#483 – Top 10 CrossFit Games Events of All Time

Sevan Matossian (00:00):

That, uh, YouTube made me take cuz CrossFit games reported me. Bam. We’re live.

Taylor Self (00:05):


Sevan Matossian (00:06):

Awesome. Taylor self from self-made programming Jr. Howell from CrossFit crash. Great. Jim, I’m getting, I’m seeing more and more of your gym in videos by the way, Jr. Congratulations. That place is dope.

Taylor Self (00:18):

Shut out to Rick Jones.

Sevan Matossian (00:19):

Is that the guy who set it up

Taylor Self (00:21):

Video? Uh, that’s the videographer for

Sevan Matossian (00:23):

The gym. Oh, oh man. It’s cool. Uh, that basketball game. I, I was watching some of the hopper stuff before he was on that basketball thing. Can you beat hopper at that basketball game? Taylor

Taylor Self (00:31):

At basketball in, oh, in the, in the crash pad?

Sevan Matossian (00:34):


Taylor Self (00:36):

Probably he sucks at sports.

Sevan Matossian (00:37):

Oh, okay. Uh, and, uh, Matt Suza from crossroad Livermore, executive producer of the Seon podcast all around. Good dude.

Mattew Souza (00:46):


Sevan Matossian (00:46):

Thank you. Uh, librarian.

Mattew Souza (00:48):

That was nice librarian. Oh yeah. I guess you’re right.

Sevan Matossian (00:52):


Mattew Souza (00:53):

Sorry, go ahead.

Sevan Matossian (00:54):

No, you go ahead.

Mattew Souza (00:55):

I was gonna say it’s gonna be also me sweating the whole time cuz I brought up all those videos that we talked about before now. We’re not using any of ’em and my palms already getting sweaty

Sevan Matossian (01:01):

As I’m trying to bring ’em bring ’em up. Fuck it. Just try. Just try.

Mattew Souza (01:05):

<laugh> just try.

Sevan Matossian (01:06):

Okay. We, we were debating before we came on today, guys of how much of these, um, we have, so basically what we’re going to do, what we have today and I’m pretty pumped is uh, Jr. Has given his 10 best CrossFit games workouts in the 15 years that cross CrossFit games have been going on. So from 2007 to 2021, and Taylor has also, uh, given us his 10 best what he thinks of the 10 best, um, workouts. We’re gonna find out what criteria they used in just a minute. Um, one of the things that I was thinking about before we, uh, started the show, uh, earlier today, uh, and Jr and Taylor and I were talking about it. These were all done by one man, correct? They all have the same author, this programming,

Taylor Self (01:51):

Crem, Della, Dave, and not the kind of cream that you like typically.

Sevan Matossian (01:56):

And, and <laugh> take a dollop of cream strong. Uh, the venues that they were at are, are not your traditional venues where most of the world does, uh, uh, accepts programming, which would be either in their garage or at an affiliate or at some sort of box gym, some, a place. These are these venues that Dave’s been programming at, have what some people think probably made, made his job. Well, probably a lot of people think made his job easier, but actually I’m guessing it made his job harder and we’ll find out, um, because there were so many options and there’s such an, uh, it would be so easy to get out of control. So we have a U we have a unique venue for these, uh, this type of programming and we have a pretty large budget. And I was thinking that maybe it’s the largest budget that any programmers have, but I don’t know who knows what those guys in Dubai or made of like, um, oil and cash, uh, what kind of resources they have.

Sevan Matossian (02:49):

I mean, they did an event in a snowstorm in the desert. So, uh, so, so it is, it is unique and, uh, and he is a unique, uh, in, in the sense that he’s been around CrossFit, um, almost forever the programmer and he comes from a background, he was a seal team, six operator, and we’re talking about Dave Castro. So, uh, fitness, uh, was always, uh, paramount to his survival at, at the foundation or at the, one of the cornerstones of his job was, uh, fitness, meaning that your life and those of those around you depended on how fit you are. So he takes fitness extremely seriously. So we, we, is there anything else you guys wanna say about the programmer or, or the situation, the conditions?

