A total of 135 CrossFit athletes competed at the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa Throwdown in Sandton, Johannesburg with 23 judges on the competition floor counting and checking that all repetitions and movement standards are strictly adhered to.
The Arnold Classic Africa Throwdown featured two events at the weekend. The Throwdown, in CrossFit terms, is a competition specifically designed to test a CrossFitter’s functional fitness. An individual competition was held on Saturday, 28 May which was followed by a team event on Sunday, 29 May.
The individual event tested 35 individual athletes over four workouts which included barbell movements such as squat cleans, thrusters and front squats (advanced at 50kg for men and 35kg for ladies and beginner level at 35kg for men and 20kg for ladies). It also consisted of gymnastic movements such as toes to bar and pull-ups for the advanced athletes and push-ups and v-ups for CrossFit rookies. Sunday saw 48 teams consisting of 3 athletes competing. Their workouts included variations of benchmark CrossFit workouts named Cindy, DT, Kalsu and Zeus.
Winners of The Throwdown were determined by allocating points based on the the number of repetitions completed in every workout.The individual/team with the most repetitions would be placed first and allocated one point, second place would receive two points etc.
The individual/team with the lowest number of points at the end of the day was declared the winner. In this way the best performers on the day are crowned the winners. Individual winners in the advanced category (Rx) were: Matthew Smith, Bruno Calha and Bryan Szoke in the male category and female winners were Nikita-Jenna Scott, Angela Watson and Roxanne Macdonald.
Individual winners in the beginner category (scaled) were: Frikkie Kruger and Evan Staley (males) and Yolande Deacon, Aileen Dhooge and Anet Kruger (females).
Team winners in the advanced category (Rx) were: CrossFit 152 (from CrossFit 152). Team winners in the beginner category (scaled) were: Couplet and a Third Wheel (from CrossFit Platinum).
CrossFit is a fitness program originally created by Greg Gassman which is best described as constantly varied functional movements performed at a relatively high intensity level. It offers workouts that include gymnastic-style movements such as handstands and pull-ups along with weightlifting, burpees, running and jumping, rowing and more.
For many CrossFitters who participated in the Arnold Classic Africa the sport has become a way of life. The 17-year-old Shuaib Booley, the youngest athlete who competed at the Arnold Classic Africa Throwdown, started doing CrossFit two years ago.
“I have always participated in sports and have my black belt in Kyokushin Karate,” says Shuaib.
“My parents became involved back in 2010 as a way of improving their general health and fitness – so I was exposed to it from an early age.”
Shuaib soon followed his parents’ example after he witnessed the positive impact CrossFit had on their lives. He joined a kids program and graduated to a more advanced class.
All functional movements in CrossFit can be scaled to an athlete’s individual level of fitness and are suitable for different people – from elite athletes fine-tuning their fitness for competition and endurance athletes preparing for events to people who are just trying to keep fit.
“I love the adrenaline rush that accompanies a Workout Of the Day (WOD) and found that CrossFit has greatly improved my overall fitness to perform better in karate and other school sports,” says Shuaib.
Anyone can join a CrossFit class or Box regardless of their fitness level. Reputable Boxes have beginner or on-ramp programs that will first assess fitness levels and teach the mechanics of the basic functional movements before individuals graduate to mainstream classes. A reputable CrossFit Box will have suitably qualified trainers and many CrossFit Boxes also now have kids programs, making CrossFit a family affair. Most beginner/on-ramp programs start with classes twice a week.Membership options include either a thrice a week or unlimited option.Like any form of training a person will get out of it what they put in as performance is directly linked to personal goals. Some individuals do CrossFit once or twice a week to supplement other training or to get fit while elite CrossFitters train up to six times a week, two to three times per day.
For complete Throwdown results, check here.
Photography supplied by Zara Rolfe