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CrossFit Could Be More Exciting to Watch – Here Are Some Ideas

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CrossFit, the high-intensity fitness program, has a dedicated fan base, but even enthusiasts admit the sport could be more spectator-friendly. 

A recent analysis made by Youtuber Mason Startup suggests a few key changes to traditional event formats could increase viewer engagement and make CrossFit matches more unpredictable.

Adding Stakes with Unbroken, Penalty, and Elimination Formats

The analysis highlights three main ways to spice up CrossFit events:

Unbroken Movements

Athletes would be required to complete a set number of repetitions without stopping (for example, a series of squats or muscle-ups). Failure to do so would result in having to start the set over, adding an element of risk versus reward.

For example, the Handstand Walk at the 2019 Games

“Brent Fikowski was on track to finish in third place but after failing right at the end of his last 42-foot section he had to go back and restart. 11 people passed him in his heat…”

Penalty Workouts

Similar to the unbroken format, athletes who break a movement would face a penalty, such as a run or extra reps. This keeps athletes in the race even if they make an error while adding a pacing strategy element.

For example, the Muscle-up Biathlon in 2014:

“[Josh Bridges] had to break his muscle-ups and so he was off on his penalty run…Rich Froning takes off on his 200-meter penalty lap and all of a sudden seven athletes finish while Rich is paying his penalty.”

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Elimination Style

A classic format where athletes are progressively eliminated throughout the workout. This intensifies competition and creates exciting moments where any mistake could be costly.

For example, the Max Snatch Event 2021: 

“This is really one of the big ways we were introduced to Gui Malheiros in 2021… a huge electric moment. And that’s what elimination-style events give us.”

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A Call for Variety

While CrossFit already occasionally utilizes these formats, the analysis argues for making them more prominent within the CrossFit Games.  This would increase the sport’s “watchability” and challenge athletes in new and exciting ways.

Could These Changes Happen?

The author of the analysis invites discussion on whether these changes could be implemented and how they might best be applied to create more thrilling CrossFit spectator experiences.

Watch the full video: