There are strength and gymnastics tests, classic couplets and even a couple throwback events.
The CrossFit Games are about to begin. In just three days, the Masters Competition will be underway at the StubHub Center, and yet the masters competitors have no idea what challenges they will face this Tuesday through Thursday, July 22-24.
Moments ago, the majority of the masters events were released. There are strength and gymnastics tests, classic couplets and even a couple throwback events.
But first, it all begins with a deadlift ladder. On Tuesday morning, the athletes will start at the bottom of the ladder and deadlift the lightest weight. Once the 20-second lifting interval is over, they’ll take 10 seconds to walk to the next barbell loaded with slightly more weight. When the clock hits 00:30, they’ll lift. Each athlete will continue up the ladder until he or she cannot successfully deadlift the weight within the 20-second lifting period.
The scaling in the 2014 Masters Competition splits the five age divisions into three easy to reference groups: the 40s, the 50s and the 60+. Those in the youngest two age divisions, 40-44 and 45-49, face the most challenging masters events to date. These events are scaled to the same extent for athletes in the 50-54 and 55-59 divisions, and scaled further for those athletes in the oldest age category, 60+.
On the deadlift ladder, the 40s will lift similar weights as individual competitors at the 2009 CrossFit Games. This time, the men’s 10 barbells range from 325 lb. to 535 lb. (vs. 20 barbells weighted with 315 to 505 lb. in 2009), while the women’s 10 barbells range from 195 lb. to 375 lb. (vs. 20 barbells weighted from 185 to 375 lb. in 2009). Five years ago, 16 men and 1 woman topped out the ladder with 505 lb. and 375 lb. lifts, respectively. Will athletes in their 40s be able to do the same in 2014?
Not long after the strength test, masters will face the same gymnastics test as the regional competitors: a max-distance handstand walk.
The 40s will get one attempt, the 50s will get two attempts (the second attempt starts where the first left off, and the score is the total distance), and the 60+ will do something different. Athletes in the oldest age division will walking lunge as far as possible with a 50-lb. or 30-lb. ball held overhead. They will get just one attempt, which will end when the ball drops.
Immediately after the handstand walk, masters will complete a 100-yard sled drag.
To close out the first day of competition, athletes will complete 5 rounds of 400-m runs and rope climbs. The type and quantity of rope climbs vary between divisions. The 40s will do 2 legless rope climbs, the 50s will do 2 conventional rope climbs, and the 60+ will complete 1 conventional rope climb per round. Once again, this masters event echoes a regional event from earlier this year: Event 5. But this time, the runs are far longer (400 m vs. 200 feet) and the 40s will do 2 legless rope climbs each round for five rounds, rather than 1 legless rope climb each round for 10 rounds.
On Wednesday, July 23, masters will be tested on another throwback event, 2007. This event debuted at the inaugural CrossFit Games eight years ago, and returned to the individual competition just last year. Now, the youngest two divisions will do exactly the same: a 1,000-m row, and then 5 rounds of 25 pull-ups and 7 push jerks (135 / 85 lb.). Last year, Josh Bridges and Val Voboril set the fastest times at 8:33.8 and 9:48.4, respectively. The pull-up reps and thruster weights are scaled back to 20 pull-ups and jerks at 125 / 75 lb. for the 50s, and 15 pull-ups and jerks at 115 / 65 lb. for 60+.
Later on Wednesday, masters will lift an object, and then themselves, 21, then 15, then 9 times. The couplet consists of 21 med-ball cleans over their shoulder followed by 21 burpees, then 15 cleans and 15 burpees, and finally 9 and 9. The weight of the ball varies by division, starting with 80 lb. for the men and 50 lb. for the women in the youngest two divisions, and 70 / 40 lb. for the 50s, and 50 / 30 lb. for 60+.
Thursday morning the masters will see a down and back chipper, similar to what the individuals faced at regionals, with box jumps, toes-to-bars, wall-ball shots and ring dips.
The final event on Thursday has yet to be announced.
Come support the Masters Competition at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, this July 22, 23 and 24. Admission is free! All of the events will be held at the track, which is located due south of the tennis and soccer stadiums.
Those who cannot make it still can watch. Every heat of every masters event will be streamed online to WatchESPN.com and Games.CrossFit.com.