April 29, 2014
CrossFit Games Update: April 28, 2014
By Megan Mitchell
Hang squat snatches, handstand walks, and Nasty Girls V2 start the 2014 Regionals.

Individual Event 1: 1-Rep-Max Hang Squat Snatch

It all starts with a 1-rep max hang squat snatch.

Like in traditional Olympic weightlifting competitions, the competitors will get to choose the weights for their lifts, and they’ll be limited to three attempts.

The new format tests the competitor’s ability to put up a big number under pressure. Three failed attempts will leave a competitor with a score of zero.

What kinds of numbers will we see?

Based on the stats provided on the Games site profiles, the average snatch of female regional qualifiers is 144 lb., while the average snatch of male regional qualifiers is 237 lb. Those numbers climb to 162 lb. for female competitors who qualified for the Games in 2013, and 270 lb. for the men.

In the 2012 Regional Snatch Ladder, we saw Aja Barto snatch 295 lb., but it was from the ground. That same year, Rich Froning Jr. followed with the second-best snatch at 275 lb. Lindsey Valenzuela snatched 175 for the heaviest snatch in the individual women's division.

In the intervening months, Games and regional athletes have posted videos of heavier snatches set in training.

  • Rich Froning, 300
  • Spencer Hendel, 300
  • Ben Smith, 300
  • Eric Magee, 300
  • Roy Gamboa, 300
  • ZA Anderson, 300
  • Aja Barto, 308
  • Sam Dancer, 310

Froning was the first in the 300 club (video), but soon was joined by several others. Sam Dancer of the Central East is the only 2014 Regional qualifier to post a video of a snatch more than 300 lb. (Barto is sitting out of the 2014 CrossFit Games season to focus on training for the USAW Nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah.) Dancer posted a video of a 305-lb. high hang snatch at the start of the year.

We may already know Camille Leblanc-Bazinet’s score for Event 1. The multi-year Games competitor from Canada East recently posted a 195-lb. hang squat snatch.

Several other women have posted snatches from the ground that approach, or hit, 200 lb.

  • Sam Briggs, 175
  • Talayna Fortunato, 190
  • Danielle Horan, 195 (hang squat snatch)
  • Taylar Stallings, 195 (hang power snatch)
  • Elisabeth Akinwale, 196.2
  • Lindsey Valenzuela, 200
  • Oxana Slivenko, 264

The one outlier is Olympian Oxana Slivenko. Slivenko—who’s ranked 15th in Europe heading into the regional—snatched 115 kg (253 lb.) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Four days ago, she posted a video of a 120-kg (264-lb.) snatch.

Individual Event 2: Max Distance Handstand Walk

We’ve seen a max distance handstand walk before. Handstand walking first appeared in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games as part of the Skills Tests. After a max L-sit hold and softball throw for distance, competitors had to walk on their hands as far as possible across the track at the StubHub Center (then known as the Home Depot Center).

Froning set the furthest distance for the men at 149-feet, 11 inches, and Annie Thorisdottir set the furthest distance for the women at 205-feet, 2 inches. Several women beat the top male distance, including Thorisdottir, Akinwale (192’1”), Leblanc-Bazinet (168’5”) and Julie Foucher (166’1”). See the Leaderboard here.

Handstand walking returned in the first of the two-part final event of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. The Cinco 1 finished with an 80-foot handstand walk; however, competitors could kick down and kick back up as much as necessary. FroningFortunato, and Akinwale sped through the handstand walk. 

This time, the competitors have three minutes to get as far as possible. If a competitor gets to the other end of the 120-foot competition floor, they can kick down, turn around and kick back up. If the Games veterans perform the same as they did in 2011, we will see at least two men (Chris Spealler and Froning) and four women (Thorisdottir, Akinwale, Leblanc-Bazinet, and Foucher) reach the end of the floor and turn around.

Individual Event 3: Nasty Girls V2

For the last three years, Dave Castro has included one of the “girls” in regional programming. Jackie, Diane, and Amanda tested the athletes in 2013, 2012 and 2011. This year Castro brought us back to one of the classics: Nasty Girls.

The triplet of 50 air squats, 7 muscle-ups, and 10 135-lb. hang power cleans was first released on CrossFit.com on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005. It didn’t have a name then. It was just the main-site workout of the day.

The video linked on the CrossFit.com post featured future Director of Training and Certification Nicole Carroll, future 2011 and 2012 CrossFit Games competitor Annie Sakamoto, and 1992 and 1994 Olympic Games slalom skiier Eva Twardokens doing the WOD with 95 lb.

At the time, they were known simply as Nicole, Annie, and Eva T., and what they did was nothing short of revolutionary. Just nine years ago, many women didn’t lift. In most gyms, the women’s weights were pink and weighed less than 15 lb.

To see three fit women handle loaded barbells blew people’s minds. Add on fast air squats, and these strange things called “muscle-ups” on gymnastics rings, and Nasty Girls changed thousands of people’s conceptions of the limits of the female body.

Countless people, men and women, cite this video as the reason they started CrossFit. The video continues to introduce people to the fitness regimen and sport that is CrossFit, and now, with the regional event, Nasty Girls will broaden its already enormous reach.

The regional version of Nasty Girls is a bit nastier than the original. Pistols have replaced the air squats, and the hang power cleans are heavier. Nine years ago, three women hang cleaning 95 lb. was incredible. Now, 816 women from across the globe will do it with 115 lb.

In 2005, Sakamoto set the time to beat at 9:47. Let’s see what the world’s fittest women can do in 2014.