On January 11, Alchemy sent a three-man team to Miami, Florida to compete in one of the biggest CrossFit competitions in the world. The Wodapolooza Fitness Festival consists of three days and nine gruelling workouts. I was a member of that team as was Coach Kyle and member Alex.
Getting to the competition was challenging in itself. Neither of us had ever attempted to make the cut for the event — there’s an online qualifying competition — but we wanted to give it a shot and try out to compete in the Intermediate Men’s Team division.
Taking a chance paid off. The online qualifier went really well, and we ended up 10th out of the 36 teams that were selected to compete at the competition in Miami.
When we arrived in Miami we soon realized what a treat it was to be there. In fact, because we were late, we could see the flashing lights of the venue from blocks away. There were three different workout areas: a huge one right in the front that seated the most people called Flager, another at the back of the venue that overlooked the water called Bayside, and a smaller venue called Tina Hills. No matter what level you were competing at you got to compete in each area. The Bayside area overlooking the water was my favourite.
No matter where you were though you couldn’t help but feel energized by the music and the enthusiastic crowds. Between each stage there were vendors, food trucks and free seminars, too. There was a ton of free swag and samples being given out and you could distract yourself for hours between events.
We were lucky enough to know what the workouts were going to be before we got there so we had a general strategy for each one. But we soon learned though that no workout ever goes quite to plan, and often, we had to change things up on the fly.
On day 1, we had to complete four workouts (see the WoDs below). The first one was a run and the second was a sandbag carry. WoD one represented one of my first runs in five months, so let’s just say it wasn’t easy. Workout three o was a muscle up workout, where everyone found the rings a lot different then any thing we have ever tried. Workout four was a wall ball and t2b workout, which was our best of the day.
(WoD 2, a 1-mile sandbag carry, took place in the middle of the run)
2 rounds of:
24 synchro snatches
30 muscle ups
48 cals on assault bike
50 box jump overs
75 synchro t2b
120 wall balls
Day 1 had us working out from 6:00 am to 5:30 pm, and by the end we were sitting in third place.
Day 2 only had two workouts:
60 partner deadlifts,
60 db squat snatches
150 double unders
90ft body carry lunge
2 rounds 200m swim
20 sandbag cleans
150 syncro squats
These turned out to be the longest and the most difficult. They also turned out to be the most fun, especially the swim event. Swimming in the ocean and then coming out of the water to do some sandbag cleans and squats in front of a huge crowd was amazing.
When day 2 was done we’d dropped down to fourth place.
Day 3 came around and we were really excited because it included some of our best events.
The WoDs were:
9 hang cleans
9 front squat
9 s20h at 225
Then 6, 6, 6 reps of all three lifts at 245
Then 3, 3, 3 reps of all three lifts at 265
2 rope climbs
9 bar hop burpee
200m sled push
200m sled push
15 bar muscle up
200m sled push
Day 3 was really exciting because we managed to fight our way back to 2nd place, where we remained until the last event. In the end, we placed third but only missed out on second place by two points! Even so, all three of us were so happy with the result. Our goal was to make it to the podium, and that’s exactly what we did.
Reflecting back on Wodapalooza it was such a great time and event. I enjoyed it more then going to watch the CrossFit games last year. The event was more community based, you were able to interact with all the famous CrossFitters, and to be way closer to the action. Not to mention we got to spend four days in the Miami sun. I can’t wait to try to and make it back there next year!
Thanks to everyone who was able to come and support us in Miami. You made the weekend so much better, and I can’t believe how many people sent messages and emails wishing us luck as we competed. Our community is amazing and it made it that much sweeter to bring back a podium spot.
Broder McNeill is a coach and co-owner at Alchemy CrossFit.