“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Justin Bergh, Kurtis Bowler and Adrian Conway Talk Drug Testing on CrossFit Games Podcast
Chase Ingraham opened the most recent episode of the CrossFit Games podcast with a strong statement about PEDs, following last week’s rash of positive drug tests: “These make great headlines, ‘does CrossFit have a drug problem’ . . . but the reality is it’s a very unfair statement to get clicks on a video or article.”
What followed was an hour-long discussion of CrossFit’s drug testing policy and how and why it has seemed as though a higher number of athletes have tested positive this year.
One big thing: When asked about what Games-level athletes need to do to prepare themselves for the season, especially as it relates to drug testing, Bergh said ”Outbound through the Hopper…if you’re an athlete and you want to play this sport, you need to subscribe to that newsletter.”
“If you’ve unselected that (the Hopper email) then you are willingly not getting the educational material that we are trying to give you, about how to submit your videos correctly, score deadlines, supplements risks, how to get in front of eligibility issues, therapeutic use exemptions and things like that; that’s the content of the Hopper. It’s a designed newsletter for you as a competitor in the sport.”
The details: While this year has not yet topped out as the highest number of positive drug tests, with 17 and counting, it’s trending in that direction.
Bergh, the General Manager of Sport, Bozman, the Competition Director and Kurtis Bowler, the Athlete Relations Manager for CrossFit and head of Drug Testing, provided a few answers about the process.
“There’s nothing we like doing less than telling an athlete they can’t compete in our sport,” Bergh said.
The bottom line: While the competition schedule makes it difficult to wrap up all the drug testing at the same time (some athletes compete in Semifinals a month before others), Bergh and the Games team want to give all athletes in line for a Games spot a chance to go to Madison.
“We don’t let the athletes choose whether they compete in the first week or whether they compete in the fourth week, we assign them to a Semifinal; from a competition integrity standpoint we have the same responsibility that if we would backfill athletes from week 1 we can backfill athletes from week 4, and even if that means the process takes a long time we have to at least make the effort to let those teams go to the cf Games,” Bergh concluded.
Tia-Clair Toomey's Workout Booster
5 time CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey is always looking for better ways to fuel workouts. “I find it hard to eat enough before a workout to get the right amount of fuel,” says Tia.
Her husband Shane Orr and training partner Saxon Panchik knew the perfect solution: UCAN Edge. It relies on patented, steady-release carbs to deliver sustained energy and focus during exercise.
“Taking a UCAN energy gel halfway through allows me to attack my training and keep my energy high throughout.”
The fittest athletes on earth rely on UCAN to get the most out of CrossFit training. Now it’s your turn.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Matt Torres about having Danielle Brandon join the Brute Strength team in Naples, Florida and CrossFit’s barrage of PED issues.
Get ya’ picks in: Guessing Games is back!Time to analyze the field and make your predictions to win a mega prize pack from Reebok, YETI, and FITAID.
Signing alert: Emma Lawson is PODIUM’s newest athlete.
Early birds: Registration for the TYR Wodapalooza Online Challenge and Qualifier is now live and ready to rock. ⛱
CrossFit Games Composite Power Rankings: 2022 Men's Division
With contributions from Chad Schroeder, Chase Ingraham, Lauren Kalil, Patrick Clark, and Tommy Marquez.
What are power rankings? And how do we come up with them? These two questions come up as much as anything when we put these numbers out. Before we get to the actual rankings, we thought it was important to address these questions.
What are power rankings?
Brian Friend: “I consider these soft predictions. I’m grouping athletes based on everything I know about them up to this point, with the understanding that once the field is set* (who’s in AND who’s out) there’s a lot to dive into leading up to the Games, meaning changes to these rankings are still likely in the next couple weeks before they become predictions.”
*These were written before the four alterations to the men’s roster due to failed drug tests. We re-ranked accordingly, but not much was changed in the narratives.
How do different CrossFit analysts determine their power rankings?
Chase Ingraham: “I started with the podium, then went to the bottom and filled in most of the rookies near the bottom. Then I place veterans every five spots or so based on their average finish in previous CrossFit Games, and fill in the rest from there.”
