Watch This Runthrough of the CrossFit Games Obstacle Course

And after weeks and weeks of glimpses and guesswork, your first look at the mysterious CrossFit Games obstacle course is here.

They’re calling it the Sprint O-Course, and it’s located at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Demo team member and former Games competitor Paul Tremblay recently took it for a spin, and the 82-second race was uploaded to CrossFit’s YouTube channel. Check it out.

So what are we looking at here? For starters, we’re seeing a lot of variety, more than was suggested when we got a glimpse of the course last week. On July 26, Director of the CrossFit Games Dave Castro posted a couple of pictures of the course in its larval stage, showing nothing but a scant framework that only hinted at possibilities. What we thought was going to be a rope climb was in fact a frame for cargo net obstacle, one that appears to be the first that competitors will face.

After the cargo net, we’ve got a rope swing, monkey bars, a wall climb, a few logs to vault, more swinging ropes to traverse, a rope climb, crawl under nets, a ladder to climb, and a lot of balancing on logs interspersed throughout.

It’s awesome.


The CrossFit Games website has also disclosed exactly what the event will look like when it’s performed on Friday:

Athletes will race against each other head-to-head in a 3-round bracketed tournament.

Athletes will race against each other in heats of 5. The first round will have 8 heats, with the top 2 finishers from each heat moving on to the next round. Additionally, the 4 athletes with the fastest times that did not place 1st or 2nd will move on to the next round.

The second round will have 4 heats, with the winner of each heat moving on to the final, along with the athlete with the fastest time that did not win their heat.

Five athletes will race in the final round.

Places 1-5 will be awarded to the athletes in the final round, ranked by their finishing order. Places 6-20 will be awarded to the athletes from the second round, based on their times. Places 21 on will be awarded to the remaining athletes based on their times to complete the course in the first round.

A post shared by Dave Castro (@thedavecastro) on Jul 16, 2017 at 6:10pm PDT


This is shaping up to be a great event that will definitely test the limits of competitors’ physical fitness, while also providing a nice nod to CrossFit’s support for the military and law enforcement officers.

Right after the Sprint O-Course, athletes will be doing the 1-rep max snatch event and the Triple-G chipper. Then they’re going to need a nap.

Featured image via CrossFit® on YouTube.

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CrossFit HQ Employees Make Their Predictions for the Games

Speculation is running high as the first day of 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games approaches. The Games will commence this Thursday, August 3rd, and CrossFit HQ is strongly encouraging fans to take guesses as to who will come away with the coveted title of Fittest Man or Woman on Earth.

That’s why they’ve instituted CrossFit Pickem, HQ’s name for what essentially amounts to “Fantasy” CrossFit: you pick the top men, women, and teams you think will lead the Games and the closer you get to perfect, the more likely you are to win a prize.

To promote CrossFit Pickem, the CrossFit Games Update Show just aired a special episode in which presenters Rory McKernan, Sean Woodland, Pat Sherwood, and Tommy Marquez convened to discuss their top picks for this week’s ultimate test of fitness.

You can watch them below.

If you’re a big fan of CrossFit, it’s always worth spending the time to watch The Update Show, which does a really impressive job of locating talented athletes and experts from around the world to take part in their broadcasts.

But if you don’t have the time today, here are the final picks that the hosts came up with.


