“Unlike an external enemy, the inner enemy cannot regroup and launch a comeback once it has been destroyed from within.”- Dalai Lama
Khrennikov Dominates, Garard Makes Incredible Comeback at Dubai
The final day at the 2023 Dubai Fitness Championship brought with it a lot of changes on the leaderboard, including a handful of surprises.
One constant, however, was Roman Khrennikov, who not only won the entire competition by 89 total points over runner-up Ricky Garard but also led the competition for the remainder of the weekend after taking the lead in Event 3.
Throughout all eight events, Khrennikov never finished outside of the top eight and had an average event finish of 3.4, including five event finishes inside the top three.
Let’s now take a look at the main surprises from this weekend.
At the end of Day 2, it looked like Ricky Garard would not finish anywhere near the podium after ending his first four events with an average finish of 11.75.
He finished Day 2 strong with a third-place event placing, but turned on the jets on the last day where he won the last event of the competition along with a second-place finish in Event 6.
Thanks to his dominance in these last three events, Garard was able to leapfrog almost everyone and jump up to second, securing himself a silver.
Chandler Smith, seventh overall at this year’s CrossFit Games, was sitting in 10th at the end of Day 2, but unfortunately continued to have a nightmare performance on Day 3 with two straight event finishes in 15th or worse.
Karin Frey Wins Dubai; Andrea Solberg, Claudia Gluck Join her on the Podium
Slovakia’s Karin Frey led the Dubai Fitness Championship in the UAE from start to finish this weekend, winning the competition at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium by 69 points over Norway’s Andrea Solberg.
France’s Claudia Gluck, a three-time Semifinals athlete looking to break through in 2024, finished third, while Belgium’s Manon Angonese and Italy’s Elisa Fuliano rounded out the top five.
Event 6: Sunday started with a long chipper with a 22-minute time cap featuring an 800-meter run to start and end the chipper.
The leaders at the time, Frey and Gluck, used this as an opportunity to extend their lead on the field, logging top-five finishes (third and fifth respectively).
Solberg, fifth going in, scooped up a second-place finish, helping her case for the podium. But it was Turkey’s Seher Kaya who snagged the event win with a time of 19:18.
Event 7: The long chipper to start the day was followed by a short five-minute event—21-15-9 of power cleans (110 pounds) with farmer walks with a jerry can in between—and for the second time of the weekend not a single woman in the field was able to complete the reps before the time cap. Five women, however, did log 55 reps, and all five of them picked up a first-place finish (Frey, Solberg, Angonese, Devyn Kim and Emily Rolfe).
These performances were especially important for Angonese and Rolfe. Angonese started the day in seventh overall, 30 points out of a podium position, but after placing seventh in Event 6 and an event win in Event 7, Angonese found herself in fourth, 31 points behind Solberg in third.
Meanwhile, Rolfe, who finished on the podium last year and was expected to contend again this weekend, started the day in 16th overall and was at risk of getting cut. But her sixth-place finish on Event 6 helped her jump into 13th, and her event win on Event 7 helped her climb to ninth and stay just above the cutline as the field was reduced to just 10 athletes for the final event of the competition.
FitFest UK: The Elite CrossFit Athlete Showcase at FitFest UK in Birmingham, England, wrapped up over the weekend, and Team Brandon took home all the bragging rights. Stay tuned for our recap of the event.
This season, athletes include: Dani Speegle, Chandler Smith, Jayson Hopper, Danielle Brandon, Justin Medeiros, Ellie Turner, Noah Ohlsen, Mal O’Brien, Brooke Wells, and Roman Khrennikov.
Good Read:Men’s Health Australia featured Khan Porter’s first fitness column last week. The Games veteran (who is also featured on the Australian Gladiators reboot as “Spartan”) is now Men’s Health Australia‘s fitness expert. The topic of his column is staying positive while injured.