Taylor Self (03:36):

Well, I mean, it was really, really fucking hard to pick just 10 workouts. Um, I think part of that is due to, it’s been around for over 10 years. The other part is that the guy who was writing him wrote a lot of really good workouts

Sevan Matossian (03:49):

A lot. And would you, would you say that there was a bias towards the Mo more recent years? Uh, one, because maybe you guys were more emotionally attached to him they’re fresher in your memory or maybe just Dave got better Jr.

JR Howell (04:00):

No, I actually made it a point to start with the first year and some of the criteria that we’ll go over. One of the biggest criteria for me was like the ripple effect. So what effect did this event have on future events and on years to come? So that was like a big criteria

Sevan Matossian (04:15):

For me. Give me one just small example of that, of, uh, the ripple effect. How, how, how, how would I recognize that as a layman,

JR Howell (04:23):

Uh, like the first time you saw legless rope climbs programmed at the CrossFit games. And then after that, what did we see the following year, 2014 regionals legless event, the same one they repeated this year, and then also that movement paves the way for more intricate levels of climbing peg, all the peg board workouts. They wouldn’t have ever happened if legless wasn’t introduced first.

Sevan Matossian (04:46):

Uh, and, and when you say intricate, um, intricacies in the rope climbing, you mean like the diameter of the rope was changed. The, they cut off the bottom, you know, eight feet or whatever of the rope. So you couldn’t get, or, you know, six feet of the rope. So you couldn’t get your feet on it. You had to jump. You mean they had the part where you, they started marking where, um, how far down you had to go before you could let go shit like that,

JR Howell (05:06):

Right? Like they, you know, they introduced the cut rope and then that showed up at regionals where you can climb halfway legless, and then you can start using their legs. But all those iterations happened from the traditional rope climb. And then after that, when legless started, there were regionals finales that included legless and there were always showed up. And a lot of those workouts are ones that still hold up. If a workout holds up from 2013 or 14 as still being a legitimate test today, I would say it’s one of the best games events ever

Sevan Matossian (05:36):

Say that last sentence again, if what showed up today.

JR Howell (05:39):

So for instance, legless in 2000, um, in 2014, right? If I’m sorry, 13, if that workout were programmed at the CrossFit games this year 27 thrusters four leg lists, 21 thrusters, three leg lists, 15 thrusters, two leg lists, nine thrusters, one legless for time, it would still hold up as a legitimate test today, 72 thrusters, 10 legless, and they would be flying. They would be going fast. People would blow up still. They would be separation. It would still hold up as a great test.

Sevan Matossian (06:12):

Um, uh, Taylor, what, what get, so we’ll keep opening doors. Tell me this, what wouldn’t hold up today.

Taylor Self (06:19):

Uh, I think, uh, an example of, of something that’s on my list is like 2010, Amanda, 9 75, um, ring muscle up squat snap. It’s I mean, gosh, if you go back and watch the video from 2010 and then you watch the video from 2017, it’s one, the increase in volume is crazy in the speed at which they do their muscle ups and the snatches, but also just how much better everybody’s moving. I mean, in 2010 it got a little ugly. Um, it was fucking cool, but so 9 75,

Sevan Matossian (06:49):

So great games work out in 2010, not good for 2022. Maybe we’ll just gift wrap it and hand it off to the affiliates. You can have this one,

JR Howell (06:57):


Sevan Matossian (06:58):

Do this, do do this as your day one workout. Uh, and, and, and how, and how, and how about the venues? Uh, any, any place we have, the three venues we have, well, four venues we have, I guess, are aromas, uh, Carson, Madison. And then we had that year, uh, where it was offsite, which was basically just a giant field and a, uh, swimming pool. So let’s just say the, the three venues, uh, Madison aromas and, uh, Carson, any venues that you guys, uh, found, found preferential or that you felt swayed? So the workouts were better there.

Taylor Self (07:34):

I think the ranch allowed for a unique twist on some of the programming in a really cool way. Aside from that, I think Madison and aromas were pretty similar with the exception of maybe the proximity of aromas to a beach. Um, but aside from that pretty similar, I mean, in, in Wisconsin, they have the lake and that’s different than an ocean swim and you don’t have the beach, but they’re swimming. So

Sevan Matossian (07:57):

You like, basically I’m hearing, you liked them all, all the venues. Yeah.

