One of our CF732 Teams pre-comp. Jared, Jay, Yvette and Gina.

This past Saturday, my box (CrossFit732) sent two teams to Monmouth CrossFit’s Battle of the Boxes. Boxes from all over Monmouth County, NJ sent teams down to compete in this day long fight for bragging rights. There were 3 WODs that each team participated in and then one final WOD for the top 5 Teams. Let’s break it down.

42 Teams showed up to battle it out.
Each team consisted of 4 members: 2 male and 2 female.
Scaled and Rx went simultaneously.

Wait, what?

Yup. You read that right. It was actually one of the more interesting parts about the way the event was set up. Spectators didn’t have to sit through multiple divisions, boxes didn’t have to make separate scaled/Rx teams or make scaled people feel left out, and the athletes didn’t have to sit around while other divisions went through the workouts. A recent competition I went to, it even seemed like the scaled division was an afterthought. The judges didn’t care if standards were met. No one was even paying attention and the scaled athletes were essentially put in a corner as. If didn’t even seem like anyone was worried about their safety, as the corner the were jammed in was pretty much on top of a pot hole. So how did Monmouth do it? Well, each WOD was scored by reps for points. Rx received higher points than scaled did, so really each athlete could do what they were capable of alongside the rest of team. We’ll use WOD 1 as your example:

WOD #1
(all 4 team members participate)

F1 + F2 complete, in order:
– 40 Shoulder to Over Head, 85lb
– 50 Toes to Bar
– 60 front squats, 85lb
– 140 Double Unders’s
As soon as they finish (or at 10:00 mark), M1 + M2 complete the same sequence.  The WOD was a chipper with a 20:00 min cap and reps had to be split between teammates evenly.

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Here’s how the scaling works:

Rx Shoulder to Over Head receives 3 pts per rep, 95/65 receives 2/rep and a 65/45# rep receives 1 pt.
RX Toes to bar (3 pts/rep), scale to Weighted situps 45/25lb for 2 pts/rep, or do weighted situps at 25/10lb for 1 pt/rep.
Rx Front squats received 3 pts, a lesser weight of 95/65lb got 2 pts/rep, and the lowest of  65/45lb gets 1 pt.
Rx Doubles get you 3 pts/rep, Parallette hop overs get 2 pts/rep (where 1 rep equals two jumps), single unders get the least at 1 pt/rep.

The time the WOD is completed in was used to rank teams with the same numerical scores. For example,  all FULL Rx teams got the same point score and were ranked according to time.

I really liked this set up. This means If I can do everything in the WOD, except the double unders, I simply scale that one down. It creates a level of strategy, as well. Do you go scaled and bang it all out as fast as possible? Or do you go Rx and maybe get capped out but receive full points? Kudos to MCF for coming up with this scoring system. It made the day more interesting for everyone.

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Alissa of CF732 finishing up for 500m Row

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Rob Esposito, CF732 coach, jumped in to fill an empty spot on one of our teams. Here he knocks out some C2B pull ups.

The second WOD was one for Female1 and Male1 to complete together. A 500m row, each, Followed by 50 partner wall balls, and then as many of ONE of the following movements before the 9:00 cap is up: Muscle ups (12 pts), Chest to Bar pull ups (4), Pull ups (2) or jumping pull ups (1). Final score is how many points you get from those movements….which you cannot downgrade. So, you can’t be a tough guy and go for muscle ups, realize you can’t do them, and switch to c2b. This is where I think a lot of the competitors made a critical mistake. In my non-muscle-up-capable opinion, I think the only reason to go for muscle ups after a row and wall balls would be if you are extremely proficient in them. If you can get a couple of them fresh, I say bang out a shit ton of chest to bars.  I watched a bunch of people get up, hit one muscle up and then struggle to get another.  Not only that, but there was lots of no repping going on (huge high five to the judges, by the way), for not fully extending at the bottom or locking out at the top. Tons of energy wasted. Once again, strategy was hugely important.

Jared of CF732 getting set on the rings before busting out some Muscle Ups.

Jared of CF732 getting set on the rings before busting out some Muscle Ups. Oh yea, his wife was there taking pictures….and it was her due date.

