Roseville gets physical — CrossFit style

Tires, sandbags are part of the action at Sac-Town Throwdown
By: Robbie Enos
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CrossFit is sweeping the nation. The new method of training includes competitions, too.

It’s like working out and keeping score, but then taking it to the next level. With all kinds of events, ranging from basic Olympic lifts to hardcore agility drills right before throwing javelins at a target, CrossFit is essentially the gym from Hell.

The CrossFit style was developed in 2000 by Greg and Lauren Glassman. According to the official CrossFit website, “The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown but for the unknowable. After looking at all sport and physical tasks collectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage.”

The Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville was the site for the fourth annual Sac-Town Throwdown, a CrossFit competition, on Saturday and Sunday. Teams from around the state came to showcase their CrossFit expertise and were scored on their ability to complete a designated collection of CrossFit challenges.

“The objective is to test your fitness,” CrossFit Roseville team coach and competitor Jesse Phillips said. “Find the fittest team of people.”

With rocking AC/DC music in the background, athletes lined up in horse stables to complete frequent reps of high-weight, clean-and-jerk-style lifts. Right next to that station was a gymnastics station equipped with pull-up bars and high rings. Lifting tires, jumping rope, exercise chairs, carrying sandbags while running … the only limit on the variety of events was the imagination of the creators.

“The CrossFit athlete has to be a whole athlete,” Phillips said. “So you can’t just be strong, because you also have to compete well in the gymnastics ladder. You can’t just be good at body weight stuff; you have to be good at conditioning also. You can’t have any weaknesses.”

Roseville’s team was a collection of fitness enthusiasts that found their way into the world of CrossFit. Phillips is a former water polo player and coach at Woodcreek High School. Ashley Albano was sucked into the sport by her husband.

“We (got into CrossFit) so we could work out together,” Albano said. “It’s an amazing workout program. You can constantly challenge yourself mentally, so we fell in love with it.”

Males and females competed, and their proficiency in each event was calculated into an overall score to determine the fittest team.

“I just want to be the best that I can be,” Albano said. “I want to continue to improve on my own personal stamina and become stronger.”

The future of CrossFit is interesting to contemplate. The possibility of organized collegiate or high school competition would certainly bring the sport into cultural legitimacy.

“That would be awesome if it was,” Albano said. “The thing about CrossFit is that if you get into it and get past the getting-sore phase, you really get this high from CrossFit. It’s an addicting thing. So I see it going very far.”




Open (34 teams): 1. Diablo CrossFit of Pleasant Hill, 2. Solano, 3. Santa Cruz.

Novice (36 teams): 1. Redding, 2. Rocklin, 3. Pleasanton.

Masters (25 teams): 1. Rocklin, 2. East Sac, 3. Pleasanton.