“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”- Napoleon Bonaparte
France is Now CrossFit's Biggest Success Story Outside of the US
When it comes to CrossFit’s biggest foothold outside of the United States, it turns out France is now second.
CrossFit HQ confirmed that France, which is about to hit 700 boxes, leads the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Brazil, in that order, now in 2022 coming out of the pandemic, which has drastically altered the fitness landscape, and the world as a whole. France’s country manager, Julian Festor, who is based out of Paris, said the success of the sport in his nation comes down to a number of factors, and there has been no silver bullet in climbing to the top.
“Reebok did a really good job of helping us market in the early days,” said Festor, who is a trained engineer and also previously worked in the music industry as a producer. “To the point that some people here (in France) thought Reebok and CrossFit were the same thing.”
Festor said the growth of CrossFit in France was helped by the sportswear retail giant, who originally signed a 10-year deal back in 2010, in the early days of the sport. Reebok ended its deal with CrossFit during the Greg Glassman scandal, and was replaced by NOBULL, however Festor said they brought an initial sense of legitimacy to the name and brand. He said from there the French Throwdown, which first debuted in 2012 and is now a CrossFit licensed event, and was previously a Sanctional, helped solidify the community in Paris as box numbers grew and it was the sport’s biggest event in Europe for a number of years.
In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Morning Chalk Up analysts Brian Friend and Patrick Clark about their first takes on the Strength in Depth Semifinal. Friend outlined the London event will be one of the most hotly contested events of the season:
“This year they have been given an incredible stable of athletes on both the men’s and the women’s side and the competition is going to be fierce.”
Mental Health Awareness Month is just around the corner (May), and James Quigley, who is a live action host for a number of CrossFit events, has opened up about his struggles to help move the conversation forward.
What are the most effective exercises to help with sleep apnea? 😴
Reviewing the Data: Who Signs Up for Quarterfinals?
For the second year in a row, 10% of the Open field on each continent for both men and women advanced to the newest stage of the CrossFit season— Quarterfinals. However, compared to the number of athletes that qualified, the registration rate was once again relatively low.
The question at hand is where the percentage of registrants who do sign up for Quarterfinals come from, and if we could aggregate the data would it possibly help determine whether the 10% threshold is needed going forward, or, if perhaps adjusting it one way or another might encourage more participation in the second stage of the season?
As is often the case in the CrossFit ecosystem, a member of the community took it upon himself to do the legwork to find out. Below is data provided by Adam Ambrosius to help us get a better understanding of who signs up for Quarterfinals.
OPINION: Be Better Judges, You Owe That to the Athletes and Community
I’ve wanted to write this piece for awhile now, since as far back as 2017 when I first started judging at that year’s CrossFit Games Central Regionals in Nashville, TN. It was that event that made me fall in love with the sport of CrossFit, it led me to want to do more and to seek out more roles to help grow the sport. So forgive me if I get worked up when I discuss an issue that has been very prevalent this season: judging and standards.
As someone who has judged at three Games, three Regionals, five different Sanctionals, two years as a video submission judge and has taken the online judges course every year since 2014, I take this subject very seriously and consider every judge as a gatekeeper to the Games and that pathway starts with the local affiliate judge. It’s that individual that this OpEd is directed towards.
It’s been no secret that people like Andrew Hiller and my coworker Brian Friend have been on the frontlines of making the community aware of the many issues that this year’s Games season has had. From the Open to the Age Group Quarterfinals, there has been controversy in every stage and though CrossFit has borne the brunt of the criticism, a majority of these issues could have been avoided before it ended up on Hiller’s YouTube channel.
It’s actually with Hiller who I had this conversation with and resulted in him making a video that addressed some of the judging issues. He suggested that I write something and so here I am, writing a story because of a dude who likens himself to the Batman of CrossFit.
How Caffeine and CBD Might be the Combo You Have Been Missing
At first glance, the thought of taking caffeine and CBD together might sound like mixing oil and water.
“Isn’t caffeine’s purpose to wake me up, and CBD helps me sleep?”
Logically that makes sense, but KILL CLIFF’s new sugar-free Octane beverage—which includes 125mg of caffeine and 125mg of broad spectrum hemp extract that yields 25mg of CBD—is aiming to prove that mixing caffeine and CBD is a match made in heaven for the CrossFit athlete, as it provides the sought-after energy boost from the caffeine, along with the recovery effects from the CBD.
Dispelling CBD Myths
KILL CLIFF’s Lauren Rothschild admitted that the CrossFit community, who has long been loyal to KILL CLIFF’s clean energy and recovery drinks, has been a bit gun shy to embrace their Octane beverage, as many equate CBD with sleep.
“A lot of people think that CBD might make you tired, so people are taken aback by it or confused. But the goal with this drink is to really give you the benefits of CBD,” Rothschild said, adding that these other benefits include improved recovery, reduced inflammation and joint pain, as well as improved mood.
This, along with the “boost from the caffeine,” she explained, make their Octane drink, released in November 2021, their most powerful energy and recovery product so far.
Won’t it get me high?
The second big myth many believe is that CBD will get them high, explained KILL CLIFF marketing manager Connie Cambre.
“Will this get me high? Will I fail a drug test? And the answer is absolutely not,” said Cambre, as its THC is what gives you the high, and the CBD in their Octane beverage gets extracted from the THC.
“You would have to drink a planetary amount, so that’s just completely false,” Cambre said.
The same is true of becoming paranoid, Cambre said. It’s THC that can lead to paranoid thoughts, whereas CBD acts as a relaxation agent.
Further, unlike other CBD drinks on the market today, such as various CBD waters and seltzers, KILL CLIFF is the only company that has published the exact amount of CBD in their drink, giving CrossFit athletes even more reason to continue to trust KILL CLIFF, Cambre added.
Has your squat clean and snatch plateaued? The chances are, the problem isn't at the top of your lift. Here’s something simple you can do to strengthen the bottom of your lift, and allow you to get back on the PR train.
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Wrist pain during push-ups? You're not alone. It's incredibly common for athletes, especially those who aren't used to doing 200 push-ups in a workout (Murph is coming...). Get ahead of the pain by doing this exercise now to help improve wrist mobility.
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One of the major reasons there are shoulder injuries in CrossFit is due to lack of proper active shoulder during overhead lifts. Watch this video to see what it looks like to have an active scapular position vs a passive one during overhead lifts.
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