Beast Fest Recap part 4 (the best part so far)


Event 3

DB Snatch ladder

:45 second to complete 1 db snatch with each arm :15 rest between stations

Tiebreaker: max reps at the heaviest db you can lift within the :45 seconds

After two kick ass events the individual and team competitors lined up for my favorite event of the day. A dumbbell snatch ladder. Anyone who has been into XCF knows that we are big fans of the dumbbell in here. Rubber hex dumbbells up to 125# toughens up any space. It certainly wouldn’t work if you are trying to design on a dime but if the theme of your space is “awesome” then it is the must have 2 ton accoutrement of the season. We had a men’s ladder starting at 65# and a women’s ladder starting at 35#. All athletes proceeded through the ladder as individuals including the team competitors. Teams were scored by the total poundage lifted by the four members. The energy in the room was amazing. As far as I know most gyms have dumbbell sets that top out around 50#. I know a lot of folks may also have a 70# db and a 100# db that they bought in 2012 after the regional events were announced. It is rare to see a set up to 100# and CrossFit gyms with anything over 100 fall into the unicorn category. I will admit this was a new addition for XCF and Beast Fest was the perfect excuse to finally complete my set. It also met I would be throwing something at the athletes that they probably hadn’t played with before. I didn’t know how well folks would do because this was the first time I had seen anything like it before. I think it was the first time anyone present had seen that particular event before. Athletes entered the gauntlet with a little trepidation but because the ladder started at a relatively light weight folks were able to build some confidence. The ladies didn’t fail to impress with many of them moving through 50, 60, and even 70# with ease. 75 proved to be a major hurdle knocking many ladies out of the game. It didn’t stop all of the ladies though with several completing even 75 and 80# on both arms. 85# pounds saw very ladies but Ashleigh Moe, Melissa Dixon, and one of the tattooed beasts from Jet City all gave it a rip. No women made it past 85# but they put up a hell of a fight to get there and gave it there all before time ran out.


On the men’s side of the house we saw a similar story play out with  big road blocks and 95# and 105#. We saw a lot of folks pull a weight with ease with one arm and look rather palsic(yeah that’s a word) and feeble with the other arm. No matter how far athletes go into the ladder it was still amazing to see folks leaving everything on the table. Things really started to heat up as we saw more and more athletes get passed that 105# db and start moving into the jedi level db snatch weights.  Just like the ladies these boys came to play. Every man in the room went deep into the well. People entered into some dark spaces and pulled some things out that I couldn’t have guessed they had in them. Size clearly wasn’t the divider on this event. The beasts of the db snatch ladder met up at the complicated intersection technique, power, and grit. When Burgener talks about the junkyard dog mentality of lifting we got to see exactly what he means. A handful of dudes made it all the way to the 125. The first man to make it there set the bar high with 7 reps at 125. This number stood for a while as athlete after athlete struggled to get just one rep each arm at 125#.

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From the team men came the db snatch spectacle of the day, but before we get to that let’s jump ahead a bit. The individual men followed the team men through the ladder and put on quite a show. Mark Buskas and Connor Nelson both got extra reps at 125. Chris Exarhos gets one each arm at 125. Chris Turnbull puts up 115 with the longest lasting single repitition, and greatest distance covered in a dumbbell snatch.


Back to the team men, Noah Pester puts up the 125 for 8 reps which would have been absolutely mind-blowing if Ryan Swobody didn’t bring down the house with 11 db snatches at 125# in :45 seconds. By the 11th rep some folks said that he started to look fatigued but it was clear he only stopped because time was up. The kid had at least 8 or 9 more reps in him. No one is surprised that this guy was a Games athlete this year. The whole db snatch event was incredible and every single athlete, judge, and spectator served to make it so. Thank you to everyone who was there for that incredible event. It will remain an iconic moment in the history of Beast Fest.