Rory McKernan


1) Bjorgvin Gudmundsson

2) Mat Fraser

3) Scott Panchik


1) Katrin Davidsdottir

2) Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault

3) Annie Thorisdottir

A post shared by Tia-Clair Toomey (@tiaclair1) on Jul 29, 2017 at 7:56pm PDT


Sean Woodland


1) Mat Fraser

2) Brent Fikowski

3) Ben Smith


1) Tia-Clair Toomey

2) Sara Sigmundsdottir

3) Katrin Davidsdottir


Pat Sherwood


1) Mat Fraser

2) Patrick Vellner

3) Brent Fikowski


1) Katrin Davidsdottir

2) Tia-Clair Toomey

3) Sara Sigmundsdottir

A post shared by Mathew Fraser (@mathewfras) on Jul 28, 2017 at 12:29pm PDT


Tommy Marquez


1) Mat Fraser

2) Patrick Vellner

3) Scott Panchik


1) Tia-Clair Toomey

2) Sara Sigmundsdottir

3) Katrin Davidsdottir

Are there any picks you found particularly strange? It’s remarkable that almost everyone has Mat Fraser coming in first place, but that’s about as consistent as these get. We were a little surprised that no one put Sara Sigmundsdottir in first place, even though she came first in the Open and third in the last two Games. But of course, competition is incredibly stiff at this level of the sport.

And hey, if you think these guys are wrong, head over to the CrossFit Pickem website and make your own predictions. First place wins a million bucks!

Featured image via @bk_gudmundsson on Instagram.

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Report: Los Angeles to Host 2028 Summer Olympics; Paris Gets 2024 Games

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city of Los Angeles and Olympic Games leaders have reached a deal that would bring the Summer Games to Southern California in 2028. This would be the third time for Los Angeles to host the Olympics, which it also did in 1932 and 1984.

Los Angeles was originally a leading candidate city to host in 2024, along with Paris, France. In a rare move, the International Olympic Committee deemed both cities suitable candidates and suggested they would be open to awarding an Olympics to both cities, which would finalize Summer Games scheduling through 2018.

(Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics. In June, several important announcements and changes in the Olympic program were made concerning the sport of weightlifting.)

According to the LA Times article, “It has been expected that L.A. would agree to go second, if only because local bid officials expressed a willingness to consider the option.”

What are your thoughts on the 2028 Olympic Games taking place in Los Angeles? The 2024 Games in Paris? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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How to Watch the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games

The excitement leading up to the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games continues to build as we move another day closer to their kickoff. This year’s Games take place between August 3-6th, and are being held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Whether you’re an avid fan who’s tuning in 24/7, or someone who just wants to catch the highlights after each day, there are multiple ways to do so. This year CrossFit has made a few awesome partnerships with Facebook and CBS Sports, so fans can catch the action in more ways than ever.

Below is the full tentative schedule for this year’s Games and where/how to watch. Keep in mind, the Games’ schedule is based on Central Standard Time (local to Madison).

Full Schedule

Check out the full schedule image from the CrossFit Games site below. If you’re looking for specific events, then check out this article.

Image courtesy of 


Games Website

As always, you can catch all day coverage on the CrossFit Games’ official website.


Similar to the CrossFit Games’ website, Facebook will be airing events as they’re taking place live. If you want to watch on Facebook, then check out the update group that’s going to post in advance in regards to when various events will be streamed live.

CBS Website & CBS App

Coverage will also stream online at CBS Sports’ website, along with on the CBS Sports app. This makes it easy for fans to stream from a mobile device and connect to a TV, or just simply watch on-the-go from mobile devices.


The Games are set to air on CBS Television and CBS Sports Network with pre, during, and post-game coverage. At the end of each competition day (August 3-6th), fans can tune into CBS Sports for a two hour daily highlights time slot that will start at 10 p.m. EST.

Additionally, the Games will be covered live on CBS Television Saturday, August 5th at 1 p.m. EST.

A post shared by Dave Castro (@thedavecastro) on May 27, 2017 at 6:54pm PDT


Following the Games, CBS Sports has dedicated six episodes to cover Games’ highlights, never before seen content, and interviews. Check out the detailed schedule below.

  • Oct. 16, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 23, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
  • Oct. 30, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 6, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 13, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
  • Nov. 26, 2017, 8 p.m. ET

Feature image screenshot from @thedavecastro Instagram page.  

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Handling Competition Day Like a Pro: A Strongman’s Primer

Fear, excitement, anxiety, and pure enthusiasm or apprehension are all things we can experience in the hours leading up to and during a contest. Control and proper direction of these feelings and emotions are necessary for a positive outcome. To truly have a consistent performance, you must react well under stress, and being emotional and disorganized is not any way to do this. While experience can alleviate some of the jitters, there are many other effective ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary competition stresses.