Chad Schroeder: “I use a mix of both objective (performance in Semifinals/past Games/Quarterfinals/off-season competitions) and subjective (momentum trends/historical struggles for rookies at Games/gut feelings). Sometimes I just over-rule the objective and move an athlete up or down based on hunches.”
There’s no rhyme or reason to it, each of us arrive at conclusions differently, and thus we have the composite rankings— a collection of six analysts’ rankings, in which each athlete’s placements are averaged and then ranked accordingly.
Without further ado, power rankings for the 2022 CrossFit Games Individual Men’s division are as follows.
Chandler Smith, Anikha Greer Use 2022 CanWest Games as Redemption
After disappointing 2022 CrossFit Games seasons, three-time Games athlete Chandler Smith and up-and-comer Anikha Greer showed up at the CanWest Games in Coquitlam, British Columbia on the weekend with something to prove.
And prove themselves they did. Both Smith and Greer finished the three-day competition—a competition that featured a handful of Semifinals athletes who came close to qualifying to Madison, WI this season—on top of the leaderboard, and with CA$15,000 pay checks.
Rounding out the podium on the men’s side were James Sprague—sixth at the Syndicate Crown Semifinals—and Mitchel Stevenson—sixth at the Last Chance Qualifier. And on the women’s side, Hattie Kanyo—14th at the LCQ—was second, while Gabrielle Spenst—19th at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge—finished third.
Smith’s Story: Smith, who was expected to finish in the top five at the Granite Games Semifinals struggled all weekend in Eagan, MN, eventually placing 11th overall and failing to qualify to even the Last Chance Qualifier.
Danielle Brandon Talks Leaving Underdogs on Brute Strength Podcast
Two-time CrossFit Games athlete Danielle Brandon made headlines in early July when she announced her departure from Underdogs Athletics and coach Justin Cotler. As the rumor mill churned, Brandon took a red eye to Naples, FL, where she will finish out her Games training with the Brute Strength crew. She recently sat down with Brute Strength Podcast host Micah Shoemaker to go over her experience.
The details: Brandon admitted that, while the Internet largely had other ideas, leaving Underdogs “wasn’t necessarily (her) choice.”
Brandon: “It was not something I had planned for, because what idiot would choose to leave the camp a month before the Games.”
Since joining the Brute Strength camp, Brandon says she’s found more motivation to train and get better than ever before. Head coach Matt Torres gives more focused, individualized programming than Brandon was used to, a factor that’s proved invigorating for her. She’s currently staying in Syndicate Crown sixth-place finisher James Sprague’s house and primarily training with Games competitor Dallin Pepper.
Remind me: Underdogs Athletics got their boost in fame during the 2020 CrossFit Games season with three key athletes, including Brandon, Kari Pearce, and Bethany Shadburne. Brandon says the group came together, as well as Cotler, because of how well they blended together. However, now that the camp has gotten more attention and more athletes have flocked to train there, the environment has become too toxic and hard to handle for Brandon.
“It takes a really good leader to be able to control that environment,” Brandon. “When shit goes down, confrontation and hard conversations need to be had, and it just wasn’t. I get it, it’s a hard environment, especially with athletes— athletes are fucking crazy.”
The bottom line: Brandon’s departure from her camp, which she had been with since 2020, so close to the Games will prove a big test. With a self-proclaimed tendency to run hot under the stress of competition, Brandon will have a lot to manage in Madison. However, with only a few days of training at Brute under her belt, she seems to have found at least a temporary home–only time will tell if she stays after the 2022 season ends.
Your Average Healing Times
When you injure yourself, what's the first question you ask the doctor? “How long will it take until I am back to normal?” It's natural to want to get back to training as soon as possible, and while getting an exact date is not quite possible, these charts will give you a good indication of what to expect.
Competitors at the 2014 CrossFit Games learned about the final event just seconds before it began...Double Grace. Throwback to a seminal competition and watch Froning, Fraser, and Khalipa go head-to-head in this famous finale.
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