The Stakes are High...

July 11, 2009 4:50 PM

Posted in The Games »
123 Comments » on this entry

Call the fourth event a "blue-collar workout."

Featuring 500-meter rows bracketing a sledgehammer stake drive, WOD 3 was not for the delicate.

Jeff Tincher, a firefighter, set the tone in the first heat with 5:26.8. Other competitors struggled badly with the sledge, with one competitor breaking four of them before completing the event. Others were bleeding after wild swings found flesh instead of metal.

Tincher's strategy was simple: "I was tapping it.... I just made sure it was solid in my left hand. It stopped wobbling, I stepped back, and it wobbled a little bit. Three more taps and it stopped wobbling, and then it was just chopping wood or chopping a hole in a roof."

Tincher also advised against whaling away at the stake with looping swings.

"It's like any other movement," he said. "What do we teach? Core."

Tincher's work as a firefighter no doubt helped, but he credits his success to "cords and cords and cords of wood-chopping as a kid."

Chastity Slone had the stroke mastered in the first women's heat, sending the bottom third of the stake underground with a combination of speed, accuracy and power.

Danielle Dionne also seemed to have the sledge under control.

"I was trying to be consistent," she said. "I looked at the girls beside me and they were taking long swings, so it took a lot of patience."

In the competitor's area, the athletes who had completed the WOD advised those in the final heat as to how to attack the sledgehammer.

The advice seemed to pay off for the men, most of whom deliberately tapped the stake into the ground, held back on the middle section and then drove the bottom third home. Tommy Hackenbruck crushed the WOD in a top time of 4:36 and attributes his success to his job: he works construction and has used a hammer six days a week for the last three years.

"I got a text message from my wife when the WODs were posted," Hackenbruck said. "She saw wall ball and sledge, so I got pretty excited being a tall guy who swings a hammer for a living."

Jeremy Thiel, however, third overall after three events, had his stake at a 45-degree angle and was well behind the leaders. His time of 7:05.2 dropped him well back in the overall standings.

The top men's finishers were Hackenbruck, Jeff Leonard and Moe Kelsey, and the overall standings after four WODs find Kelsey, Hackenbruck, Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson in the top three, with Mikko Salo and James (OPT) FitzGerald four and six points back of Kelsey, respectively.

Sarah Dunsmore won her second WOD of the day with a speedy 5:33.8, and she was followed by Katie Hogan and Carey Kepler.

The overall standing on the women's side are as follows: Annie Thorisdottir remains in first, seven points ahead of Tanya Wagner, and 15 ahead of Dunsmore.

The rep scheme for the last WOD of the day remains unannounced, and the athletes are currently awaiting a briefing from Games Director Dave Castro.

123 comments on this entry.

1. Andrew Smith wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:01 PM

Where are the results???

July 11, 2009 5:03 PM


They are on the top of the page. It says "Live Scoring".

3. JO wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:04 PM

Top of the page :)

4. Ricardo wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:06 PM

Keep grinding Jerome! All of CrossFit H.E.L. is behind you. Time to crack the top 10 bro!!! 7th in the row/sledge and 11th overall are great results from hard work!

5. Diane wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:09 PM

YEAH Christy moved up to 7th place watch out 1-6 one more event!! After training it is all desire. Who wants it the most?

6. tomh wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:12 PM

Tommy H (Hack) is a solid athlete with the right head set. Walls balls are a strength, I would not be surprised if he is among the top 5 (or even #1) after the day ends.

Anyone who is watching him, understands what I mean . . .

7. Wayne wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:13 PM

8. OmarOmar wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:14 PM

Sveinbjorn and Annie are the wildcard of the contest ...they're not even training CrossFit :) ...they train with BootCamp in Iceland

9. Dave wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:19 PM

Did Gillian Mounsey get hurt? I figured she would be at the top.....

10. Mike Cappi wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:20 PM

so how are eliminations going to work from the end of this event til the last event on sunday. I know that the bottom 10 are being eliminated from event 4 results but what is going to happen after that? Are the bottom 10 after each event from here on out going to be eliminated or what?

If someone can clarify this that'll be aweseome!

11. JO replied to comment from Mike Cappi...

July 11, 2009 5:22 PM

Mike, I believe it's just the top 16 get to play tomorrow. Everyone else is done.

13. Jason Lyons wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:23 PM

last event is 3 rounds

wall ball

30 of each.

i believe the weight is 75

14. Jake wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:25 PM

and this is where speal will make into the top 16. Metcon all the way!

15. JO wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:27 PM

Speal, OPT, Barber, all our boys will make it back up in this one.

Josh may have trouble with this one because of the squat snatch and wall balls... He said he doesn't like anything with high rep squatting. If it were power snatch that'd be different. Hopefully he still brings heat, I'm sure he will!