First pick a contest inline with your current goals. Is this a tune up meet, one where you need to qualify or the big contest of the year? You can’t attack every show the same way. For an in depth look at how to plan out where you need to be on the day check out this article on game day goals.

For most of us having a plan in place will start us down the road to success. Where better to begin than a few weeks prior when making plans for the trip? I always recommend arriving the day before weigh in. I understand it is more time off work, but it makes a weight cut that much easier. It also allows for airline errors, or traffic and mechanical breakdowns.

Being there early also has a major advantage of allowing you to hit a grocery store in order to have food for the contest and to properly rehydrate. I missed a pro qualifier once because a storm in Toronto halted many flights leaving Buffalo. Not only did it waste money, but I had trained specifically for it for six weeks. I felt it was a big setback in my career and gave me constant pre trip anxiety. If you just can’t do the extra night, get in as early as possible the day of weigh-ins.

A post shared by Kaitlin 👊🏻💪🏼 (@heartofagypsygirl) on Jun 1, 2017 at 8:32pm PDT


Once you have made weight, it is time to relax. I would not recommend heading out to see the city or to catch up with friends. Rather, time well spent would include meditation, relaxation, and getting your bag and gear in order. Low energy expenditure is priority here, a perfect time to actually watch Netflix and chill. If you decide to get dinner with the gang, get food that you are used to and does not have much of a chance of getting you sick. Skip the raw oysters and get your burger well done in this case. Don’t walk more than a few blocks, Uber back to the hotel and get to bed early.

When you wake up on contest day, try and stick to your regular event day routine as closely as possible. A main reason my Saturday crew and I started at 10:30AM was because that is close to the time most contests will start. The body has a rhythm and you should follow it as much as possible.

Set up your own space or team space at the venue. The feeling of a defined area and community is very comforting to humans. Grab chairs and use them between events. Standing, pacing or visiting sales booths creates nervous energy and will drain you.

Warm up time favors mostly those that start immediately after they are completed. If you have to wait much more than 10 minutes you have lost most of the physical benefits and wasted a bunch of unnecessary energy. If you are lucky enough to go early, warm up as you would for group day.

Circus Dumbbell

If you are in a later group, try only  doing a few minutes with the implement to get the “feel” of this particular one. After that sit back, conserve energy until it is about 15 minutes prior to your start time. Now begin a proper warm-up by using either bands (that you brought), plates and bars, and some dynamic movements to warm up. Stop two or three minutes prior to your heat to allow your heart rate to return to normal.

When it is time to go, there should be no doubt as to who you follow. The MC has probably announced your name three times prior to your start. Paying attention here will likely prevent you from getting flustered and running last second across the venue floor holding everyone up!

Many large events can go five to eight hours in length. You should have an easily digestible solid food source with you. Some candy, water, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are all good choices. Do not make the mistake of relying on food at the venue. Roller dogs, nachos and sports drinks aren’t what you eat when you train. This isn’t the time to test the iron stomach.

While many competitors will hang all day and be social with each other and even give interviews to guys like me, you should realize that all of this can have an impact on your psyche. If you are doing well with one or two events left, cut the small talk. Someone may say something that irritates you, makes you question your performance or worse, make you overconfident. Instead, sit down, slap on some headphones and watch videos of yourself performing well in training and other contests. This will do more to aide in your success.

Not everything you need to do requires a paragraph, so don’t forget these quick tips:

1. Make a checklist of everything going in your bag before you go to the event. Then check the list after the contest. Nothing is worse than leaving a 100 dollar pair of shoes behind.

2. Nothing new on game day. This includes straps, wraps, tacky, belts, food, and techniques. If you didn’t practice with it, skip it. Go with what you know.