Taylor Self (08:00):

Yeah. All the venues

Sevan Matossian (08:01):

Jr. Yeah.

JR Howell (08:02):

Then my top 10, the majority of them come from the StubHub center. Majority of them come from Carson, the days in Carson

Sevan Matossian (08:07):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Okay. Uh, and, and finally, um, one of the things that I would hear most consistently throughout the years when, when workouts would come up or when people would suggest workouts to Dave, he would say, Hey, I don’t wanna do gimmicks. And like, something that would be a true spectacle would be to do, let’s say a 50 foot rope climb. Right. And you really can’t have any, you can’t allow anyone to fall off of it. It can’t be like, you know, it probably can’t be legless. It probably can’t be more than one ascent and one descent. Um, but did you, do you guys agree with, like, I’d like to see that, and I’m guessing if I would’ve proposed that to Dave, if he would’ve been like, it’s a gimmick and it is a gimmick because it’s for a stunt, but it would be fun to see them up that high, you know, did you feel, do you guys feel me on this and what are your opinions on that? Do you think it’s good that he stayed away from gimmicks? Do you think he stayed away from gimmicks?

JR Howell (08:56):

I think a lot of people would argue that walking on your hands alone is gimmicky and doing it on top of and around things is even more gimmicky.

Taylor Self (09:04):

Hmm. Yeah. I, I like that take, I also think that aside from that, he seems to stay away from things that I would consider gimmicky. The one thing I’ve always wondered about is like a speed rock climbing wall, where they have, you know, you see people doing speed bouldering events, where they have 10 lanes that are the same exact course, that would kind of be the next evolution in climbing. But I wonder how gimicky they think that is, it would be a cool event, but

Sevan Matossian (09:30):

Did they?

Mattew Souza (09:31):

One thing that I think is that, that Dave did a great job of was he always tied the workouts and the events back to the methodology. And so a lot of the times when you think it’s new, he’s actually reaching further back into main site workouts from early two thousands, where there are specific things in there that said, if you don’t have access to a high enough ceiling for a rope, use a P board, there was also a lot of workouts. And I think there was even an article written by Glassman that said, dumbbells are a more efficient tool for strength gain. So then you go all the way back to the dumbbells when that one regional, when he took out the barbell completely. So a lot of his like new stuff is actually recycled old methodology.

JR Howell (10:10):

Yeah. And you know, I think back to things like the softball tos and the med ball G D toss for distance, and a lot of people said those were gimicky. A lot of people said it wasn’t fitness. A lot of people said even more so than something like swimming really benefited more so where you’re from culturally and whether or not you ever threw anything. But if you really think back to grassroots methodology, what is in the pyramid, it is not weightlifting. It is weightlifting and throwing mm-hmm <affirmative>. It says that specifically. So Dave, to maybe to a fault, tried to stay that true to its roots.

Taylor Self (10:44):

I think the softball throw was a Glassman interjection along with the L sit. If I recall correctly, I remember hearing from some show that Dave was on himself verbatim saying Glassman made, made him do the throw and he was a little nervous about it, cuz he knew some athletes would make it look really fucking bad. And they managed to do that.

Mattew Souza (11:07):

Might if you might have, I, I remember that too. And actually I do remember that being something he said too

Sevan Matossian (11:13):

J Jr. Did you find the, are you saying that the handstand walk is gimmicky when, when it, when it’s up and over and around and

JR Howell (11:21):

No, I love it. I think.

Sevan Matossian (11:23):

Okay. You love it.

JR Howell (11:23):

Okay. I think it’s awesome. But I think outsiders looking in, or maybe just casual viewers of the sport that only watch the CrossFit games at the games level only will see stuff like that and think it’s just a par trick

Sevan Matossian (11:35):

That it’s not. Yeah. I think, I think James is Gerald didn’t like it. I think I remember filming him one year in Carson as a master’s athlete and he was pretty disappointed to see it. He, he didn’t think it was a, a, a good test of fitness.

