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Friday 140822

Workout

Clean + 2 Jerks

My dad always said, “people don’t look for advise, they look for someone to validate what they already believe.” Case in point, the following from The Atlantic. If you stretch and like it, by all means continue to do so. If you hate stretching and think it is a waste of time…this is for you.

Stretching Is Overrated

The pre-exercise ritual can weaken muscles, hurt athletic performance, and even lead to injury.

Runners do it before a race. Swimmers do it before hopping in the pool. Your average gym rat does it before starting to pump iron. Most coaches, gym teachers, and personal trainers preach that stretching before exercise is an essential part of both avoiding injury and improving performance. But while it’s still popularly considered a basic tenet of health and wellness, scientific research into the value of stretching has cast doubt on its usefulness. For many athletic pursuits, studies suggest that stretching might actually be detrimental.

Even for those who follow fitness science closely, old habits die hard and many may be loath to give up stretching. “Because stretching decreases pain and makes you feel good, it is easy to extrapolate this to think it will prevent injury. But unfortunately, the reason it makes you feel good is one of the reasons it does not prevent injury,” states Dr. Ian Shrier, a sports medicine physician at McGill University in Montreal and author of many scientific studies on stretching.

So how did stretching become so ingrained in our collective athletic consciousness to begin with?

The case for stretching as a means for injury prevention is grounded in the theory that a muscle that has been lengthened by stretching is more supple, decreasing stress to surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles and protecting them from the repeated stresses of activity. A study in the journal Sports Medicine advises that “improving flexibility through stretching is another important preparatory activity that has been advocated to improve physical performance. Maintaining good flexibility also aids in the prevention of injuries to the musculoskeletal system.”

Unfortunately, there is at best a tenuous connection between stretching and injury risk. “In general, stretching before exercise does not prevent injury,” Shrier says. “But we have not yet studied every possible context, so some people argue that it might still be beneficial for particular activities based on some theories.”

The question is not whether stretching actually results in a short-term increase in a person’s flexibility—it does—but whether that state confers protection against injury.

The most common mode of stretching, and the type that has come under fire, is referred to as static stretching. It involves lengthening a muscle and holding it in a mildly uncomfortable position, usually for somewhere between 15 and 60 seconds.

In activities with a high risk of overuse injuries, such as jogging or cycling, research has concluded that this kind of stretching really doesn’t lessen the chance of injury. Research presented in the British Journal of Sports Medicineconcluded that there wasn’t any evidence to suggest that a stretching intervention was effective in preventing lower limb injuries in joggers. The same article even advised swimmers, who habitually stretch their shoulders and arms before exercise, to minimize stretching, particularly at the shoulders where excessive mobility can cause injury.

Some of the pushback against static stretching also comes from the concern that any roadblock to activity—like the time it takes to get a good pre-exercise stretch—makes some less likely to exercise. The time spent dutifully stretching before exercise could detract from another more potentially useful activity, like a good warm-up, strength training, or stability exercises.

While pre-exercise stretching has come into question, stretching outside of exercise does seem to have some value, especially as aging decreases flexibility. Flexibility generally describes the range of motion commonly present in a joint. Although stretching can enhance flexibility, it’s an attribute that decreases with age, and varies by gender and ethnic group.

But being more flexible is not always better. “There’s certainly such a thing as too much flexibility,” says Sage Rountree, author of The Runner’s Guide to Yoga.“We need only enough to move through a healthy range of motion—beyond that, we can strain muscles and tendons and even destabilize ligaments and compromise joint health.”

Science has long known that the most flexible individuals are more likely to suffer injuries than an individual of average flexibility—one study of U.S. Army recruits found that

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Thursday 140821

Workout
90% of your FSquat max and complete:

5 reps @ 65%, 5 reps @ 75%, 5 reps @ 85%, AMRAP @ 65%.

MetCon
Row 1000m. Then complete 10-1 of Burpees and T2B

From US News and World Report

Study: Physical Fitness Linked to Brain Fitness

More physically fit children had stronger brain tissue linked to cognition.

Cross country runners take off in a pack from the starting line.

New research shows being physically fit can improve the structure of brain matter that plays a role in learning.

​Staying physically fit isn’t just good for your health. It’s also a good way to beef up your brain, according to new research.

