The 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games are officially over, and the newest Fittest on Earth have been crowned. This year's Games put every athlete through a long and grueling test of fitness, and physical and mental toughness. On the sport's biggest stage athletes battled not only each other, but the blazing heat and their own selves during some of the toughest Games workouts to date. Check out our recap of this year's Games.
This year Teens took to the competition floor for the first time, and they did not disappoint. The strength, skill and composure they displayed was extremely impressive. It was a refreshing sight to watch teenagers being active and working their butts off instead of staying indoors plunked in front of a screen. As the future of fitness, the high level performance of this year's teenage competitors shows our sport's future is in good (and strong) hands
The Masters keep getting older, but they're also getting stronger and fitter with each Games. This year Masters were faced with new technical movements and feats of strength, and they totally crushed it showing that age is just a number.
The "Dottirs" of Iceland showed up and dominated the Women's division. Katrin Davidsdottir won her first CrossFit Games title and rookie Sara Sigmundsdóttir had a very impressive Games debut placing 3rd. Not sure what they're doing up there in Iceland, but whatever it is it's sure as hell working.
The Men's competition was the most exciting and competitive it's been since 2010. With the absence of 4 times CrossFit Games champ Rich Froning, the title of Fittest Man on Earth was up for grabs between a handful of serious contenders. Last year's runner-up Mat Fraser was most people's pick to take the title, but Games veteran Ben Smith came out on top with a nail biting win in the final event to clinch the crown. If both men can remain healthy, the stage has been set for an epic rematch between these two phenomenal athletes.
It's as simple as that. With all of his strengths, Froning's greatest weapon is his desire to win. He has proven time and time again that no matter what you throw at him he will take it on head on and come out with the "W". In his choice to go Team this year, Froning wanted to challenge himself to see if he can elevate the level of performance of those around him; and in true Froning fashion he led his team to the title of the Fittest Team on Earth.
Individual athletes this year got to pay tribute when they took on the most honored WOD of all time: Murph. With weight vests strapped on tight, Men and Women went hard in the hot Southern California sun in an effort to complete 2 miles of running, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, & 300 squats in under 55 minutes. Without being able to break up the movements carnage ensued as athletes struggled to finish. We saw some top contenders take a beating during Murph causing some to withdraw or just not able to perform at the same level for the rest of the Games. But in true CrossFit fashion every athlete poured their all into this workout to honor a true Hero.
As the Games Director Dave Castro is tasked with programming a wide variety of workouts that will test the world's best Crossfitters work capacity across broad time and modal domains; and every year he comes up with some of the most unique, and physically and mentally demanding tests of fitness. This year was no different as we got to see athletes take to the open water on paddle boards, Snatch heavy and fast, complete Strongman movements like yoke carries and kettlebell farmer carries, and climb up an down a peg board. It seems like Castro focused heavily on anaerobic capacity by programming shorter workouts that forced athletes to get as close to that red line and then hold it. Like always it will be interesting to see what Castro cooks up for 2016.
Running had a huge presence at the Games this year showing up in multiple events. Running is often the most despised and ignored exercise among Crossfitters; but being able to run long, hard, fast, and well are all part of becoming stronger and fitter. Your 400 meter warm up run is no longer going to cut it as your only running. If you want to be a better athlete you'll need to start incorporating track workouts and longer runs with inclines and declines to really take your fitness to the next level. So lace up your running shoes and start logging some miles.
Once again the fittest crowd in the world descended on the StubHub Center to watch and cheer on the world's best Crossfitters. Abs were showing and beer was flowing as Crossfitters mingled in the Vendor Village and took on the many different spectator workouts. Shirts were optional, but the community camaraderie and spirit was in full force.
Chris Spealler is not only a CrossFit legend, but he's arguably the best bodyweight specialist to ever compete at the CrossFit Games. Watching him fly through muscle ups or handstand walk his way past the competition was truly amazing and inspiring to watch.
With over a decade of CrossFit experience as both a coach and athlete, and with 6 Games appearances, Chris Spealler has racked up a wealth of knowledge on proper movement and technique.