Taylor Self (11:48):

I love handstand walking. And the one thing I think look like to a spectator standpoint that looks gimmicky is like that previous comment, the freestanding handstand pushups from last year were a little visually not so appealing. There was a, it was super busy, you know, a lot of lines. And

Sevan Matossian (12:04):

Is this, is this the guy who won? Is this Spencer, Spencer, did Spencer win the, uh, soft,

Taylor Self (12:09):

You know, watching him he’s I think

Sevan Matossian (12:12):

He might look at that. What’s he doing? Is that a pirouette? Was that ballet? No,

Taylor Self (12:15):

It’s called, it’s called the Crow hop. Yeah. Um, if you watch him on the 2012 Pendleton obstacle course, I think he is probably the most, the best athlete that’s ever competed at the games. Just pure athlete, personally,

Sevan Matossian (12:29):


Taylor Self (12:31):

Yeah. I mean, you watch watch him on, watch him throw that, that ball. I mean, he won that event. He, uh, I think he won 2012 obstacle course at Pendleton. He just flew through that. It was fucking crazy

Sevan Matossian (12:41):

Watching that was, was, do you, um, was Spencer a hard worker?

Taylor Self (12:46):

Uh, I mean,

Sevan Matossian (12:47):

Could he pushed harder?

Taylor Self (12:48):

I know his dad way better than I know him and I would have a hard time believing he was not a hard worker.

Sevan Matossian (12:53):

Well, yeah, he definitely comes from some good pedigree. I ne I don’t know. I don’t know anything about Spencer’s training. I just wonder why. I mean, and he wa he was a good games athlete. I’m just wondering why he didn’t go further. Um, if he was that great of an athlete, maybe if it just Taylor stash is a gimmick,

Taylor Self (13:09):

He had a, he had a couple, he had at least one top 10 year, I think in 2017 or 18, he went team. And then at that point he was having some kids. Um, I do, I have heard stories about him training at Appalachian state as he was on the baseball team and him and his dad making him do like handstand pushups in the bathroom because they wouldn’t let him do it in the gym. So he would go into the bathroom for his workouts and do handstand pushups.

Sevan Matossian (13:33):

Damn his, uh, his, his dad’s, uh, business card is him tackling. Who is that super famous running back. He used to be on the Rams.

Taylor Self (13:46):

Yeah. The Rams running back. I forget

Sevan Matossian (13:47):

His name, the guy who wore he wore glasses. He was

JR Howell (13:50):

A Dickerson.

Sevan Matossian (13:51):


Taylor Self (13:51):

Yes, yes. And he was fucking spearing him too.

Sevan Matossian (13:54):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. His business card is him drilling Eric Dickerson in his Rams uniform. It’s pretty gnarly.

Taylor Self (14:01):

He was an eighties walk on linebacker in the NFL, if that tells you anything about him.

Sevan Matossian (14:06):

Uh, and, and, and, and, uh, and, and, uh, his dad’s, uh, on the L one team, is his dad a flow master?

Taylor Self (14:12):

No, he is not a flow master, but he is a level four on the L one

Sevan Matossian (14:14):

Team. And he owns CrossFit

Taylor Self (14:16):


Sevan Matossian (14:17):

Wow. Okay. Uh, so, uh, the programming, what, what do you wanna tell us about this before we dig into the programming? One more thing. So we’ve talked about where we’ve talked about who, uh, what is the goal? Has the goal always been the same for this programming and what is that goal?

Taylor Self (14:39):

I would say, yes, the goal has always been defined the fittest on earth. And,

JR Howell (14:46):

And I would say that these lists, me and Taylor are not saying that if you took our list of 10 alone, that it would make the perfect CrossFit games far from that. Yeah. We are choosing events that we like based on different criteria. One of them being, we just love ’em and, and they’re our list. We love how they look. We love how they were programmed. We love the movement combinations. Other criteria may be what were their implications during the event. So after that event happened, did that start someone’s downward spiral in the competition? Did it cause someone’s uphill trajectory to where they eventually won the competition? Did they create iconic moments that you’ll just always remember? You know, like at the end of events, someone’s celebration or someone’s emotional collapse at the end of a, an event. And then what I mentioned earlier, the ripple effect. So you take a workout from 2008 or 2009. Are we still kind of seeing that footprint in 2000, 19, 20 and 21, so many years later, other than that, I would say the flow and show. So essentially the spectacle of the event itself, that visually, it just looked amazing. And that’s why we think it’s one of the best events.