Mind Over Matter: Rethinking CrossFit for Longevity
Recently on the Chasing Excellence podcast, we have focused on answering listener and viewer questions in a “coach’s corner” style format. Here’s a question we received from “Jill”. Ben used the opportunity to discuss the sustainability of fitness programs across a person’s life span.
Opinion: Four Big Takeaways From My Testing Session At Human Powered Health
Editor’s Note: This is not a sponsored advertisement.
During training, we have a fairly limited view of the physiological aspects of our body’s performance. While we can take data points based on how we feel during the workout and check our heart rate, finding out our true physical capabilities requires much deeper testing. That’s where Vo2 max testing, lactate testing, and various other tests come into play.
One big thing: Recently, I was invited to Human Powered Health Labs at their new location in Boston, MA, to undergo various physiological testing protocols.
During the testing session, I underwent Vo2 max testing, lactate threshold testing, a gait test, a hydration test, and a sweat test.
I am not a professional athlete by any stretch of the imagination. However, this was a great opportunity to see where I was in my training and for my personal educational development in human performance.
While I won’t dive into a play-by-play of my results, here are four big takeaways that I took from the testing protocol.
1. Deeper Physiological Understanding Is Not Just for Pros: While the pros are the prime candidates for repeated iterations of these intensive testing protocols, it’s important to understand what these tests can bring to athletes and individuals at the amateur level.
Whether you’re trying to qualify for Quarterfinals or improve your overall fitness, these tests can bring immense value beyond simply benchmarking your fitness.
Tests beyond just the Vo2 max and lactate threshold testing can help you remain healthy as an amateur athlete and fitness enthusiast.
The gait test was incredibly useful for analyzing my running shoe’s compatibility with my foot and for giving me thoughts on improving my efficiency as I run.
Through this test, I learned that my lack of glute activation was the root of many of my running problems and that I need to focus on my warm-ups and activations to avoid injury long-term (even in the quick running workouts we see in CrossFit).
Moreover, I also discovered that my running efficiency drops off as I get slower, meaning that I need to focus on keeping my technique together, even during longer, slower runs.
I was also able to identify the amount of sweat and salt I lost over a two-hour training session, letting me know I was not drinking enough water or consuming enough salt or electrolytes.
In the weeks since these tests, I’ve been able to implement some of these changes and see some actual performance gains not just in my running workouts but also in how I feel post-workout after incorporating more electrolytes into my water.
2. CrossFit Carries Over: While I didn’t have high expectations for the force plate test (given that I don’t consider myself a fast-twitch athlete), one interesting finding that came through the test was how balanced my left and right legs were.
Despite years of rolled ankles, apartially torn Achilles, and a plantar fascia tear, my left and right leg had minimal asymmetry.
The same profile was determined during the gait test, where they found that I had solid symmetry across my left and right leg.
While no one can know the true reason behind my symmetry, both facilitators said that it was highly likely that they could attribute it to my CrossFit background.
The base that CrossFit provides is unparalleled in terms of strength, athleticism, balance, and overall athletic well-roundedness.
The ability to utilize CrossFit as a base for any sport should not be underestimated to develop balanced athletes in their overall physiological development.
Stuck on what to gift the CrossFit lover in your life this holiday season? Look no further! Surprise them with gear that elevates every workout. And guess what? You deserve the gift of peak performance too! Treat them (or yourself) to the latest in fitness essentials – from performance-enhancing gear to recovery essentials, we’ve curated the ultimate gift guide to make every workout merry and bright.
Your personalized path to CrossFit excellence. This month Mayhem is enrolling 50 new athletes into their Performance Coaching Program. If accepted you'll have a PERSONAL MAYHEM COACH everyday! This program is for those who want a coach to help them optimize every part of their life.
For the people who bond over wine, there couldn’t be a better gift. It comes with a landing pad inside the chiller, so you don’t have to worry about your bottle clinking or breaking. The wine connoisseur on your list is guaranteed to appreciate this novel addition to their collection.
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