One of my favorite subjects to shoot is athletes. During the past year I’ve personally taken up Crossfit as a way to stay in shape and break the boredom of just going to the gym and working out. The idea to get into this Crossfit madness was a suggestion from a good friend of mine that had also been my workout partner for years and understood my frustration of trying to keep fit all on my own. After some research, and soon thereafter a Crossfit gym opened up right near my house, Brodie Park Crossfit (BPC)! I stopped in and took the mandatory prep class using a PVC pipe to cycle through the typical movements that one would expect to encounter in an actual class. With my prep class completed it was time to go to my first real class. To start off a typical workout of the day or “WOD” will have a name associated with it. Many of these names are inspired by a fallen military hero or just the name of a gal or it could be anything really. It's written up on a whiteboard with the workout to follow. Before the WOD starts you have to be warmed up. This typically consists of a 200 meter run and an intensive calisthenics warm up session inside the gym or “box”. This consists of a combination of fast feet, high knees, burpees, pushups, jumping jacks, handstand walks, toe-touches, lunges, karaoke all usually happening in rapid succession. By the end of the 15 minute warm up you are definitely sweating and depending on the coach that is teaching you may already be worn out before the actual WOD. In my first few sessions I was challenged in just getting though the warm up. Once the warm up is done there is typically a skills exercise or strength exercise that focuses on something like double-unders or handstands or it could be a deadlift session or another Olympic style movement. This will typically last for about 10 minutes. Once this is done then the WOD starts. A WOD can consist of anywhere from 3 to 10 different lifts or combination of lifts and a run or some other type of callisthenic activity thrown in between or at the end of it. The WOD may be AMRAP (As many rounds as possible) and is timed or just timed just depending on the WOD. Once the WOD is over the coach will lead you through a stretch session. One of the best things about this is the sense of camaraderie that takes place during the WOD and if you really put forth the effort in the WOD you also feel a sense of accomplishment. During my first few months of Crossfit I was happy if I was going 2 or 3x a week. Now unless sick I’m there Monday-Friday and might even try and do a few extra workouts in the evenings and weekends. What I like most is that the workout is different every day and the coaches are always thinking of new ways to punish us! That’s a good thing. So what does all of this have to do with photography? Well I’ve been shooting Crossfit events for BPC. You might wonder what is a Crossfit event? A Crossfit event is a competition that can last 8 hours! The most recent event I shot was the "Turkey Slaughter" which consisted of about 22 people in 2 person teams all competing. This event started at 4:30 am. Competitors first task was to solve a riddle so that they could find out the first location they would have to run to.
In this image these contestants are trying to solve a riddle so that they can determine where they first need to go. Once this was completed they had to run about 2 miles to the nearest high school, Bowie High. Once they arrived they had to solve another riddle and then had to complete a 400 meter bear crawl, long jumps with burpees and back peddle 400 meters!
Starting her 400 meter bear crawl!
Long jumps & Burpees! Once the competitors completed the tasks at their first location they had to solve another riddle or algebraic math problem to get their instructions on the next location. To add to the madness they had to use the GPS in their smart-phones to guide them to the next destination! They also had a can of food added to their backpacks at each location!
One of the next stops was the Alamo Draft House parking lot where competitors had to complete 50 shoulder to shoulder deadlifts, front squats and thrusters!
Onto the next location! After solving the riddle that is! Here the competitors had to complete 10 minutes of handstand walks, 30 med ball slams &30 med ball cleans!
Next location Dick Nichols Park! Sand Sprints!
And puzzle assembly!!
At the Longview Park location competitors had to complete 10 minutes of max handstand holds into max push ups!
Then, partner carry roughly 100 yards then switch!
Ok all done?? NO! Run 1.5ish miles back to gym! 30 minutes of rest/recovery and into the ..
50 FLOOR WIPERS!
50 DUMB BELL or KETTLE BELL CLEAN & PRESS! + 25 MORE PUSHUPS!
My favorite image from the shoot was this one. This is what it looks like when you have nothing left in the tank and you think that you can't possibly go on, your team mates and coaches are encouraging you to get past that and get it done!
It's what I love most about Crossfit and what keeps me going back for more!
A well deserved beverage at the end of the event!
You can view all of the images from the Turkey Slaughter here