“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”- Henry Ford
190 is the New 160: A Look at Women’s Semifinal Snatches
As we watched woman after woman hit a 190-pound snatch at the recent Semifinals, it was easy to become numb to what we were witnessing. Easy to forget where we were two, three, five, or 10 years ago.
As a CrossFit OG, I watched women at this year’s Semis hit 200-pounds after an 800-meter run in Test 4, and string together 125-pound snatches in Test 5 as if was 65 pounds, I couldn’t help but look back to the opening event of the 2010 CrossFit Games, to the debut of the workout Amanda (9-7-5 ring muscles-ups and squat snatches at 135/95 pounds).
That year, Amanda was considered highly-technical, causing men and women alike to struggle, not only with getting through the 21 muscle-ups, but also on the 135/95-pound snatches. Watching old coverage of that event today potently shows us how far our sport has come. (Scroll to 1:42.16 in the workout, where 2008 Games champion Jason Khalipa, who was known for his strength in those days, goes for a walk with the barbell and face plants).
And for an even more potent example of progress, we took at the women’s snatch numbers from the 2023 Semifinals and compared them to two previous max snatch events from years gone by.
The details: Throughout the seven Semifinal competitions this season, 54 women hit at least a 190-pound snatch, while 18 hit 200 pounds or more, the heaviest lift put up by Hannah Black in North America West was 215 pounds.
When we compare this to just two years ago, to the one-rep max snatch event at the 2021 CrossFit Games (which isn’t even a fair comparison, we should add, as it’s comparing a Semifinal field to a Games field. Further, the athletes in 2021 didn’t have to do an 800-meter run first), the Semifinal field of 2023 still takes the cake.
In 2021, just two athletes—Tia-Clair Toomey and Annie Thorisdottir, hit 200 pounds, while five athletes hit 190 pounds.
Going back a bit further to the max snatch event at Regionals in 2015: That year, only five women hit 190 pounds or more.
Even more telling, however, is that in 2015, 165 pounds was considered a heavy snatch. In four of the eight regions that season, 165 pounds was good enough for a top 10 score, and in both the West region and the Atlantic region, the winning snatch was less than 180 pounds.
In fact, only five percent of the field was able to hit 180 pounds or more in 2015. This year, when we consider North America West, North America East, Europe and Oceania, 45 percent of the field posted 180 pounds or more.
The big picture: “Measurable and repeatable” has always been at the heart of CrossFit, and with good reason. Tangible numbers allow us to measure progress, progress that we otherwise might take for granted.
Case in point: In 2023, we are no longer impressed to see women hit 180 pounds. It’s expected at bare minimum to be somewhat competitive at the Semifinal level. But go back in time just a few short years, and it’s easy to appreciate just how challenging of a feat that really is.
Just ask the women who competed in Amanda in the opening event of the 2010 Games.
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Brooke Wells’s book Resilient is available for preorder. The book tells the story of Wells’ comeback from the devastating elbow injury that she sustained during the 2021 CrossFit Games.
Wells: “The CrossFit community has been the inspiration for my entire career and I’m beyond proud to share my story with those who have been such a big part of it for so long.”
Heber Cannon, one half of the Buttery Bros., recently became the first person to complete a half marathon in the Tiktok famous MSCHF “Big Red Boots.” Cannon took on the “Hell on the Hill” half marathon, organized by Devon Levesque, the first man to bear crawl a full marathon. Check out the video now.
The race involved 60 laps up and down a hill, accumulating 4,000 feet of elevation, made all the more difficult for Cannon, who wore the viral boots weighing 3.5 each!
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Semifinals Stats Breakdown, Part 5: Margins of Victory
Now that Semifinals are already 2 weeks behind us, the community is already turning its attention toward the Games where we’ll see a new champion on the women’s side, along with several men who will attempt to beat Justin Medeiros.
Before we officially forget about Semis however, we still have some great data from the tests, athletes, and regions that we would like to share.
Throughout this article we will be looking at margins of victory among the tests to see how fit the top athletes are relative to the field as a whole.
For example, A 280 pound snatch and a 325 pound snatch both rank above 275 pounds, but they have vastly different implications for measuring fitness.
Analyzing margins of victory across events provides a more comprehensive picture of comparative fitness among athletes.
No Senior-itis For The Invictus Boston Invitational
Four years ago, Bern Prince had a mission. To bring inclusivity and diversity to the sport of fitness, an area that had been severely lacking. This need only became amplified as CrossFit experienced a major shockwave over the summer of 2020, as thousands of athletes and affiliates began to abandon the CrossFit brand after former CEO Greg Glassman’s racially insensitive comments.
One big thing: Despite the heavy imposition of COVID-19 restrictions around social gatherings, Bern Prince knew that he had to pull something big off, not only to make a statement, but to once again unify the CrossFit community and continue to create a space where all were welcome regardless of their identity.
Remind me: In July of 2020, Bern Prince and the team at Invictus Boston hosted the first Invictus Boston Invitational.
The event featured not only local athletes from the Boston area, including CrossFit Games athlete Tola Morakinyo, but also athletes who were able to make the journey to compete despite COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“In the summer when Greg Glassman showed his true colors and made insidious comments that almost destroyed our sport, we created the Invictus Boston Invitational where athletes, judges, volunteers, and just cool human beings gathered in unity to not only compete in a competition but show what real CrossFit is when all people are included and welcome,” said Prince.
In 2021 and 2022, the event continued to grow, including the introduction of an online qualifier to help bring athletes from across the country, as well as bringing in sponsors to offer athletes a cash prize purse for podium athletes.
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Chagrin Falls CrossFit in Ohio is hosting “Superhero Summer” with one Hero WOD every week for 15 weeks. This week’s workout honors 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting team who lost their lives on June 30, 2013.
6 Rounds for Time
19 Power Cleans (135/95)
7 Strict Pull-ups
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