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CrossFit Legends Outperform Their Younger Selves by Nearly 100% in a Decade

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

The CrossFit Games are renowned for pushing athletes to their absolute limits.

But what happens when those same athletes return a decade later, not as the young guns, but as seasoned veterans?

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Let’s see how, using the Amanda benchmark:

The Amanda Benchmark

The Amanda workout is a deceptively brutal mix of gymnastics and weightlifting:

  • 9 Ring Muscle-Ups
  • 9 Squat Snatches (135 lbs / 61 kg)
  • 7 Ring Muscle-Ups
  • 7 Squat Snatches (135 lbs / 61 kg)
  • 5 Ring Muscle-Ups
  • 5 Squat Snatches (135 lbs / 61 kg)

2010 Performances

In 2010, during the CrossFit Games, this workout exposed both the raw power and glaring weaknesses of early CrossFit competitors. Chris Spealler blazed through Amanda with a winning time of 3:29. Rich Froning, already a dominant force, clocked in at a respectable 3:47.

But it was Jason Khalipa’s performance that stole the show, though not for the reasons he might have hoped. After a grueling battle with the ring muscle-ups, Khalipa faced the snatches. Miss after miss piled up, and in a now-infamous moment, he nearly took out a cameraman with the barbell. It took him a painstaking 6:01 to finish.

See his performance below:

A Decade of Dedication

Fast forward nine years to the 2019 Rogue Invitational. Spealler, Froning, and Khalipa returned, not as young bucks, but as seasoned Legends. The results were astounding. Froning took the win at 2:52, beating his 2010 time by over a minute. Spealler followed closely at 3:04, still incredibly fast.

But it was Khalipa who made jaws drop. His 2019 performance was a masterclass in efficiency. No more flailing snatches, just smooth power and precision. His time? 3:08 – nearly halving his time from nine years prior.

See below:

Why the Dramatic Improvement?

The evolution of these athletes highlights key principles of CrossFit:

  • Measurability: CrossFit’s focus on quantifiable results lets athletes track progress over long periods, motivating them to keep improving.
  • Experience: Years of training refine technique, making movements more efficient and less prone to error, as in Khalipa’s case.
  • Mental Fortitude: CrossFit veterans have faced countless challenges, building mental toughness that translates to unwavering focus during competition.
  • Community: The camaraderie and shared purpose of the CrossFit community foster constant growth and a refusal to settle for mediocrity.

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