Diary of a Powerlifter: The 2016 CrossFit Games

I’m a powerlifter.  I like powerlifting.  I like strongman too.  But what about CrossFit? 

I saw a CrossFitter one time.  He looked kind of weird to me.  He was running shirtless with a kettle bell over his head.  I don’t know what those shoes were that he was wearing, but they definitely were not chucks.  I’m pretty sure chapter one of The Powerlifting Handbook says we, as powerlifters, are supposed to make fun of CrossFit.  I mean, it is a little bit different than what I do, so it must suck.  Sure, they use barbells and do deadlifts sometimes, but they also do some things I don’t know everything about, so yeah it has to be pretty terrible. 

I do know that our apparel goes great with powerlifting or crossfit.  Click the picture!

I do know that our apparel goes great with powerlifting or crossfit.  Click the picture!

Now before any CrossFitters get pissed off and close out of this article, I’ll advise you to read through to the end.  I think you’ll get a kick out of a perspective from someone outside the most inner circles of the CrossFit club (the uninitiated).  And powerlifters, you guys don’t get pissed and exit out either.  I’m not renouncing our faith; I just wanted to sample a little taste of how the other side lives.  I’m going to continue to bring my offerings to my Ed Coan statue that I keep behind my bench press. 

So I watched almost all of the 2016 CrossFit individual events this year.  And here is what was going through my head while I watched.

Event 1 – Ranch Trail Run

“Apparently the Ranch has some historic CrossFit significance.  I don’t see any cows here… or farmers drinking Budweiser.  This doesn’t seem anything like the ranches I’m used to.  This place does seem kind of cool though.  I can’t believe they are going to run 7Ks.  Do they have any idea how far that is?  That is like multiple miles… all at once.  Oh, they are going to do it up and down torturous, rocky, nearly vertical hills.  That should make it easier.” 

“They are getting all their fancy new Reebok apparel dirty.  I would be so pissed off meeting people coming back down the hill while I’m still going up.  I would deliver some serious stiff arms to those guys.  A woman is finishing third out of all the men and women? She must be a real badass.  This Mat Fraser seems pretty cool; I hope he wins it all.”

Event 2 – Ranch Deadlift Ladder

“OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!  That looks so fun.  I could totally do this.  Maybe I should be a CrossFit guy.  Let’s just forget about that fact that they just finished that ridiculous trail run a few minutes before this.  I’m going to pretend I wouldn’t have had to do that part.  Some of these women have awesome deadlifts.  Brooke Wells just smoked over 400 pounds. She seems like she has a nice personality.  I thought CrossFitters were supposed to lift with terrible form.  MOST of these deadlifts actually look pretty solid.  Mat Fraser and Ben Smith both got about 500.  That’s pretty decent, but I kind of expected more.  Sam Dancer is legitimately strong.  615 is a damn good deadlift after doing all that running, and then that many reps before 615.  I like Sam Dancer now.  I hope he wins it all.”

Event 3 – Ranch Mini Chipper

“Josh Bridges has a cool mustache thing going on.  He looks so tiny.  I’m going to Google him and see how big he is… 5’5” 165 pounds?!?! WTF, how is this possible? I’m going to Google some of the other guys now and see how big they are… Everyone is so much smaller than I thought!  They all look jacked.  How are they so short and so light?  It also looks like Josh Bridges was a Navy SEAL.  That’s about as hardcore as it gets.  I bet their bodies are on fire right now with throwing that ball and doing all those sit-ups.  Those sit-ups on the GHD look hard on the back.”

Event 4 – Ocean Swim

“I don’t even know how to swim.  I think I could not sink.  How can these people have enough time to try and do all this other training, and then still try to be a good swimmer?  What about sharks?”

Event 5 – Murph

“I’ve heard of Murph before, I wonder what it really is.” 
Watches Murph….
“I would not want to do Murph.”

Event 6 – Squat Clean Pyramid

“I like the sound of this event if you take out the clean part, and maybe take out all the extra reps.  Can’t they just do three singles? 

Event 7 – Double DT

“What is with all these women from Iceland with Dottir at the end of their names?  I wonder if they know Hafthor Bjornsson.  I kind of want to visit Iceland now. I see some deadlifting again.  I could still do that part if they got rid of all this extra stuff.  I like deadlifting.”

Event 8 – Climbing Snail

“That snail push part looks difficult, but fun.  I like when they do things that are similar to strongman events.  Could I climb a rope if I had to?  I think I could, but I’m glad I don’t have to.  Mat Fraser isn’t screwing around with any of these events.  There is no way he is losing.”

Event 9 – The Separator

“Yeah I would separate myself from this one real quick.  I’d separate myself right out of there and quit CrossFit.  That ring handstand pushup is almost impossible for these guys.  These guys that train with this stuff all the time!  That must be miserable.  I don’t understand how judges can judge half of these things.  There is so much momentum to some of the movements, and moving body parts that I don’t see how you could say what counts and what doesn’t sometimes.  And how do they get 20 some judges to all be grading in a similar fashion when it is like that?  The announcers are referring to these guys that are struggling with the ring handstand pushup as huge.  I see they weigh about 180 pounds…..”

Clearly I was the best judge ever! #independencegames2016 #crossfitjudge #dontlosecount #norep

A photo posted by Kelsey (@kelseythequesadilla) on

Events 10-13 – 100%, Handstand Walk, Suicide Sprint, The Plow

“When are they going to finally bench press? I would like this a little more if they could at least throw in a little bench pressing.  It’s funny that those balls are called D-Balls.  All these people handstand walk as easily as I can walk on my feet.  They might actually even be better with their hands than I am with my feet.  I wonder what kind of cool weird things they can do with their feet? Maybe their parents taught them how to do it when they were 2.  Suicide sprint is just what I call any kind of sprint ever.”

Event 14 – Rope Chipper

“That is a shit load of jumping rope.  These people would have done awesome in my Jump Rope for Heart event in PE class in 3rd grade.  The sled pull part looks fun.  I can usually find about one part from each event that I would like to do.” 

Event 15 – Redemption

“Mat Fraser wasted everyone else to win it this year.  It seems like he could be on top for several more years to come.  I’m certainly no CrossFit expert, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy could be the next Rick Froming!”

- A Powerlifter

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