The CrossFit Games are the Olympics of our sport, where the creme-de-la-crème compete head-to-head for the title of Fittest Woman/Man/Team in the World (and a pretty hefty prize package furnished primarily by CrossFit's main squeeze, Reebok.)
More than 200 athletes representing 17 regions—ten of which are in the United States—will participate in the 2013 CrossFit Games, held in Southern California in late July.
But just how do the superstars of competitive exercising make it to the Games? It's a long road paved with blood, sweat, tears, and heavy barbells. The CrossFit Open is the first step. The Open is structured in such a way that anyone, anywhere may compete. Using an innovative online platform, athletes from all over the world complete one WOD ("workout of the day") each week for five weeks, uploading their scores by the Sunday night deadline. Athletes have four days to complete the workout, either at a CrossFit Affiliate where it is validated by the Affiliate owner or by submitting a video tape to be reviewed by a panel of judges over at CrossFit HQ to make sure the athlete has conformed to the prescribed movement standards.
Once the Open is finished, the 48 men and women with the highest scores in their region, and the top 30 CrossFit Affiliate teams in each region are invited to compete at their respective regional competition. The seventeen CrossFit Regionals are held over the course of four weekends. This coming weekend, June 7-9, marks the final weekend of competition, and it happens to be the weekend during which Philly's fittest will go for the gold, so to speak, at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals held in Landover, MD.
Over three brutal days, athletes will perform a series of six workouts that require each competitor to dig deep, both physically and emotionally, testing their overall athleticism in addition to their mental perseverance. When all is said and done, only the top three men, women, and teams will receive an invitation to compete for the Mid-Atlantic Region in the 2013 CrossFit Games.
Representing metro Philadelphia will be teams hailing from CrossFit Go Hard, CrossFit Explode, CrossFit Love, and CrossFit Manayunk, as well as individual athletes Tanya Wagner (CrossFit Apex), Perrin Behr (CrossFit 215), Sean Thompson (CrossFit Go Hard), and my business partner, Emily Record (CrossFit Center City).
For more information on the CrossFit Games, visit games.crossfit.com.
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.