Led by Laura Chaddock-Heyman, a research scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Beckman Institute, a team of researchers found greater aerobic fitness is associated with more fibrous and compact white matter, a type of nerve tissue connected to learning and brain function. Previous research has shown more compact white matter fibers can lead to improved cognitive performance.

“Our work has important implications for educational and public health policies, as sedentary behaviors and inactivity rise and physical activity opportunities are reduced or eliminated during the school day,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Hopefully these findings will reinforce the importance of aerobic fitness during development and lead to additional physical activity opportunities in and out of the school environment.”

The researchers used a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at five different white matter tracts in the brains of two dozen 9- and 10-year-olds, half of whom were more physically fit and half were less fit. White matter also works to carry nerve signals between different parts of the brain, and all of the tracts examined have been associated with attention and memory, the study says.

Just one-quarter of American youths currently engage in the recommended amount of daily physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That can have a negative impact on their academics, research has shown.

Previous research shown improved fitness can boost students’ memory and learning, but this new study is the first to show a connection between physical fitness and brain structure during childhood.

“We know from previous work that higher fit children outperform lower fit children on tasks of attention, memory and school performance,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Thus, it is possible that white matter structure is another pathway by which fitness relates to improved cognition.”

The study was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Moving forward, the researchers plan to conduct a five-year study to determine whether children’s white matter structure improves when they start and maintain a new physical fitness routine.

“Be smart, and exercise your heart,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “High levels of physical fitness are not only good for one’s physical health, but one’s cognitive and brain health as well.”

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Wednesday 140820

Workout

“The Chief”

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Tuesday 140819

Workout 1-Snatch +1-OHS – Heavy Single

MetCon 20-DL (M 185 / F 135) Scaled 135/95

800m Run

15-DL

400m Run

10-DL 200m Run

Ingenious? Me thinks not!  From BGR.com

Ingenious mom comes up with an app that locks her kids’ phones until they call her back

Ignore No More Android App
Sharon Standifird is a mom from Houston, Texas, who had a problem: Her children would not return her calls and texts on time. Frustrated and worried, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create an app to specifically deal with teenagers who do not answer calls from parents on their smartphones, even though she didn’t actually know how to code.
“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” she told ABC13. “I got on the internet and I literally just started researching how to develop an app.”
Called Ignore No More, the app is available only on Android at this time and costs $1.99 per phone, although an iOS version is in the making. Once installed, the app will allow parents to lock the phones of their children until they call back. Until that happens, they’ll be restricted to calling parents, or 911 in case of emergencies. Everything else, however, will not work on the smartphone.
“It takes away texting, it takes away gaming, it takes away calling their friends, surfing the internet. If there’s an emergency, the child will always be able to call 911. It’s a feature that no developer can take off the phone,” Standifird said.
The application can’t be disabled, the app’s description says, and the app’s website has a thorough FAQ section that explains what can happen in various scenarios with the phone such as the phone being set on airplane mode, being lost, and other types of mishandling of the app.
As for Standifird, after installing the app on her son’s phone she discovered that he returns her calls and texts a lot faster than he used to. ABC13‘s video showing the app in question follows below.

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Monday 140818

Happy Birthday Thor!

Rut and Rice…Thank you for all of your help with improving the aesthetics of the gym.  Everyone…please give them a pat on the back and a thank you the next time you see them.

Workout

20:00 – EMOM of:

Even – 100m Run

Odd (3. 7. 11. 15. 19) – 10-Pull-up

Odd – (5, 9, 13, 17) – 20 Push-ups

From CNN

 

10 ways you’re sabotaging your workout

By Michael Schletter, Life by DailyBurn
Are you at the gym to change your body and your life, or to make friends? Decide now.
Are you at the gym to change your body and your life, or to make friends? Decide now.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • If you want to build muscle, you need to take in more fuel
  • Neglecting certain movements and muscle groups can cause imbalances
  • Working out longer than 45 to 55 minutes can put the body into a negative hormonal state

(Life by DailyBurn) – If you’ve been working out for eight plus weeks and haven’t started to reap the benefits yet, there’s a good chance that one or more of these silent setbacks has found its way into your fitness regimen.

