What are the CrossFit Games?

“In implementation, this looks like sport. This is revolutionary. It's as distinctive of the program as are the movements and the charter of functionality and variance. Our workouts are competitive events.

The strength and value of CrossFit lies entirely within our dominance of other athletes. This is a truth divined through competition, not debate.”

Greg Glassman, CrossFit Co-Founder & CEO
3, 2, 1 — GO!

The Games are over and the results are in!

The Top Female CrossFitter for 2008 is Caity Matter of Gahanna, OH, where she trains with Rogue Fitness. Tanya Wagner took second place and Gillian Mounsey took third.

The Top Male CrossFitter for 2008 is Jason Khalipa of CrossFit Unlimited in Milpitas, CA. Josh Everett came in second, with Jeremy Thiel in third.

The Affiliate Cup was won by the team from CrossFit Oakland.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all the volunteers, spectators, and competitors for a great weekend!

Bionic vs. Omaha Ricky

BionicPinkBike_th.jpgEnlarge image

After his stellar 2:08 Fran, Bionic from CrossFit Hardcore has been cross training hard (he switched bikes for the picture).

Meanwhile, Omaha Ricky from CrossFit Omaha cranks out 100 burpees in 4:45 (he does 70 straight). It's hard to tell who's getting the greater benefit.

100 burpees video [wmv] [mov]

On the affiliate competition front, rumor has it that CrossFit Oakland is training hard to retain their status as top affiliate. Remember, the 09 Games will have a very different affiliate competition. There will be group workouts instead of accumulating the top performances of various athletes. Can you spell teamwork?


Wow, that is some serious output! These guys are gonna be tough to keep up with. Question/thought on burpees. I have noticed most people are allowing their legs to touch the ground. In some cases, it almost looks like a "sprawl" instead of a push-up. What is the official call on this. I never allow my legs to touch, but I imagine if I did, it would feel more like a push-ups from the knees. Thanks for any input.

By silverback on December 19, 2008 6:53 AM

Great video. As to Silverback's questions, the competition standard has been a ROM standard: chest to deck, full extension jump with hands over head. No penalty for touching your legs. It IS a sprawl if you want to go fast. Doesn't mean it's the right way, but you can't get anywhere near the speed (from what I've seen) by keeping the stricter push-up knees off the ground standard.

And a question on affilate competition. Does anyone know if there will be qualifiers like there are for the individual competition?

By Aaron - Potomac CrossFit on December 19, 2008 9:00 AM

Nice work Ricky! I know you did it in 5:15 and I was pretty psyched that I beat you when I finished in 4:55 at the end of the 100 burpee challenge.
Awesome video!!!

By kevin on December 19, 2008 9:54 AM

Omar - I think you would look better on the pink bike. Todd was too nice and let you switch for the photo.

By Stephan - CF Broward on December 19, 2008 12:24 PM

Very impressive output: OF course.

Legit?: Almost

Saw many reps where hips weren't open.

Others where chest wasn't to the deck, and jumps never got above 3 or so inches.

Impressive, not legit.

By Jason on December 19, 2008 12:34 PM

I'll take it. Once you hit about 50, you start to lose a little control. I wasn't going for fastest time but rather how many I could do without stopping. In essence, I had to maximize economy in order to make run at 100 without stopping, so the body will sometimes cut a little movement in order to keep moving. Thanks for the input. That's why I send in video, for honest takes. I'm still a work in progress just like everyone else.

Merry Christmas.

By Omaha Ricky on December 19, 2008 2:09 PM

Aaron, Thanks for the response. As far as I know, the Affiliate Team Challenge does not have qualifying heats. I believe they open registration in June, and it closes when they reach capacity. I tried the "sprawl" version burpee today and it is indeed easier and faster. I really did feel like I was "cheating". Jump height is also something to consider that will have a significant cumulative difference. Personally, I'd like to see some standards called, but until then, I'll keep doing em the the hard way! Merry Christmas everyone.

By silverback on December 19, 2008 2:20 PM

It's going to be very tough to keep up with you for ANYONE, Ricky. I hope to at least compete against you at the Games, and shake your callous torn hand afterward. My goal is keeping up with rabbits like you...at least for the first 10 burpees!

Keep it up bro!

By Herm @ CF Los Altos, CA on December 19, 2008 6:22 PM

Re: Affiliate Cup:

Expect CF Los Altos to be there. I have already put together a team of my most dedicated clients.

This format of the team WODs is gonna be FUN, and a challenge to coach. I'm as excited about the Affiliate Cup as much as I am about the individual competition! :)

By Herm @ CF Los Altos, CA on December 19, 2008 6:27 PM

It's always cool to see how others are preparing for the games and this video is no different. 100 burpees is a metabolic nightmare and Ricky made it look almost effortless. The competition is going to be extra fierce.

