2019 CrossFit Open/BBL Recap

The annual CrossFit Open & our own Basement Battle League (BBL) is the largest event of the year, and every year it keeps getting better! With over 100 CrossFit 6S athletes signed up for it this year, we knew it was going to be memorable – and it definitely was! With 5 Friday Night Lights booked off in Feb/March, our athletes were ready for the challenge. Athletes from all the classes, with different experiences and skill levels, came together to support, challenge, encourage and sweat with one another. We even had a handful of Powerlifters and Olympic Weightlifters – who don’t regularly train CrossFit – join us!

We are so proud of everyone who participated this year – everyone showed up ready to work hard, and no matter what the challenge was, everyone tackled it with determination, grit, resilience and confidence. We can’t wait to see what the next Open (in October) has in store!

We’ve put together some highlights from this year – we hope you enjoy!

As part of our own competition, our Basement Battle League (BBL) was lead by four team captains: Heather Lam (Buck Furpees), Natalie Kugler (6S Army), Ali Pourhashemi (Smash) and Indrit Kasapi (Trouble Unders). After the initial draft, these team captains went to work and recruited people for their teams! The end result was A LOT of team spirit and friendly competition vibes. Team members were awarded points throughout the duration of the Open for completing the workouts (1 point) and for having a top 3 score in the gym (1 point). Each week, one team was also awarded 5 points for demonstrating the most team spirit, and weekly challenges gave athletes another opportunity to gain points. In the end, the team with the most points would win (prize TBA…keep reading;)).
With the release of 19.1, everyone was anxious to get the Open started! Before we go any further, we first need to acknowledge those athletes who joined 6S and started CrossFit less than 1 year ago, and to those who participated in the Open for the first time: you are all incredible & we are so proud of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something you knew very little about!

19.1 was wallballs and rowing – it was painful and long, but if you paced it accordingly, the pain didn’t set in until the half-way point. With a large number of first-timers, everyone pulled themselves out of their comfort zone, pushed hard, PR’d, and supported each other. A huge shoutout to your 4 team captains who helped judge and cheer all night, and also stuck around until the very end to smash their workout. Thank you as well to all of our members who helped judge throughout the night – you all rock! 19.1 definitely set the tone for the rest of the Open – our athletes were determined to give each workout their best effort!

One of the highlights?
Seeing the support (and hearing all of the cheering) from all 4 teams when the team captains went head-to-head in the last heat!

19.2 brought a whole new challenge to the Open! With high volume toes-to-bar and increasing weight in cleans, if you wanted to demonstrate your strength, you had to have a solid gymnastics base too. Add in the fact that there were specific work requirements to move on to the next phase of the workout, and you’ve got a challenging combination which needed to be done fast!

For this one, we saw athletes tackle both the RX and the scaled options, and all performances were so exciting to watch! We witnessed so many first toes-to-bar reps (and then many more afterwards!), and numerous athletes who motored through those knee raises. The squat cleans were just as exciting to watch: athletes challenged themselves with weights near their 1RM & with each round getting heavier (and under more fatigued), everyone rose to the challenge! We even witnessed some athletes who finished the whole workout, or were very close to the end!

One of the highlights?
Having members support, encourage and help one another succeed – Shujoy guided Jamil through his first toes-to-bar (after Jamil had contemplated doing the scaled version with knee raises)! 

19.3 was definitely a step-up (pun intended) from the first two Open workouts! Whether athletes chose the scaled or RX version, the dumbbell weight was the same, with slight variations to how the athlete could hold the dumbbell. Additionally, if the dumbbell work was completed under the time cap (10 minutes), all athletes were required to get inverted and perform strict handstand push-ups, with only slight variations between the divisions. While this definitely intimidated most people (as it would anyone!), everyone showed up ready to work, despite the nerves and the “unknown” for most. 

Keeping with the theme of firsts, most athletes had never performed a single-arm DB overhead walking lunge before, so that was a first for most! Even those athletes who had never done the exercise before tackled the RX version of the workout to try it & to challenge themselves – amazing! The scaled version was equally as impressive – athletes had to manage and stabilize the same weight as RX while lunging 200 ft. If athletes made it through the lunge, there were 50 box step ups awaiting them. All of our athletes were extremely impressive & kept moving steadily on the box. While this is not a new movement to our members, the challenge itself was & it was clear that all of the accessory work we have been doing is paying off! For those athletes that completed the box step ups in time, 50 strict HSPU awaited them. Some athletes kicked up against the wall for the first time, some achieved their first ever sHSPU and some showcased their ninja skills. However, most impressive were those athletes who spent many minutes trying to get their first handstand or HSPU – the resilience we saw was admirable & it’s that determination that is going to lead to success!

