Three-and-a-half more observations from the 2013 Games…

4) The amount of “shock-and-awe” was shocking. When “Pendleton” was announced last year, we all threw up in our mouths a little. However, everything from that point on was fairly reasonable and unsurprising. This year it seemed like there were multiple jaw-droppers at every turn.

I will not comment on whether I liked or dis-liked the programming this year—my personal preferences are completely irrelevant. We compete in a sport that makes its own rules. A legless rope climb, 405# deadlift, and marathon row are ALL within the parameters of the event. You think those were bad? There could have been backflips, ring muscle-ups to HSPU, a punt-pass-kick contest, or a 50 mile ruck march. Guess what? Those were ALL mentioned as “strong” rumors before the 2012 and 2013 Games (except the punt-pass-kick, I just like to think about the Euros doing that one). You think flipping a bright green steel box is hard? Try carrying a 24kg Kettlebell 50m across a pool. Yep, that was actually the biggest rumor last year.

None of the events were too far over the top, but they did provide enough of an “holy s**t” factor to allow the athletes to look, at times, like superheroes. I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. Dave and the boys now know that these athletes can do almost anything (except swim – lulz), so they will continue to push the envelope of creativity, showmanship, and human performance. Three years from now we may look back at what many of us saw as a fairly extreme 2013 Games, and laugh.

5) CrossFitters can Clean, but they still can’t Jerk. Yes, this is a broad and sweeping statement. No it doesn’t really apply to the women’s side (except a very few), and frankly it only applies to a some of the men—but it’s pretty drastic when it does.

Twenty-nine out of forty-four men show a .1 after their final weight for the Clean & Jerk event. That means they missed the Jerk. Four of the top ten overall men this year were at least twenty pounds under their max Clean from last year’s ladder. The top two men from last year’s ladder completed Clean & Jerks this year that were forty and thirty pounds BELOW their maxes last year—that’s a lot of points left on the bar for a fairly easy lift.

Guess who hit the exact same number this year, that they did last year? Yep… Rich. If any of the other four top-ten men had matched the weight they Cleaned last year, they would have picked up from twenty-seven to fourty-nine points on the leaderboard. For all but one of them, it would have given them an extra thousand dollars in prize money. For Marcus Hendren (sorry Marcus, not picking on you), it would have meant a podium, and $27,000.

Watch the money wave bye-bye…

5.5) The most impressive performance of the Games was Amanda Goodman’s Clean & Jerk, (followed closely by Lucas Parker’s @ 86kg BW). She went head-to-head with two of the best lifters in America (not an exaggeration), who both outweighed her by a weight class plus, and put up a number that no one could catch. Her Clean was impressive, but she looked like she could have kept going on the Jerk indefinitely.

Editorial note: I decided not to comment on Elisabeth’s “Cinco 1” because she is my athlete, and obviously I’m biased. You guys all saw it. Besides, who cares? It’s just my stupid opinion.

6) Rich Froning is the most dominant athlete on earth.

Discuss amongst yourselves. More on this tomorrow…

WOD 130801:

Rest day.

23 thoughts on “130801

  1. Goodman and Parker were awesome. Elizabeth’s Cinco 1 LIT THE CROWD UP (first athlete to go unbroken on the walk) but, as much as I’m not a big Rich “Effin” Froning fan, his Cinco 1 was even more exciting than Elizabeth’s if only because he HAD to go unbroken on the HS walk to win the event.

    (I know, I know, Elizabeth beat his time by ~30s)

    As folks have said, you’re not supposed to be able to crush your competition at heavy deads AND HS walks. Elizabeth and Rich were amazing on that event.

  2. a 24kg Kb across the bottom of a pool? Lame. Try an unknown number of lava rocks, at varying weights, across the ocean floor relay style for 12 min AMRAP( as many ROCKS as possible) at a depth starting at 8 feet and plunging to over 20 feet. Rock running; the original Hawaiian test of the Ali’i.

  3. Excellent points all around. Regarding C&J ladder, Josh Bridges’ application of the squat jerk was really impressive as well.

  4. Always appreciate your insight. Isn’t it possible that the fatigue factor was an issue on the oly event, seeing as how it had been proceeded by two extreme endurance tests in the Row Marathon and the Burden run. I know they had Pendleton last year, but still. I especially thought Khalipa’s jerk form was appalling. Love the guy, but he had no chance with the way he went after his jerks.

    • That’s a great point but I think pointing out the fact that froning hit the same weight shows that it’s possible to not have been affected more by the row than Pendleton ( or it just shows once again froning is a monster)

  5. I was wondering about the low C&J numbers as well…and to still see only perfect technique in just a select few crosslifters is wierd. L. Parker’s pre-lift tweeker setup was AWESOME!

    It was great how Rich couldn’t swim. You think its the VOLUME of how he trains, than enables him to last thru them last few days? Mix this with maybe a mental state of doing everything unfrikinbroken. Maybe like Outliers, he’s been training volume since like 4 years old.

    It WAS wierd to see how if some other athlete just did better in the thing they sucked at, they would’ve like won, or podiium’d or been way better off (of course). Like if Josh Bridges would’ve had that 405 deadlift down.

    • I was wondering the same thing, is it Rich’s super high volume of training among other things that gives him the advantage especially towards the end of the weekend? And all three of those events on Sunday were right in his wheelhouse.

      As far as the swimming goes he mentioned multiple times in interviews he didn’t really train a lot of swimming. So I’m sure that’s why he tanked that one.

