“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.”- Socrates
Ricky Garard, Patrick Vellner and Roman Khrennikov Bring the Heat to Open TYR Wodapalooza
The2023 TYR Wodapalooza kicked off on Thursday, January 12, with three events (four scored) for the individual athletes. The men’s side was stacked with talent, but three standout competitors from the NOBULL CrossFit Games – Ricky Garard, Patrick Vellner, and Roman Khrennikov – stole the show.
Event 1: Rings and Squats – The start of TYR Wodapalooza was a test of strength and gymnastics. The event kicked off witha 21-15-9 format of ring muscle-ups and different types of squats. The first round was back squats, the second was front squats, and the final was overhead squats.
Vellner appeared to be the man to beat in the final heat. He was the first to get to the overhead squats as Garard struggled on his front squats.
The situation drastically changed though. Vellner had to drop his bar, which opened up the door for Garard to jump in and take the event win.
Nick Mathew turned some heads during this opening event. He was not initially involved in the battle between Garard and Vellner, but he used his gymnastics and strength to make a late move and steal the second spot in the event.
Vellner was still able to cross the finish line third overall while locking up 90 points. This set up a weekend where he could potentially win his fourth WZA title.
Event 2: Back to the Future – The second event was a grueling chipper with a time cap of 22 minutes. The athletes started with five legless rope climbs before continuing with 40 weighted GHD sit-ups (20 pounds), 30-meter double KB overhead walking lunge, 20 double KB hang clean and jerks, and a one-mile run.
After a one-mile run, the athletes returned to their kettlebells. They first did 20 double KB thrusters before closing out the event with 30 double KB front rack walking lunges, 40 GHD sit-ups, and five rope climbs.
Garard took the early lead during the final heat. He was out in front through the kettlebell work, and he was the first man on the Assault Runner for his one-mile run.
Mathew kept Garard in his sights for a while as he set out to keep his momentum from the first event, but he was unable to hold off Vellner and Khrennikov, who both made charges and beat him to the Assault Runner.
Garard finished the run first, but Khrennikov made some major moves of his own. He was the only athlete to go sub-seven minutes on his one-mile run, which helped reel in the Australian.
Khrennikov made his move on the GHD sit-ups. He used a blistering pace and passed Garard, who had to stop and take a deep breath. He then pushed his advantage and reeled off his five final rope climbs to secure his first event win of the weekend.
Garard finished second overall in the event after falling behind on the GHD sit-ups. He was still able to maintain his spot atop the leaderboard based on Khrennikov’s struggles in the opening event.
Event 3: Start Fast and Finish Strong – The final event of the day was a two-parter. The first part was an 11-22-11 sprint of toes-to-bar and hurdle jumps. The athletes also had to end each round with a 44-yard shuttle run.
Part two of the workout began at the five-minute mark. The athletes then had to complete a 1,000-meter row, 20 D-ball cleans (150 pounds), and a 300-foot D-ball bearhug carry. They had 10 minutes to complete this portion.
Brent Fikowski needed a strong performance to close out the first day. He was ninth on the leaderboard after hitting the time cap in the first event and finishing ninth in the second.
The Professor did what he needed to during Part A. He went out and won the first heat with a time of 2:32.82. Fikowski then went out and won his heat in Part B to score some crucial points. These performances helped him move from ninth to fifth on the leaderboard.
Vellner was not messing around on the final event. He headed to Flagler 20 points behind Garard on the leaderboard, and he used Part A to take the official event win from Fikowski with a time of 2:26.57. He locked up 100 points while Garard walked away with only 85.
The situation changed during Part B. Vellner struggled with the D-ball cleans and the carry while Khrennikov ripped through all 20. The Russian athlete was able to lock up the heat win and move closer toward podium contention while Vellner finished sixth overall.
The top-five athletes after the opening day:
Ricky Garard – 360 points
Patrick Vellner – 350 points
Roman Khrennikov – 334 points
Cole Greashaber – 323 points
Brent Fikowski – 307 points
One big thing: There are numerous CrossFit stars that will draw considerable attention during the second day of TYR Wodapalooza. One other name that requires watching is Cole Greashaber. He has been incredibly consistent thus far, securing three top-five finishes, as well as a seventh, to move into fourth on the leaderboard. He is becoming a threat to steal a podium spot.
The bottom line: The expectation heading toward TYR Wodapalooza was that Garard, Khrennikov, and Vellner would be the names to watch. They all contended for podium spots at the NOBULL CrossFit Games, and they had big moments at the Rogue Invitational.
The members of this trio did not disappoint on the first day, and they will only have more opportunities on Friday. There are three events on tap, but two of them have two parts. This means that 500 points are in play, which will only create considerable intrigue at the top of the leaderboard.
In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil interviewed Sara Sigmundsdottir on a yacht in Miami ahead of TYR Wodapalooza, what more do you need to know? 🛥
Tune in: Today on Coffee Break Conversations, hosted by Preslie Hirsch, we’ll be chatting with TYR’s Director of CrossFit and Sport, Corey Berger. Live from the podcast stage at TYR Wodapalooza, they’ll be chatting about how the brand has made a bold entrance into the sport and future plans to invest in affiliates and local athletes.
WZA breakdown: Morning Chalk Up’s CrossFit analyst Joey Adduci breaks down the individual programming for TYR Wodapalooza and how the variety of movements break down.
Local love: Great piece in the Forsyth County News about CrossFit athlete Kaiden Hogan placing first at the 2022 International Functional Fitness Federation World Championships, which were held at the end of December in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Interesting read: CrossFit HQ has a good breakdown piece on how they find the fittest people on the planet.
Athlete signing: Australian James Newbury is the latest CrossFit athlete to sign with clothing brand LSKD.
