The One Thing You Can Do To Finally Become An Elite CrossFit Athlete: Train Your Brain

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Ever wondered why that “other guy” at the box always beats your ass at every workout, despite both of you basically having the same body composition? The answer might not be in the amount of gains in your muscles, but rather, the amount of gains in your brain.

Learn To Focus

Gold medal caliber athletes have an insane amount of focus. They know how to be in the game. The crowd’s cheers and jeers don’t matter. The performances of their competitors don’t matter. The pressure of winning doesn’t matter. They are just here and now.

You might not notice it, but you might often find yourself losing focus during a workout. Whether it’s glancing at your competitors to see how they’re progressing, checking the clock to see if the WOD is almost done, or mentally checking out when you come across a movement you haven’t mastered. Stop worrying about all of these things that give you unnecessary pressure. Just be in the moment and enjoy the task at hand.

“The interesting thing is, the champion athletes, the top athletes, the gold medal athletes, the gold medal mindset, if you like, that type of athlete will not see pressure as a problem,” says sports psychologist Tom Bates in an interview with BBC. “They perceive it as a privilege.”

Use Your Imagination To Your Advantage

You’re doing a grueling workout, you’re out of breath, your body’s worn out, and you’re not even halfway done. What are the thoughts running through your head? Were you thinking about despair, hopelessness, fear, or all of the above? If you did, chances are you took a nice, long rest right after – while everyone else left you in the dust.

Elite athletes are often encouraged by their performance coaches to use positive self-talk and mental imagery to boost their game. They imagine themselves scoring that winning basket or landing that punch or nailing that muscle up. Remember in the Adam Sandler movie, Happy Gilmore, wherein his one-handed golf mentor would tell him to think happy thoughts? Yeah, exactly like that! More than just giving you a good feeling, it actually motivates you, giving you that second wind to push harder and finish strong.

So before a WOD, leave your negativity at the door and think of happy thoughts, like doing a perfect snatch, or finishing ahead of everyone, or breaking your PR. It’ll do wonders!

Routine Makes Perfect

Do you know why we do the burgerner warmup, like, ALL THE TIME? Well, one, proper form prevents injury. Two, repeating the individual phases of the clean over and over and over will make the movement second nature to you. So the next time you’re competing, you won’t even have to think before executing. Everything becomes muscle memory.

For the 1996 Olympics, eventual gold medalist Shannon Miller would practice six to eight hours a day, six days a week. “We did a lot of repetitions. It was important to help perfect your routines, of course. But it also helped with the mental game,” she says. “With that much practice, you knew when you got into a competition situation, and you were a little bit nervous, you wouldn’t blank. You could count on your muscle memory taking over simply because you had done the routine so many times.”

According to Scott Grafton, a researcher at the University of California, practice rewires our brain network to make muscle movements more automatic, helping you focus and not overthink things. “If you think about how fast things are going when you make a golf swing, or hit a baseball, or do some gymnastics, you just can’t think and expect to not interfere with your body. As soon as you think about it, and try to make adjustments on the fly, you’ll see your performance degenerate.”

Eliminate Doubt

The smallest seed of doubt you plant in your head could reap a catastrophic outcome in your performance. Try to remember the last time you did a benchmark WOD. Right before the workout, what was your reaction? Were you groaning and complaining with your bros about how painful it’s going to get? Were you thinking about sandbagging it? Did you compare yourself to that “other guy” and thought he was going to beat you again? If you did any one of those things, always remember: thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to beliefs, and beliefs lead to actions. If you don’t believe you can do it, you probably won’t.

H/t: Dana.org

Photo credit: Huffington Post

If You Haven’t Noticed, CrossFit Is Making You Better In Bed

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It’s no coincidence that you’ve been experiencing PRs in your sex life ever since you started doing CrossFit. Here are the ways the Sport of Fitness is making you better in bed:

It boosts your confidence

Just look at the mirror and check out that sexy beast staring at you – Bam! – instant confidence. But scientifically speaking, regular exercise boosts the production of endorphins, which increases your happiness and self-esteem. It also helps improve blood circulation, which can immensely help prevent erectile dysfunction (saving you from a very embarrassing situation.)

It pumps up your sex drive

Weightlifting helps pump up (no pun intended) your testosterone levels, which in turn, helps fuel your sex drive. In a study conducted by Baylor University, participants exhibited higher testosterone levels 48 hours after lifting weights. So if you have a hot date this weekend, here’s to hoping you did some pretty nasty deadlifts and cleans a few days ago.

It helps you get more reps

According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, fat men last longer in bed than their thinner counter-parts. Findings show that men with higher BMIs last around 7.3 minutes, while slimmer men average only 1.8 minutes. Why? Obese men have higher levels of the female sex hormone, estradiol, which helps delay climax.

Does this mean you should quit CrossFit and order a pizza instead? Not necessarily. While healthier men may not have the biological advantage to last longer, they can make up for it through sheer cardio. That’s right, AMRAP your partner! Thanks to your newfound cardiovascular endurance, you can simply put in (again, no pun intended) as many reps as you can in the limited time you have! So while the other guy will be wheezing and catching his breath while giving out slow, weak-ass reps in 7.3 minutes, you’ll be beasting with a better performance, despite the time handicap.

It develops your assets.

One word: ASS. Everyone loves a tight Gluteus maximus, and who has the best booties in the world? The people who squat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I won’t cite a scientific study for you to know that, right? If your partner’s been grabbing your butt a lot lately, you can thank Mr. Back Squat and Mrs. Weighted Lunges in the morning.

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It helps you hit that hard to reach place

There are plenty of reasons why we do mobility exercises. One is it helps you avoid injuries when trying out new positions. People who are not limber enough to perform daring, acrobatic positions run the risk of pulling a muscle – especially THAT muscle. Improving your mobility also helps you become more flexible (read: the ability to hit that hard to reach place *wink*)

It teaches you how to maximize your body’s abilities

Functional fitness helps us learn about our own body’s capacities and how to use them efficiently. Remember how our coaches always say that power comes from the legs? Our pre-CrossFit selves would have come into the bedroom with our hips doing all the work. Now we have those strong legs to assist with all those hip thrusts!

It removes the sexual sandbagger in you

One of the greatest things about CrossFit is the way it instills in its students a never-say-die attitude. That no matter the challenge, a Crossfitter always comes out on top – literally and metaphorically speaking. So whenever your partner is complaining about how poor your performance is, always remember: if you managed to smash Fran, you can definitely smash your partner.

“Paleo Diet” Has Officially Been Added To The Oxford Dictionaries

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Paleo diet, YOLO, bro hug, amazeballs, douchebaggery, FML, and side boob. These are just some of the words the Oxford University Press officially recognized last week by adding them to its online catalog. Here’s the official description of our favorite dieting term:

“Paleo diet (n.): a diet based on the type of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans.”

Though many of these words are part of a growing batch of modern-day lingo, you have to admit, many of them are on their way out (shame on you if you still use YOLO at this day and age). But not Paleo. A quick look at Google Trends will show us that search interest for the words, Paleo, Paleo diet, and CrossFit, have risen rapidly over recent years and will continue its upward growth.

Here’s what the trends look like worldwide. Paleo is in blue, Paleo diet is in red, and CrossFitis in yellow. The dotted lines indicate the forecast for 2015.

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Here’s a look at the US.

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Here’s Canada.

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Here’s Australia.

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Here’s the Philippines.

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And it’s not only search interest that’s growing, Paleo-themed restaurants are popping up everywhere. In 2012, husband and wife team Marie and James Hobbs opened up the Paleo Café in Cairns, Australia. Two years later, they’ve franchised 11 more branches throughout the country, with more branches to open up in New Zealand, USA, and Canada by 2015.

In San Diego, California, Paleo is hitting the streets via the Not So Fast! food truck. Owner Bob Montgomery lost a lot of weight using the caveman diet and wanted to share the lifestyle with others. “I wanted people to know that they could come to this truck and feel secure knowing that they were getting a clean meal,” Montgomery tells Discoversd. “It’s been really well-received by the paleo crowd and by CrossFit gyms, which are both big in San Diego.”

Fine dining restaurants are also getting in on the act. In Copenhagen, Palaeo restaurant serves what they call, “Primal Gastronomy.” A sample dish includes organic pulled pork with Paleo-coleslaw, cabbage & homemade parsley pesto wrapped in omelet of organic eggs. Delish!