One of the highlights?
Watching Grace make the overhead walking lunges look like a walk in the park & seeing Hector – a powerlifter who does not do handstand push-ups – bang out 10 strict after only a few tips!

19.4 was allllll about the burpees – with some snatches and pull-ups/bar muscle ups in there too. Did you go fast to give yourself more time to tackle the latter half of the workout? Or did you pace the first part to have more energy in the second part? We’ve been doing alot of pacing work and practicing developing workout strategies in the classes lately, which made this workout a good test of athletes fitness and discipline. 

This workout was exciting to watch, even with the programmed rest, because athletes again pushed themselves to do weights they previously hadn’t done. As well, this workout was particularly exciting because we witnessed athletes get their first pull-ups and bar muscle ups! Gymnastics tend to be at the forefront of athletes minds – and for alot of people are their main goals – so seeing people achieve something they have been working towards for so long is inspiring. 

One of the highlights?
The uproar in the gym when Shujoy & Arjun got their first bar muscle ups after numerous attempts – they never gave up & the entire gym (probably the whole block too) knew when they reached their goal!

We knew 19.5 was going to be a doozy, and Dave Castro did not disappoint. The thruster and C2B/pull-up combination is a staple in CrossFit, and this workout was no exception. But, that didn’t stop our members from attacking it, just like they have been the last 4 weeks! We witnessed so many first chest-to-bar pull-ups & so many people who smashed their previous “max set”. Not to mention, the people that fought through the heavy thruster weight, again, for the first time ever or first time in a workout. 

And not to mention the volume in this workout! 20 minutes of thrusters and pull-ups is not only mentally daunting, but physically exhausting too! Regardless of the difficulty, every single athlete set personal goals and gave their FULL effort for the entire duration of the workout. So, GREAT JOB EVERYONE!

One of the highlights?
Seeing Ray Kwa complete 37 thrusters at a weight that he had never lifted before – talk about rising to the challenge!

While 19.5 marked the end of the CrossFit Open, the 6S Basement Battle League had one more challenge – 19.6 took athletes out of the gym and tested their teamwork in an escape room. The winning team would receive 100 points – enough to take the lead and win it all!

Buck Furpees, 6S Army & Trouble Unders compiled teams and battled it out against one another at Escape Manor. All teams gave it their best effort and while some were close to escaping, Buck Furpees was the only team to get out within the allotted time & thus, took the crown for CHAMPIONS of the 2019 Basement Battle League.

We wish we could add a short blurb about everyone who participated in the Open – each individual had so many bright spots and so many moments to be proud of. Overall, everyone who participated in the Open should feel proud and accomplished knowing they achieved some of their goals, gave each workout their best effort & came out a (mentally and physically) stronger athlete and person at the end of it all. 

As coaches we are beyond proud to see our members achieve their goals and do things they never thought they could. The Open/BBL was full of surprises, challenges & PRs, but most of all, it was full of community. The support, encouragement, positive attitudes & inclusiveness that were demonstrated throughout the entire 5 weeks are qualities that everyone should be very proud of. 

Thank you to everyone who participated this year, especially to the 4 team captains who went above and beyond to bring their team together & to encourage and support one another. We LOVED & APPRECIATED the team spirit – from funky shorts, to flags and tattoos, to new shirts – the swag was only a small part of the camaraderie and teamwork you all demonstrated. And for that, you should all be very proud!

Let’s all use the energy and confidence from the Open to keep chasing after current goals and/or set new ones! 

Up Next:
SUCCESS … and Beach WOD 😉

Don’t worry, the fun isn’t over yet!

We will be hosting a Post-Open/BBL Celebration to recognize and celebrate EVERYONE & all they overcame and achieved throughout the Open season. In addition to awarding the winning team their prize, we will be giving out other awards as well – so make sure you don’t miss it! The exact time and dates will be released shortly!

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