      • With the way Roch hates weaknesses and attacks them (see: rope climbs) he’ll be a dolphin next year. He only gets defeated by a weakness once. That’s part of what makes him so amazing. I continually see athletes at competitions and the games struggle with the SAME weaknesses as last year and the year before.
        Seriously your at the effin crossfit games. How have you not learned how to split jerk (let’s not even mention the atrocious clean form Rudy glossed over).
        Rich wins because he’s consistent and good at everything. There’s lots of guys who can beat him, but not at everything. Start working those weaknesses.

    • I was wondering the same thing, is it Rich’s super high volume of training among other things that gives him the advantage especially towards the end of the weekend? And all three of those events on Sunday were right in his wheelhouse. Doing 5,6,7 workouts a day 6 days a week has got to make a couple of workouts a day at the games much easier to handle.

      As far as the swimming goes he mentioned multiple times in interviews he didn’t really train a lot of swimming. So I’m sure that’s why he tanked that one.

  6. Maybe i am not interpreting the post properly, but I’m not sure I follow the Marcus Hendren math. He received 73 points from that event…so even if he won it outright, he would have 27 more points…knock Ben Smith down 5 points for finishing behind Marcus…divide by pi…and yada yada yada – he is still 28 points behind Ben.

    By the way, I’ve been following this programming for 6 weeks (several weeks behind) and it legit. Snatch up 15lbs, and clean and jerk up 10 since testing earlier this year.

    I was pulling for all of team outlaw.

    Thank you!

  7. I think it’s a little ridiculous to say Froning is the most dominant athlete on the planet. He’s trained extremely hard to become the best competitive exerciser bar none, but crossfit is still a new sport, and the number of actual competitive crossfitters (yeah, I realize 100k+ signed up for the open) is nothing compared to the number of participants in other sports worldwide. Just to play soccer or basketball professionally, players had to beat out such a high number of other athletes, so it seems more reasonable to say that Messi and Lebron are more dominant athletes in their respective sports, even though neither are even close to Froning’s level of proficiency in competitive exercise. Obviously, it isn’t fair to compare athletes from other sports to crossfitters using crossfit standards of athleticism.

  8. Great insights so far Rudy!

    I think it comes down to efficiency. Rich is just more efficient in more movements than any other male athlete. Yes you can throw a wrench in his movement patterns with swimming or odd/new objects but ultimately CrossFit is based on some very fundamental movements – which Rich performs more efficiently than anyone else. This means that energy expenditure-wise Rich did the equivalent of 12 WODs like they were only 12 WODs and everyone else expended enough to do 14 WODs. He’s also smart towards the middle of the weekend keeping energy in reserve and just beating his nearest rivals instead of all out smashing the field just to be exhausted on Sunday.

    As for Oly lifting: I don’t think it’s that surprising. Most of these guys walk into a Box already very strong compared to the average. Then their coach (if they even have one when they start) just has them put up more and more and more weight. Their technique was never developed for thousands of reps at light weights. How many of the Games guys really “waste time” with 95lbs drilling form over and over and over? How many perform drop sets as soon as their form gets anything less than perfect? Like most of us they want to hit PRs, they want to RX WODs, and they feel like taking time to work sub-maximally puts them behind the competition – just like taking rest days. (obviously false).

    *Not that I am speaking for any Games competitor or their Coach, it’s just my best guess from the Games athletes I know and their performance on the field*

  9. I don’t know about you guys but I think Mikko Salo would have had a shot this year even though he finished 2nd at regionals. He is just so injury prone and he gets injured at the worst times.

    • I agree. Based on Mikko’s Strengths and past performances, he would have placed high in many of the events (row 1 and 2, burden run, naughty nancy, zig zag, 2007) and somewhat decent on the other events.

  10. On the C&J ladder: Spencer just posted last week where he had one of his athletes row the half marathon, take a five minute break and then he hit 97% of his PR

    On Froning: Years from now, we’ll discover that Froning was actually a cyborg, sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner. Having accomplished that, his next mission was to earn a bunch of money and put it in a bank account where it would accrue interest for the next 100 years so that future cyborgs could afford LuLu.

  11. I knew Amanda Goodman would flourish in this event based on her performance on the OHS ladder at Northeast Regionals, I know she has a gymnast background but that almost always transfers over well to OLY lifting. On the mens side I was disappointed we didn’t get to see Tyminski’s beautiful weighted jumping jack jerk

  12. 1) I saw many crossfitters power-cleaning until failure. What the?!? If a guy/gal can’t even perform a clean (ahem, squat clean), s/he will do poorly in future C&J or snatch ladders. I wonder if point #2 (see below) influenced their decisions to power-clean in the C&J ladder.

    2) I noticed lower-body emphasis in the early events. I mean brutal lower-body stuff. Fronning said that his legs were tired in a Saturday interview.

  13. I believe Goodman hit a 15# PR on her already respectable C&J. So on top of impressive, it was also just clutch. Loved it.

  14. Rudy- Would the Smolov Jr cycle work for pressing? Before I give it a shot, I wanted to see if it has ever been attempted or if the results would transfer to a different movement.

  15. 1) 110#
    2) 155#
    3) 155#

    4a) 4×200#, 1×205#
    b) 105/105/115/125/135

    Conditioning: 20:23 min. Total time. Hspu and kbs rx, no bar MU (first two rounds 9 pull ups+9 ring dips, last round: 9 ring MU with band. Lame, I know :/)

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