-time worldwide Open winner, and three-time Sanctional winner. Last year, she was one spot out of qualifying for the Games at the 2022 CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown and then failed to qualify in the Last Chance Qualifier.
Remind me: Sigmundsdottir had to withdraw from Wodapalooza in 2022 after three events citing a knee injury, which would ultimately keep her out of the entirety of the Games season.
Prior to the injury at the 2022 Wodapalooza competition Sigmundsdottir had to sit out of the 2021 Games season due to a torn ACL. But it doesn’t stop there. Since 2018 she’s had two broken ribs and an infection that caused cortisol and adrenal issues.
But she tells Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil, in an interview, she’s feeling healthy and ready for a comeback season. And as Kalil puts it, a healthy Sara is a scary Sara.
“I can’t control how long it takes for me to come back, but I’m never going to give up and that’s my mentality,” said Sigmundsdittir.
“I didn’t make it last year, I just have to make it this year and I just have to keep putting in the work. I’m always climbing the stairs and I’m still trying to climb the stairs coming back.”
When Kalil asked about her knee, health and mindset, Sigmundsdottir replied: “It’s so good, such a good place. I’ve been enjoying life, let’s say that, with a lot of good training and it’s like everything is clicking now, it’s too good to be true, when is the punch coming?”
Sigmundsdottir had a slow start on Day 1 of the competition. In Event 1 she finished in 15th place, but made a rebound on Event 2 placing third. She finished out the day on a lower note with an 18th and 10th place finish and headed into day 2 in 10th place overall.
On Day 2 Sigmundsdottir started off on a rough patch with a 17th and 31st place in Event 4. She made up some ground with an 8th place finish in Event 5. And in the final event of the day she got a 4th and 9th place finish, which put her in sixth place overall.
While it may not have been the finish she was looking to have she’s gearing up for a big year.
“I would say this would be my comeback season, I mean last year it was a comeback season, I tried my best but it wasn’t enough, this year I’ll try my best and hopefully that’s enough,” said Sigmundsdottir.
Tight Hips from Your Desk Job
When we think about sitting in at a desk all day, most of the time we think about our back and neck. But don’t forget your poor hip flexors! Use these easy mobility exercises at work to keep those hips mobile.
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