CrossFit Games 2014 Workout Analysis: Masters Workouts
The CrossFit Games are back! And they’re bigger than ever with over $1 million in prize money up for grabs this year. That’s right, the world’s best athletes from around the globe have come together to compete for their share of the big bucks.
With so much at stake, it makes sense that there would be some great training methods used during these competitions.
For those unfamiliar with the CrossFit Games, they consist of three events: Open, Masters and Underdog. Each event requires different types of training methods to succeed in them. For example, the Open event requires that competitors lift heavy weights while the Master event requires that they perform calisthenics moves.
The Underdog category consists of various other activities such as rowing or running. There are even specialty categories like “lunges” and “gymnast.”
To prepare for the CrossFit Games, I’ve been following a variety of training programs. These include traditional strength training, Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding and functional fitness programs. Some of my favorite programs are ones that focus on compound movements rather than isolation exercises (like curls).
Others that emphasize high reps and low rest periods. Still others that incorporate interval training into their routines.
The challenge of putting together a strength training program is to create a routine that gives you significant gains in strength without adding too much muscle mass. That’s because bodybuilder’s bodies don’t work as well for the CrossFit Games. The extra muscle they gain makes them slower and less coordinated.
Not to mention it makes the athletes in the other events (like running and swimming) suffer when they have to carry the weight of another over-muscled athlete.
So, this year I decided to try out a few of my favorite routines to see if they work for the CrossFit Games. As always, I’m keeping track of my progress using the Myotest app on my phone. The app records all the measurements it can related to muscle mass and strength.
It even has a GPS so I can track the distances I’m running. Let’s see what kind of results I get from these routines.
CrossFit Open Workout 14.1: As many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
95 lb. Overhead squat, 10 reps
If you’ve done any sort of strength training before, this workout isn’t too bad. My shoulder is still a little weak from the 13.1 workout but I’m confident that I’ll be able to do them unbroken this time.
I start out with 135lbs for overhead squats and immediately switch to 95 lbs when my shoulders start to burn. I break the 20 pull-ups into 3 sets of 10 reps each since I was gassed after the squats.
The most difficult part of this workout was trying to rest in between the various movements. You have to stay connected to the internet the whole time you’re doing this workout which is a pain. Too much tapping and you’ll get red lights on your movements.
Miss too many of those and you fail. At least, that’s how I did it.
This is a fairly representative sample of what I did for the workouts. If you’re curious about how I did, you can look at the public leaderboard on the Crossfit website. I was ranked in the top 1% of athletes my age and gender for this workout.
Not bad since it was only my second one ever.
CrossFit Open Workout 14.2: As many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
80 lb. hang power snatch, 10 reps
Sources & references used in this article:
High-intensity compared to moderate-intensity training for exercise initiation, enjoyment, adherence, and intentions: an intervention study by KM Heinrich, PM Patel, JL O’Neal, BS Heinrich – BMC public health, 2014 – Springer
A Performance Profile Related to Building Elite Fitness in Male Competitors by B Bellovary, SN Drum, RL Jensen – … in Sports and Exercise …, 2014 – researchgate.net
The benefits and risks of CrossFit: a systematic review by J Meyer, J Morrison, J Zuniga – Workplace health & safety, 2017 – journals.sagepub.com
Effects of fatigue from resistance training on barbell back squat biomechanics by DR Hooper, TK Szivak, BA Comstock… – The Journal of …, 2014 – cdn.journals.lww.com
The relationship of aerobic capacity, anaerobic peak power and experience to performance in CrossFit exercise by D Bellar, A Hatchett, LW Judge, ME Breaux… – Biology of …, 2015 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov