“The pegboard was too hard for women.”

Totally correct.

On Sunday night anyone with more than 200 friends on the facebooks was posting about how terrible “Pedal to the Medal 1” was. Even some big-named coaches threw their two cents in; de-affiliation be damned. Why did they say it was too hard? Because many of the athletes were standing around the entire event, unable to complete even a single ascent. I personally agree that it was too difficult a task for the 40-ish fittest women in the world. I however, think it was a perfect event.

Learn your history.

For those of you who didn’t read the description, this was the Sunday morning event at the 2009 Games. It was an 8 minute AMRAP of: 4 Strict Parallette HSPU (maybe a 1″ deficit) – 8 Kettlebell Swings @ 24kg – 12 GHD Situps. There was a MASSIVE amount of controversy about this workout for two reasons… 

  1. The parallettes were too far apart and basically women weren’t strong enough to do HSPU without a kip; especially with a whole three-quarter-inch deficit.
  2. The KB swing – at 24kg – was extremely heavy, and very dangerous.

No, I am in fact NOT kidding. Kris Clever crushed everyone on this workout with a score of a little over six rounds. That’s roughly twenty-four HSPU, on an odd surface and without really any deficit. For comparisons sake – 2009 Games champ, Tanya Wagner, did two rounds plus three HSPU, and came in sixth. Yes, that means she did eleven HSPU in eight minutes. ELEVEN.

This was not the only “standing at the wall” moment in Games history. In 2010 “Amanda” debuted to open the Games. Out of a field of 43 women, guess how many finished under the 12 minute time cap… Eleven. 

Here’s where it gets even more fun:

    -Annie Thorisdottir was capped with seven reps remaining.
    -Chyna Cho was capped with eight reps remaining.
    -Samantha Briggs was capped with seventeen reps remaining.

The very next year at Regionals, Sam won Amanda with a time of 9:56. Not fast by any means, but a few years later Sam put up a 13.3 score (12 min. AMRAP of: 150 wall balls – 90 double-unders – 30 muscle-ups) of 323 reps. During that workout she opened with a set of ten unbroken Muscle-Ups, and completed the thirty in 3:30 – three minutes, and thirty seconds.

In 2011 the “Dog Sled” was too heavy because only nine women completed the event. In 2012 Regionals were too hard because some females couldn’t do the 70# Dumbbell Snatches for a single rep. In 2013 “Legless” was too hard because only two ladies finished. In 2014 only eight women were under the cap on the “Muscle-Up Biathalon”, so it should have been scaled, right?

Look, I get it, it looked kinda bad on ESPN to have all those really fit women standing around. Even though Amanda Goodman and Kari Pearce finished all three ascents up the pegboard, they still didn’t finish the workout, so it was pointless. If they’d just had them do two reps, or made it shorter, more people would have gotten through.

My response to those arguments would be to raise both middle fingers directly at anyone who is worried about television ratings for this sport, and anyone who is a proponent of making things easier for the female athletes. 

See, it’s my opinion that what has made this sport so amazing is not making things easier for the women; which has in turn made our female athletes that baddest women on earth. The Games has NEVER scaled reps for the ladies, and the ladies have adapted because of it. 

Katrin won the second part of “Pedal to the Medal” with a time of 4:42, and sealed the victory overall. The workout started with twelve full-parallette deficit HSPU, and included both rowing and assault bike – both of which favor larger athletes (aka – men). Her time would have been good for THIRD overall on the men’s side. You think that would have been possible if those women weren’t standing around at the wall in 2009?

WOD 150729:


1) EMOM for 7:00 – 3 T&G Power Snatches @ 70% of max Power Snatch

2) EMOM for 7:00 – 2 T&G Power Clean & Push Jerks @ 70% of max Power Clean & Push Jerk


1a) 4X3 Front Squats – @ 80% of 1rm, rest 2:00

1b) 4X3 Strict Muscle-Ups – rest 2:00


Run 1 mile

20 thoughts on “150729

  1. Here is where I disagree: It was a decided advantage to not try the peg board if you couldn’t do it. If Sara hadn’t kept trying, maybe she doesn’t fail the hspu’s. Crossfit is about trying and trying and this incentivized not even making the attempt. I like the new implement and not scaling, but putting it back to back with another event was the problem for me.

  2. Just echoing Josh’s sentiment. My problem with the peg board wasn’t that it was “too difficult” per se. The issue was the last heat was disincentivized to try too hard. If a woman was able to make just 2 ascents up the peg board, that was good enough for a tie for fourth on the event! These women aren’t stupid…they are only going to expend as much energy as necessary to lock up the points they can get.
    When you open the competition to that kind of “gamey” behavior, it makes for a much less exciting final event. So while the challenge may have been appropriately “too hard”, it doesn’t matter because it falls flat in terms of being a test of fitness.

  3. Ok I guess I ill throw in some of my thoughts too….

    1) Who is keeping track of peg board sales now?

    2) Ok I get it, not even attempting a peg board ascent in the final event of our sport’s Stanley Cup Game 7 is a little disheartening. Do I disagree with it as a competitor…..NO FUCKING WAY! Look… The Games has come a long way and what it takes to win and what winning it does for an individual as greatly changed. The days of kumbaya around the barbell and just going out there and giving it our all are over at that level. Competitors show up at the games to win and to win at all costs. I think this year we saw a fundamental shift in how people approach the games. An example could be the chippiness seen with the teams in the water event. Teams were running over each other, practically drowning each other and there was no remorse. It is asking a lot of an athlete to piss away their chance at being The Fittest on Earth just so they can “try it”! If Sara didn’t know all of those attempts were going to ruin here for PTTM 2 them shame on here because Crossfit is not only about being sharp physically but also mentally. Katrin did what she had to do within the rules of the event and she was rewarded for it….. period….end of story.

