July 22, 2015
Grunt Work
By Andréa Maria Cecil with Hilary Achauer
Odd objects and strongman work will challenge individuals and teams.
Odd objects and strongman work will challenge individuals and teams.

Odd objects and strongman work will challenge individuals and teams.



A Worm, a Slug and a Pig.

“I was confused. Am I at the CrossFit Games or a strongman seminar?” joked CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro as he took the small stage at a reception Tuesday evening at the Manhattan Beach Marriott.

The small, round stage was flanked by various objects. How they would be used in this year’s CrossFit Games was what Castro was there to reveal—along with a host of events for both individual and team competitors.

Among them was the Slug—a shorter and lighter iteration of the Worm, an implement of six sandbags of varying weights encased in a long canvas tube. There was also Version 2.0 of the Pig—first introduced at the 2013 Games. The green, metal behemoth has evolved into a solid rectangular piece with a soft, thin covering. Although the new Pig looked lighter, a lift by members of the Demo Team assured competitors it wasn’t. A yoke with a red cross member was also present.

All told, Castro revealed four additional team events: Water Worm, Earth Worm, Male/Female Chipper and Tire Relay.

Teams will begin their CrossFit Games Wednesday morning with Water Worm at Hermosa Beach Pier. Squads will perform 75 Worm deadlifts, followed by a 500-yard swim with a rescue sled around the pier, 50 more Worm deadlifts, another 500-yard swim and a final set of 25 Worm deadlifts.

Although he would have preferred just a swim—sans sled—four-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning said the event would be “a good time.” Then he winked.

Froning, who owns CrossFit Mayhem in Tennessee, is competing on a team this year.

Although his team doesn’t swim much, Tommy Hackenbruck of Ute CrossFit said swimming ability would matter little during the teams’ first event.

“The rescue sled is a great equalizer,” he said.

Two days later, teams will greet the Worm again—this time on drier terms.

Event 3—Earth Worm—has teams running 600 m, followed by 25 Worm squats, a second 600-m run, 50 Worm squats and, finally, another 600-m run preceding 75 Worm squats.

“Running 600 meters and doing 150 squats doesn’t sound like fun,” noted Hackenbruck, who’s part of the two-time Affiliate Cup champion team.

Team Events 4, 5 and 6 will be the Synchros, and Events 7 and 8 will be the Clean and Jerk.

Events 9 and 10 will be the Male/Female Chipper on Saturday morning in the soccer stadium. The events call for trios to perform 100 ft. of weighted lunges (300-/225-lb. Slug), 40 wall-ball shots each performed simultaneously (30/20 lb.), a 100-ft. handstand walk, 40 wall-ball shots each performed simultaneously (30/20 lb.) and another 100 ft. of weighted lunges (300-/225-lb. Slug).

On the final day of competition, teams will face Tire Relay in the soccer stadium.

“This will be the final event for most of you,” Castro said.

Tire Relay begins will three athletes completing 50 ft. of tire flips, 20 tire jump-overs, another 50 ft. of tire flips, 20 tire jump-overs, 9 legless rope climbs and 125 hang-to-overheads (95 lb.). The next three athletes complete the same exact work in the reverse order, beginning with the hang-to-overheads.

“Everything is the same,” Castro carefully stated. “The tire is the same. The barbell is the same.”

Hackenbruck called the high legless rope climbs “a game changer.”

“The tire flips look like a blast,” he said. “I love they way they are using the equipment. I’m sad not to see the Big Bob—yet.”

Jeremy Kinnick, owner of CrossFit Kinnick in Upland, California, was still trying to digest the slew of Tuesday evening’s announcements.

“There was so much all at once,” he said.

Kinnick added his team has been doing a lot of swimming so its confidence is high when it comes to navigating water.

“The sidestroke will be a good option on that,” he said. “I’m pretty confident in us. We live in SoCal and we’ve been to the beach every weekend from regionals until now. Whether that means we’ll beat everybody, I don’t know. We’ll do well.”

Individuals also became privy to two additional events: Soccer Chipper and Midline Madness.

Saturday afternoon in the soccer stadium, individuals will flip the Pig 100 ft. to the Zeus rig for Event 8. Once at the rig, they will perform 4 legless rope climbs followed by a 100-ft. handstand walk. 

Kara Webb, last year’s overall leader before an injury sank her on the leaderboard and she withdrew with two events remaining, was excited about Pig 2.0.

“I like moving heavy stuff,” she said. “I appreciate workouts that are just grunt work.”

On Sunday, individual athletes will face a simple couplet: Midline Madness. For 6 rounds, athletes will run 400 m up the soccer stadium berm, then carry a yoke 50 ft.

“Oh yeah, I’m comfortable with a yoke,” Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir said. “That’s one I’m excited about.”

For complete details, visit the Games events page.

All individual events will be streamed to ESPN3 for U.S. viewers and onto YouTube for everyone else. A General Admission wristband will give fans access to the Sandbag 2015 event Wednesday afternoon in the Tennis Stadium. GA wristbands are on sale online and at the StubHub Center box office.