Reebok CrossFit Games 2013 workout 13.5 photos from CrossFit Legacy

CrossFit 13.5 699This was the last week for the athletes at CrossFit Legacy to qualify for the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. Here’s the photo set from the workout.

Reebok CrossFit Open 13.5 at CrossFit Legacy

CrossFit pull up

The regional qualifying round of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games is complete. The organizers of the CrossFit games wanted them to go out with a bang, so they saved what could be considered the most intense workout for last. Clocking in at 4 minutes, the 13.5 workout gave the athletes the shortest workout of the Open, which means it was probably be the most physically intense one too. As a general rule, the shorter the workout, the more intense it will be. Talking about the short time span, William Christian commented, “It’s…tricky. You can do anything for 4 minutes, but you have to be smart about it… For me, it was more of a mental challenge.”, referring to the intensity and duration of the exercises. The 13.5 CrossFit workout also had a twist that no previous workout offered.  It rewarded the fittest athletes with an additional “Bonus Round” of punishing workout time if they exceeded a preset number of reps.

CrossFit pull upThe 13.5 CrossFit Workout consisted of:
4 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
15 Thrusters (100lbs for men, 65lbs for women)
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
*4 minute bonus for every 90 reps

As with the 13.4 workout, the athletes had to use a combination of free weights and pull-up type exercises. Comparing the two workouts, Brian Yoak said, “In difficulty it felt similar to to 13.4, in that it hit you fast”. To allow quick access to the overhead bars, the athletes are packed into a tight bunch of raw muscle power and intense, powerful motion that has to be seen to understand how impressive it really is. The close proximity of so many powerful bodies all performing identical movements is awe-inspiring.

CrossFit thrusterA thruster is a muscle-draining exercise that combines squats and a barbell. An athlete must squat down, lift the barbell off the floor, squat with the barbell on their chest, then stand and lift the barbell over their head. Performing a thruster during competition is quite different than lifting some weights in your garage or even just to warm up. There’s the pressure of completing enough reps to move on to the next step with the need to conserve enough strength to go back to the barbell and pound out another set afterward with no rest in between. “The bar felt heavier than 100lbs after the previous 60 reps, being able to control breathing while moving the bar was key”, commented Yoak.

“The extra capacity it takes for chest to bar increases breathing and if you don’t remain consistent in your movements and know how to breath when working as hard as you can, the thrusters would be tons more difficult.” – Brian Yoak

After the required number of thrusters are completed, the CrossFit Legacy athletes run to the pull-up bar and throw themselves into chest-to-bars. These are like chin-ups on steroids. “The hardest part was trying to maintain a good pace during the chest to bar”, commented CrossFit athlete William Christian. An athlete must lift themselves up high enough so their chest comes in contact with the bar they’re holding onto. The vertical lift they are required to perform is extraordinary with many athletes’ feet coming over 3′ off the ground with every rep. CrossFit athletes try not to simply do a chin-up type motion, but to complete a butterfly movement where they swing their entire body all the way back and all the way forward as if on a trapeze. This is a very efficient movement and allows for a high number of reps in a short period of time as long as a rhythm is able to be maintained, but it’s immensely tiring and quite difficult to continue rep after rep.

CrossFit thruster

The view from the bonus round

The athletes kept moving back and forth between thrusters and chin-to-bars until the 4 minute mark was hit. That is, unless. they were able to complete 90 reps (3 rounds of each exercise)  in the 4 minute span, in which case they got to continue the workout for another 4 minutes in a bonus round. The bonus round was an additional set of reps that pushed an athlete to the brink of their physical and mental endurance. CrossFit 13.5 098Many athletes really felt the burn set in around the 70-80 rep mark. Christian commented, “I felt like I was spent when I got to 70 (reps)”. The thought of another 4 minutes is a motivator but also a bit of a relief. Brian Yoak didn’t make the bonus round, but summed it up well, “I was disappointed i didn’t make it past 4 min, but the fear of the pain also made it a relief.” Typically, there was only one athlete from a heat that would be able to make the bonus round, and that athlete had the entire gym as a cheering section. All eyes were focused on that lone athlete throwing everything they had against the workout and never giving in. This test of the athlete’s mettle was rewarded by the satisfaction of knowing that they are among the most elite athletes in CrossFit and the additional reward of accruing additional points toward the CrossFit Regional score, propelling them further ahead in the qualifying round.

