With a tag line that reads, “Games for the rest of us”, one can readily assume what the goal of the Festivus Games is. Log on to their website (festivusgames.com), and it couldn’t be more clear:

“A FUNCTIONAL FITNESS COMPETITION DESIGNED FOR NOVICE AND INTERMEDIATE ATHLETES ONLY. NO FIRE-BREATHER TYPES ALLOWED.”

So there you have it. Founded in 2011,the Festivus Games were designed specifically for Novice and Intermediate  athletes, and feature events requiring no scaling of any kind.

Festivus Games is about capacity more than high degree of skill. Everyone can row…just how fast? Everyone can deadlift…just how much? The Novice class is perfect for your first functional-fitness competition. The Intermediate class will challenge all but the most elite athletes.

But that isn’t the only unique aspect of the competition. The Festivus Games aren’t hosted in one dedicated location—but across multiple venues in the United States and internationally. The next Festivus Games will take place in at least 100 different gyms across at least 47 different states—all on the same day.

The Festivus Games staff will program the events and provide a worldwide scoring system. Any gym that registers must first be approved to host a competition.

All the athletes need to do is determine whether they are a Novice or Intermediate  athlete, register for the competition, and attend a host gym on the day of the Festivus Games and compete!

While making the distinction between a Novice and Intermediate athlete is tricky, the Festivus Games provide guidelines to make it easier:

If at least four of these six guidelines are true for you then we suggest you go Novice. Otherwise we suggest you go Intermediate.

  • Unassisted pull ups less than 5/2 (Male/Female)
  • 1-rep max deadlift is less than 300/225 (Male/Female)
  • Mile run is over 10 minutes
  • 2000-meter row is over 8 minutes (Male) or 9 minutes (Female)
  • You have no clue what your Fran time is
  • You’ve been CrossFitting less than six months

Just as important for the organizers of the Games is letting the ‘firebreather’ athletes know that this competition isn’t for them:

This competition is designed for athletes who are new to competitions. The goal is to promote a friendly, yet competitive environment for those who wish to challenge themselves. This is not designed for fire-breather level athletes. You are over qualified for The Festivus Games if you have benchmarks equal to or better than:

  • 5:00 min Fran
  • 1-rep max deadlift 500/300 (Male/Female)
  • 4:00 min Grace
  • 275/185 C+J
  • 25:00 Kelly
  • 15+ rounds of Cindy
  • 2000-meter row less than 6:30-minutes (Male) 7:30-minutes (Female)

The Festivus Games are held twice per year, and the next competition is April 18th. Though start times may differ, the idea is for Novice and Intermediate athletes from across the country to compete ‘together’ on the same day, in this one-day event. Host gyms will be able to enter scores onto the Festivus worldwide scoring system as they happen so athletes can measure their performances against others competing in the same workouts. At the conclusion of the day’s festivities, host gyms will award prizes for the top 3 finishers in each division. To clarify, this means the top 3 finishers per host gym—not just worldwide.

The Festivus Games expect more than 9,000 athletes to compete on April 18th, and they’ve already released the first three events so you can start preparing now!

For more information, locations and/or to register for the Festivus Games, visit festivusgames.com

WOD 1: ROW SO HARD
For Time:
Row 1K
50 Wall Ball
Score = Time
WOD 1 standards info:
Athletes may choose any damper setting.
Judges set the rower to count down from 1K.
There is a 10 minute time cap for WOD 1.
Add 1 second for every unfinished Wall Ball Rep.
Wall Ball Weights and Heights:
Intermediate Males: 20 lbs to a 10 foot target
Intermediate Females: 14 lbs to a 9 foot target
Novice Males: 14 lbs to a 9 foot target
Novice Females: 10 lbs to a 9 foot target

WOD 2: QUAD BUSTER
With a running clock:
0-2:00: Max Front Squats in 2 Minutes
(135/95/95/65) (Int Male/Int Female/Novice Male/Novice Female)
2:01-3:59: Rest
4:00-10:00: AMRAP 6 Minutes
6 Power Clean (135/95/95/65) (Int Male/Int Female/Novice Male/Novice Female)
6 Bar Over Burpees
There are 2 scores for this WOD
Score 1 = Reps of Front Squats
Score 2 = Reps in the 6 Minute AMRAP
WOD 2 standards info:
Front Squats
Weight starts on the ground
No racks may be used
Reps do not have to be unbroken
Bar Over Burpees
Athletes do not have to jump over the bar.
Chest must touch the ground on each rep.

WOD 3: 5 & 15
AMRAP 5 Minutes
5 Push Press (115/75/75/45)(Int Male/Int Female/Novice Male/Novice Female)
15 Box Jumps (20″)
Rest 1 Minute
Max Double-Unders in 1 minute (Int Male/Int Female)
Max Singles in 1 minute (Nov Male/Nov Female)
No substitutions.
There are 2 scores for this WOD
Score 1 = Reps in the 5 Minute AMRAP
Score 2 = Reps of Double Unders (Intermediate ) or Single Unders (Novice)
WOD 3 standards info:
The WOD starts with the weight on the ground.
Athletes may step up onto the box without jumping.
Hips must be open with both feet on the box for a good rep.

On April 18th, 2015 9,000+ Novice and Intermediate athletes will compete worldwide, all on the same day, in this one-day event. Every athlete will receive a custom shirt.the top three in each division at each host will receive a custom trophy. Registration is open now!

William Imbo
William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

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