There is no other true test of fitness.
The Games were created to fill a void—no other true test of fitness existed. From Ironman triathlons to the NFL, all other athletic events neglected to accurately test fitness. Even decathlons, while testing a relatively wide range of abilities, missed vital components of physical fitness.
The CrossFit Games events are made up of a broad range of functional movements. Functional movements move large loads, long distances, quickly. These movements also form the basis of our exercise program. Make no mistake—the CrossFit Games are designed to test, not train, fitness. The goal is to find the fittest athletes, not to produce an easily replicable workout program.
The Games are a three-stage journey.
The Games season is broken up into three stages. The first stage is the Open. This five-week, five-workout competition is held in the winter in CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms around the world. Workouts are released online each Thursday, and athletes have until the following Monday to submit their scores. Anyone who's at least 14 years old can sign up, and join in the first stage of the CrossFit Games season. This year's Open kicks off February 25, 2016.
The top athletes from each of the 17 regions qualify for the second stage of the competition—regionals. The regionals are live, three-day competitions that are held over three weekends in May (May 13 - 29, 2016). The top athletes from two or three regions combine, and compete for the five qualifying spots for the CrossFit Games .
The season culminates in the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on July 19 - 24, 2016. At this point in the season, the field has been whittled down from hundreds of thousands of athletes in the Open to the world's fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 40 teenagers, and 200 masters. The CrossFit Games rank the world's fittest, and determine who is the Fittest on Earth.
A key element to a fair test of fitness is the unknown and unknowable. Athletes cannot train for what they do not know. At each CrossFit Games, the athletes engage in a series of challenges unknown to them until right before the competition. The combination of highly trained athletes and unknown events makes for an explosive mix.
May only the best win.
The Games are a playing field where the fittest athletes are given a chance to distinguish themselves through consistently exceptional performances. In a single weekend, the CrossFit Games test athletes’ capabilities across broad time and modal domains. A wide variety of different events are intentionally included. In the past, these have ranged from dusty hill sprints to sandbag carries to ocean swims and endurance events. Future events will include even more surprises.
In order to be satisfied that the CrossFit Games winners are truly the Fittest on Earth, we need to be confident the champions would also win other good tests of fitness.
The Games use a relative scoring system. That is, athletes are rewarded according to their placing in each event relative to their peers—not according to their absolute performance on that event. To the degree which we’ve done our job, the Games athletes are the 40 fittest men and 40 fittest women on Earth. All of them have qualified through multiple steps to get there. It’s up to the Games to determine who among them is the fittest.
A growing sport.
Interest in this sport continues to increase, along with the size of the CrossFit community. Last year at this time, there were just more than 11,000 affiliates. Today, we have surpassed 13,000. 2016 promises to be a landmark year for the CrossFit Games.
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