“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”- Arianna Huffington
Eric Roza Starts Talks in Post Dave Castro Landscape
The day after news broke that Eric Roza had fired its long-time general manager of Sport Dave Castro, CrossFit’s CEO held various calls with key decision makers across the CrossFit industry including Games athletes to discuss various topics and address concerns related to the sport of CrossFit.
One big thing: The biggest unanswered question at this stage is who will program the CrossFit Games, a topic which was discussed.
Andrew Weinstein, CrossFit’s head of communications and public policy told Morning Chalk Up: “Eric has been having conversations with various athletes, stakeholders and affiliate members to gauge their input, advice and reaction.”
CrossFit underscored Roza was casting a wide net but that decisions like that would ultimately be left to incoming general manager of Sport Justin Bergh.
The big picture: Based on numerous conversations with athletes and stakeholders over the past several seasons, Games athletes, in particular, expressed frustration at feeling like their concerns for more consistency, communication and structure are not being heard. It was that sentiment that ultimately led to the founding of the Professional Fitness Athletes Association (PFAA), a quasi athlete union/representative body.
When Roza took over CrossFit in June of 2020, he reached out to athletes to discuss the future of the sport.
Roza has demonstrated a willingness to listen to athletes as can be seen in their recent inclusion of several recommendations from the PFAA for the 2022 CrossFit Games rulebook.
Reading between the lines: Based on recent conversations from inside and outside of CrossFit Home Office, it seems unlikely CrossFit would replace Castro with a singular figure. Bergh will now be responsible for the lion’s share of the logistical, planning and developments elements for the entire season, a role he was already filling in-part. Castro, however, filled an important entertainment aspect of the Games season especially in teasing workout announcements from the Open through to the Games.
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Stream Fitness Offers Affiliates, At-Home Athletes Chance to Compete at Wodapalooza
Wodapalooza is back after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. While the Miami beach competition draws upwards of 30,000 spectators, not everyone can make the trip to South Florida for the festivities. Stream Fitness, a robust gym management system founded by Scott Panchik and Jacob Heppner, is bringing Wodapalooza to the community with the Virtual Gauntlet companion.
Remind me: The Wodapalooza Gauntlet is a one-hour competition featuring grueling workouts programmed by five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser and the HWPO team. This competition will take place on January 13-15, with the top performers moving on to the finals on January 16. The competition is open to all athletes.
Community members can register and participate in the Virtual Gauntlet – as a gym or as an individual – through the Stream Fitness app. They just have to set up a camera and record their performance.
Those participating in the Wodapalooza Gauntlet can compare their videos to top competitors within the app and also receive feedback from a massive community of judges.
The details: The price of registration for an individual is $10 USD, providing access to all of the Virtual Gauntlet workouts spread throughout the weekend. The price of registration for an affiliate is $50, which includes an unlimited number of registrants from the affiliate.
Panchik is excited to give athletes the opportunity to watch themselves side by side with other athletes to learn from these types of events. The idea came from years of breaking down videos with iPads side by side with his brothers, Saxon and Spencer, during the open.
Panchik: “There are so many athletes that were not able to qualify, or maybe even partake in the event because of travel restrictions and different things like that…Local competitions are difficult right now because of how people are feeling, and it’s definitely a challenge right now all around the world. What we wanted to do is we wanted to create this virtual opportunity for people to play along with the athletes that are going to be down at Wodapalooza doing the Gauntlet.”
Dustin Bosscher, CEO of Stream Fitness: “This is a more inclusive way than to just post your scores and kind of see yourself on a leaderboard. It’s to actually see yourself and be able to look at others.”
The process took some time. Stream Fitness launched in early 2021 as a gym management system, and the tech team put in considerable work throughout the year before the company approached Loud and Live. Matt O’Keefe, the President of Loud and Live, provided some feedback about a few adjustments to the platform. Bosscher made the changes in a matter of weeks and brought the platform back to Loud and Live.
“When we reached out to Loud and Live about Wodapalooza, the question was, ‘how can we use what we have to make your event exciting for people at home and give them the opportunity to play along?’” Panchik said.
“Once we showed them the platform and how accessible it was and what it could do, it was something that they believed in. We are excited to partner with them and to dip our toes in the water here a little bit with bringing the community together and giving them something to rally behind.”
Kristen Chandler, Director of Communications for Loud and Live Sports: “When Scott and Dustin showed me the functionality of the app, I was excited about how it was based on the same idea as the Trials Finals, that we ran last year, and developed it further, making certain aspects of the competition much more user friendly.”