By being aware of bad habits and the effect they have, you can work to eliminate them from your regimen and hopefully watch your progress start to soar again. Here are some of the most common culprits to look out for:

1. Not warming up

Any good trainer will tell you that an adequate and efficient warm-upis essential to any workout, especially dynamic ones that get you moving in the right movement patterns.

“Not warming up can decrease the effectiveness of your workout and increases your chance of injury,” says New York-based trainer Nick Ebner. “Your muscles won’t be elastic enough, which could lead to tears, meaning long term setbacks and recovery.”

2. Not eating enough

“The amount of energy you put into your body will dictate the training response,” Ebner says.

For example, if you want to build muscle, you need to take in more fuel. Also, to lose weight, you need the right kind of fuel. Without energy to burn, the body turns to the most readily available source: muscle protein.

3. Not training opposing movements

When working out, many trainers will advise working opposing movements, like pairing a bench press with a row. Neglecting certain movements and muscle groups (most commonly the back, hamstrings and glutes) can cause imbalances.

“Muscle imbalances can lead to overuse injuries, such as PCL tears from quad dominance, which will keep you out of the gym for a minimum of nine months,” says Ebner.

Nine months without a workout? That could mean reversal of the results you have already seen.

4. Working in limited range of motion

More common in the bodybuilding community, partial reps, or working in a limited range of motion, can lead to “a limited range of strength and mobility,” says Ebner. He also cautions that when we use heavy weights beyond of the range we’re accustomed to, we are at a much higher risk of injury.

Ever seen a person tear ligaments in their knee stepping off a curb? According to Ebner, this could be because that person does not do a full-depth squat, and therefore isn’t accustomed to using his or her knees to stabilize the body during any motion other than a partial-depth squat.

5. Training too long

A common physiological response to training is the release of certain hormones into the bloodstream, such as testosterone and dopamine.

“Going past 45 to 55 minutes per workout can put the body into a negative hormonal state,” says Ebner.

This is more so true for those who stay in the gym for hours, taking one class after another, and then weight lifting or running on the treadmill to try to burn as many calories as possible. This could mean serious overtraining, adrenal fatigue and performance decrements in the long term.

All of these things, both individually and when coupled together, make for a negative effect on your goals.

6. Training too frequently

You could train 30 minutes a day, seven days per week, but still not see the results you’re looking for.

“Adaptations happen during the recovery period.” No matter how quickly you want to put on 10 pounds of muscle or lose the weight you gained from having a baby, constant workouts won’t do it. You need to let the body recover and return to homeostasis, so it can efficiently build the muscle you want or burn the fat you don’t.

7. Not sleeping enough

We know there are never enough hours in the day to get through everything, but it’s important to shut down at a normal hour. Sleep is essential.

“Certain hormones, the most important of which are growth hormone and IGF-1, which help us build muscle and burn fat, are active when we sleep and not active when we are awake,” says Ebner.

That old wives’ tale of not growing unless you sleep — with muscles, it’s actually true!

8. Texting

Leave your phone in the locker. If you must have it, say for music, put it on airplane mode. Texting can lead to longer rest periods than normal, which could “allow your nervous system to return to homeostasis,” says Ebner.

This could also mean your nervous system won’t be ready to lift heavy weight, and without a spotter, this can be risky, Ebner cautions. The number of reps you’re able to perform might even decrease, sabotaging the short-term effects of your workout. If that becomes a habit, your body won’t change.

9. Talking too much

Are you at the gym to change your body and your life, or to make friends?

While workout buddies can be great for added motivation and accountability, talking during a workout can decrease the metabolic, or fat burning, effect of your workout, Ebner says. The reason? When rest intervals increase, “the body will cool down, leading to a slowed metabolism,” Ebner says.

Also, talking during a set of squats and shifting your focus from the exercise form to the conversation “can lead to form breakdown, and in turn, serious risk of injury,” he says.

If you have a workout partner, great, but save the small talk for your (hopefully shortened) rest intervals.

10. Copying others’ exercises

There is an inherent danger of the “monkey see, monkey do” idea of working out: You might do the exercise wrong. As a trainer, Ebner has seen it a lot. “This is a great way to hurt yourself,” he says. “Just because it looks cool doesn’t mean you’re ready for it.”

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Saturday 140816

Workout

“Lynne”

Using your Press 1RM for your Bench Press weight.

