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The Athlete Games: Registration closes this Sunday 23rd November

It’s official: The Athlete Games have begun. Previously known as ‘Battle of London’, this two-day event will this year take place at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, 17-18th January (2015). It’s really exciting - 300 athletes will fight it out for a share of the $40,000 prize purse. divisions. All this is yet another market of CrossFit’s growth as a sport as this annual competition increases in scope and moves away from the British capital into one of its northern cities. We thought we’d pay homage to the event with a little history lesson before taking a look at how the process works and what exactly entrants will need to do.

Some history

The Athlete Games was launched as a two day competition called The London Throwdown in February 2012. Three hundred athletes (60 male, 60 female and 40 teams) from around the UK and Europe gathered at Brunel University in West London, chosen from 1000 entrants. The male winner was Nick Zambruno from CrossFit Scotsdale and female winner Samantha Briggs (2013 CrossFit Games winner) from Train Manchester. Butchers Garage came first in the team event.


By 2013, the event had both expanded and narrowed - team participation was removed so that a masters competition could be included and the individual event became the focus. Renamed The Battle of London, this time 280 athletes gathered for two days of competition in January, at The Copper Box Arena at London’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Progenex were there of course, enjoying the inspirational atmosphere - the stands were packed with CrossFitters - and selling merchandise and supplements. The male winner was Nick Rouse of Reebok CrossFit Thames and Sam Briggs from Train Manchester retained her title from 2012 as female winner. The male Masters division was won by Raymond McLoon of CrossFit Fife and the female Masters by Anne Waage of CrossFit Bergen. We knew those northern folk were tough.

What’s involved in The Athlete Games 2014-2015

It all kicked off on 14th November, with the release of the first qualifier WODs, which need to be completed and submitted by 30th November. All athletes will need to have registered under a CrossFit affiliate and an affiliate manager must be nominated and on hand to verify scores. If you’ve scored enough to qualify, then you’ll be told on 1st December and have just one day to submit video footage of your prowess (so if you think you’re in the running, be sure to take a video during WODs)! There’s a scaled competition too for those who want to compete but can’t yet manage all workouts Rx. You won’t get to go to The Athlete Games, but the general consensus is that competition practice is a huge learning curve and well worth the effort for any CrossFitter who feels ready.


What are these WODs?

So, those are the finer details of qualification. But now, what’s in store? You can find out lots more on the event website but, in brief, here are the workouts:

• WOD 1) 100 over-the-rower burpees within 20 minutes. Any remaining time? Row as far as you can.

• WOD 2) This WOD is split into two parts. The first one allows you six minutes to complete 150 double unders and 30 pull ups and as many repetitions of possible of muscle ups in the remaining time. The second part takes place after a two minute rest and you’ll need to complete a Clean every minute for 10 minutes at a preselected weight. Wow. That’s quite some task…
• WOD 3) The third WOD is an 8-minute AMRAP (as many repetitions as possible) of 8 deadlifts (100/70kg), 16 wall ball shots (9/6kg) and 16 box jumps (20/24”). What joy… we love an AMRAP!

Any advice?

It’s really pretty obvious: give yourself enough time so that you can space your workouts out and ensure you rest enough in-between. Not only are these very challenging workouts but you can’t fail to be swept up in the competition fervour, particularly if you’re completing the workout alongside other members of your box. All in all, it’s fair to say that you’ll break a fair few muscle fibres and thus excellent nutrition (including a shake immediately after your workout) and plenty of sleep will be crucial if you’re to give your best on each of the three WODs. Apart from that… try to enjoy the experience. You’ll definitely be stronger afterwards.

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