The Quick and the Deadlifts

July 17, 2009 4:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
1 Comment » on this entry

Games09JoshEverettDL505.jpgRead the four-page CrossFit Journal article on the Deadlift Event from Day 1 of the CrossFit Games.

At the CrossFit Games, 16 men completed the entire deadlift ladder, creating a log-jam at the top of the standings. Mike Warkentin interviews Tony Budding of CrossFit HQ to discover the rationale behind the workout.

"Lightweight!" an energized Jeremy Thiel screamed at the end of the deadlift ladder, borrowing one of Big Ronnie Coleman's better catch phrases. The crowd burst into cheers as the Texan bounded out of the Stadium after completing the WOD with a lift of 505 lb.

All told, 16 competitors tied for first and were rewarded with only one point for the workout, giving them a large lead in a scoring system with points assigned by placement. The lowest score at the end of eight WODs decided the CrossFit Games champions. Shortly after the results were posted, the web was filled with people who were curious about how the 16-way tie would influence the overall scoring.

But who would have thought Graham Holmberg would notch a 35 lb. PR shortly after a trail run that all but ruined Jason Khalipa, the defending champion? The feat is even more impressive when you consider Holmberg finished 56th in the run. He didn't have much time to recover between WODs because the athletes at the bottom of the run were fed into the deadlift ladder first via a system that rewarded performance with rest.

"Here was our assumption: there's absolutely no way that you're going to be able to pull a high percentage of your 1RM deadlift in that format to begin with--every 30 seconds--and especially after a seven-K hill run," Tony Budding said. "We just made the assumption that your best lift in that environment is going to be a percentage of your max lift, probably between 70 and 85 percent. What we saw instead was that people were pulling at 90 to 110 percent of their previous PRs."

He added: "What happened from our perspective was these fuckers are so much more competitive and more capable than we possibly imagined."

Read the entire four-page article in the CrossFit Journal.

1 comment on this entry.

1. Aussie wrote...

July 20, 2009 6:19 PM

This thread is misguided relative to the article. The focus of the article is not about any specific competitor, nor anything any one competitor is commenting on with respect to their own performance and recognition thereof.

There are only three salient points in the article. First that CF HQ made a serious error in judgement when programming the event. The powers that be at CF HQ clearly misjudged work capacity and strength of the world's most elite athletes (of which all starting competitors arguable are) - the actual event, DL, was an excellent choice. Second, drawing a line in the sand ahead of time on where athletic limits will be reached consistently and accurately is extremely hard in light of the competitive ferosity inate to elite (and dare say all) CrossFitters, particularly when competing at the (World) Games (yes, arguably 2009 was the first "World Games" for CF). Finally, the event failed to achieve what it was supposed to in that none of us got to see an appropriately thinned out and performance-ranked "elite of the elite". We all know the likes of Mosely and Orlando, to name a couple, would have differentiated themselves had the event gone longer, and more specifically, heavier. I for one would have loved to see a 600+ DL after that horrific run.

Take the lesson learned CF HQ in the spirit of CF. Take it on board, learn from it, and improve. And, lets see an event at the 2010 Games that wonderfully illustrates the phenomonal strength of the world's strongest CrossFitters.