Taylor Self (16:05):

And I think another one final metric would be the efficacy. Does the workout do what it’s intended to do? Um, or do the athletes just totally blow it out of the water? Cuz there is a rare occasion where the athletes quote, unquote, break the workout. I think 20, 21, the interval workout at the games with the, uh, yolk in the G H D med ball sit ups was a pretty, I remember. Yeah, it was,

Sevan Matossian (16:29):

It was what do you mean broke it like there’s a 13 way tie?

Taylor Self (16:32):

No, like the athletes were intended to take four intervals and they almost finished it in one interval.

Sevan Matossian (16:37):

Oh, oh, oh, oh, okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Taylor Self (16:39):

Just bad testing.

Sevan Matossian (16:41):

Okay. Oh, we in, in, in that year, wasn’t that the year that they also changed the run, the distance of the run and the clean ladder.

Taylor Self (16:48):


Sevan Matossian (16:51):

And I, and I’m trying to think, um, there was another year something weird happened. I’m trying to think of what, what, what would constitute is, is there a workout? That’s the worst workout ever in all of CrossFit games that just stands out like, oh fuck not that one double bay here.

Taylor Self (17:12):

There’s there’s one that’s

Sevan Matossian (17:13):

Oh yeah. That was that’s bad. You’re right. All the ones with the hammers. I actually can’t believe they rock that pack twice. Maybe the

JR Howell (17:19):

Row. Yeah. The, yeah, the rose steak steak

Mattew Souza (17:23):

From 2009. Didn’t someone hand get busted on that.

Taylor Self (17:26):

Are you talking about where they had to hammer in the piece of rebar? Right?

Sevan Matossian (17:28):

Gordon something. Gordon Kelly, Gordon, car Gordon, Sarah Gordon, Becky Gordon, hand idea. Julie Gordon. What the fuck was that? Chick’s name? She’s on the oh one team. Some Gordon. She went to the ho that chick went to the hospital and came back and then the sand was like supposed, like some guys were hitting it. It was going straight through and yeah, that one was bad, but the banger was atrocious. Does anyone like the banger? That’s the one where the green hammer. Right. And you stand with the yeah.

Mattew Souza (17:54):

Both years. It, I didn’t really like that, that workout the first year was that sprint. And then they had the athletes that like kind of hook and dragged. So it kind of threw out the test altogether. And then the year before that, did they do something with a rope? Was it a heavy, double under rope? Within, in 2012?

JR Howell (18:09):

The double banger was just regular doubles. I

Mattew Souza (18:12):

Think it was just regular. Double. Yeah. But the banger was to

JR Howell (18:14):

Hammer levels. It was like eye level one was on the ground. One was high

Mattew Souza (18:18):

It this way. And then yeah.

Sevan Matossian (18:20):

Nicole Gordon. Thank you.

Taylor Self (18:21):

Thank you. I, I, I, wasn’t a big, to be honest, I like the visual of assault banging or the 30 cow sprint into the, into the hammer. And I think kind of like Dave said in his interview, it’s you can’t always predict the fuckery that an athlete’s gonna pull. I mean, you’re like two or three guys did that. The rest of them didn’t and right. Those two or three guys proved to be kind of irrelevant in the competition, but I thought it looked cool. I didn’t personally like at Atlanta as a final cause I thought a lot of people just pulled back and there was not really any intensity under the test.

Mattew Souza (18:52):

Yeah. Wish you were gonna get his fifth. Right. It’s like

Sevan Matossian (18:55):

Exactly what workout, what workout

Taylor Self (18:57):

At Atlanta? The what’s that the

Sevan Matossian (18:59):


Taylor Self (19:00):

Yeah, the hundred handstand pushups. 200 pistols, 300 pullups starts and ends with a mile. The twist on MERF.

