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Only the best of the best get to compete at the CrossFit games.
If you're after the title of fittest man or woman on Earth and want to pocket $275,000 to boot, you could do it by winning the CrossFit games. Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that. You'll be up against another 40 to 50 ultra-fit athletes from across the globe. Plus, you have to get through several qualifying rounds to reach the games.1.
Set your sights a little lower. You might be a potential CrossFit games winner, but even coming in 10th place can win you $4,000, while finishing in the top three of a single event will get you at least $1,000. Alternatively, aim to place at a regional event. These are the qualifiers used to judge who gets to attend the games. If you win or place well at your regional, think about bigger and better things at the national games.2.
Spend half your training time working on maximum strength. Many CrossFit games events are strength-based. As a guide, Sam Briggs, who won the women's CrossFit games in 2013 has a maximum squat of 280 pounds, front squat of 236.5 pounds, cleans 225 pounds, snatches 160 pounds, can deadlift 375 pounds and press 127 pounds. For the men, 2013 male champ Rich Froning's stats for the same lifts are 445, 375, 370, 300, 545 and 205, respectively.3.
Dedicate the other half of your training time to learning the benchmark workouts. Events at the games change every year, but by getting to grips with the popular benchmarks, you'll be well-prepared for whatever the organizers throw at you. An example of a workout from the 2013 games was 40 burpees, followed by 30 reps of a 75 pound snatch, then 30 burpees and 30 snatches with 135 pounds. This was followed by 20 burpees and 30 165-pound snatches and finished with 10 burpees and as many snatches with 210 pounds as possible.4.
Work on your mobility. At one time, a high-level CrossFitter with excellent strength, fitness and a good grasp of the workouts could have placed at the games, but not any more, notes coach Kelly Starrett, founder of San Francisco CrossFit. Now everyone has such a supreme level of fitness this isn't enough. You need that extra 1 percent, which often comes from mobility work, as this helps you perform more efficiently and avoid injury.5.
Practice every event and every aspect of CrossFit. You may be exceptionally gifted in one or two elements of CrossFit, but standing out in one event will get you nowhere if you're lagging behind in others. The games is based on a points system, and you win points based on where you place in every event. In 2013, Froning only won three out of 14 events but placed highly enough in the other 11 to accumulate the biggest points total.
- Join a CrossFit gym and complete all your sessions there. You can train alone, but there are two problems with this. First, commercial gyms won't have all the equipment you need, and second, the camaraderie and experience you'll get from other dedicated CrossFitters will be invaluable in your pursuit of glory.
- Get full clearance from your doctor before partaking in the CrossFit games, or any CrossFit routine in general.