Tia, 20.5, Bob Harper, CrossFit Op-Ed, 3x Panchik, Nuuness

We’re going long today, so buckle up. I’m going to talk fast and make you late for work.

The Norwegian CrossFit Championship has announced cash prizes and gear giveaways for their online qualifier. Elite males, females, and teams are getting 300 euros for event wins, and the top finisher in each elite category gets their room and food paid for when they attend the championship. Partner prizes are included for both masters and community categories.

Legend trainer for 15 years on The Biggest Loser and CrossFit enthusiast Bob Harper was featured in an article by Inked Magazine. In 2017, Harper suffered a widowmaker heart attack, which has a survival rate of less than ten percent, while at a CrossFit gym. Because of the intensity part of high-intensity interval training, Harper has had to trade CrossFit-style methodology for less heart-taxing activities like Bikram Yoga. There’s a lot to be learned from Bob’s life and fitness experience in the article, so go to the show notes at WODDITY.com for a link to the article.

All three of the Panchik brothers will be competing at the CrossFit Winter Classic. Spencer, Saxon, and Scott will be in Cleveland for the event on December 7th and 8th.

Emily Beers, the former full-time writer at CrossFit Headquarters prior to their layoffs last year, has written a sternly-worded Op-Ed for Breaking Muscle. Titled, “5 Ways That CrossFit May Never Get Fixed”, the piece was inspired by Beers’ experience at the 10-year affiliate summit this last weekend.

In an opening section on CrossFit founder and chairman Greg Glassman’s keynote speech, Beers writes:

“What was not addressed were the very real problems CrossFit affiliate owners and coaches face today, problems which have led countless affiliates to move away from the CrossFit brand and de-affiliate, or close their doors entirely.”

Boiling Emily’s list down to some quick notes, the five ways CrossFit may never get fixed are:

  • Problems with client retention and the lack of share strategies to combat it
  • Over-saturation of affiliates in some areas causing some questionable “get fit quick” marketing strategies
  • The lack of profitability in gym ownership causing many owners to keep additional jobs
  • The same profitability issues causing scalability problems that prevent owners from hiring coaches to help
  • And a business model where affiliates pay to use the name, but don’t receive best-practices aid from the organization.

The industry itself seems torn, as Beers’ article was met with a counterpiece by Medium contributor Russ Greene. Also a former CrossFit employee, Greene was with Beers at the summit and had a different take. In 2013 the National Strength and Conditioning Association published a study attacking CrossFit as being dangerous. Greene uses external tarnishment of the brand through malicious acts, like this, as an example of what is truly creating the uphill battle for owners. He writes:

“The turning point was the NSCA’s 2013 publication of a false 16% injury rate, which they alleged occurred at a CrossFit affiliate. This fraudulent article prompted Outside Magazine to ask “Is CrossFit Destroying the World?” on its cover. Prior to the NSCA article the CrossFit hit pieces were relatively few and reserved in tone. But the NSCA’s fake study provided the one element that had been missing: actual “science” and “data.” Never mind that the CrossFit affiliate had not injured anyone, as the study’s subjects and now a federal judge have made perfectly clear.

I urge you to read both pieces and come up with an opinion on your own. Find the links in my show notes.

Three-time fittest woman on earth Tia-Clair Toomey is up for two Women’s Health Magazine Women in Sports awards. One for being the Sportswoman of the Year, and the other for the Moment of the Year.

Nuun, the sport water electrolyte company, has announced a new “Nuuness” award of up to $2,500 to help women in sport to pursue their athletic aspirations. You can be either a professional or an amateur to apply. Men are encouraged to apply on behalf of an inspirational woman in their life. The winner of the Nuuness Award will be selected and announced by the end of November.

Reebok is giving away a trip to Boston for the 20.5 CrossFit Open workout announcement in November. This is the second announcement we’re aware of, as Tia-Clair Toomey will be at Torian Pro in Australia for a live announcement there. Reebok’s announcement has a picture of athletes Patrick Vellner and Annie Thorisdottir on the page, but does not confirm the athletes will be in attendance. We have the link to sign up.

And, the last story in this sprint, winners of the 2019 Southwest Championships have been asking for answers after an original offering of $50,000 in prizes turned into leaving the event empty-handed. Zip over to Morning Chalk Up for a read on this developing story. There’s a bit of chaos unfolding.

And that’s it for news about CrossFit on Wednesday, October 2nd. Thanks for listening. Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe. It’s the best way to give back to the show, because it helps more people find us. I’m Ben Garves. 

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.