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Great Success with the 2013 Invictus Online Competition

2013 Invictus Online Competition
Great Success with the 2013 Invictus Online Competition
Written by C.J. Martin

Over the weekend athletes from around the world tackled our second annual Invictus Athlete Online Competition. The competition is designed to be a fun test for athletes who follow our Competition blog, and others who simply want a fun couple of days of events to challenge themselves and see where they stack up against other competitors from around the world.

We were blown away by the number and quality of participants last year…and this year was no different. More than 400 athletes participated in the Day One events, and more than 300 athletes completed all eight events over the two days.

The Day One events were designed to be challenging, but accessible to athletes of varying levels. They were, in essence, max effort tests of various conditioning, strength and gymnastics components.  The day one events were as follows:
Events 1-6
Perform the following six events against a running clock:
5 Minutes of Rowing for Max Meters
4 Minutes to Establish a 2-RM Front Squat
3 Minutes of Ring Muscle-Ups
4 Minutes to Establish a 1-RM Shoulder to Overhead
5 Minutes of Burpee Box Jump-Overs (24″/20″)

Rest exactly 5 minutes, and when the clock reaches 26:00…
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of:
8 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
8 Alternating Pistols

For a complete description of the events and the rules and standards for each event, please look here.

Day Two started with a max effort Snatch, and finished with an extremely challenging Chipper.
Event 7:
Take exactly 20-minutes to build to a 1-RM Snatch.

When the clock reaches 20:00, begin Event 8…

Event 8:
For time:
20 Deadlifts (315/215 lb)
40 Pull-Ups
80 Double-Unders
20 Cleans (225/145 lb)
40 Pull-Ups
80 Double-Unders
20 Snatches (135/95 lb)
40 Pull-Ups
80 Double-Unders

For a complete description of the Day Two events, rules and standards, please look here.

Scoring Woes
The large number of participants required that we switch up the scoring. I had initially wanted to follow a Games-like scoring system, awarding a larger point spread for the top 5 athletes in each event, but with over 300 participants, that system would have required major revamping. Rather than try to tackle the mathematical gymnastics that would have been required to develop a fair scoring system for the large number of participants, we defaulted to the more common Regionals-style scoring, awarding points for placement in each individual event and proclaiming the winners based on fewest points earned over the course of the two days of events.  Because the scoring system and events were designed to weight the final workout more heavily, I simply multiplied the placement earned in Event 8 by 3 – it was supposed to be worth 3 times as much as each of the first 7 events.

I do not claim to be a math wizard, and I am sure someone much smarter than me could have created a better system. If the switch in scoring disadvantaged anyone in any way, I apologize. In the end, I think we accomplished our goals of having fun, getting the whole community involved, challenging our athletes, and ultimately providing a pretty darn good measuring stick so that athletes could see where they were at against other participating athletes.

It should also be noted that the larger the field, the more likely an athlete is to be devastated by a single weakness. If there were only 30 participating athletes, you might be able to hide a poor muscle-up performance with some strong lifts on either side of it. But when there are 241 participating male athletes, you might get buried behind 150 of them…and that’s much more difficult to battle back from. For that reason, among others, I would never claim that the final scores are predictive of how individual athletes will finish in the Open, Regionals or Games. They should, however, highlight for those individual athletes the need to shore up specific areas of their game before the competition season arrives.

Interesting Observations…My How Things Have Changed
The large group of participants allowed us to gather some pretty cool data. That data demonstrates how much things have changed from the days when a 300 lb Front Squat and a 100 kg (220 lb) Snatch were good numbers for males. It wasn’t that long ago that those numbers were seen as pretty decent accomplishments for a male CrossFit athlete. Now, a 300 lb 2-RM Front Squat – achieved AFTER 5 minutes of max effort rowing – earned a male athlete 117th place. A 220 lb snatch earned male athletes 95th place.

The strength wave isn’t exclusive to males either; the AVERAGE 2-RM Front Squat (after 5 minutes of rowing) was 220 lbs for the top 10 females. The top 10 females also averaged a 155 lb 1-RM Snatch.

Luckily, the strength gains don’t appear to have come at the expense of relative strength and bodyweight gymnastics capacity. It used to be that a 3-minute 30 muscle-ups for time was a feat accomplished by very few. But even after completing 5 minutes of max effort rowing and 4 minutes to establish a 2-RM Front Squat, the top 15% of the male participants AVERAGED 25.2 muscle-ups in 3 minutes. The top 10 women averaged almost 17 reps in those 3 minutes.

The Take-Away… 
You had better be really strong if you want to play in this sport…and really good at bodyweight gymnastics…and you had better have immense work capacity. Yes folks, that means you need to be really damn good at everything. The sport of CrossFit is growing exponentially, and as it does, so too is the level of competition.

I hope the results from this fun online competition help to demonstrate some of the amazing things that athletes are doing, inspire you to keep training hard, and also give some insight as to where you may need to put focus to be truly competitive in the sport. To assist in this, I have supplied at the bottom of the scoring sheet some averages for all of the participating athletes, and also the averages of the top 15% of the participating athletes.

Finally, congratulations to our top 5 male and top 10 female finishers:
Males
* 1st Place – Kirk Gibson
* 2nd Place – Alex Anderson
* 3rd Place – Jonas Muller
* 4th Place – Julian Serna
* 5th Place – Ryan Sunshine

Females
* 1st Place – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
* 2nd Place – Kyla Evers
* 2nd Place – Michelle Kinney
* 4th Place – Lauren Fisher
* 5th Place – Talayna Fortunato
* 6th Place – Jenny LaBaw
* 7th Place – Karen McAdam
* 8th Place – Elyse Umeda
* 9th Place – Andrea Turner
* 10th Place – Cheryl Brost

***Prize Note – Because Camille, Michelle, Lauren, Talayna, Jenny, Elyse and Cheryl already participate in Invictus Athletes’ Camps as coaches and contributing athletes, the camp invitation will go to Kyla Evers and prizes will be sent to Karen McAdam and Andrea Turner.The full scoring details and results of the two-day competition can viewed here. 

Thank you to all of the participating athletes! I hope you enjoyed the two days as much as I enjoyed watching your results come in. I honestly read all of your results, and while I don’t always have time to answer every question asked on the blog, it is important to me that you all are participating and posting your results so that I can continue to develop our program to best suit the needs of all athletes who are following consistently.

Happy holidays!

  • Ruben Martinez

    How do we get onto the online coaching program that some of the top athletes are on?

  • Ben Dziwulski

    THANK YOU! I had an absolute blast and it helped me realize the proper way to hit things mentally next time.

  • Kirk Gibson

    This was a lot of fun. Happy I participated this year. Thanks CJ for doing an amazing job as always!

    • Rasmus Wisbech

      Good work Kirk!!
      See you in Phoenix

  • Alex Whitworth

    CJ,

    If you’d like help developing a scoring system for future use, I’m happy to help. I’d happily develop whatever kind of system you want: 1. like the games, scoring athletes out of 100 points, 2. More complex than that. 3. less complex than that…

    Feel free to shoot me an email. I could probably figure something out in an hour or less depending on what type of system you want.

    Alex Whitworth
    UCLA, Masters in Statistics (expected 2015)
    cf.whitworth.alex@gmail.com