CrossFit pull up

I workout at CrossFit legacy because of the motivation. I see different people hitting different goals and getting an incredible amount of support. – William Christian

With the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Open qualifying round drawing to a close, CrossFit Legacy is able to look back with pride at it’s athlete’s hard work and effort. cross the gym, the scores were even higher than the 2012 CrossFit Games and the number of athletes competing was higher as well. Most athletes bested their 2012 scores considerably and have every confidence that the 2014 CrossFit Games will be an even higher mark in their personal best. Brian Yoak, CrossFit Legacy owner, is immensely proud of his athletes. Through their hard work and dedication combined with his drive to forge the fittest athletes, CrossFit Legacy sets itself apart from every gym in northeast Ohio, and cements it’s place as one of the premiere CrossFit gyms in the country.

Photo set from the 13.4 workout at CrossFit Legacy

CrossFit 13.4 370Here’s the link to the photos taken at the 13.4 workout at CrossFit Legacy last Saturday.

If you were competing and don’t see your photo here, it’s because I wasn’t able to find a good angle to photograph you during your workout. It’s my goal to stay out of the athlete’s way during their workout to avoid distracting them or risking an injury.

If you’re a CrossFit athlete, please feel free to download any of the images from Flickr and use them on your blog, social media, to make prints for yourself, etc. All the images are licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Photo Set from the 13.3 CrossFit Games Workout at CrossFit Legacy

Here’s the link to the photos taken at the 13.3 workout at CrossFit Legacy last Saturday.

If you were competing and don’t see your photo here, it’s because I wasn’t able to find a good angle to photograph you during your workout. It’s my goal to stay out of the athlete’s way during their workout to avoid distracting them or risking an injury.

If you’re a CrossFit athlete, please feel free to download any of the images from Flickr and use them on your blog, social media, to make prints for yourself, etc. All the images are licensed under a Creative Commons license.

CrossFit Legacy Week 3 Workout for the Reebok CrossFit Games 2013

A completed muscle-up

A completed muscle-up

The organizers of the CrossFit Games really know how to test an athlete. The third workout (13.3) for the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games was a test of an athlete’s mental toughness as well as their physical fitness.

There was no heavy barbell to press and no massive kettle bell to swing. This workout was all about seemingly endless repetition and the mental grit to keep going long after the muscles started burning and fatigue set in. The heaviest weight the athletes were required to lift was their own body and a medicine ball.

The 13.3 workout is timed at 12 minutes and consisted of:
150 Wall Balls (14lbs for women, 20lbs for men)
90 Double-Unders
30 Muscle-Ups

To complete one wall-ball, an athlete is given a medicine ball according to gender and must throw it against a wall to a specified height, men at 10′, and women at 9′.

Tossing a 20lb ball 10' high 150 times

Tossing a 20lb ball 10′ high 150 times

To throw the ball and hit the mark a few times is relatively easy and many athletes do it as a warm up exercise before their WOD (workout of the day). But to have to complete 150 wall balls is a totally different story. The mental grit of an athlete is tried as the count slowly creeps up over a long period. Most athletes threw the ball for over 7 or 8 minutes continuously, with some preferring the longer but lighter wall-ball work over the previous week’s heavy barbell work. For some, the heavy barbell work of the 13.2 workout was a wall that their muscles couldn’t break down no matter how much mental grit and drive. For others, barbell workouts are preferred over the grueling work of wall-balls. “I like the instant gratification a heavy barbell movement. Success or failure, the outcome is immediate. Long drawn out metabolic movements like 150 wall balls takes more mental strategy” – Leah Sommers

Double-unders require greater vertical leap and good timing

Double-unders require greater vertical leap and good timing

After the wall balls are completed the athlete moves on to the double-unders. This might look like simply skipping rope, but it isn’t. In order to complete a double-under, an athlete must have the rope pass under their feet twice during a single jump. This requires both prefect timing and a tall vertical jump. Many athletes are mentally exhausted by the time the wall-balls are completed, but they must clear their heads of the fatigue and focus their minds on timing their jumps perfectly and finding a rhythm or they won’t complete enough double-unders to progress to the next phase of the workout. Talking about double-unders, an athlete describes how it feels to move to them after doing 150 wall-balls, “I considered doing the DU’s (Double-unders) a privilege. meaning I was strong enough to get past the WB’s (wall-balls)…they were sort of a victory lap for me”. Double unders are very hard on their own, but especially after the punishment received at the wall ball. “Once you get the rhythm its not bad… but when your hips, thighs and shoulders are on fire after 150 WB’s (wall-balls) it sucks”

