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The 5 Most Jaw-Dropping Feats of Fitness From the 2016 CrossFit Games

They came to California. They saw. They conquered.
The 5 Most Jaw-Dropping Feats of Fitness From the 2016 CrossFit Games
©2016 CrossFit Inc. Used with permission from CrossFit Inc.

In any normal gym, any of the 80 athletes at the CrossFit Games would probably be the fastest, strongest, and straight-up most unbelievably muscle-bound people in the room. But when the planets align and Games begin in sunny California, the best of the best go head to head—and that's when the real fireworks begin.Over five days of competition in both Aromas and Carson, the elite tackled some familiar challenges (the Ranch Trail 7K, Murph, Double DT) and a few new monsters (The Separator, 100%). What ensued looked like a lot of seriously painful exertion—and a few utterly incredible individual performances that set some new standards for fitness everywhere.Our top five picks:

Even among elite CrossFitters, not many people have the physical range to heft around fully loaded barbells and survive pure endurance events. Not so for Sam “The Engine” Briggs. In Event 1, the 7K Ranch Trail Run, the ultra-fit Brit not only dominated the women’s field, but also beat 38 of the top men in a time of 36:08.65. (She actually raced paced third-place Brent Fikowski just before the finish.)

Sager had a solid if unspectacular start to the Games, but he seriously turned on the jets in the second half—and nowhere moreso than in “The Separator,” a murderers’ row of handstand pushups, squats, and burpees. Sager needed only 12:03 to power through an event so brutal that even the tenth-place finishers hit the 15-minute time cap. 

The returning champion started strong and ended stronger. Matched up right next to fellow Icelander (and, now, fellow two-time champion) Annie Thorisdottir in the last heat of Double DT—deadlifts, hang cleans, and push jerks—Davidsdottir kept her cool and ground her way through the barbell complexes for an event—and Games—win.

Fraser only captured one first-place event finish in this year’s Games—the Ranch Trail Run, which came as something of a surprise performance from the stocky athlete—but he absolutely dominated in consistency. With the exception of the Ranch Deadlift Ladder, Fraser never placed outside the top 10 in any given event, and placed second a whopping seven times. Ultimately, Fraser was so dominant throughout the competition that he could have totally skipped the last three events and still won.


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