Sevan Matossian (19:06):

Oh, is, is, and is that what they did at the ranch? When there was only five athletes? Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> and, and, and at Fraser and well Fraser and Tia did that together. Right? That was pretty cool. Yeah.

Taylor Self (19:15):

Yeah. That was a cool moment. But I almost don’t like the fact that it was under such a low amount of intensity that they’re able to just pull back and be like, fuck it. We’ll finish together. You know,

Sevan Matossian (19:26):


Taylor Self (19:27):

That either says they’re so good or I just would’ve preferred a different workout that made ’em struggle. A

Mattew Souza (19:33):

Little, maybe a little bit of both. Maybe a little bit of both.

Sevan Matossian (19:35):

My, my I’ll tell you, I’m gonna tell you this, this isn’t at the games, but all my favorite workouts in all of CrossFit games, history probably come from one place and that place is at a regional and the regional was Delmar. And the reason why is because the venue, the crowd and the lighting and, and, and I’m so biased, the lighting was unbelievable. It was basically a giant fucking open stadium, but it had a roof, but it was all skylights. And then both ends were open. It was, it was a horse place where you do, yeah. People do horse tricks and there were some the stuff they would do in there. But, and my favorite part was when Kenny leverage and Josh bridges were coming down towards us and they have their shirts off and they’re doing snatches with, I don’t know what it was 70 or a hundred pound dumbbells. And you could just see their arms and their neck and everything. Every time it was dope.

JR Howell (20:25):

Yeah. That was the original hundreds

Sevan Matossian (20:27):

That it was. Okay. Well,

JR Howell (20:28):

It was the second hundreds. There was the hundreds really early on with like double unders and um, like I think overhead squats or something like that. Yeah. That one was that one was wall balls, um, pistols, Gumbar, snatches, and chest of

Sevan Matossian (20:43):

Bar pullups and just the way the athletes had to walk out by everyone and everyone’s kind, it was, it was intense. And then, and then, and then the other one I liked for, for visual. Oh, oh, here we are. This is the ham. This is 2009. Oh

Taylor Self (20:57):

Yeah. That looks so terrible. Look at how they’re holding that fucking

Sevan Matossian (21:00):

<laugh>. Oh my goodness.

Taylor Self (21:01):

They’re look

Mattew Souza (21:02):

At the, look at the judge. Just see close,

Taylor Self (21:06):

But yeah. Are you, is it getting low?

Mattew Souza (21:08):

See how lows hers is relative to like, some of the spots likes was saying is actually, uh, softer.

Sevan Matossian (21:14):

Oh yeah, yeah. That was hairball. And, and then, and then in, in Carson, one year, I don’t remember what year it was, but there was a workout where they were flipping, I guess they’re called pigs. There were those big green steel things. Yeah. Without, and the shots we were getting from Jason kapa flipping that thing. I mean, his arms looked like they were gonna explode. Those are, those are the two that stand out, uh, for me, but, but for totally different reasons, I didn’t give it, I didn’t, I not, not for the programming, but just for the, uh, my, or I guess just the spectacle. Okay. Uh, I have two lists here. We’ll start with, uh, Taylor, do you guys intersect at all? Were there any, uh, you guys picked the, um,

Taylor Self (21:50):

Yeah, when we both sent each other, our rough drafts, I think we had four or five events that overlapped. Okay. And we made the unanimous decision to, we also had five or six honorable mentions. And so we were just like, all right, for, for an event that both of us have I’ll plug in one of my honorable mentions and vice versa so that we weren’t just talking about the same workout twice.

Sevan Matossian (22:11):

Okay. Uh, let’s go through these. Um, I’ll keep I’ll, I’ll keep us moving, but at any time you wanna slow down and really hammer something out and talk about it. Let me know. Uh, this is Taylor’s list the workout. This is, oh, why don’t we go backwards? We’re

Taylor Self (22:26):

Gonna 10, we’re gonna start with 10 and we’re gonna go Jr’s 10th or my 10th and Jr’s 10th and then nine and nine. Eight.

