By Brad Fauber
Stephanie Brennan, of Purcellville, has qualified for the Masters (age 40-44) division of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games in California that will take place later this month, and two Winchester businesses are making sure she gets there.
Shenandoah CrossFit and Evolution Human Performance and Rehabilitation -- the two places where Brennan trains and performs her rehab -- have teamed up alongside Body Renew Fitness and Family Sports Center to organize a fitness competition as a fundraising event. All of the proceeds from the competition, which takes place this morning at Body Renew's Sportsplex building in Winchester, will go towards funding Brennan's trip.
The CrossFit Games will be held in Carson, California, during the week of July 21-27, said Evolution Human Performance and Rehabilitation co-owner Scott Dolly, and features athletes from all over the world.
"It's pretty special that we have a local athlete that actually made the CrossFit Games. The top 20 athletes in the world are selected to go to the games," Dolly said Friday.
"The whole event [at the Sportsplex today] is really just in support of her. She's got to fly out there to California, stay out there for a week and compete. ... We really organized this event between the two businesses. We marketed it as, 'Hey guys, come pay for this event and all the money is going to her to help support her to get out there and do the competition.'"
This morning's competition will begin around 8:30 a.m. and will consist of 86 participants that comprise 43 two-person teams, Dolly said. He added that this is the first time that Evolution has teamed up with Shenandoah CrossFit to host such an event.
Kyle Millinger, a coach at Shenandoah CrossFit, said he and two other coaches determined the structure for today's competition, which will consist of three separate workout groups that teams will compete in throughout the day.
Millinger added that the competition will consist of four divisions -- each male/male or female/female team will be placed in the "RX" division (where competitors must use the prescribed weight and standards for each movement in a workout group) or the "scaled" division (same movements as RX but with less weight).
The first group of workouts, according to Millinger, will test an athlete's speed and will require teams to perform a series of box jumps and overhead squats using low weight in a tag-team format. Teammates will take turns completing the required number of repetitions during the eight-minute time limit, with teams competing to see who can perform the most combined reps.
In the second group, the workouts will test competitors' strength, Millinger said. The 10-minute round will require athletes to pull a weighted sled 45 feet up and 45 feet back at the top of each minute while performing power cleans in between.
The final workout group, the endurance round, will consist of what Millinger referred to as a "chipper." Competitors will begin the seven-minute round by performing 100 double jumps with a jump rope before moving consecutively on to kettlebell swings, deadlifts and shoulder-to-overhead lifts. Millinger said that once an athlete transitions through those four movements, they must do burpees until the time limit expires. The winner of the third workout is determined by whichever team performs the most burpees, Millinger said.
CrossFit, Inc. officially began with the company's debut in 2000, although the training philosophy has roots that date back to the 1970s. The CrossFit program, which combines elements of interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics and other exercises, has grown increasingly popular since its introduction.
"The level of fitness as it goes is definitely moving more towards CrossFit functional-type training and less towards bi's and tri's, chest and back like your typical Gold's Gym kind of training," Dolly said. "Now it's really turning into competitive high-end athletes that train functional exercises. There really is a shift that's happening in how athletes train."
Registration for today's competition closed on Thursday, but spectator tickets will be available for those interested in observing the event. Millinger said tickets cost $5, although spectators will have the option of performing one burpee per year of their age to get into the event for free. Children under 12 years old get in free but must perform the necessary amount of burpees to gain entry, Millinger said.
"We will I.D.," Millinger said good-naturedly.
"This thing really is a fundraising event," Dolly said, "so if there are local athletes in the area that are really proud of somebody in their area really achieving something at a high level, this is something really cool to come buy a ticket towards."
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org