16. Gunnar replied to comment from Craig Massey...

July 11, 2009 5:28 PM

hehe, well actually no! We all train at BootcAmp Iceland, the crossfit affiliates had a qualifying comp, BootcAmp won that hands down! the best part of the standings now is that these two are used to extended periods of pure torture and still performing at peek level, it's a nice warmup for tomorrow :D

17. Mark M wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:29 PM

Who made up this workout and why? Seriously. This is technique and not fitness. If it was swinging a hammer at a pressure sensor for 20 hits, I can understand.

They might as well have had a knitting contest. Most counter-cross stitches in 2 minutes anyone???

18. Jose E wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:29 PM

Good work Geoff!!!

We got your back here.

19. kf wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:29 PM

males are 75# or males and females? what's wall ball weight?

July 11, 2009 5:30 PM

Go Tommy Hackenbruck! Oregon represent! Tied for first! Win this thing!

21. Wayne wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:31 PM

22. kent wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:31 PM

Sayra D ginem hell chick

23. Matt wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:31 PM

Will the scores carry over into tomorrow or will the top 16 start out with a clean slate?

Mark, are you telling me that Oly Lifts aren't technique oriented?

24. Mark M wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:34 PM

How much you wanna bet that wod 3 of Sunday is words-per-minute keyboarding, then how fast can you start a fire? Or maybe it should be how fast you can commute from Orange county to LA?

These are at least as functional as hammering a 4 foot stake into the ground...and the "stake[s]" might even be higher...

25. Emilie wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:34 PM

26. JV wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:37 PM

Anyone know the weight on the snatches?

27. Mark M wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:37 PM

Matt...sorry for the confusion. I think that oly lifting is a great test of fitness. I don't think stake hammering is though.

28. t replied to comment from Mark M...

July 11, 2009 5:39 PM

I agree....i think this deal has become a joke....has really turned me off to these games...hammering a stake?!.. and the guy who won is in construction...go figure!!

29. James replied to comment from Mark M...

July 11, 2009 5:41 PM

Can you explain exactly how this workout isn't fitness? I don't see how 90 snatchs and wallballs isn't going to be tiring after all they have done today. What did you want, Murph for event 5?

30. Dave wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:42 PM

I thought the sledgehammer / rowing WOD was cool - unknown and unknowable.

Their legs must be fried....90 WBS and 90 hang squat snatches...OUCH!

I think I know what Monday's WOD is at my box!

31. Mark M wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:42 PM

Joe...I think it is just weird to have that be part of the games. Come on. Obviously you don't have to have too much going for you as far as technique to swing a hammer. Maybe a little luck. Maybe anyone could step up and beat all teh competitors if they were lucky enough. That's not what the games are supposed to measure though is it?

that's why they don't have it in the olympics. But I guess crossfit is getting the jump on the olympics just in case hammering becomes one of the events.

32. Matt Mills wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:43 PM

2 words...

Virtual Shoveling.

Hey Jeremy-
Although my little brother is a native Oregonian (and will always represent this beautiful state!) he just opened his own box in Salt Lake City and I'm sure would like to represent Ute Crossfit as well :)

So...for a little shameless plug....check out

(Added bonus...some super cute pics of my nephew on there!)

Keep kicking ass Tommy!!!!!

34. Graeme B replied to comment from Mark M...

July 11, 2009 5:44 PM

Mark M
You're a boofhead.
Hammering a stake is function as is woodchopping, both of which man has done for thousands of years just to survive. I think the programming of this is brilliant. How many affiliates hammer tyres?
As for the fitness aspect; do power, speed, accuracy ring any bells with you?

35. Anna wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:45 PM

um...swinging a sledge hammer is definitely a full body exercise requiring both coordination and precision...also has undeniable real world application...

not really understanding your issue...

36. Jason wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:46 PM

We tried the hammering a stake wod at the box today and after you do it, you are definitely dying. it is definitely a test of fitness and accuracy.

wall balls are typical weight. i don't know female weights.

37. Seattle Chris wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:47 PM

CrossFit by design should prepare you for anything, so I have no problem with staking. If it was digging a ditch would that be too technical? If it was shooting a basketball or throwing a football would that be too precise?

Some people will just complain and whine about any workout that doesn't favor the person they're rooting for.

38. Mark M replied to comment from Graeme B...

July 11, 2009 5:48 PM

So is commuting from OC to LA. So is bussing tables. So is keyboarding. So is changing the oil on a car. But, just because I can do them doesn't mean I am a fitness guru.

39. Mark M replied to comment from Graeme B...

July 11, 2009 5:49 PM

So is commuting from OC to LA. So is bussing tables. So is keyboarding. So is changing the oil on a car. But, just because I can do them doesn't mean I am a fitness guru.

40. Kieran replied to comment from Gunnar...

July 11, 2009 5:51 PM


Props to two great athletes from Iceland. Can you tell us what Bootcamp Iceland tend to do for training?

