If you couldn’t tell from the massive amounts of tweets and instagram posts over the weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games again this year on behalf of Reebok and FitFluential. I didn’t think it was possible to top last year but this year was even better because I felt like I knew SO much more about the athletes and CrossFit in general which made spectating all the more fun. It’s like going to a concert when you know all the words to the songs versus sitting there like in silence when everyone else is singing around you.

The Games is basically 4 days of grueling workouts and to cover them all I’d have to write a novel so I’ll take you through some of the highlights…


For time:
Swim 250 yards
50 kettlebell thrusters  (35 / 24 lb.)
30 burpees
Swim 500 yards
30 burpees
50 kettlebell thrusters  (35 / 24 lb.)
Swim 250 yards

2014RCFG_DAY1_EVENT1_002 (1)

Last year, The Games started with a pool and muscle up wod that threw everyone off. This year, Dave Castro took it a step further and sent all the athletes into the ocean. I love how this shakes thing up from the beginning. For the men, Jordan Troyan came in first and Anna Tunnicliffe took first for the women. We weren’t actually out in California yet for this event but I bet it was an awesome experience to watch in person. We did a beach wod at our hotel while we were there so I can attest to how much more burpees suck when you’re doing them in sand.


Interestingly enough, Jordan, the winner of The Beach, came in dead last on the next event, 1 Rep Max Overhead Squat later that day when he was unable to hit any of his 3 attempts. Just goes to show you how being good at 1 thing won’t get you very far at The CrossFit Games.


For time:
Row 3,000 meters
300 double-unders
Run 3 miles


After a day of rest on Thursday, the competitors began their 3 day streak of back to back wods on Friday morning with Triple 3. I really wanted to see this one but we were doing other fun things like speaking with Reebok’s design team about the 2014 CrossFit line, doing Fight Gone Bad at a local box and having lunch on a cliff over looking the Pacific Ocean…all of which I’ll talk more about in another post.


I loved how there was a long run included in this year’s games. I knew Rich Froning wouldn’t dominate the run so I was excited to see how the standings would shake out after this event. And shake out they did because Froning came in 37th on it. I think that might’ve been his worst performance in an event in 3 years.


We finally made it to the StubHub Center to catch what would be one of my favorite wods to watch the whole weekend, the 21-15-9 complex.

21-15-9 Complex

For time:
deadlifts (155 / 115 lb.)
7 cleans (155 / 115 lb.)
6 snatches (155 / 115 lb.)
8 pull-ups
7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 bar muscle-ups
deadlifts (155 / 115 lb.)
5 cleans (155 / 115 lb.)
4 snatches (155 / 115 lb.)
6 pull-ups
5 chest-to-bar pull-ups
4 bar muscle-ups
deadlifts (155 / 115 lb.)
3 cleans (155 / 115 lb.)
2 snatches (155 / 115 lb.)
4 pull-ups
3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 bar muscle-ups

Time Cap: 7 minutes


This one was quick and dirty and it was so much fun seeing who could make it in the 7 minute time cap.


The highlight was definitely when Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet went unbroken on the bar for the last set. She also grabbed 1st place in this event. Not super surprising as she excels in the gymnastic stuff but super impressive to watch nonetheless.


They all made bar muscle ups look so damn easy. If only…

Saturday started with the muscle-up biathlon which was RI-DICULOUS.



For time:
400-meter run
18 muscle-ups
400-meter run
15 muscle-ups
400-meter run
12 muscle-ups

Each time the athlete breaks a set of muscle-ups they must run a 200-meter lap. (<—KILLER)

Time Cap: 18 minutes


Again, more running (and this time up and around the stadium steps) and arguably one of the most difficult and taxing elements in CrossFit, the muscle-up. Not even being able to do 1 muscle-up currently (although, I’m determined to get one by the end of the year!), I can’t even fathom how hard this wod was. Plus, it was mid 80s and bright sun, even more draining for the athletes. I was drained just sitting in the sun watching them.

But, all those things made it so much fun to watch. I loved how Chris Spealler (my underdog favorite) placed really well in this one and again, I loved seeing Froning get kicked out of his normal first place spot. One of the best things about The Games this year was how it wasn’t the Froning show the whole time. Cody Anderson, a 22 year old rookie, took home 1st in this event. Tiffany Hendrickson beat out Camille for 1st on the women’s side.