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While including Paleo diet in Oxford’s online dictionary doesn’t guarantee the concept or its restaurants will last generations and generations – after all, the Atkins Diet was a hit not too long ago, and you’ll hardly see anyone opening an Atkins-themed restaurant nowadays – this development marks the Paleo Diet as an important facet of modern living. It’s time has finally come, so to speak. Or at the very least, it’s as important to today’s generation as side boob.

h/t TIME

Photo credit: Palaeo

The Beginner’s Guide To The National Pro Grid League

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In December of 2013, CrossFit Games’ executive producer and co-director, Tony Budding left to form a new competition. He had been working with CrossFit Inc. for the last 10 years, serving as a coach, affiliate director, and media director before leaving to open a new chapter in functional fitness’ book: The National Pro Grid League (NPGL.)

Unlike the CrossFit Games, Budding sees the NPGL as “the world’s first professional spectator sport with co-ed teams competing in human performance races.” Think of it as the NBA or NFL of functional fitness as opposed to the CrossFit Games being like the Olympics. Whereas the Games only gives out prize money to the top 10 individuals and top three teams, the NPGL professionalizes its athletes, meaning every team member gets paid. The eight inaugural teams in the league will pay their athletes a minimum of $2,500 per match. Teams are also city or region based to encourage a strong following from their respective home bases (imagine LA visiting New York)

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Also unlike the Games, the NPGL’s events are announced – allowing the teams to plan, strategize, and practice ahead of time. In the matches themselves, two teams of 10 (five men, five women, with a mandatory one male and one female athlete over the age of 40) will compete over 11 matches spanning two hours in a place they call the Grid. They will then do a series of CrossFit-inspired workouts like thrusters, burpees, muscle-ups, and rope climbs, allowing substitutions to take place during the course of the match. The winning team to reach the finish line for each match receives two points, while the losing team receives 1 point. Any team who receives a DNF will get no points.

Confused? Don’t be. They even have a fancy scoreboard that updates with each athlete’s every rep, helping spectators keep track of the action. It’s a new development that NPGL organizers are banking on to help make functional fitness a spectator sport. Here, check it out:

While many high-profile CrossFit athletes, like Annie Thorisdottir, Andrea Ager, Kenny Leverich, and Khan Porter, have seen NPGL’s light and jumped on the bandwagon, many of Budding’s former colleagues at CrossFit Inc. think otherwise. Russ Green, CrossFit’s spokesperson, has been going around social media attempting to distance the Sport of Fitness from the up-and-coming league.

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Despite having received no blessing from the company he helped build, Budding knows very well that CrossFit and the NPGL are two different things. While one is focused purely on fitness, the other is aimed towards sponsors, endorsements, ticket sales, and TV ratings (NBC will be covering the league’s playoffs in October, while the Games are relegated to ESPN2.) And for Budding, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“We are a spectator sport which means we exist for the fans,” he says. “Our goal is to make our teams and our athletes so compelling, so exciting, so speaking for the metropolitan area that they’re from, that people want to just be fans of the team.”

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The question now is: Will fans get into the NPGL the way they are now coming in droves to the CrossFit Games? We’ll find out soon enough. The National Pro Grid League kicks off its inaugural match on Tuesday, August 19th, 7pm with the New York Rhinos facing off against the LA Reign at Madison Square Garden.

Photo credit 1: NPGL, Photo credit 2: Fat Tony

How To Design A CrossFit Box

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With CrossFit affiliates rapidly sprouting in every neighborhood, in every city, in every country, in every continent (maybe except Antarctica, but who knows), box owners and designers have had little time to understand this new breed of structure. It’s like a gym, but it’s not a gym. It may have barbells and squat racks and kettlebells, but the similarities end there. The sport is new and our place of worship is still largely undefined. What is a CrossFit box? What makes a CrossFit box? How do you design one?

We interviewed CrossFit coach and interior designer Jamie Tan to find out. Here he talks about his latest design, the CrossFit Insurrecto box in Quezon City, Philippines, and how box owners and designers should go about making a CrossFitter’s second home.

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What are the primary factors you have to consider when designing a CrossFit box?

Like every other space I’ve handled before, the initial question I ask my clients, as well as myself for that matter is how the space will be used. Form always follows function so for Insurrecto, I had to make an inventory first of what the coaches wanted for it, this on top of the standards of what most CrossFit boxes should be able to accommodate already. After which, I consider the site. Variables such as feasibility and practicality come into play since the space offers its own possibilities as well as constraints. This is probably the hardest part of the design since this is where you start weighing wants vs. needs. Editing in design can be heart-breaking (for both client and designer) but it has to be done in order to assure every bit of space is utilized to its maximum potential, without sacrifice of course to user safety and comfort, as well as aesthetics.