Sevan Matossian (22:33):

Okay. Okay. I’m done with that. That sounds good. I’m trying to see if I have J okay. This is gonna get a little squirrly here with the page. Uh, Jr’s 10 is the sand sandbag sprint from 2009. Uh, I was at the top of that hill and that was brutal. I don’t think anyone knew. Well, probably Dave knew, but none of us as spectators knew, uh, I’ll just throw this in there. The reason why I think this was the greatest event in CrossFit games, history <laugh> and I can’t ever remember it being done ever again is the fact that you could touch the athletes.

Sevan Matossian (23:11):

What do I mean by that? We were, it was like the fucking tour de France. They had to run up between us. We could, you could touch ’em no one would’ve probably said anything to you. You could be, they, they, it was so narrow and so steep. Yeah. Right there. And it, this, wow. There was a feeling here as they were running by you that I’ve never felt at any other event. And I have insane access. I’ve had insane access and, and, and, uh, and, and all the fans had at least as good of access as me. And this was something special.

Taylor Self (23:43):

That’s fucking

Sevan Matossian (23:44):

Cool. Yeah. This was something special. Yeah. Look at all those people. I wanna say there was like 2,400 people there. This is the 2009 games. There were probably 2,400 people there. First year, 2007 at the games, there were probably like 60 to a hundred people. Then 2008, I think there were maybe, you know, 1500. And then this year there were probably close to 3000. Yeah. And they started down there. Yeah. So if you look behind these guys, they started on the cement there and that’s the barn and then they would come up up the hill. Uh, why did you, yeah,

Taylor Self (24:17):

My old coach,

Sevan Matossian (24:18):

Pat Sherwood, that sure would

Taylor Self (24:19):

Yep. Crazy.

Sevan Matossian (24:20):

Well. Oh, is that Ben Smith too?

Taylor Self (24:23):


Sevan Matossian (24:23):

In the white t-shirt

Taylor Self (24:24):

Right there. Yeah. Yep. Right there. <laugh> right there.

Sevan Matossian (24:29):

Um, why did, uh, Jr. How, why did you pick, uh, this event? This

JR Howell (24:34):

Shoe? Yeah. So there’s a lot of reasons I picked this one. First of all, I knew that I really wanted to choose one from the early years that some people may not remember. They might not remember like the carnage that it left behind. But part of what I think makes a good event is sometimes just the simplicity of it. Dave was always really good about that. And there’s nothing more simple than just adding some weight to your body and running up a hill as fast as you can. Like the winning times were right around one minute. So there’s plenty of time for that to set in and you just have to deal with it for like the last, I don’t know, 20 or 30 feet, the worst part of the climb. I think Ben still says to this day, that might be the most uncomfortable event he’s ever done in his career.

Sevan Matossian (25:16):

What was the weight?

JR Howell (25:18):

It was 2 35 pound bags for the males and 1 35 pound bag for the females.

Sevan Matossian (25:23):

And, and, and do you think that was appropriate? Did you, do you like that? Why not make it one 70 pound bag for the men? Do you like it? That it’s two different bags they gotta juggle.

JR Howell (25:30):

Yeah. I think it was cool because you saw people carrying ’em in different ways, which I thought was really cool too. It’s just one small little instance of adaptability. And, you know, nowadays people would, people would figure something out in the warmup room and not let anyone else see it. But you were probably out there just watching like the rest of the spectators and you saw someone do it in effective way. And then as the heats went on, people got a little bit better at it.

Sevan Matossian (25:52):

I saw, um, uh, there’s, there’s only two workouts that stand out in my mind where I actually saw athletes like lit, like you literally witnessed their bodies breakdown. Like you see people fail the rope climb and you see them fail, but you still don’t know exactly what’s going on. You have to just assume it’s it’s arm fatigue. But there’s one time I wanna say it was at Freddy Camacho’s gym. And I saw Jeremy Teo, Jeremy Theo, and Jason KBA do 10 burpees, 10 thrusters at 1 35, 3 rounds. And they raced. And as they came to like their last five burpees, each something happened to their hips. Both of them at like, it just almost like stopped. And when they would bring their legs forward, it was almost like they were doing the slips splits. They couldn’t do burpees anymore. Their legs had filled up with so much blood.