This brings us to WOD3, completed by the other two teammates. Very simple:

AMRAP 6 min:
60 deadlifts, 225/155lb
AMRAP burpee box jumps, 30/24″

Again, weight could be scaled for lesser point value. Final score was the sum of all deadlift points plus any burpees completed. Communication between the teammates was  a big one here. The rule was that for every 1 rep teammate 1 completes, teammate 2 must as well. i.e. F2 does 5 dead lifts in a row, M2 must complete 5 as well. This is where one person scaling could present a challenge if the teammates aren’t paying attention to each other. Take one of our teams (who ended up doing great):

She scaled to 135#. He didn’t. They’re plan was to each hit 10 for 10 in a clip…they did that for one.  When our female got to her pre-planned second round 10th rep, she was feeling pretty good so she banged out 5 more….to which our male athlete thought “Oh….fuck.”, because this meant he now had to knock out 15 as well. For them, it turned out to be a good thing since our guy was able to get through the extra 5 reps pretty easily and it just got them to the burpees quicker, but I could see how that would be a problem for another team.  Speaking of the burpees – this is where the Team from CF732 got a boost thanks to strategy. Same rules applied for burpees. If F2 does 5, M2 must do 5 before F2 can start up again. They started this way when the CF732 Coach Rob Esposito shouted to them, ‘GO 1 and 1!”.  Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. They started knocking out burpees left and right. The second F2’s feet hit the ground, M2 dropped into his burpee.  This gave them each a moment to rest and eliminated and lag time between burpees. Before we knew it, other teams around us had adopted the same strategy. Now, I’m not saying that we started it. I’m not saying no one else thought of it. I’m just saying it worked.
*An unfortunate back-tweak during this WOD left our second team with a DNF.  It was the right move for them to stop. Seriously injuring yourself from pushing through something is not worth it. You have to listen to your body.


Gina, of CF732, finishing up a 24″ inch Box Jump.

After all the points were added up, the top 5 teams went into the final WOD. Despite our killer burpee performance, neither of our teams were able to move on.  The final throw down was the whole 4 member team and split into two parts:

F1 and M1 have 7 Min to complete an 800m run, and then establish a 1 Rep Max full snatch (full squat).

At 7:00 min, F2 and M2 run their 800m and then set a 1RM for a Clean & Jerk (also a full squat)
The score of this workout was the sum of the highest successful lift from each team member.

The victory of the day went to CrossFit Shrewsbury.

This is getting kind of long so let’s wrap it up with some final thoughts. First of all, I wish I had signed up for this competition instead of just watching my CF732 team mates. It was well run, organized, and the WODs were a good mix of movements and very much in the “CrossFit” umbrella.  The last competition I did might as well have been a track meet with all of the running and calisthenic work. This one was way more in my wheel house and I felt like a pretty tremendous lazy lard ass watching my friends work it out while stuffing my face with pig.


Ken Molina roasting up this monster swine.

Oh yea, there was a pig. Like, an actual, huge pig.  Not a live pig running around, a big ass roasted monster. It was delicious. There was also beer. Albeit it was Something Light and Yuengling. I did open a cooler to look for ice at one point and saw bottles of Rogue Dead Guy sitting there all lonely. It was tempting, but I refrained. Someone, surely, would’ve been very sad to open the Igloo only to find their delicious brews have gone a-missing. Luckily for me there was a liquor store in walking distance to I grabbed myself a sixer of Troegs Perpetual. Needed some replenishment after all that watching people work out and pig-consumption. It’s exhausting.

Battle of the Boxes was a great time all around. The WODs were well written, the execution was well organized (though the WOD 1 heats took some time to get through since each heat was a 20 min long stretch.  In the end, the rest were nice and short and it really didn’t hurt the day or keep us there insanely long). We got extremely lucky with the weather: a sunny, mid-high 60 degree day in the end of October, so hanging out in the parking lot was quite pleasant and kept everyone from cramming into the gym. Since so many teams came out, we got a chance to hang with some other local CrossFitters and talk about this cult that we belong to that everyone on the outside thinks is weird. The sportsmanship was excellent, which I think had a lot to do with the level of judging. You can’t bitch about someone beating you cause they cheated when judges are actually calling out sub-standard reps…something I’ve seen happen at other comps.  Credit where credit is due: Kevin Kustelski, owner of MCF put on a hell of an event. The inaugural comp of their new facility, I think, can be deemed a huge success. I hope they continue it as an annual event, and next year I wont be such a sideline loser. Maybe I’ll even figure out a damn muscle up by then!

You should still have the pig though. Don’t change that. Ever.