Looks like you guys are doing something right. Pretty please, share the special sauce :)

41. Mark M wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:53 PM

Functional movements...hammering.

So is commuting from OC to LA. So is bussing tables. So is keyboarding. So is changing the oil on a car. But, just because I can do them doesn't mean I am a fitness guru.

Just because it is a good workout for Anna, doesn't mean it is good workout for the games. That's why marathons aren't in the games. That is why the high jump isn't in the games. That is why a dunk contest isn't in the games.

If Josh Everett isn't finishing in the top 20, then it is not measuring fitness.

42. JV wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:57 PM

Does anyone know what happened with Josh Everett? Did he fall in the sprint? Why so much back pain?

43. tomh wrote...

July 11, 2009 5:57 PM

I agree with the crew calling out: swinging a sledge hammer in to a stake as functional movement. It seems that those that have never swung a hammer or a splitting maul understand this point (talk about core stability). It's almost like their speaking from the Bally's Pulpit.

You have to admire the well rounded athletes that can perform the diverse challenges presented to them.

44. JO wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:03 PM

45. Ryan Brown wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:03 PM

Mark M, you're probably trolling, which makes me hesitant to even respond to you, but here it goes.

The sledge hammer event is a fantastic test of fitness seeing as how it requires power, accuracy and balance. (as well as most of the other 10 components of fitness to some degree)

Bussing tables, keyboarding and changing oil DO test some of the 10 components of fitness. However, they don't test enough of them, in a vigorous enough fashion to be used in the games. Bussing sandbags off of tables would work just fine.

Marathons, high jump and a dunking contest would all be perfectly acceptable games events. Perhaps we will see some of them next year. If you think that the events used this weekend to find the fittest man and woman on the planet should have consisted of the 20 or so movements we see in WODs on a regular basis, you clearly don't embrace the concept of constant variance or training for the unknown and unknowable. You don't support crossfit. You support something that looks like crossfit, until the true test of life comes around.

46. JO wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:03 PM

47. rob wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:03 PM

you beat me to it joe... well put

im guessing the only reason he is upset is because it knocked josh of the lead. i am as much of a josh everett fan as anyone, but a massive change in this leaderboard is AWESOME

i sure hope that we get some of these bootcamp secrets if it puts 2 people from a tiny nation in front of the rest of the world

48. Ryan Hudson wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:03 PM

I agree with you Tom that Mark M my have his head in the sand on this one. Hammering a stake is a very natural, functional movement common in life, just as jumping or running so any of the event mentioned COULD be in the Games as nothing is outside the box of CrossFit. Just because Josh is not having a good day does not by any means discount the competition. Whoever does come out on top of this thing DOES have the right to claim the title "World's Fittest" more so than any other previous measure!

49. Anna wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:04 PM

Thank you Ryan for saying that more eloquently than I would have.

50. tomh wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:04 PM

And another for Mark . . . the bigger crossfit gets, the more obvious it will become that there are better athletes on the planet. In the confines of a smaller crossfit community, Josh was among the best. In a wider field he is still among the best - - just not the best.

Next year, the competition will be greater yet. You strike me as naive, laddy.

51. RoyG wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:04 PM

I'm going to repost this here as I'm interested in some more discussion on it:

I find it really interesting that Tony Budding was *convinced* that no one would complete all 20 Deadlifts and we get 16 competitors that all do! It's a shame there weren't another 10 set up. He was *so* sure no one was going to be able to do it. I guess he didn't consider the effect of adrenaline and a competition environment (of which Dave Castro had neither when he tested it).

What do you think?

52. JO replied to comment from RoyG...

July 11, 2009 6:06 PM

I think it's remarkable that we had numerous PR's during the event!

53. Ryan Hudson wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:07 PM

It looks like Bend, Oregon Native Tommy Hackenbruck of Ute CrossFit will have a clear lead going into the final day. Congrats Hack! Congrats also to Oregon CrossFit who won their final event to sneak into the top 5!

54. RoyG wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:09 PM

Do you think that not being able to separate out those 16 athletes (that all got all 20 DLs) has messed up the standings at all?

55. mrkreme replied to comment from Mark M...

July 11, 2009 6:09 PM

Hammering a stake requires the precision and accuracy that are components of the CrossFit definition of fitness, but are generally not as well represented in most WOD's. However Mark, when you compare swinging a heavy sledge hammer repeatedly after having rowed 500m at a sprint pace, a task requiring balance, stamina, great core strength, as well as accuracy and precision (not to mention this was the 4th WOD of the day), I think most would agree that it was quite a bit different than commuting in a car or keyboarding. Come on!

56. Ryan Hudson wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:11 PM

RoyG - I think Tony and the rest of CFHQ are struggling to raise the standards as fast as the athletes are. What was once impossible yesterday is now being done and what is impossible today will be done tomorrow. It's not an insult to Tony but an attribute to the caliber of athletes and performances we are now seeing at the Games . . .