Emily Rolfe Leads the Pack After First Day of TYR Wodapalooza
Emma Cary and Emily Rolfe both had disappointing 2022 seasons that ended with an injury, but both Cary and Rolfe showed up at TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL on Thursday and performed as though last year never happened.
Rolfe leads the way after Day 1 with Cary right behind her.
Remind me: Cary’s 2022 season ended during Quarterfinals when she withdrew due to a back injury, while Rolfe qualified to Madison, but withdrew after the first event due to a blood clot that led to her to undergo emergency surgery.
Event 1: Rings and Squats – The first event in Miami was a descending rep scheme of muscle-ups and squats, where athletes did a total of 36 muscle-ups (15-12-9) and 45 squats (21-15-9 back squats, front squats, overhead squats at 165 pounds).
The two fastest times of the day belonged to Heat 2, with Cary coming out guns blazing, taking the early lead in the heat. During the second round muscle-ups, however, Cary ran into trouble, as she struggled to control her rings that were blowing wildly in the wind, costing her the lead temporarily. But the 18-year-old kept her composure, and managed to regain the lead in the final round before completing her final nine overhead squats unbroken. She crossed the finish line in 9:10, just one second ahead of Elisa Fuliano.
The third and fourth best times of the event were Heat 3’s Paige Semenza and Sydney Michalyshen. Meanwhile, Rolfe had what would be her lowest finish of the day (9th).
The individual events for the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza have been released and today we’re giving you the tools to properly scale the workouts for your fitness level. The first thing to consider when scaling a workout is the intended stimulus (time domain, loading, volume and movements). We’re going to break-down these elements for you and provide you with different movement options to help you customize the workout beyond a cookie-cutter scaled version.
The idea here is to help you feel the workout in a very similar way to how the top level elites will be feeling over the next couple of days!
Rings and Squats
21/15 Ring Muscle-ups 21 Back Squats (235, 165lb) 15/12 Ring Muscle-ups 15 Front Squats 9 Ring Muscle-ups 9 Overhead Squats
Time Cap: 12:00
Stimulus: This workout is going to take the majority of athletes between six and 10 minutes, with the 12 minute time cap cutting off some of the field. Use the descriptions below to tailor each movement to your fitness level and strive to finish the workout in the intended time frame.
Ring muscle up options: Most of these athletes will finish each round of muscle ups with two breaks or less each round. Choose an option that allows you to follow a similar structure in your workout.
Could The Athens Throwdown Be a Secret Weapon in Predicting European Talent?
Wodapalooza, the Granite Games, the Rogue Invitational and Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge are just some of the major off-season competitions in North America that have turned heads year after year. Whether a chance at redemption or a showcase of what’s to come for a seasoned athlete or a preview into the next generation of greats, these competitions hold significant value to the sport, all of them eventually serving as Sanctionals or Semifinals.
One competition, The Athens Throwdown, is a prime example of this model at work in Europe.
The details: The competition, which held its inaugural event in 2014 in Kallithea, Greece (a district in Athens), brings together athletes from all over Europe for a three day competition.
Three founders–Nikolas Voliotis, Andreas Giannopoulus, and Vasilis Eleftherakis–came together to create the competition for the love of the sport in 2014. Voliotis says they host the competition year after year largely because of the support and involvement they receive from their members. “We do it because we have a really big family,” he said.
The competition takes place every year in the 2004 Olympics stadium, giving athletes ample competition floor space, warm-up area, and other premium amenities.
While the competition highlights Games-caliber competition every year, it also hosts Masters, Scaled, Teenager, and Team divisions.
The competition will take place in May of 2023 and is expected to accommodate over 1300 athletes. In 2022, 64 countries were represented.
One big thing: The competition may have predicting powers when it comes to the next European stars of the sport. In 2015, an 18-year-old Laura Horvath won the women’s division handily, three years before her CrossFit Games debut. Besides Horvath, several Games legends have made an appearance in Athens.
Karin Frey, who recently won the Dubai CrossFit Championship, has won the event the last three years in a row. In 2022, she racked up every single event win besides one, in which she got second place.
Other notable names that have competed in the past include Camilla Salomonsson Hellman, Bronislaw Olenkowicz, Adrian Mundwiler, Giorgios Karavis, Uldis Upenieks, Ioannis Papadopoulus, and Lukas Esslinger.
Voliotis admits that the competition doesn’t have the same funds as North American competitions often do, and they can’t comp travel costs for athletes or offer huge prize purses. The athletes that do compete year after year come for the quality of programming, facility, and competition organization.
The bottom line: With a historic roster and a grand facility, the Athens Throwdown continues to bring in athletes from across Europe. Going forward, spectators may benefit from a long-term view because of the potential the competition’s athletes have shown.
Drop by the Trueform Running Booth at WZA to enter to win a TRUEFORM Trainer. To enter you must: sign up at the link below AND post on social media why you love @trueformrunner OR take a selfie at the Trueform tent and post on social media. Good luck!
Ready to focus on your 2023 goals and dial in your nutrition post-holiday? So are we! That’s why we’ve put together a guide with some of the best health and nutrition products, services, apps, and more! We are making it easy for you to start the new year off right with this guide.
For a limited time, when you sign up for Butcher Box as a new member, you’ll not only get high quality, 100% grass fed meat, you’ll also get FREE pork tenderloin, ground turkey and top sirloin steaks in their New Year Bundle. But you better act now before it’s too late!
SUBU CrossFit in Orlando, FL raised over $25,000 in 2022 through their Burpees for Bucks campaign. All funds benefit the Foundation for Foster Children which provides support and advocacy services to children in foster care in Orange, Osceola, Seminole counties.
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