A hard-won, and textbook perfect muscle-up

A hard-won, and textbook perfect muscle-up

If an athlete is able to complete both the 150 wall-balls and the 90 double-unders, they then get to move on to one of the most challenging routines in CrossFit – a muscle-up. To complete a muscle-up, an athlete must grab a set of rings above their head and pull themselves up until they achieve full extension in their arms and lock their elbows. It’s an incredible feat of strength and is amazing to watch in person. The sheer effort required to do one-muscle up by itself is immense, but doing one after the previous workout seems

“I don’t pay this much money for a gym, I pay it for the training…I go to be trained by, and along side the best”

nearly impossible, however, some CrossFit Legacy athletes complete one or more within the 12 minute time limit. It’s a testament to their mental toughness, physical strength, drive to exceed, and coaching by gym owner Brian Yoak.

When talking to the athletes at CrossFit Legacy, every athlete I’ve spoken with has talked very highly about Brian Yoak’s coaching at the gym. A number of athletes have come from other CrossFit gyms to train at CrossFit Legacy specifically because of Brian’s drive and ambition to build the most elite athletes. Nobody at CrossFit Legacy is there to hang at the gym and pose. CrossFit Legacy was built with the goal to help people transform themselves into the fit, strong, confident person they always wanted to be.

Photos of the 13.2 Reebok CrossFit Games workout at CrossFit Legacy

CrossFit 13.2 148Here’s the complete set of 100 photos from the 13.2 workout at CrossFit Legacy. There’s too many to upload to this blog, so I created a set of Flickr.

Here’s the link:

Feel free browse the set and any of my Flickr photos!




Week 2 of the Reebok CrossFit Open qualifiers at CrossFit Legacy

As the clock neared the start of the second week of qualifying for the CrossFit Open (13.2), the atmosphere inside CrossFit Legacy was buzzing with nervous excitement. Athletes were busy stretching and massaging muscles, taping wrists and fingers, and walking out the nervous energy. There was no less excitement in the air than there is in an NBA locker room before a game or in the pits of a NASCAR race before the green flag drops. These elite athletes have trained for months to compete in the Open, and they take it seriously.

One athlete I talked with, a former SWAT Team member on the Akron Police Department, compared getting ready to compete in a CrossFit qualifier to getting geared up and armed right before jumping out of a SWAT van and going into a raid. “The feeling in your stomach is the same feeling. You get butterflies and your head buzzes.”

"I like to push myself, and that's exactly what CrossFit does"

“I like to push myself, and that’s exactly what CrossFit does” – Jessica Whitehead

CrossFit Legacy athlete Jessica Whitehead said “I always get butterflies when it’s nearing my turn. I’m anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time”. The intensity of the workouts they are facing along with the drive to be the best puts CrossFit Legacy athletes a step ahead of most other gyms.

Announced on Wednesday, this week’s workout (13.2) consisted of three distinct steps to be repeated as many times as possible over a period of 10 minutes. Men were given barbells weighing 115LBS, and women were given barbells weighing 75LBS. They were required to lift the weights over their head 5 times, then put the barbell on the ground. The athlete had to do 10 deadlifts in a row with the same barbell. A deadlift is when an athlete lifts a barbell from the ground to a standing position with the weight at waist level, then places it back on the ground without dropping it. Thirdly the athlete had to do 15 box jumps or steps, which is when the athlete jumps or steps up and down from a box 24″ tall. The individual is scored based on how many times they could work their way through the workout in a 10 minute time span.

A box jump being perfectly executed

A box jump being perfectly executed

From all accounts, the box jump was the most difficult part of the 13.2 workout.  When asked about which part of the workout she found most challenging, Jessica Whitehead said “The box jump was the most difficult part, they took the air right out of you. I felt my legs already getting fatigued on the second round of box jumps.”

This workout differed from last week’s (13.1) in a number of ways. Firstly, this was more of an endurance test. The athlete had to pace themselves carefully from the start. One of the challenges with this specific workout was to start the workout at pace that was fast enough to complete a high number of steps, but make sure they have enough gas in the tank at the end of the workout as to not hit the wall. The 13.2 workout also tended to wear down an athlete by requiring stamina as much as strength. The 13.1 workout was heavier on brute strength. The officials for the CrossFit Open have made sure to design workouts that will level the playing field across all athletes, and not just favor ones with more strength or ones with higher stamina.