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Do you consider the CrossFit box a new and different breed of structure, or is it basically the same as a traditional gym?

It’s new, but at the same time not so new as well. It’s new compared to a traditional gym since a chunk of the space is left empty and open with no bulky exercise equipment scattered about. This is because of the WODs we do and the intensity of how we do it. It’s not so new since, essentially, the box is still a “gym” where people go to “workout”. That said, just like traditional gyms, clearances have to be observed so that people and equipment don’t bump into each other. Materials and finishes used must compliment high traffic as well as rough usage. Acoustics, lighting, and many other factors that help the operations of the box, in my opinion, are pretty much the same as in traditional gyms.

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Please tell us about your creative process in designing CrossFit Insurrecto. What’s your concept and what was your inspiration for it?

The concept was a collaboration between me and Scott, who was the architect for this project. The design of the box was based on a playful reinterpretation of the word “box” but the head coaches ultimately led the design intent. They wanted something that looked different from the old box, which I reckon was inspired by a warehouse loft in New York City. The old Insurrecto was rough, grungy and hardcore. For the new box, they wanted something more refined, finished, yet at the same time still not lose that hardcore edge. How Scott and I tackled it was to give the space a raw, industrial feel, but just more studied and cerebral. We implemented an austere “what you see is what you get” philosophy but with a slight upgrade by using accents yet still keeping things generally bare. All the wooden elements were just sealed with a coat of varnish to expose the natural grains of the wood. The cement walls were smoothened out but left unpainted. Notches were cut into the walls to accent verticality and spaced out every 5 feet. Even the tiling chosen were chosen to continue this nude aesthetic throughout the entire box. Color was used very sparingly and only in the shades of the Insurrecto blue and orange, and their tints and shades, like the black ceiling, which is really midnight blue.

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What are the features that you like most about this box?

I really love the volume of the space we were given to work with. It wasn’t apparent when the site was first turned over to us, but after all the debris was hauled out the cavernous space we were left with was inspiring. This was no longer a “box”, but it was a cave since we are technically subterranean as well, being located at the lower ground floor. We played with this volume and wanted to emphasize it by creating an intimate reception area that would suddenly open up to the main WOD floor. The reception is by far my favorite design element of the box. It was a labor of love for both of us since it was so hard to conceptualize as well as build. It was inspired by a box that collapsed on its own and crumpled towards the interior. The facets on the wall had to be individually measured, cut and secured from plywood that had to be picked from the same stock pile. Incorporating the logo in the origami design of the reception was Scott’s brainchild and having it executed perfectly, on top of an already complicated design, was maddening in many levels. It all worked out, thankfully, in the end.

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CrossFit boxes are known to be loud and “earthquake-ish” with all the barbells being dropped. How do you design a box to minimize or completely eliminate the potential disturbance to its neighbors?

The most interior designers can do in addressing this issue is to find means of dissipating and directing mechanical energy effectively and efficiently away from the neighboring units. Considering the acoustics is one. We originally had rather smooth rubber floors which further amplified the echo we normally produced because of the high ceilings. We were able to eventually solve this by having the rubber matting we currently use now which significantly muffled the sound. Their thickness also helped in dampening the shock of the dropping weights. In an ideal scenario, due to the weights we lift, the best place to hold a box is one where we are on a solid subfloor. This way all vibrations caused get absorbed straight into the ground. In the event that these favorable elements are absent, simply relocate the “drop zones” to more solid areas, away from columns as well as investing in Olympic platforms (since wood is a poorer conductor of mechanical energy than concrete), then I believe the earthquake issues can be solved.

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How did you go about designing the box in terms of safety?

Being crossfitters ourselves gave us great insight in envisioning how to keep the box safe. The first thing we did was install a secondary exit since the space didn’t have any. A second way out in case of emergency is mandatory, especially considering our main entrance is a glass wall at the end of a timber tunnel. Apart from the reception, all our material finishes are fire-proof/retardant so even in the event of a fire; the situation can be quickly contained and controlled. We observed clearances especially at the power cages so corridors can be wide enough for people to pass through even of members are lifting. Smoother matte finishes on the walls as well as the equipment allow us less friction burn and tearing yet still give enough traction for grip. There are no sudden changes in the floor elevations and materials. We made sure our floors are trip-proof!

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What’s your best advice when it comes to designing a CrossFit box?

