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2014 CrossFit Open Recap – Who is your pick for MVP?

April 14, 2014

The 2014 CrossFit Games Open was a great one at CrossFit Oakdale.  We had a ton of athletes take part in the challenge, more about as athletes that signed up and logged their scores and athletes that did the WODs, approved judged, pill cheered or provided any support whatsoever.

For athletes that logged scores – take some time to look at how did relative to your peers by using the leader board.  Where did you score well?  Where did you score poorly?  This will help you identify things to work on over the year.

Did you take a bath on 14.1?  Maybe you need to focus on double unders?

Are overhead squats your nemesis?  Maybe it’s time to stop power snatching just so you can go  heavy.  Maybe focus on dropping under the bar and doing a OHS every time you Snatch.

Did the heavy weights in 14.3 break you off?  If we’re pulling heavy barbells, make sure you drag yourself into the gym.

Did you just miss breaking 180 on 14.4?  Maybe it’s time to really focus on developing that Muscleup.  Transitions, folks.  More on the muscle up in the coming weeks…

Did 14.5 suck really bad?  Well sorry, it sucked for everyone.  Haha!

Here’s a relatively easy way to chart your fitness.  Use your percentage of how you stack up in the worldwide competition.  Over 80,000 men competed this year in the Open division – if you finished 40,000, you were in the top 50%.  After a year of hard work, I damn near guarantee that you will move your percentage up.  2 warnings though, folks – the higher you get, the harder it becomes to move up and the pool keeps growing.  From about 100 in 2007 to 26,000 in 2011, 75,000 in 2012, 126,000 in 2013 and finally over 200,000 athletes in 2014, the pool of athletes in the sport of fitness is growing.  And they are all trying really hard.

Master’s Studs

Don and Denny each just missed qualifying for the Worldwide Master’s Regionals.  They both put together solid Opens, working hard and strategizing to maximize points.  

Don crushed 14.3, a fastball WOD for him, ranking 61st in the world in his age group.

Denny had his best performance on mental and physical gauntlet of 14.5, throwing down a blazing fast 12:01.  This was good for 73rd in the world in his division, but also higher than tons of Regional level athletes.

What’s the common denominator here?  These guys know their strengths and weaknesses and work them like gladiators preparing for battle.  Day in and day out, Don and Denny put in the work.

Not to be out done, Kirk had a great Open and performed consistently across the WODs.  I judged a few of Kirk’s WOD and have been very proud of his growth.  Kirk is a “crash the car” athlete if I have ever seen one, and watching him take the smart, tactical approach and put down competitive scores was a big highlight for me as a coach.  Even if we had to argue a little bit before WODs.  And sometimes after 😉

The WOD Highlights

We had a bunch of returning athletes this year.  Here’s where you guys had your best scored relative to your other WODs

Here’s our All-Stars


Bill, Paul, Vanessa, Janet, Tricia

Paul walked into the gym after grueling weeks at the CHP Academy and threw down a 343, beating numerous Regionals, even Games athletes. And he barely broke a sweat.


Brad P, Kirk, Emmaline, Christine, Tricia

Chrisitine re-attempted this WOD and crushed it, getting into the round of 14s.


Thomas (in his first Open), Mike B (first Open), Big Man Bob, Alison (with her best Open WOD ever), Jake.

The weights got heavy here and the time cap was short, so there was no room for error.  Bob pulled big weight wearing a pink unicorn shirt, but watching Alison attack the barbell was inspiring for me.  NO ONE is better at making box stepping look good and athletic than the love of my life!


Justin M, Louis

Justin M is just getting ready to break out and become a force in NorCal.  He quietly threw down a 196 in 14.4, beating many Regional level athletes.  After 14.1, Justin decided to only attempt the WODs once, so I know he had more in the tank.  Watch out for this guy!


Joel, Chance

To have your best performance of the Open in this painstorm says something about what kind of person you are.  Joel dug in and gutted out sub 20 minute 14.5.  That means he’s tough as a nickel steak.

The Rookies

Danelle, Patty, Windy, Thomas, Jake, Mike B, Carlos and Brad P took on the Open for the first time.  This is always one of my favorite things to watch – new athletes taking on the unknown.  On all these WODs the pain is going to set in, and in the Open, there is no scaling.

I watched Jake and Windy fight for every double under on 14.1, Danelle and Mike B fight for every OHS on 14.2, Brad P find out what 275 feels like exhausted on 14.3, Patty attack 95#s in 14.4 (and PR her deadlift on 14.3, and watch everyone suffer to the finish on 14.5.


Brian’s MVP – if you have one please post to the Facebook comments

Bob Wessling is the man.  Every WOD he brought a plan, competed, had fun and left it all on the floor.  He had rabbit’s I know he was chasing, but he didn’t make a huge deal out of it – he just worked hard and had fun. Every week he busted out a new shirt – unicorns, hair shirts, ultra man, bears and more (sometimes even undies) he brought the funny.  But that’s only part of the story.  Bob was a great coach on the floor – cheering on, coaching, judging and more.  Watching Denny do 14.5 with Bob as a judge, yelling “DOWN!” after every Burpee, with Denny’s pain face setting in was a display of love and friendship that brings tears to my eyes as I type.  Yes, this is just exercise.  But through the adversity, we get to see out real selves.  Funny, resilient, supportive – that’s what Bob has been over the years.  Thank you for being who you are and making CFO the place that it is!

Alison’s MVP- Janet is the most stoic athlete in the gym. She is strong, beautiful and never complains no matter what comes up. Like all of us she has some goats in the barn (rodeo weekend has been long.) and a few of them came up during the Open for her. Double unders and Toes to Bar can separate the pack, but Janet hung in there. She refined her jumping and made it through 4 full rounds of the snatch/double under WOD plus 8 more double unders.  That is 128 double unders! As for 14.4, the chipper, Janet beat another nemesis…the Toe to Bar.  She completed all 50 and moved on to rack up 34 of the wall balls. For those of you who know Janet, you know she is extremely positive, always upbeat and ready to cheer for others. Master group better watch out next year because Janet only has a few more things to conquer!


Workout of the Day


High Hang Clean and Jerk

5 sets of 2

From the high hang.  If possible, try to link sets together into doubles.  If you have to drop, pick it up, make sure you hit the high hang position, then Clean it up.




Complete at many pushups as possible in 8 minutes.  At he top of each minute, including the first minute, do

3 Cleans 205/135

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