3. Have fun. No one said being prepared will kill the buzz. It just makes victory more attainable.

Competition is unlike anything else on Earth. You really can’t call yourself a strongman until you have been put through the paces on contest day.  By being prepared, organized, and in tune with the day you will put the odds better in your favor and get closer to that first place finish.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Images: Michele Wozniak

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The Good Kitchen Review

The Good Kitchen is a food delivery service oriented for the health conscious consumer. They offer ready-made meals designed to provide you with organic and locally sourced ingredients. In addition, they offer you the option to add on various a la carte items to meal plans, and have a children’s meal plan.

All of The Good Kitchen’s Meals are non-GMO, and free of food additives, so they’re a good option for the health driven strength athlete. We compared The Good Kitchen to other healthy food delivery services and assessed their meals in taste, appearance, nutrition, convenience, customizability, and price.


We received five meals from The Good Kitchen, but for brevity purposes, we included two meals within our review. The meals we included were the Primal Italian Chicken Sausage & Eggs With Cheese Grits and Beef Barbacoa With Chili Dusted Sweet Potato. To keep this review consistent with our others we heated these meals up in the microwave, per the packages instructions.

The first meal we tested was the Italian chicken sausage & eggs with cheese grits. Chicken sausage can go either way with flavoring, but I thought their sausage did a good job at capturing an Italian taste without losing the bite of the chicken. Additionally, the texture was pretty consistent and the meat didn’t have an overly chewy taste like pork sausage can get when microwaved.

Next, we tried and the eggs and cheese grits alone and in combination with each other. As I suspected, the eggs were good, but somewhat bland alone. It’s hard to keep an egg’s original texture and bite after being reheated. But if you combine the eggs with the cheese grits, then they had a good texture and flavoring. If you’re not a fan of mixing foods, then you’ll be pleased with the flavor and texture of the cheese grits alone. They have a nice cheesy bite, and a dense texture, so they capture the true essence of what grits should be.

The Good Kitchen Taste

The second meal we tested was the beef barbacoa with chili dusted sweet potatoes, and we found it had similar attributes in taste and texture as the first meal. I liked the beef barbacoa for it’s texture and composition. Beef barbacoa can sometimes get rubbery when reheated, but I thought The Good Kitchen’s beef did a good job at staying true to it’s form. My only beef with their beef was the flavoring, I thought it was somewhat bland, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you combine the beef barbacoa with the chili dusted sweet potatoes, then you’ll find that their flavors complement each other very well. The subtly blander taste of the beef mixed with the spicy chili dust did a good job balancing each other out. Stand alone, the sweet potatoes were great, and the chili dust gave them a unique bite that left your mouth watering.

The Good Kitchen Appearance

When it comes to appearance, I thought The Good Kitchen did a fairly good job at packaging their meals. The meals arrive in one single plastic container and have a plastic film that’s vacuum sealed over them. When meals are packaged like this I have two immediate standout features I look for. First, how does the company do at separating ingredients. Second, are they packaged in a way that prevents them from getting messy while traveling.

The Good Kitchen Appearance

The Good Kitchen’s foods all make contact with each other, so the picky eater may have some issue with foods mixing. Otherwise, I thought they did a pretty good job at keeping the foods in their respective space for coming one container. Unlike some companies that utilize one container packaging, their packages have a vacuum seal, so the meals traveled well and didn’t become overly messy in transit. Whether plated or in their tray, I thought the meals looked appetizing before and after prep.

The Good Kitchen Nutrition

The Good Kitchen’s meals did a good job at providing you with easy to read/find labels, but lacked in some respects. On the back of every meal, you’ll find nutrition facts with caloric and macronutrient breakdown, which is a positive for athletes. Also, this is ideal for anyone tracking calories/macros for a specific goal in mind. In addition, they list each meal’s ingredients, so there’s no guesswork behind where macros/calories are coming from.

The only issue I had with The Good Kitchen’s nutrition was the variance in total calories and meal macro totals. Every meal is pretty consistent, but does vary slightly. We found (from the five meals we received) calories varied between 250-410, and macros respectively of meal composition between 5-15g. While these aren’t huge margins, athletes who need very specific meals may have trouble remaining consistent with The Good Kitchen’s options.