Have fun. CrossFit is fun so it has to reflect in the design of the box as well. A light, fun box helps in the demeanor of the athlete and would thereby improve his performance. It also has to be inviting. CrossFit often gets misjudged to be douchy and quite intimidating. By using design in making the box intimate and less severe, one can greatly affect how people view the sport, your box, even your community.

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For interior design projects, you can reach Jamie Tan on his Facebook page.

Why Crossfit Should Never Be About The Whiteboard

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So you suck at CrossFit, what now? If your name doesn’t start with “Rich,” and doesn’t end in “Froning,” chances are you won’t always top the whiteboard scores at your box. Chances are, you’ll never win a medal at the Games, or even make Regionals. You’ll never have throngs of fans screaming your name, or have thousands of Twitter followers, or get a sponsorship from Reebok.

And that’s ok.

You’re a Crossfitter. Root word: CrossFit. Not: medal, trophy, or championship belt. You’re not good at getting all these awards or high praises. Big deal! You’re not here to get those things anyway. No one ever is. You’re here to do what you love, and that’s to work up a sweat, break your back (metaphorically, of course), and push your limits. Simply put: you’re here to be a better you. And that’s the greatest reward you can get from CrossFit.

Bragging rights? Have you ever thought that the very definition of success may not lie in whiteboard bragging rights but rather in just doing what you love? Don’t let the scores on the whiteboard dictate who you are. Don’t let the whiteboard become the validation for your being a Crossfitter.

Fame? Many elite athletes perform at an exceptionally high level in front of thousands of spectators cheering them on. They’ll haul ass, they’ll grind it out, they’ll do whatever it takes to win. But if you think their passion and dedication begins and ends under the bright lights of the arena, you’re wrong.

A US Olympic basketball team trainer once shared on Reddit that Kobe (ok, not a Crossfitter, but he’s really a good example to prove my point) called him up at 4:15 in the morning and asked him if he could help with some conditioning work. “It took me about twenty minutes to get my gear and out of the hotel,” recalled the anonymous trainer. “When I arrived and opened the room to the main practice floor I saw Kobe. Alone. He was drenched in sweat as if he had just taken a swim. It wasn’t even 5AM.”

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They worked out for 75 minutes, before the trainer went back to the hotel to try and salvage some sleep for the 11AM scrimmage that same day. And then:

“This next part I remember very vividly. All the Team USA players were there, feeling good for the first scrimmage. LeBron was talking to Carmelo if I remember correctly and Coach Krzyzewski was trying to explain something to Kevin Durant. On the right side of the practice facility was Kobe by himself shooting jumpers. And this is how our next conversation went — I went over to him, patted him on the back and said, ‘Good work this morning.’”

‘Huh?’

‘Like, the conditioning. Good work.’

‘Oh. Yeah, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it.’

‘So when did you finish?’

‘Finish what?’

‘Getting your shots up. What time did you leave the facility?’

‘Oh just now. I wanted 800 makes so yeah, just now.’

Kobe doesn’t need fans or awards or Facebook likes to validate his greatness. Kobe doesn’t care about the whiteboard or the crowd that will applaud his score. And so should you. The fame, the glory, the bragging rights – all of those are not what CrossFit is about. Hit your PR even when no one is looking, reach for that final rep even when the cameras aren’t rolling, turn on your beast mode even if you’re not qualifying. Stop thinking about the competition on the whiteboard and simply compete with yourself. Validation comes from you, and not from an inanimate object tied to a wall.

The Nike Metcon TR: The CrossFit Shoe That’s Going To Give Reebok A Run For Its Money

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The Sport of Fitness is undoubtedly growing, and athletics giant Nike has sipped from the proverbial Kool-Aid by giving us a sneak peek at their first ever CrossFit shoe: The Nike Metcon TR.

At the recently-concluded CrossFit Games, Nike signed athletes Khan Porter, Brandon Swan, Kenny Leverich, Nate Schrader, Josh Bridges, Jeff Evans, Jacob Heppner, Alexandra LaChance, as well as 2014 team champion CrossFit Invictus.

 

The shoe is set to be released in February 2015, giving Reebok’s Nano and Inov-8 “F-Lite” series some stiff competition. For us CrossFitters, it’s a welcome development, seeing giant companies recognizing CrossFit as the real deal and not just another overblown fad.