Sevan Matossian (26:34):

They couldn’t even like close their hip in it and their legs wouldn’t come up all the way. It was like, you saw the body breaking down. That same thing happened on this hill sprint. There would be a dude winning like a big name, you know, and 15 feet from the stop top, his leg stopped working. It’s not even that he gave up. You literally saw his legs. Just stop working. Like he’s like looking down at him, you’re looking at him and then Miko squeezes by, or Spieler squeeze like goes in between two guys and bumps them. If you, if you can find the spot, I think Spieler runs in between two giants, uh, whose legs just stopped working. It was a, it was a trip. Not because they’re breathing heavy, but there’s actually some sort of muscular like, Hey, it can’t, it, it, it, it cannot. And what’s weird is you don’t normally get to see that, like in a body white body weight type of, you know, movement, although they were carrying the bags. But when someone can’t do a snatch anymore, it’s because it’s, you know, 180 5 and you know, they gotta take a rest.

JR Howell (27:32):

This’s so cool too, because

Sevan Matossian (27:33):

Body’s breaking down

JR Howell (27:34):

Because people like, I mean, Ben Bergeron, when he does his camp, every year, they go to this famous hill that he runs and he does like intervals of this type run with

Sevan Matossian (27:46):

His is a Sandhill. It’s a sand dun

JR Howell (27:49):

It’s like, I, I can’t remember the exact names I seen and the comments will know, they’ll go out there and they’ll go a quarter of the way up and then walk down and then they’ll go half the way up. And then to walk down, it’s, it’s a lot of mental training, but it has to stem from this. I mean, rogue built a hill in the outfield and you know, there’s everyone, no one has an original idea. And you know, at the end of the day, we’re all just kind of emulating others that we’ve seen. I mean, Dave Reid this with a longer course with a feed, with a corn sack at the games in 2020, it’s

Sevan Matossian (28:23):

Still, where did they go? Where at the ranch mm-hmm <affirmative> okay. I don’t remember that. And, and, and, and, and, and not nearly as dramatic because it was, it was, uh, just one probably group. And then also, um, you didn’t have the crowd there. I mean, the crowd was nuts. Mm-hmm <affirmative> it was super

JR Howell (28:41):


Sevan Matossian (28:41):

Yeah. It, it, it was, it was weird. Uh, anything else you wanna say about this one?

JR Howell (28:45):


Sevan Matossian (28:48):


Mattew Souza (28:49):

Oh, is Miko that split these guys?

Sevan Matossian (28:51):

Oh, is it?

Mattew Souza (28:52):

Yeah. I found the clip real quick.

Sevan Matossian (28:54):

Okay. You demand let’s see it. I’m sure I shot this too. So I should be able to use this, right? Yeah.

Mattew Souza (28:59):

You own this, right? That’s

Sevan Matossian (29:01):

<laugh>. That is actually from my camera. I was up at the top. Okay. Let’s see. And that might be Carrie. And that might be Carrie Peterson’s camera or Hollis Malloy. There were only three of us there. I think filming maybe, maybe my, maybe my wife. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So that’s Jeremy teal to the right. Oh my God. I can’t believe I’m forgetting all these guys’ names. Okay. Let’s see it. And look, Nico’s got both bags in one hand.

Mattew Souza (29:21):

Yep. And they all start to break down and fall apart and he sneaks right on in pass both right at the end. Look at this guy. Look at that pain face right there.

Sevan Matossian (29:32):

Nuts. <laugh> nuts. Nuts, nuts, man. Meko is something special. Uh, and on that was, uh, Jr’s number 10. And we will go to Taylor’s number 10, uh, soccer chipper 2015. Oh. And by the way, in the winner of this, uh, sandbag sprint, it says SS and at Annie Thor’s daughter and,

JR Howell (29:55):

Um, Fineberg fine son. Oh, shit.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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