57. MattR wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:18 PM

Roy, I think that the lack of separation of the 16 athletes that maxed the DL's will have an effect in the standings. Every point will be crucial, especially for the those near the cutoff to go on tomorrow. If someone got 1pt but would have got 9pts if they had to deadlift more, may make all the difference in placing.

July 11, 2009 6:23 PM


accuracy is one of the ten aspects of fitness. hammering links it with power & stamina.

dry your eyes and pull your head in

59. MattR wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:33 PM


I am not complaining just stating my opinion. Everything else has been a timed event and there hasn't been any ties. I would be very impressed if 20 people all tied for the same max deadlift. In that case I think everyone should get 1pt.
As is, I am very impressed that so many of the competitors were able to deadlift 505 1lbs.

60. Eric wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:40 PM

I still can't seem to find the results at the "top of the page"?
(I'm on a mac, does it matter?)

61. Daniel Byrne wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:44 PM

The problem with the dead lift competition is not the top end, but the available spots to place in. There wasn't just 11 ties for first, their were ties for nearly every position. Meaning, there was a problem in the purely mathematical concept of frequency of sampling. The best way to improve the results was to increase the number of places available, ie. making smaller jumps in weight between each bar, thus sampling at double the discrete frequency.

I think making increments of 5 pounds versus 10 on the bars, and yet keeping the 505 limit as a max, would have spread the crowd out more. There would be twice as many available places in the rankings, and thus a better distribution of scores. Some competitors took a real hit their rankings as a result of the large number of ties in that event.

62. CityCaveman wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:49 PM

Just cheering for Steve Willis out of Sydney, Australia (CrossFitFx)...currently in 8th place.

Go Steve!

63. Beth replied to comment from Eric ...

July 11, 2009 6:51 PM

I'm on a Mac's right above the word "2009 CROSSFIT GAMES" just to the right of the Games logo.

64. Eric wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:51 PM

Never mind, found it.
PS If you're having trouble pulling up the men's events, delete the letter "q" right before the word "men" on the address bar.
Once the typo's removed, it should pull right up.

65. Chris wrote...

July 11, 2009 6:55 PM

Does Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson do CrossFit at Boot Camp? In his profile it says he just started doing CrossFit about 2 months ago?
Anyone have any info on his training beforehand?
Maybe Superhero or Ninja type stuff.

66. MattR wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:03 PM

That sounds like a good idea, but the logistics would have to be worked out. The athletes were given 20 seconds to lift and then 10 seconds to transition to the next bar. Presumably there is an athlete in front of you. You would not be able to lift the next weight until the athlete in front of you is done.

67. bkm wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:04 PM

While I would agree with most that swinging a sledgehammer is quite functional deriving its mechanics from core to extremity and having quite a "blue collar" appeal, I can see where the critics find their concern. My observations are just that and not meant to be a complaint in any way. It appears that those who have excelled in this event derived their skill and accuracy not from their Crossfit training but from their years of "splitting firewood", "days on the construction job", or "fire training". While the Oly lifts require a technique that must be honed with months and years of practice, how can an athlete without the aforementioned "life" experience excel in such a event. We spend an enormous amount of time detailing the "standardization" of our movements and then judge our competitors by a skill they honed in non-CrossFit activity, by their own admission. I also think the 16 first place finishes in the DL was quite unexpected by HQ and myself and certainly penalizes those who certainly could have pulled much much more.
Having said all this, I think this event, like all "cutting edge" endeavors will continue to evolve as the level of fitness is evolving at awesome speeds. Kudos to everyone involved, it has been very entertaining thus far.

68. josh everett replied to comment from Eric ...

July 11, 2009 7:07 PM

It's all bullshit right now.............. Hammer????

69. Tom replied to comment from JO...

July 11, 2009 7:09 PM

Where are the mens scores?

70. Tom replied to comment from JO...

July 11, 2009 7:12 PM

Where are the mens scores?

71. kmac wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:17 PM

Liked the hammering - would have loved it if they had a hammer throw instead though (balance, power, accuracy, etc)

July 11, 2009 7:24 PM

74. PJ wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:31 PM

Where are the results for WOD 4? Since they are WOD 5?

75. wheelie wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:33 PM

nice try on the hammer event but it doesn't cut it in these games...some of these guys never used a hammer their whole lives...they've only been following wods on the main site...just because you're using you're core doesn't mean it can be an event...

76. Dutch replied to comment from wheelie...

July 11, 2009 7:41 PM

You said it brother. I only played soccer my whole life. I hire all my help. I'm out because I can't hit the nail on the head.

77. wheelie wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:42 PM

it appears that these events were to weed out the smaller crossfit stars...two 35 lbs sands bags...the dead lift...some of these guys only weight around 140 -150lbs...