The Good Kitchen Nutrition

The Good Kitchen Calories

As mentioned above, The Good Kitchen’s total caloric values varied slightly between meals. From our meals, we experienced a variance of 250-410 calories, which is a small degree of difference between them. This is good for those who need somewhat consistent meals, but don’t need to be pinpoint accurate in their tracking.

The downside to these sized meals is that their caloric totals are a little low for the athlete that needs ample calories on a daily basis. I think putting on weight, or maintaining a higher bodyweight would be difficult with this service.


Like other services, as you buy more of The Good Kitchen meals, then the price per meal decreases. To give you an idea, we’ve attached the pre-set three meal options, plus the minimum and maximal custom order meal amount.

Meal Plan Price + Price Per Meal
10 Meals $130.00 – $13.00/meal
14 Meals $182.00 – $13.00/meal
21 Meals $231.00 – $11.00/meal
5 Meals $70.00 – $14.00/meal
35 Meals $284.65 – $8.10/meal


I think The Good Kitchen’s meal prices could be very good, or a little high depending on what your order size is. If you only need a few meals, then you’ll be paying a little more than you would for most lunches in metropolitan areas, or if you cooked your own.

The Good Kitchen Price

But if you buy higher meal options like the 35 meal plan, then you’ll be saving money in regards to other meal delivery services. I think $284.65 for 35 meals is possibly one of the better deals I’ve seen with food delivery services. The free shipping is also a nice feature of each meal plan.


I liked how convenient it was to order The Good Kitchen meals. When visiting their site, you’ll select your meal plan and the meals you want included. If you don’t want to choose meals, then The Good Kitchen will select meals for you based on their selection and your tastes. You can select weekly, bi-weekly, and other order options for your subscription, and billing is at the same time every week/order.

When placing an order, you have until Wednesday at 2 P.M. EST for a delivery that will ship out the following Monday (so place your order on Wednesday of the week prior to when you want your order). Every order ships on Monday and you’ll receive your meals either Tuesday or Wednesday. If you’re further away from The Good Kitchen’s headquarters (aka those who live on the East/West coast), then you’ll most likely receive meals on Wednesday.

The Good Kitchen Convenience


The Good Kitchen primarily offers meals with meat in them, and has limited options for vegetarians. If you’re a vegetarian, then it’s recommended to call and ask about dietary restrictions and options such as lack of meat.


The Good Kitchen does a pretty good job at providing you with the ability to customize your plan. They have a decently in-depth menu (plus a la carte items), so if you’re placing a large order, then chances of having a repeat meal will be limited. This is good for those who like a lot of variety. Also, their menu is impacted by readily available ingredients, so you’re consuming in-season options on a regular basis.

If you want the same meal on repeat, then you can select as few meals as you’d like for each plan, which is good for those who want true consistency in their diet.

Is The Good Kitchen Good for Weight Loss?

This question is completely dependent on your dietary goals and needs, but I think The Good Kitchen is a viable choice for weight loss. They offer smaller sized meals, so caloric totals per meal are already lower than other options out there. For this reason, someone who needs to consume lower amounts of calories on a daily basis may find it easy to do so with The Good Kitchen.

Final Word

The Good Kitchen provided healthy natural meals that came with a unique taste. I liked how they combined similar ingredients that meshed well together, such as the beef barbacoa and chili dust sweet potatoes. In addition, I thought their meal pricing was somewhat fair and on the lower end when it came to bulk orders.

Their pricing was great for bulk orders, but slightly expensive when ordering lower amounts of meals. Also, I thought their meal sizes were a little small, especially for athletes who need ample amounts of calories and macros.

All in all, I think The Good Kitchen could be a good choice for the strength athlete ordering in bulk looking for natural meal options.

The post The Good Kitchen Review appeared first on BarBend.

