“There are athletes at this level... that don’t have a strong desire to learn. They’re not ever going to be competitive with the likes of a Mat Fraser.” -Chris Hinshaw
The 2020 CrossFit Games: What Makes a Winner?
Every competitor at the 2020 CrossFit Games Finals demonstrated extreme physical fitness and unparalleled mental toughness. So what set the leaders apart?
In Power Monkey Podcast Episode 44, coaches Dave Durante, Chad Vaughn and Chris Hinshaw get to the core of the technical differences that determined the winners in each event. As three top experts in their respective fields, they highlight the variations in each athlete’s approach and preparation, and explain how this impacted their overall performance.
From squat depths to bar muscle-up swing styles, the coaches pinpoint how the athletes’ technique determined their endurance, stability, and adaptability in each event. In the following podcast excerpt, they discuss what Brooke Wells and Mat Fraser did differently in the handstand sprint that made them so successful:
There were a couple of things that really stood out to me in terms of the technique that was used ... The open shoulder angle that Brooke [Wells] and [Mat] Fraser are doing allow for their entire body to be moving forward in the direction that they’re trying to travel so it creates more efficiency. It takes some of the pressure off the anterior delt, it puts more into the upper back, the traps, and the rear delt. Which means they have more muscles incorporated when they’re doing the handstand walk. It spreads the load. This is an approach that allows them to stay in the moment for a much longer period of time. It’s something that we want to use.
As a weightlifting coach, it’s no surprise to me that the two athletes who had the best shoulder angle [with the bar overhead], meaning that they probably have the best upper body mobility, were able to win that ... From a mobility standpoint, they don’t just have sufficient mobility to get in a handstand and hold a completely open shoulder angle, they have excess range of motion.
Hear what the coaches have to say about the design of each event, and find out what rules they see changing in future CrossFit Games to encourage optimal technique.