By Lorenzo@CrossFit 3 Rivers on December 19, 2008 6:46 PM

Awesome output! I understand you want to shoot for speed, but wouldn't your rather train without knees on the ground and make the work a bit harder? In competition, sure do whatever is going to get you to the end the fastest within the specified standards, but I always do burpees as a squat thrust to a full pushup. I still could not keep up with you by any means I just think it would improve your knee burpees in comp.

70 straight in anyway is impressive though. Good Job! Look forward to watching you compete in 2009.

By Chad on December 19, 2008 11:33 PM


You are a beast.

Your burpees at the games were so freaking fast. From the competitors I saw, both live and video, you and Libby have the fastest burpees in the CFiverse

By sevan on December 20, 2008 1:13 AM

There are always things you could do to make the workout harder, but that doesn't mean you should do them. It would also be harder if he did it with a vest on ... and doing that sometimes might be useful, but not all the time. If you're training different aspects of your burpees (localized muscular endurance in the case of stricter burpees and metabolic output in the case of faster sprawling versions) you should train those different aspects. And to some extent, you should train how you'll compete, at least some of the time.

The lesson, as is often the case with CrossFit, is do both. Practice going fast and long like you will in competition, and practice making your self stronger like you might with stricter form. At least that's my training strategy ... The beauty of the games is we'll get to test these out! I hope we can make it out from here on the East Coast.

By Aaron - Potomac CrossFit on December 20, 2008 11:55 AM

Sick effort Ricky !

I looked back to a video posted by Tony Budding before the Games that clearly explains the standards, and he talks about chest and thighs having to touch the ground at every rep, so this is absolutely legit.

http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitGames_2008WorkoutStandards.mov (wfs)

By Richard Vanmeerbeek on December 20, 2008 1:03 PM

I agree with all of the compliments for Rickys amazing work capacity and endurance/stamina. It does bother me that the integral exercises to CrossFit are being diluted though. Most of the footage from the games and the recent Freddy's Revenge video and this video-although extremely impressive completely perplex me. NO ONE is planked for the push-up in the burpees. The knees are touching the ground and the uper body comes up first-this is the equivalent of a modified push-up with poor form! Just because they are fast doesn't mean they are performed correctly. The Burpee demo video with Zac and Eva clearly shows the correct way to perform this CrossFit staple. As for different versions for the sake of training different aspects- seems to me we are just looking at real burpees as fast as they can be performed-or modified burpees, which are obviously going to have a faster cycle time.

By Mark Lee on December 20, 2008 7:54 PM

Ok I'll bite, so what is a Crossfit Oakland up to? Do they have a secret or something?

By Paul Delan- DC on December 20, 2008 9:25 PM

I think these burpees are legit. Moreover, I believe they are highly advanced burpees. I've been doing these wods for over 2 years, and my burpees always felt mechanical, and not anything as fluid as Ricky performs. But, after months of work and thousands of burpees, my flexibility and athletic ability has progessed to the point where i do burpees just like Ricky (althuugh not quite as fast and certainly not as long). As we all get better at these fundamental movements we have seen major advances in efficieny (butterfly kip, anyone?) that cause major debate, but if it increases work capacity it's hard to argue against these advances.

By Brian, CF Modesto on December 20, 2008 10:30 PM

To all those cats that feel the need to point out whatever small flaws exist in Ricky's technique, I have a question for you: Can you do better? My guess is that the answer would be a resounding "No." Burpees are awful. I'm damn impressed.

> Ok I'll bite, so what is a Crossfit
> Oakland up to? Do they have a secret or
> something?

I've heard that they draw their strength from their proximity to Aromas. Not too close, but not too far.

By TomC on December 21, 2008 8:03 PM

ricky i read your blog everyday u post,and ur a beast.nice vid
as for the people hateing, stop!How many of u kip durning fran on the pullups,i will go a head and say all of u.if some else where to watch u who does not do cf they would say your cheating by kipping.We (crossfitters)respond with we r still doing the same rom just at a faster rate.ricky is taking his entire body to floor and getting up and jumping in the air,its the same rom as you r doing.So he found a faster way so what,and one more thing go to youtube everyone and watch clips from 2008games and you will alot of the top guys do burpees like this(and they counted them).AS for future burpees in any type of comp,i think burpee's should b done with a touch point how ever many inch's above one's reach.Its not hard if everyone has a pullup bar to use just hang a pair of rings down.again gr8 job ricky

By charliedunifer on December 22, 2008 9:05 AM

The burpee debate is heating up! I don't think anyone is questioning things being "legit" here. Certainly he shouldn't have to defend himself. And I wouldn't go so far to call those who raise questions "haters". I think most of us know we couldn't keep up with him. But good debate is healthly. What we seem to keep arriving at is the faster vs. technique dilemma. I think the quest to move faster must stay within technique guidelines. Otherwise, comparisons are useless. I only touch my chest and sometimes chin to the ground on burpees. I tried it for the first time letting my legs touch. It was more of a "flop" than a controlled plank. I was faster and it felt slightly easier. Personally, I think establishing work capacity through ROM is not just starting and ending positions, but how we are getting there. I like to use my own head and don't want to wait until HQ says what is "right". I have already decided I will stick to keeping my legs off the ground. But if I was in the games and it was allowed, I'm flopping! Great performance, great topic to talk about.