78. Dani wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:43 PM

Why is it that this post states that "Chastity Slone had the stroke mastered in the first women's heat, sending the bottom third of the stake underground with a combination of speed, accuracy and power" when it really should state this for Sarah Dunsmore who has won her second WOD of the day with a speedy???? 5:33.8, isn't that a true of combination of SPEED, ACCURACY & POWER...Chastity's time was only 6:17. Oh and by the way Chastity was in 57th vs. Sarah's 7th place standing going into this WOD....Hmmmmmmmm....

79. Ben W replied to comment from wheelie...

July 11, 2009 7:43 PM

How is the sledge not a legit event? Doesn't Crossfit train for the unknown and the unknowable? The sledge hammer delivered a combination of:power, agility, balance, strength, met-con etc. If you don't think the sledge was legit you don't understand what crossfit is about. Take a look at Crossfit's definition of fitness, maybe even click on the START HERE! button on the main page. I bet plenty of these competitors haven't seen a hill like that in their lives, or run with two 35# sandbags up a hill like that either, does that mean it doesn't cut it?

80. Ben W replied to comment from wheelie...

July 11, 2009 7:47 PM

How is the sledge not a legit event? Doesn't Crossfit train for the unknown and the unknowable? The sledge hammer delivered a combination of:power, agility, balance, strength, met-con etc. If you don't think the sledge was legit you don't understand what crossfit is about. Take a look at Crossfit's definition of fitness, maybe even click on the START HERE! button on the main page. I bet plenty of these competitors haven't seen a hill like that in their lives, or run with two 35# sandbags up a hill like that either, does that mean it doesn't cut it?

81. john a wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:51 PM

I agree with the "virtual shoveling" comment! As in a pile of manure

82. John Z. wrote...

July 11, 2009 7:59 PM

Did OPT and his brother get the exact same time on the sandbag run, or is that a typo?

Nice programming on the sledge. It gives some construction workers an advantage, the same way that some runners get an advatage on the run, and deadlifters get an advantage on the deadlift. Aduh. Such is the hopper.

A wise instructor once said "We don't do this to get better at Crossfit. We do this to get better at life." If you've never swung a hammer in your life, you'd better start swinging and stop whining.

83. Kenneth wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:06 PM

I have only been xfitting a few months, but I know the mantra is "constantly varied, IF NOT RANDOMIZED, functional movements at high intensity!"

WOD 4 was functional and random. In choosing the movements, they probably had a big ole hopper with a ton of crazy stuff in it. If they had a tire flip, would that have favored the auto mechanics in the field?

From the boards, you can see Josh's training regimen is basically just Oly lifting and sprinting. Is it surprising that he's less strong in events that aren't Oly lifting and sprinting?

Good WOD. Good day of events. And a lot of hard work. But too much yakking...

84. Wes Gail wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:17 PM

I think the issue people have with hammering is that those who come from a job where the use a hammer or chop wood all the time have an unfair advantage. Their could be many athletes who are better at the standards of fitness tested by hammering a stake but didn't do as well as those who have years of experience with the exact motion.

On the other hand, there are five events so hopefully half of one event shouldn't make the difference that will change the course of the games.

85. raif wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:19 PM

Reeediculous! My wife and I are avid crossfitters and have been watching the site intently for months in anticipation of the games.Comment 72 hit the "nail on the head". Forget the crossfit definition, you can shoehorn anything you want to in to it. Power,agility, strenth, balance? Have you seen the pictures? Nobody there even as one hand on the base of the hammer. More like 3,2,1...tink. It is absurd that people like Everett, Dutch, Spiel, Theiler etc. have trained for years doing the main site wods and all the elements therein only to have their competitive dreams dashed with sledgehammering! Shamefull! The only way to get this bus off the path with the cliff is to throw that wod out.

86. wheelie replied to comment from raif...

July 11, 2009 8:27 PM

agree completely....Glassman made a mistake on that one...

87. seth wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:30 PM

I bet "JOHN HENRY" would have done good at the hammer strike wod

88. Ben W replied to comment from wheelie...

July 11, 2009 8:32 PM

What part of unknown & unknowable don't you get? The sledge is just as fair as any other event. Thats like saying event 1 was unfair because speal is such a good runner that know one could beat him, or the deadlift wod was unfair because all the little guys had to lift the same weight. The sledge tested many areas of our definition of fitness.

89. NW Crossfitter wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:35 PM

raif is another of the naive. I would like to direct his attention to comment #52 on this string.

The fact is, these terrific athletes were elite among the handful from crossfit games of the past and as it grows, other great athletes will eclipse them (regardless of WOD).

The guys he cites in his/her email are terric athletes, but open the community to the world and I'm afraid they will trickle down ... facts.

90. wheelie wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:38 PM

i hope there's an octagon next year...

91. Token wrote...

July 11, 2009 8:41 PM

Hi, checking in from overseas, would it be possible to make the leaders more well known on the front page?