After 3 rounds of a clean speed ladder where powerhouse Elizabeth Akinwale  dominated, Saturday ended with a grueling deficit handstand push-up and sled pull wod.



For time of:
7 handstand push-ups (deficit for men)
50-foot sled pull
8 deficit handstand push-ups
50-foot sled pull
9 deficit handstand push-ups
50-foot sled pull
10 deficit handstand push-ups
50-foot sled pull

Each round the deficit for the strict handstand push-ups increases. No kipping.

Time Cap: 11 minutes


This wod must’ve just beaten their shoulders to a pulp. Deficit handstand push ups are no joke, let alone having to pull increasingly heavy sleds up to 300 something pounds. I love this picture because this is what CrossFit is about. I overhead someone in the crowd say “this is the only sport where the person in last gets cheered for more than the person in first” and he was right. Not only would the crowd get up and cheer their faces off, all his opponents would gather round on the floor and do the same. The same thing happens at each and every box no matter what level you’re at. It’s a very individual sport yet at the same time, there’s this huge sense of community that other sports don’t even come close to rivaling.

midline march annie


3 rounds for time of:
25 GHD sit-ups
50-ft. handstand walk (<–if they broke the handstand, they had to start from the beginning)
50-ft. overhead walking lunge (155 / 115 lb.)

Going into the final day, Camille pretty much had 1st place secured with a 75 point lead on the women’s side, although 2nd and 3rd were still very much up for grabs. On the men’s side though things were a little closer, which of course just meant Froning was about to make his move.

midline march froning

And that, he did. He won this wod with his typical solid 1st place performance we’re all used to and that’s pretty much when the crowd knew he’d be standing tall on the podium again. For the women though, this is when 2012 champ, Annie Thorisdottir stepped up trying to make her way into the top 3. Her first place finish on this event helped tremendously.

midline march overhead lunge

Castro loves keeping secrets from the athletes and so the ending of The Games was 2 wods back to back but they weren’t told what the second one was going to be until right after the first one ended. Then of course, because he’s Dave Castro, he told them it was Grace only to tell them it was DOUBLE Grace 30 seconds later. The crowd was on its feet and the athletes took it in stride (although Jason Khalipa’s baffled expression on the megatron was pretty entertaining) knowing it was the last 7 minutes of the weekend.


For time:
4 rope climbs
3 overhead squats (245 / 165 lb.)

Time Cap: 4 minutes



For time:
60 clean and jerks (135 / 95 lb.)

Time Cap: 7 minutes

thick n quick

I was actually kind of shocked by how many people (both men & women) couldn’t finish the rope climbs. Including Tommy Hackenbruck who was sitting in 4th or 5th at this point of the competition. I’m still not sure what the reason was to be honest. The height? (they were definitely higher than a typical rope in a box), the exhaustion from the past 4 days setting in? I’m just really surprised some couldn’t do 4 rope climbs…


Rich pulled out 2 more first place finishes in both events and Annie took 2nd and 1st respectively with the most epic leap across the finish line there ever was.


I love her.

The final results (MEN):

1st: Rich Froning
2nd: Matt Fraser
3rd: Jason Khalipa

PodiumMen (640x427)

The final results (WOMEN):

1st: Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet
2nd: Annie Thorisdottir
3rd: Julie Foucher


I’ll be back to talk about all the stuff outside of The Games events like our wods with Blair Morrison, Lindsay Valenzuela and Josh Everett, some Reebok gear, including the awesome new Nano 4.0s, the food, the resort and lots more!

*This post is sponsored by Reebok and FitFluential. All opinions are my own.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Great games! I would love to go someday. Or just even be able to watch them on TV! But we don’t have TV. So it’s really really awesome to read your post and see all these great photos!

  2. You can’t help but be impressed and inspired looking at how fit and strong everyone competing is!

  3. This is so cool! I am an avid “worker outer”, but I’ve never gotten into cross-fit. These photos make it seem so much more appealing. It’s so inspirational. Thanks for the awesome recap.