 

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Friday 140815

Workout

3x

50*-Double Unders (DU)

35-Air Squats

15 Cals on rower

*DU still a struggle, attempt 1:40 of DU per round.

From The New York Times

How Exercise Helps Us Tolerate Pain

Regular exercise may alter how a person experiences pain, according to a new study. The longer we continue to work out, the new findings suggest, the greater our tolerance for discomfort can grow.

For some time, scientists have known that strenuous exercise briefly and acutely dulls pain. As muscles begin to ache during a prolonged workout, scientists have found, the body typically releases natural opiates, such as endorphins, and other substances that can slightly dampen the discomfort. This effect, which scientists refer to as exercise-induced hypoalgesia, usually begins during the workout and lingers for perhaps 20 or 30 minutes afterward.

But whether exercise alters the body’s response to pain over the long term and, more pressing for most of us, whether such changes will develop if people engage in moderate, less draining workouts, have been unclear.

So for the new study, which was published this month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia, both in Sydney, recruited 12 young and healthy but inactive adults who expressed interest in exercising, and another 12 who were similar in age and activity levels but preferred not to exercise. They then brought all of them into the lab to determine how they reacted to pain.

Pain response is highly individual and depends on our pain threshold, which is the point at which we start to feel pain, and pain tolerance, or the amount of time that we can withstand the aching, before we cease doing whatever is causing it.

In the new study, the scientists measured pain thresholds by using a probe that, applied to a person’s arm, exerts increasing pressure against the skin. The volunteers were told to say “stop” when that pressure segued from being unpleasant to painful, breaching their pain threshold.

The researchers determined pain tolerance more elaborately, by strapping a blood pressure cuff to volunteers’ upper arms and progressively tightening it as the volunteers tightly gripped and squeezed a special testing device in their fists. This activity is not fun, as anyone who has worn a blood pressure cuff can imagine, but the volunteers were encouraged to continue squeezing the device for as long as possible, a period of time representing their baseline pain tolerance.

Then the volunteers who had said that they would like to begin exercising did so, undertaking a program of moderate stationary bicycling for 30 minutes, three times a week, for six weeks. In the process, the volunteers became more fit, with their aerobic capacity and cycling workloads increasing each week, although some improved more than others.

The other volunteers continued with their lives as they had before the study began.

After six weeks, all of the volunteers returned to the lab, and their pain thresholds and pain tolerances were retested. Unsurprisingly, the volunteers in the control group showed no changes in their responses to pain.

But the volunteers in the exercise group displayed substantially greater ability to withstand pain. Their pain thresholds had not changed; they began to feel pain at the same point they had before. But their tolerance had risen. They continued with the unpleasant gripping activity much longer than before. Those volunteers whose fitness had increased the most also showed the greatest increase in pain tolerance.

“To me,” said Matthew Jones, a researcher at the University of New South Wales who led the study, the results “suggest that the participants who exercised had become more stoical and perhaps did not find the pain as threatening after exercise training, even though it still hurt as much,” an idea that fits with entrenched, anecdotal beliefs about the physical fortitude of athletes.

Because it did not examine physiological effects apart from pain response, however, the study cannot explain just how exercise alters our experience of pain, although it contains hints. Pain thresholds and tolerances were tested using people’s arms, Mr. Jones pointed out, while the exercisers trained primarily their legs. Because the changes in pain response were evident in the exercisers’ upper bodies, the findings intimate that “something occurring in the brain was probably responsible for the change” in pain thresholds, Mr. Jones said.

The study’s implications are considerable, Mr. Jones says. Most obviously, he said, the results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts, as did the cyclists here. The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer although the pain itself has not lessened.

The study also could be meaningful for people struggling with chronic pain, Mr. Jones said. Although anyone in this situation should consult a doctor before starting to exercise, he said, the experiment suggests that moderate amounts of exercise can change people’s perception of their pain and help them, he said “to be able to better perform activities of daily living.”

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Thursday 140814

Workout

5x

200m Prowler Pushes.  1/1 rest to work.  Throw in 10 Pull-ups during “rest”

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Wednesday 140813

Happy Birthday Tyra!

Workout

Dead Lift

75% x5

85% x3

95% x1

MetCon

“Annie”

From Breaking Muscle

How to Scale CrossFit WODs for Measurable Improvements

Have you ever witnessed the horror of a half-hour “Annie”? I have, back in April 2008. My gym, Pioneer Valley CrossFit (PVCF), had been open for three months. Most of my members were still struggling with the basics of CrossFit. I wanted to introduce CrossFit’s famous benchmark WODs, and “Annie” seemed like a safe way to begin.

“Annie”

  • 50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of
  • Double unders
  • Sit ups

If you have double unders, “Annie” is hard, fast fun requiring seven minutes or less to complete. But if you’re just learning double unders, this good-time girl can turn into a real b%&*h, as my man Mike discovered.

Challenges or Tests?                                  

When Mike saw “Annie” on the whiteboard, he was jazzed. This would be the first WOD he’d be able to perform as prescribedBut twenty minutes later he was only halfway through his set of thirty double unders. By this point he was screaming and cursing on every missed rep. It was both excruciating and hilarious to watch, and I’m pretty sure there’s still a black cloud of obscenities hanging over PVCF’s first location.

“Annie” took Mike almost 28 minutes. (This was 2008, “Death before DNF!” was the rallying cry for many CrossFitters, and mea culpa.) I knew something wasn’t right about that. He’d completed all the work, sure, but the benchmark “Girls” workouts were supposed to be intense. Half an hour of flailing may have been grueling, but it was hardly intense.

A guy like Mike took 150 double unders and sit ups on the whiteboard as a personal challenge, I realized. There was no way he was going to quit until he was done. But what if instead of a challenge, he was presented with a test? One with a time limit?

Ten minutes seemed a reasonable cut-off. Based on that limit, I figured a logical way to schedule double under and sit up couplets of 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 reps. Next time I programmed “Annie,” it looked like this:

 “PVCF Testing Annie”

  • AMRAP :90 double-under attempts. If you accrue 50 successful double unders before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :90 sit ups. If you get 50 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :75 of double under attempts. If you get 40 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :75 sit ups. If you get 40 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :60 double under attempts. If you get 30 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :60  sit ups. If you get 30 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :45 double under attempts. If you get 20 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :45 sit ups. If you get 20 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :30 double under attempts. If you get 10 before time is up, move on to…
  • AMRAP :30 sit ups. If you get 10 before time is up, you’re done.

At 10:00, two experienced athletes, who had stayed ahead of the clock, had legit “Annie” times: 5:42 and 6:05. The rest, having recorded their efforts each round, had data: total double unders and total sit ups. When “Annie” came around again, they could compare their new score against that days to see if they’d improved.

Measuring or Training?

As time passed, this new approach helped me out with another problem. My

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Tuesday 140812

Workout

Snatch Balance + 1 OHS.  We are looking for form not a max

MetCon

“Nancy”

From Sports Illustrated

For the Love of CrossFit: Everyone’s All in It Together at the Games

BY MIKE BEBERNES posted:Wed Jul. 30, 2014

There’s a strange phenomenon that occurs at the CrossFit Games, which concluded Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Unlike at other sporting events, where often it seems that half the crowd is spewing vitriol, there is no negativity. No one is booed. No ill will wished. The biggest cheer of the day always comes for the athlete in last place as he or she struggles to complete a workout. Even heated rivals, upon finishing an event, pull themselves off the turf to shout encouragement to their competitors finishing behind them.

In CrossFit everyone is the home team.

“We cheer from first to last,” says Ki Kim, a fan with front row seats and a member of East Valley CrossFit in Chandler, Ariz. “We want to encourage them to make sure everyone finishes. We’ve all been first. We’ve all been last ourselves.”

Case in point: There were two standing ovations from the capacity crowd in the StubHub Center tennis stadium surrounding the second-to-last event of the Games, a combination of rope climbs and overhead squats called Thick ’N Quick. One was for Rich Froning, as he powered through the workout in 1:40, 20 seconds faster than anyone else, on the way to winning his fourth-straight title of Fittest Man on Earth. The other ovation was for a non-competitor named Wes who demonstrated the workout before it was contested. Wes struggled with the squats, dropping the bar several times. The crowd rose to its feet as he battled through wobbling legs to complete his final rep, a solid ten minutes after he’d started it.