92. graeme replied to comment from Mark M...

July 11, 2009 8:49 PM

I think I need to modify my comments. You are not a boofhead, you are a complete & utter dick.
You display your alliances with comments about Josh Everett. Maybe he is fit to do a certain set of WOD's but not enough to smash into a burning building, lift a limp body & rescue a person - is he really functionally fit?
If you want to take up a challenge why don't you come & chop a ton of wood for my mom & I'll type some words for you. See if chopping doesn't challenge your fitness.

93. gbrown wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:05 PM

A very disappointing event in deed. It seems most of the people posting could not have possibly been watching that ridiculous event. No one and I mean no one was going full all out. It was a scene of futility as very fit and willing men and women stood there looking like monkeys trying to figure out algebra. Also, no one has mentioned this but the area in the middle where the competitors had ran over for the sandbag carry seemed much more packed then other areas.
Yes it was only one event, but it mattered greatly in the overall standings. Yes, most of the people I was there to see did poorly in this event. I am most certainly not trolling. Please respect this post as an opinion of someone who watched this event and was bummed it was called a WOD.

94. bbrown wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:28 PM

Sounds like sledge hammering is going to be working its way onto a lot of WODs over the next year.

Athletes should probably also add the following activities to be prepared: truck-pulling, free-diving, cheese rolling, unicycling, zorb ball, potato sack racing and bare-fisted concrete block breaking...oh and burning wall smashing (good idea graeme).

95. Seth wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:29 PM

Great event. Sledgehammering is classic GPP, highly functional and . . . real work. Some of the affiliates use sledgehammers. It looks like diversity of training will be the key to these games. The accuracy required to drive the stake is amazing considering all the work that comes before it. It's a little like the biathlon. If you don't have great cardio fitness you won't be able to hold the gun still.

96. Butte wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:35 PM

Wow! These posts are ridiculous!!! The idea of the CrossFit Games are to determine the "Fittest Man/Woman on the Planet," not to see who is the best CrossFitter. People are mad that the CrossFit studs aren't winning and that the events aren't fair? Go back to, or register for your first Level 1 in case you forgot or have never heard the part about the "Functional Fitness." Or the part about the events coming out of the hopper. I imagine the same grief would have come about if there was a Javelin Throw or a Ladder Climb event, but you know what, GAME ON if it comes tomorrow! I guarantee that the Man/Woman who wins tomorrow regardless of the events chosen has earned the right to be crowned "Most prepared for any situation where fitness is deemed key."

97. Dave wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:52 PM

I think this was an outstanding WOD. It targets more of the 10 domains of fitness than ANY of the other movements - deadlift, anyone? - and none has as much requirement for accuracy as that, and certainly anyone who has ever swung and axe or sledge knows the strength, endurance, etc it requires. Did those "blue-collar" folks have a slight "life experiance" advantage on this one? Yes. But that's life. But it favors them no more than, say, the folks who train at altitude have over those who train at sea-level. Those who work manual labor jobs probably have an advantage over those who work at a keyboard all day. It goes to the heart of what Crossfit is about - being generally well prepared for whatever life throws at you.

I think this has been the best Games yet. Way to go CFHQ!!!!

98. Dave wrote...

July 11, 2009 9:56 PM

All - scores are up top, under the "Register as a Spectator" heading.

99. OmarOmar wrote...

July 11, 2009 10:06 PM

To answer a little bit about BootCamp in Iceland, it's a Gym started out five years ago. It's mostly built on training with bodyweight exercises both indoors and outdoors, but also with use of barbells, kettlebells, rowing machines, weighted vests, sandbags and sometimes logs. The exercises are designed by the coaches day by day and you never get the same exercise twice.
It's a very popular form of training here in Iceland and it has many similarities with CrossFit.

Sveinbjorn and Annie have also been competing in various other contests, f.eks. Sveinbjorn was among the front runners in a 55km offroad Ultra-Marathon ( and Annie was a Pole Vault champion in Iceland.

Contact for more information on their training strategies.

100. Ryan Hudson replied to comment from wheelie...

July 11, 2009 10:51 PM

This event has definitely favored the big guy. No Finalist under 5'9'' or 170 Pounds. Do I smell weight classes?

101. outlaw wrote...

July 11, 2009 11:06 PM

Your ability to crown the fittest person is not valid due to the fact that your scoring is flawed.... Scoring by place isn't fair. If i beat you on the run by 2 minutes and we are 1st and 2nd and you only beat me by 5lbs... we are tied. But the scale for the events being place tied is bullshit. The difference between 1st and 10 can be 5 minutes plus... but only be 10 places... But then the tenth place riase 5 lbs more then they are equal... Your scales of measurement are close but not correct.

102. outlaw wrote...

July 11, 2009 11:29 PM

#1 on the run was a time of 37.43 and 10th was 41.14. There is no way anyone can say that 3.5 minues of running hard will ever equal the 5 lbs it would have taken to make it up...