Pushing an athlete to their fullest potential

With over 20 athletes competing at Saturday morning’s qualifier, the gym was filled to capacity with athletes and supporting friends and family. Gym owner Brian Yoak started the morning off at 9:15 by going over the week 2 (13.2) workout and explaining what will be and won’t be allowed. He then went over which athletes will be competing in each of the 6 heats scheduled for that morning. When the starting time arrived, Brian hit the throbbing music on the gym’s stereo and started the bright red LED 10 minute timer on the back wall. The first heat had only 2 athletes competing so the rest of the athletes got a good look at what was ahead of them. Most athletes began the workout with a snap to their lifts and by jumping up on each box jump, but by the 2-minute mark when muscles begin to burn and knees begin to weaken, many of them opt for a quick step up on to the box. When the 10-minute mark is approaching and the athletes have spent much of their fuel, Brian tirelessly goes from athlete to athlete exhorting and encouraging each one of them to move faster and give it their all.

Talking to the athletes, they describe such a focus that they block out nearly everything except for their coach’s words.

Brian Yoak reaching deep

Brian Yoak reaching deep

“The end of the workout is when you need the most encouragement. It feels great to hear your fellow athletes screaming your name or telling you to pick up the bar – it’s the extra push you need to finish strong”.

CrossFit Legacy prides itself in building athletes that are determined to be the best the can possibly be. Even other CrossFit gyms realize the intensity that CrossFit Legacy athletes bring to the table. However, unlike most typical gyms where everything is about the self, CrossFit Legacy athletes compete as a team and are constantly praising and encouraging each other and helping one another to be the very best they can be. At no time is any condescending or snobbish attitude present. The newest and most green athlete is praised and cheered as loudly and vigorously as the gym owner himself is. In the last heat of the day, Brian Yoak turned in his qualification for the week and went home just a tired as all the other athletes to rest until next week’s (13.3) workout.

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CrossFit Legacy’s Week One Qualifiers for the Reebok CrossFit Games 2013

Week one is in the books.CrossFit qualifiers 2013 With over 50 athletes from CrossFit Legacy attempting to qualify for the CrossFit Regionals, Brian Yoak and his gym were well represented in the national leaderboards. Qualifying began on Thursday, 3/7 and ran until Sunday, 3/10. This allows every athlete time to get their workout in the books no matter what their job schedule requirements are.

Reebok CrossFit Games 2013Week 1’s workout was timed at 17 minutes and required the following:
40 Burpees
30 Snatch, 75 / 45 lbs
30 Burpees
30 Snatch, 135 / 75 lbs
20 Burpees
30 Snatch, 165 / 100 lbs
10 burpees
Max rep Snatch, 210 / 120 lbs

Burpee step one: Perform a push-up.

Burpee step one: Perform a push-up.

Burpee step two: Jump and touch an object 6" above your reach.

Burpee step two: Jump and touch an object 6″ above your reach.

A burpee, for those not familiar with the term is where an athlete performs a push-up, then gets to their feet and jumps up to touch a target 6″ higher than their standing reach.

A snatch properly executed.

A snatch properly executed.

A snatch is when an athlete lifts a barbell over their head and displays control with elbows and knees locked. The two different weights for the snatches are for men and women, respectively.

Up to 6 CrossFit Legacy athletes attempt to qualify at the same time, so there’s a tremendous amount of energy and movement in the gym. Each athlete has a fellow athlete judging them by ensuring that every portion of the workout is performed correctly and by counting down the number of items left to be completed for each step in the workout.

The gym is a team and it shows.

Qualifying for the CrossFit Games is a team effort. Nobody does it alone.

Qualifying for the CrossFit Games is a team effort. Nobody does it alone.

Everybody in the gym cheers for the athletes and shouts encouragement to them as they work their way through the routine. The judges, while being strict about adherence to the rules, act as the athlete’s own coach and motivational support. Brian Yoak, owner of CrossFit Legacy, constantly walks from athlete to athlete motivating them and critiquing their workout, helping them get every ounce of efficiency from their movements. There were no injuries to any athletes, even with the high intensity of the workout.

Maximum Effort

Maximum Effort

After the workout, each athlete is congratulated no matter the outcome. Their qualification attempts are a testament to their unrelenting commitment to fitness and the spirit of competition. Week 2’s workout, 13.2, gets released on Wednesday, live in NYC at 8pm EST at CrossFit gyms from around the world will be competing to send athletes to the CrossFit Regionals in their respective areas. Brian feels confident that CrossFit Legacy will be well represented in 2013 at the CrossFit Regionals in Columbus.