The bottom line: With numerous logistical and health concerns surrounding travel due to COVID-19, there are large numbers of people that won’t be able to head to South Florida for Wodapalooza, or potentially, other competitions in the future. The Stream Fitness app provides the community with a solution to this problem when those uncertainties seem to have no end.
“We’re setting out to elevate these events,” Panchik said. “We get our shot here with Wodapalooza and to prove what we have is something. Our goal is to continue to elevate the community in that way. So we’re gonna keep chugging away.”
“As we grow, I think people are going to want that capacity to do that for all their events to get more of that community involvement,” Bosscher added. “Instead of having one affiliate have to do it themselves, there’s a place to go do it. And then they can just sign up, and it’s all managed for them.”
Olivia Kerstetter’s Workout of the Week
Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.
This week’s workout has been programmed by teen sensation Olivia Kerstetter. The recently turned 16-year old was impressive in her first Games appearance this past year. She won four of the eight events in the 14-15-year-old girl’s division en route to a 25-point victory and the title of “The Fittest 14-15-Year-Old Girl on Earth”.
The teen turned heads early on in the games with her 202 LB snatch in Event 3, which was the most weight put up by any woman at this year’s Games (2 pounds heavier than Tia-Clair Toomey’s winning lift in the women’s individual 1-rep Max Snatch event). This season she moves up to the 16-17-year-old division where she will be one of the favorites but will she make a run for an individual Games appearance and become the latest teenage girl to compete against the greats in the sport?
RX: 6 Rounds (2:30 on/2:30 off) 21/15 Cal Ski 21 GHD Sit-ups Remaining time, max sandbag over-shoulders (150/100)
SCALED: 6 Rounds (2:30 on/2:30 off) 15/9 Cal Ski (or how many Cals you can ski for :50 second/1:00 minute) 21 Toes-to-bars (or knee-ups) Remaining time, power cleans (moderately heavy weight on a barbell)
Time Cap: 30 minutes
Some advice from Olivia: “I would recommend going at a pace that you can maintain on the ski and GHDs so you have enough energy left to push the sandbag cleans before the rest. The goal is to have about 40-50 seconds of sandbag cleans so adjust the ski cals and GHDs as needed to accomplish that. Also, you should try to get around the same number of sandbag cleans each round, so don’t go out too fast!”
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
5 Potential Candidates to Replace Dave Castro as Programmer for the NOBULL CrossFit Games
With the shocking firing of Dave Castro by CrossFit it left the community with many questions, most notably who would program the 2022 CrossFit Games. Castro announced he finalized the Open workouts programming prior to his release on Tuesday night, leaving much speculation that the ensuing programming for all divisions in each stage including the Games had yet to be completed. We compiled a short list of potential candidates to take over those duties and fill the void.
Rich Froning: If you recall back in June of 2020, Castro tweeted that the 2020 Games season would be the final one that he would program (well that obviously didn’t happen). During that same tweet he famously said “2021 season potentially programmed by @richfroning”.
To that tweet, Froning responded through Armen Hammer, “I consider Dave a friend, and actually a good friend. The statement about me programming made on the CrossFit Games athlete call was the first time I had heard anything about it. While it is a dream job and honestly one of the highest honors I could hold or ever be awarded in the sport, I think there is a way bigger issue that needs to be handled right now and that’s the community and the affiliates.”
The issue Froning was referring to was the upheaval caused by Glassman during the summer of 2020. Since then, Froning has gone on to win his 9th CrossFit Championship and is training currently to win his 10th, which would make him ineligible for the 2022 Games, but he has indicated this may be his final season.
Besides his competitive accomplishments, Froning has the knowledge and experience to program a true test of fitness. He’s programmed for numerous events including the 2021 Rogue Invitational, 2019 Mayhem Classic and the teams division at the 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship. He also has a wealth of resources in Cookeville, Tennessee at his Mayhem affiliate for testing an experimenting.
Every week, our team of journalists publishes exclusive stories available only to RX members, covering topics from professional coaching, the latest affiliate trends, feature stories on CrossFit Games athletes, and more. Here are a few RX stories we published this week. Start reading for just $1.
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With all kettlebell front rack work, you want to make sure your knuckles, wrists, and elbows are properly aligned to avoid unnecessary pressure on your wrists. Check out these three steps to follow to make sure you're fully aligned.
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