 

A sleeping giant is starting to wake. Here’s Nike’s 1st #CrossFit shoe. #nikecrossfit #justdoit #fortime

— The WODcast Podcast (@wodcastpodcast) July 18, 2014

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Froning, LeBlanc-Bazinet Are Your 2014 Crossfit Games Champions!

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As it turns out, the only man who could beat Rich Froning is… Rich Froning.

The 3x “Fittest Man on Earth” continues his unprecedented streak of victories by adding a fourth 1st place finish at the recently-concluded 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games. Next year, however, he’ll be champion no more, as he is set to compete in the Team competition, ending his streak on his own terms.

Froning started his Games campaign by conquering his supposed “weakness” of swimming (he place 30th at The Pool last year), by placing 8th at The Beach. He then struggled in the next three events: Triple-3 (37th), Sprint Sled 1 (15th), and Sprint Sled 2 (27th.)  His true championship form came in the final three events, placing first in convincing fashion to extend his reign as CrossFit Games champion. Rookie Mathew Fraser and Jason Khalipa placed secondd and third, respectively.

“Froning has been the dominant CrossFit athlete since 2011, and he’s been on the podium since 2010,” according to Mike Warkentin and Andrea Maria Ceil of the CrossFit Games website. “Over five years of competition, he’s won 16 events—more than any other competitor—and he’s finished top 10 in an event 45 times.”

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For the women’s individuals, five-time CrossFit Games competitor Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet avenged her 16th place finish last year by winning it all. The first ever Canadian to win the women’s division had nine top-10 finishes out of the Games’ 13 events, including a first placer during the 21-15-9 Complex. Annie Thorisdottir came in second and Julie Foucher in third at the podium.

When asked how she prepared for the Games, LeBlanc-Bazinet said: “I attacked more of my weakness. I worked my ass off. Every year, you get better at finding your weaknesses.”

Here are the full results of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games winners:

Men: Rich Froning (U.S.A.)

Women: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (Canada)

Team: CrossFit Invictus (U.S.A.)

Masters Men 40-44: Shawn Ramirez (U.S.A.)

Masters Women 40-44: Amanda Allen (Australia)

Masters Men 45-49: Jerry Hill (U.S.A.)

Masters Women 45-49: Kim Holway (U.S.A.)

Masters Men 50-54: Will Powell (U.S.A.)

Masters Women 50-54: Mary Beth Litsheim (U.S.A.)

Masters Men 55-59: Steve Hamming (U.S.A.)

Masters Women 55-59: Susan Clarke (Canada)

Masters Men 60-plus: Scott Olson (U.S.A.)

Masters Women 60-plus: Karen Wattier (U.S.A.)

Spirit of the Games Award: Becca Voigt

Rookie of the Year: Mathew Fraser

Most Improved: Cassidy Lance

h/t CrossFit Games

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CF Games Results: Froning Proves He Has No Kryptonite, Finishes 8th At The Beach.

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At last year’s Reebok CrossFit Games, we found out that that defending champion and all-around beast, Rich Froning, had a weakness after all: swimming. The seemingly invincible athlete struggled and finished 30th in 2013’s swimming event, called The Pool.

This year, swimming is his kryptonite no more. At The Beach, Froning placed 8th amidst strong waves, a searing Californian sun, and possible shark attacks (seriously.) He placed ahead of other elite athletes like Dan Bailey (9th), Scott Panchik (10th), and Jason Khalipa (18th).

The 2014 Games’ first event consisted of a 250 yard swim, 50 kettlebell thrusters, 30 burpees, a 500 yard swim, another set of 30 burpees and 50 kettlebell thrusters, and finally a 250-yard swim before a short run to the finish line.

Four-time All-American swimmer and former lifeguard Jordan Troyan, did a repeat of his performance last year, placing first by leading from start to finish. He was followed by 19-year-old Jonne Koski and last year’s event 3rd placer Josh Bridges.

For the women’s individuals, sailor Anna Tunnicliffe led all the way and finished first. Kara Webb and Chyna Cho had a two-woman race for second place, with the latter finally pulling away midway through the 500-yard swim. Last year’s event 1st place finisher, Michele Latendre, finished fourth.

Froning won last year’s competition despite having a rough start. Now, after banishing his 2013 demons at The Beach and kicking off his campaign off on a good note, it may only be a matter of time until he is crowned “Fittest Man on Earth” for a record fourth consecutive time. Goes to show that even your greatest weakness can improve with consistent practice.

You can watch the replay of the events below.