103. outlaw wrote...

July 11, 2009 11:31 PM

#1 on the run was a time of 37.43 and 10th was 41.14. There is no way anyone can say that 3.5 minues of running hard will ever equal the 5 lbs it would have taken to make it up...

104. raif wrote...

July 11, 2009 11:47 PM

What was really cool about last year's games was that for the most part the events were reproducible. I am still in bewildered awe of Khalipa's heavy squatting Grace time because I can go in our gym and try and match it only to have it crush me. So far that has been totally lacking in these games. We have named wods for a reason don't we? I think I get the functional fitness thing. I mean, I can sledgehammer or dig or carry sod all weeked thanks to crossfit and I'm truly thankful for that, but the argument here should be about standards of competition. A great amount of fitness is not "deemed necessary" to row 500m then hit one spike for roughly 2 minutes then row 500m again. What is necessary is a little experience with a hammer and 3 minutes worth of cardiovascular endurance.
Clearly all of these competitors are functionally fit, but we are trying to determine who is the most fit and it is ponderous to think that we can determine that with a one time pass at what may be a new skill. And when you throw in the scoring system some athletes can be mathematically eliminated for performing poorly at that new skill .
Listen to someone who was there..."monkeys with algebra".
If you are still defending the hammer wod you should really learn the phrase "what's in this kool-aid?"
It will be too late tomorrow. CFHQ, swallow your pride and THROW OUT THE RESULTS

105. Louie replied to comment from Dutch...

July 11, 2009 11:51 PM

You fuck, why why why? You were my hero and you lost sucker!

106. Richard wrote...

July 12, 2009 12:13 AM

I'm all for the hammer and stake, but I wish CFHQ had gone farther (though I hold hope that they will for Sunday). Last year's WODs were boring, and these are only marginally better. Fitness is based on challenges, not on CrossFit Brand Workouts of the Day using a small sample of movements.

Here's hoping Sunday has some active competition between athletes (1v1 Hooverball, or something wackier).

107. Ryan Brown replied to comment from Louie...

July 12, 2009 12:14 AM

$20 says your comment will be deleted by sunrise.

108. redsnook wrote...

July 12, 2009 12:30 AM

I agree with all saying the hammer was poorly conceived and not well thought out. Should doing crossfit enable you to swing a hammer better....yes....but someone that has experience with it will have a much better understanding on the technique involved with it. If you want to swing an axe or something like that... Stihl puts on a luberjack competition... just not the place in a crossfit games.
I'm not overly crazy about the deadlift either. Understand not wanting the injury factor with crazy heavy weights but thats part of the deal. Would rather see a max weight on a oly lift... something other than a pure power lift... think it would have been better. As soon as I saw the hammer, I kind of rolled my the unexpected but give me a break. Also having two hill type runs tilts the scale as well.

109. Graeme B wrote...

July 12, 2009 12:32 AM

The WOD's are what they are & you just need to suck it up & deal with it - that's CrossFit; constantly varied!!

110. Ryan wrote...

July 12, 2009 12:42 AM

the interesting thing is, if you look at the top 20 people for the sledge hammer event, 11 of them are going to the finals. Maybe they got in the top 20 in the sledge hammer because they are fit and that is why they are the ones going to the final event...there sure is a lot of overlap between those who scored well overall and those who scored well in the sledge hammer event. Seems like if you are fit you are going to do well in all the events...

Hackenbruck got 1st in the sledge hammer, but he was in the top 20 for the run, sandbag sprint, and the couplet

leonard, second in sledge hammer, got in the top 15 for sandbag and couplet

Moe, 3rd in sledge hammer, got top 10 in deadlift and couplet

Michael fitzgerland, 4th in sledge hammer, got in top 10 for run and sandbag sprint...

so obviously the guys scoring well in the sledge hammer event are doing very well in the other events too...

or you could say that the guys doing well in the other events do well in the sledge hammer event...

111. Raphael wrote...

July 12, 2009 2:03 AM

Seems that the bigger CrossFit and its athlete basis gets, the more people pop up who have difficulties thinking outside the(ir) box.

The APPLICATION (not the training) of CrossFit to me means that I can go up to ANY physical activity and perform far above average. If that is helping a friend move to a new appartment, working a few weeks in construction for the summer or aid in building a house, work on a farm, run/bike/swim a triathlon, go swimming, you name it.

I want people to say "Woah, that's a strong dude, what the hell does he do?" no matter what I'm doing. That's why I chose CrossFit.

112. Dave wrote...

July 12, 2009 5:41 AM

I agree with the people who take issue with the sledgehammer event, and their reasons are sound. But, the most ridiculous moment of the day came when there was a 16 way tie for first place in the DL WOD. That is absurd. Think about it..some of the compeitors max DL might have been 505, while others could have gone much higher. Maybe it would have been nice to actually find out who was able to DL the most weight. In the meantime 16 people get a "1" in the scoring. Eleven out of the top 24 males lifted 505 and got a "1" embarrassing miscalculation by the organizers.