CrossFit Legacy’s results after week 1 are:

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CrossFit Legacy Week 1 Standings

First name Last name Week 1 score Week 2 score Week 3 score Week 4 score Week 5 score Final score
Nathan Robinson 127 127
Mike Anthony 100 100
Jacob Fatica 125 125
Kristopher Anderson 150 150
Frank Sanchez III 100 100
Leah Sommer 150 150
Brandon Nolin 177 177
Holly Sims 152 152
Brandon Nolin 167 167
Jim Morgenstern 150 150
Brian French 157 157
Aaron Litten 100 100
Dana Pew 123 123
Mike Anthony 100 100
Rachel Heflen 157 157
Nick Slabaugh 40 40
Jessica Whitehead 150 150
Trevor Alexis 119 119
Kelli Barnes 151 151
Aubrey Smith 106 106
Terry Howard 156 156
Carrie Miller 150 150
Jarett Sims 151 151
Brian Yoak 151 151
Chris Crawford 151 151
Jennifer Sevald 136 136
Jane Hammett Hays 100 100
Rod Criss 112 112
Adam Clark 107 107
Tim Etter 100 100
Sara Lynn 150 150
Josh Hance 111 111
Eric Pilla 175 175
Shawn Skinner 150 150
Brett Talcott 156 156
Brian French 148 148
Chris Beese 110 110
Becky Kucera 151 151
Lauren Birmingham 157 157
Holly Sims 150 150
Allie Sholley 174 174
Susan Frerichs 107 107
Donna Testa 114 114
Brian Frerichs 150 150
Rosa Caiazza 123 123
William Christian 150 150
Peter Barr 122 122

The Start of the Reebok CrossFit Games 2013

Brian Yoak, owner CrossFit Legacy

CFG2013_OpenBadge_106x94_0I’m proud to announce that Ultra Mega Photography has partnered with CrossFit Legacy in Barberton, OH to provide coverage of it’s athletes and their efforts at the Reebok CrossFit Games 2013. There will be weekly updates on the progress of the athletes and their attempts to qualify for the CrossFit Games regional to be held in Columbus, OH from June 7th to 9th. The CrossFit Games themselves will be held from July 26th-28th in Carson, CA.

CrossFit Legacy is one of northeast Ohio’s premiere gyms. It was Summit County’s first CroffFit affiliate and is founded on the principals of hard work and dedication to improving ones self through real-world exercise and determination. CrossFit is a different type of gym, focused on constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. Traditionally, when a person joins a gym they are given a key card, and turned loose into a building full of intimidating machines the look like something from a cyberpunk film, or rows upon rows of treadmills where people walk like robots lost in their iPods and videos. Things are different at CrossFit Legacy. There is a genuine comradery between each of the athletes with nobody putting off a condescending attitude, no matter how fit.

Brian Yoak, owner and founder of CrossFit Legacy, has been involved with fitness since his youth. He graduated from Malone University with a degree in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training, where he was an All-American baseball player. Brian spent 7 years as an athletic trainer at Chippewa High School, in Doylestown, Ohio and is certified in programs such as Olympic Weight Lifting and CrossFit Kids programs.

This isn’t Brian’s or CrossFit Legacy’s first run at the CrossFit Games. He and his gym have sent three elite athletes and qualified 2 regional teams in 2011 and 2012 to compete in The CrossFit Regionals in past years. Brian has also functioned in administrative positions for Rogue Fitness, and CrossFit Inc., including event director, judging director, competition director, and Regional director at CrossFit Regional events in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

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Website shoot for CrossFit Legacy

I was hired to shoot photos for to use on their new website. I did the photo shoot over a period of four weeks to get a large number of different clients in the shots and different workouts.
CrossFit Legacy has large doors that face the east, so in the morning I tried to make the earliest workouts to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine streaming in. This allowed me to work without a flash and allowed for some very dramatic photos with a lot of contrast.
The athletes there were very understanding of the necessity to be open and not shy of a camera in their workout space. The intensity at a CrossFit gym is so high, that I don’t think they noticed me anyway. I tried to respect their space and their efforts and not impose into their zone.

I’ll post photos from the other shoots there, as each photo shoot was different and unique.

I am available for hire to shoot corporate events such as 5k runs, team-building exercises, team challenges, athletic competitions, and tournaments.

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