By silverback on December 22, 2008 10:13 AM

silverback... I agree with you regarding the "flop" vs controlled plank.
I'm probably one of the few who like burpees. I perform the chest touches the ground but knees dont and ALWAYS maintain a solid plank. If that means I have to rest because I fatigue out then I rest.
We had burpees in our WOD today and I decided to try Ricky's/Games style burpees. They were significantly easier! Honestly, they didn't even feel like a workout. 50+ burpees that style would/should feel like nothing for someone do does the controlled plank.
I'll stick with that technique until a competition where the "flop" style is allowed, just incase the "right" movement gets clarified my way. Just like I have always done the butterfly kip with chest to bar on pullups (not the chest to bar they were allowing for females at Games, legit nipples at bar).

By Katrina - CF Lethbridge on December 22, 2008 5:05 PM

"ALWAYS maintain a solid plank"

"50+ burpees that style would/should feel like nothing for someone do does the controlled plank."

I'll bite.... PLEASE POST A VIDEO of you doing 50+ burpees ALWAYS maintaining a solid plank for everyone to critique.

By Todd Lynch - CrossFit BGI on December 22, 2008 8:10 PM

Ricky, awesome job. You are a class act, and I love that you put your performance out there for people to comment on. Looking forward to seeing you and Bionic going at it at the 2009 Games.

Just to chime in on the burpee standards debate: At One World, to be a legit burpee, our athletes have to touch their chest to the deck, jump back to flat feet from the pushup position, then jump up and touch a target that is suspended 6" higher than their highest reach (flatfooted). If you don't touch the target, it doesn't count. There is video on youtube of our Crossfit One World burpee standard. If anyone thinks they jump up 6" when they do a burpee, but have never jumped to a target, try it sometime. There was a huge difference in our times/reps when we switched to that standard.

There was just no way to set that up for so many competitiors at the Games. My feeling is that when they came up with the standards for the Games, they figured the athletes would have to jump about 6" to have the time to clap overhead and have your ear covered by your arms when you did it.

Mark Lee-
I agree with you about touching the knees during a burpee. I went back and watched the Freddy's Revenge video and assure you that I did not touch my knees on any of the reps, though I did get some upper body rising first. I think we all tend to raise the upper body up first once we get to that extreme fatigue point. I am pretty sure a little bit of loss of form is exceptable in a high volume workout (per Coach and every Technique lecture I have ever heard at any Level I Certification.)

By freddy c._one world on December 23, 2008 4:30 AM

CF Oakland is just a very tight group from what I observed and this is encouraged and enforced by the trainers.

That's their secret, I think.

By Blair Lowe on December 23, 2008 7:09 AM

Ok, I know I'm biased so I'm gonna make this quick. Maybe:)
1. Well, some reps Rick was not competely opening his hip. He had no coach watching this to give him feedback, this happens and I guarantee all of you do it unknowingly with nobody watching. Watch the games HL's and you will see this happening all over the place, AND THIS IS HAPPENING IN COMPETITION WITH COUNTERS MONITORING REPS. enough about that
2. Games standards stated that the chest AND THIGHS must touch the ground. Here's your homework assignment. See how many reps you can do touching your thighs to the ground, but not your knees. If you see a video of somebody not touching knees to the ground, take a closer look and see if their chest and thigh are truely touching the ground.
3. Please tell me in competition how one judge will be a able to accurately monitor a standard of burpee that everyone must adhere to where perfect spinal stabilization is achieved. CrossFit's reponse on the body comes as a result of load,distance, and time. If we are going to judge reps based on aesthetics than we better take all Jason K's reps away from him from the final C and J workout at the games. However we will not because although he had the most machanically unsound movement out of anybody else in the final, he still met range of motion requirements and whipped everyone's ass on the basis of load, distance, and time. I will agree that when training clients with weak spinal stabilization we should sometimes enforce strict/body burpees, but Ricky is a contender to win the 09 games and he cares only about time and ROM. If anyone thinks his floppy, sloppy, sprawling or whatever... burpees are any indication of a weak mid-line, I encourage you to search for anyone his videos..such as body oh squat for 15 reps, bodyweight heavy fran, body OH squat and weighted pullups, or 200+ lb squat clean thrusters(at 148 lbs bw).
Not trying to be defensive here, but friends stick together! haha! Please feel free now the lash back if I'm way off the mark with this one. Thanks

By Joe W on December 23, 2008 2:34 PM

If anyone says anything about my grammar and writing mechanics someone with show up at your house tonight! lol

By Joe W on December 23, 2008 2:38 PM