Nearly everyone in the arena is a CrossFitter. This is apparent from the two choices of garb among fans: a branded T-shirt representing a local CrossFit affiliate or no shirt at all to display the rippling muscles earned at said local affiliate. Vendors sell huge chunks of grilled meat to appeal to the paleo diet many CrossFitters follow. It’s a shame ComicCon is held the same weekend in San Diego, since everyone with the physique of a superhero seems to have gathered 100 miles to the north.

The fans treat competitors less with distanced adoration than knowing admiration. Sports fans are always saying things like, “Even I could have scored on that play.” There’s none of that here. The crowd knows for a fact that they couldn’t have.

“Everybody understands what we do,” says Froning. “You can actually do the same events we did and know how that feels. I think that’s what makes this so cool and what makes it so spectator-friendly. People know what we’re going through. They know the misery, the pain.”

The CrossFit Games may be the most egalitarian sporting event on the planet. Anyone, as long as he or she has the $5 entry fee and the means to submit results, can attempt the qualifying workouts for the big event. More than 209,000 people worldwide did just that in 2014. By Sunday afternoon, after 12 grueling workouts over four days in the brutal California heat, and with the field narrowed down to 10 men and women for the final heat of final event, the crowd knew exactly how difficult the journey to the finals had been, because a huge number had attempted it themselves.

Don't you want to go where everybody knows your pain?

Don’t you want to go where everybody knows your pain?

This is a sporting community that’s just different. The question, “Who do you want to win?” is met with a knowing gaze that says “You’re not from around these parts, are you?” Victory is not what CrossFit is really about. Participation and effort are paramount. Imagine a Super Bowl MVP telling reporters at the post-game press conference that the title game isn’t what matters, that it’s practice that is the true core of football. That’s exactly the message spread by Froning and the second- and third-place men’s finishers, Mathew Fraser and Jason Khalipa.

“CrossFit is not the CrossFit Games,” says Khalipa, who won the 2008 title. “The CrossFit Games is one expression of what CrossFit is. Don’t get wrapped up in the Games, get wrapped in [the workouts] and over time, you’ll start understanding more about CrossFit and hopefully get here.”

Another element that differentiates the CrossFit Games is its equitable celebration of both sexes. The women do the exact same workouts as the men, with scaled down weight. They earn identical prize money, $275,000 each for Froning and women’s champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. Female competitors are some of the sport’s biggest stars. This is reflected in local gyms as well, where an estimated 60 percent of CrossFit customers are women.

“It’s always bothered me a little bit in some sports that men and women can never really go against each other,” says 2014 runner-up and two-time champion Annie Thorisdottir.

Everyone involved—fans, competitors, organizers—seems to be primarily concerned with benefitting CrossFit as a whole. When immersed in the sea of chiseled abs and overwhelming positivity at the CrossFit Games, it’s easy to understand how the sport has grown from just 70 athletes and $500 in prize money in 2007 to hundreds of thousands of entrants vying for a total purse of $1.75 million this year.

 

This is not to say that CrossFit’s future growth is entirely unencumbered. It will always be a challenge to draw in spectators to the Games who are not active in the community themselves. With expansion comes skepticism, as well. There has been increasing scrutiny of the alleged dangers of the CrossFit workout program, which has led to a forthcoming legal battle.

CrossFit is also no longer the only game in town in the fitness-as-sport world. August will see the launch of the National Pro Grid League, a team-based league founded by former CrossFit executive Tony Budding. There may be space for the NPGL to steal some of CrossFit’s audience, as team competition has always taken a back seat to individual at the Games.

That space appears to have closed, however, with both Froning and Khalipa announcing that they will retire from individual competition and form teams for the 2015 Games. Their decisions, at least in part, are fueled by the desire to raise their sport’s profile across the board.

“Now that we have established stars like these guys, once they start going to team, it’s going to draw a lot more eyeballs,” says Games director Dave Castro.

These concerns are unspoken at the StubHub Center. Whatever the level of skepticism outside the arena, the folks on the inside have drunk the Kool-Aid (though none of them would actually ever consume a sugary drink like Kool-Aid).

Despite the expanding audience and ballooning prize money, the message remains clear: The CrossFit Games are merely the most visible tip of a very large spear. It’s an ethos that Khalipa distills to its essence when asked how fans can persuade friends to watch the Games.

“Watch?” he says, shaking his head. “No. Do.”

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