    3) I’m tired now…. may have more tomorrow.

  4. Didn’t people get disqualified this year in the open for doing a single rep on 15.1 and saving themselves for 15.1a? How does that same (made up rule by Castro after the fact) not apply in this scenario to Katrin? She showed no effort on the event whatsoever. I’m all for new movements/implements….I just think it made for a boring final event. The MU/Clean ladder final during regionals was awesome to watch….PTTM 1 was like watching soccer.

  5. Ok so I haven’t watched all the events because I’m in South Africa. I don’t think the peg board was to hard because of a strength issue. These women can do legless rope climbs, multiple muscle ups, pull ups and strict deficit hspu. I all comes down to technique, if you have ever done any rock climbing it would have been a huge advantage because it is very similar in the way you needed to shift your weight to move the peg up.

    Also this is now a proper sport. Gone are the days of just going in all out, athletes have to be smart and so they do what they need to do to move up the leader board. It like watching Bolt at the OLympics he doesn’t run his fastest time in the heats, he does what he needs to do to get to the final and then smashes the time.

    One thing I do think they need to look at is when they put what events. Running an event like Murph during the heat of the day was probably not such a good idea. It seems that hurt a few athletes. Annie even after going onto an I.v Drip still didn’t recover and Scalie tearing his bicep tendon are just two athletes that I off the top of my head. Using the Olympics as an example again they don’t run the marathon during the heat of the day the do it early morning or late evening when it is cooler. I guess they learnt the hard way because there was one of the athletes in the early Olympic Games that died after winning the marathon.

    Cool just some thoughts, my 2 cents worth. Keep up the training. Have fun.

  6. Does anyone else think it’s weird that all the athletes were given an assault bike before the games so they could do a total of 32 (some 16) calories in competition?
    I think the pegboard was a great movement. But if you gave everybody a day to get their hands on the paddle boards and sent them an assault bike, why wouldn’t you send them a peg board a week before the competition? I know Castro likes being full of surprises but that was boring to watch and only really tested the fitness of 3 women. For the rest it tested their smarts to save their energy. I’m sure it will be less than a month before we see most of those women on Instagram scaling pegboards. Yes everyone will adapt and will make it look easy next year, but it put a damper on what’s supposed to be the most exciting event of the year. Not saying it was wrong to include it, I just think ample time to practice the new trick would have produced a more accurate test of fitness.

  7. Peter Foster
    32/M/178#/5’9″/East Region
    IG: goalie858

    1) 140#
    2) 185#

    1a) 260#
    1b) all done UB

    6:11… I’ll take this in that heat!

    In a continuing effort to even out the strength in my lower body I decided to add a bonus at the end of the mile run. With a couple minutes rest:

    One lap (400m) of walking lunges (not timed). Ended up being 383 lunges and it actually served as a nice little recovery too.

  8. Bunch of people out of nowhere bringing out opinions……

    1) 125
    2) 155

    1a) 235
    1b) 2/2/2/1

    Conditioning: Different

  9. BBG
    1) 155
    2) 185

    Strength / skill
    1) pretty sure Rudy meant 80% of 3rm
    on this, so that’s what I did (265#)
    2) done UB

    Conditioning Different
    -will run later this week

  10. BBG:
    1) 112#
    2) 136.5#

    1a) also did 80% of 3rm instead of 1rm (180#)
    1b) 1,1,1,2

    Conditioning: 7:00. Thought I could get in the 6s but it takes a lot to move all of this 162ish# around

  11. M/29/5’11/180/NorCal
    IG @realadamkubo

    1) 160
    2) 185

    1a) 260
    1b) done


  12. M/29/5’6″/185
    1) EMOM for 7:00 – 3 T&G Power Snatches @ 70% of max Power Snatch (135)

    2) EMOM for 7:00 – 2 T&G Power Clean & Push Jerks @ 70% of max Power Clean & Push Jerk

    1a) 4X3 Front Squats – @ 80% of 1rm, rest 2:00

    1b) 4X3 Strict Muscle-Ups – rest 2:00

    Run 1 mile (5:34) — 5:34

  13. m/49/155
    Noon session:
    Shoulder press: 4×3@80%3rm = 85
    Front squat: 5×3@80%3rm = 185
    Strict Muscle ups: 5×3
    Not sure why I did 5 sets instead of 4.

    PM session:
    Connectivity: 3 rounds of:
    15s Parallette HS lower to 15s L
    10 ghd raises
    10 floor levers

    emom 7: 1 MS + 2HMS 75
    emom 7: 3 tng PS: 125

    Conditioning: different. Will run and PCPJ tomorrow.

    • Thursday sessions:
      Noon: Mile run. 7:30

      PC+HC+PP: 115-115-135-135-135

      Emom 7: 2 tng PCPJ: 145
      emom 7: 1 pc+PP : 115

      connectivity: 3 rounds:
      10 x 2 plate hops to box jump
      15s bent arm hang on rings to 15s L hang on rings
      3 press hs 1/1 pirouette

  14. BBG
    1) 100
    2) 125

    1a) 170(off 3rm)
    1b) progressions

    6:15 I maybe could have pushed harder, but it felt decent.

  15. Just Conditioning: Modified – Run 6:30 hard then 2 rds of 20 burpees/20 air-squats/20push-ups then sprint 250m

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