113. Seth replied to comment from Dave...

July 12, 2009 6:02 AM

It would have been great to have an extra 10 bars, but having a bunch of people tie for first after that brutal run is a "high class" problem. It shows the potency of crossfit in developing fitness.

As for the people complaining about the hammer event. Well, I guess CFHQ could have an annual competition with fixed events like chest to bar Fran, Fight Gone Bad, Grace, Nancy, etc. You could specialize and qualify in your event. It would be an incredible test of a person's ability to do individual crossfit exercises, but I'm not sure that such a competition would be true to the spirit of crossfit.

114. Petteri Tuupanen replied to comment from Ryan...

July 12, 2009 7:03 AM

AND the man on 3. place after first day was only on sledge hammer. I still think the fittest man will win :)

crossfit should be about performing good in real life?right? its good to have one event like that on the games! like some one sayed its not rocket science!

115. bbrown wrote...

July 12, 2009 7:37 AM

The fundamental issue here is that stake-driving requires both fitness and skill, with skill being a very significant determinant of a successful performance. While there are many other Crossfit activities that require skill, like O-lifts, those skills are regularly practiced by all participants - so it's a level playing field. The skill required to drive a stake is pretty specialized, giving a few "lucky" competitors who have the experience a distinctive advantage.

We can all agree that using a sledgehammer is not difficult, but being proficient at it makes all the difference in the world when you're competing against other athletes with a comparable fitness level.

It would be good to know if Crossfit Games events will be continuing in this direction in the future. Will there always be an event or two where a lucky skill will be the determining factor?

I'm putting my money on a Scot to take the Caber Toss next year.

116. Zhanna replied to comment from John Z....

July 12, 2009 7:41 AM

A wise instructor once said "We don't do this to get better at Crossfit. We do this to get better at life." If you've never swung a hammer in your life, you'd better start swinging and stop whining.


117. Brad Cogburn wrote...

July 12, 2009 8:11 AM

How heavy was the sledge hammer?

118. Mark M replied to comment from Graeme B...

July 12, 2009 8:28 AM

Graeme you are such a d-bag. You should swing a hammer for a living and see how many lives you save. You equate hammering with firefighters carrying people out of burning buildings.

How many lives have been saved by accurately hammering a stake in the ground? Maybe firefighters need to use sledges, but like my previous comment says, that is about power and not accuracy. A pressure pad and a certain number of hits or a certain total amount of pressure registered would have been a better workout.

The athlete who won was a construction worker (not a firefighter). No doubt he is a killer athlete that would have done great on any workout. But why have a workout that people will question. It doesn't make sense.

It's like having an archery component. Accuracy, balance, strength (pulling the string back), core stability (shoot you have to stand-up right), and good aim.

Graeme (can't even spell your own name right), drink some more kool-aid. Believe everything that you hear! Everything that happens in the games is word of god.

You rule buddy. Let's workout together and see how your s--- talking stops. Anyday.

119. Stan wrote...

July 12, 2009 8:41 AM

I have no problem with the concept of hammering a stake in to the ground being used in the games, but this workout was not equal and relied more on luck than anything else. I was there watching the entire event yesterday - the ground was completely non-uniform. The people on the far ends had soft dirt that compressed easily. I watch one competitor hit an air-pocket and the stake dropped about 2 feet with one swing. Then, there were the poor people in the middle - this was the ground area that was used as the entrance and exit of the hill run as well as the sandbag run. This ground had been trampled on ALL DAY LONG and was hard as rock. That guy in the first heat came all the way from england to compete. And he just kept banging on that stake, over and over again, and it wouldnt budge. They removed that hammering position from the remainder of the heats, but I'm sure it was no consolation to him.

Very poorly planned event.

120. Seth replied to comment from Mark M...

July 12, 2009 9:24 AM

Mark M-

If you're in the arctic, and you need to put up a polar bear fence, the ability to accurately drive a stake is pretty crucial. Could save lives.

121. Me replied to comment from Mark M...

July 12, 2009 10:43 AM

You are annoying.

122. bbrown wrote...

July 12, 2009 7:09 PM


Would it be possible for you to do one of your wonderful charts of the final results without the Sledgehammer Stake Drive event? I'm curious to see how different the outcomes would look...apart from Mikko dominating even more.

123. Jamie Crichton replied to comment from Stan...

July 12, 2009 11:09 PM

Yeah, that was me man. Frustrating doesn't come close, but it was just luck of the draw I guess. I was disappointed not to have got a better time but what can you do? I was happy to have got through the first cut anyhow, after that first run I didn't think I'd be able to do anything else, so just being able to compete was really good. But I think that the stake event wasn't such a great choice.