Ring Dips Alternatives and Scaling Options

The ring dip requires joint stability, proprioception, and strength; all of which are not something many beginners walk into the gym possessing. While ring dips may be at the top of a beginning athlete’s to-do list, they should be sure to master scaling and alternatives before jumping into a fully blown workout involving this highly skilled and strength fueled movement.

A post shared by Ellery Photos (@elleryphotos) on Feb 21, 2017 at 7:39am PST


To properly scale the ring dip coaches must drive home the concept of injury prevention and readiness with eager athletes, as they may neglect their own bodies in the name of nailing a ring dip (or managing to survive a ring dip WOD). Likewise, some individuals may not have the shoulder stabilization or foundational strength (beginners and yes, often women due to generally less upper body mass). For those individuals, alternatives should be offered to make sure there are no corners rounded or progressions skipped.

Therefore, in this article we will offer some helpful ring dip scaling options as well as some foundational alternative movements for all level athletes. Remember to put your ego aside and learn how to perform the movement safely before relying on ballistic kips and squirming like a worm to nail those ring dips. Your long-term fitness and joint health will thank you later.

Helpful Ring Dip Progressions

The below video does a great job of demonstrating a few scaling options and alternatives to the ring dip, which can be programmed during workouts or skill sessions. Note, that for those of you who are learning for CrossFit purposes, I highly recommend NOT performing ballistic style kips, AMRAPs, or any other variation where form is lost to function until you master the movements below.

Floor Push Up

While it may seem basic, I see SO MANY people do horrible push ups. Sagging hips, shoulders internally rotated, and the upper back resembling a turtle are just a few. Resist the urge forget form and build some serious strength and body awareness with strict, perfect push ups. Without mastering this foundational movement, you can bet your bottom dollar the ring dip (done with strict, proper form) will be near impossible. Substitute floor push ups on a 1:1 ratio to ring dips in a workout.

Ring Support Hold 

It’s as easy as supporting yourself in a tight, vertical position on the rings. While it seems easy enough, this isometric hold challenges your shoulder, core, and body stabilization and can increase strength at the finishing position of the dip. To further maximize your performance and bulletproof your shoulders, I highly recommend performing holds at the bottom of the dip (make sure you aren’t collapsing the shoulders) AND at various stages throughout the range of motion (elevator dips/holds). Substitute holds of any duration ring dips in a workout, anywhere between 3-5 seconds of holding per repetition of ring dip.

Ring Push Up 

Once you have mastered the push up on the floor AND can stabilize yourself throughout the various stages of the dip, it’s time to step up you push up game. With strict and controlled form, perform push ups on the rings to build stability, strength, and body awareness. As you progress, slowly walk backwards so that the rings are now directly under the bar (anchor point). Once you can perform strict, slow, fast, and elevator ring push ups (from above), you are ready to move on. Substitute ring push ups on a 1:1 ratio to ring dips in a workout.

Parallel Bar or Box Dip

Master the dip movement and develop necessary strength on a stable surface (stacked boxes or dip bars) is key, as strength is angular and movement specific! By performing these, you will now be able to better prepare for performing strict dips in an unstable environment (rings) which requires a great deal of strength, shoulder and core stabilization, and body awareness. Substitute bar or box dips on a 1:1 ratio to ring dips in a workout.

Band Assisted Ring Dip

Now that you have mastered the above movements, it is time to get you onto the rings to perform some assisted dips in a controlled environment. Band assisted ring dips (in addition to having a coach or fellow athlete help spot you) are a great scaling option to bridge the gap between the ring dip and all the other prerequisites above. Substitute band assisted ring dips on a 1:1 ratio to ring dips in a workout.

Master the Strict Before You Kip

Please respect your joints, connective tissues, and body by building the necessary strength, muscle mass, and neurological and motor control via strict ring dips BEFORE performing ballistic kipping ring dips. Getting injured while keeping because you aren’t skilled enough (or strong enough) to resist the forces placed upon your body is preventable 🙂

Ring Dips a Plenty!

Check out the articles below on how to ring dip properly and more!

Featured Image: @elleryphotos on Instagram

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