Skip to main content
Category

News

How it Works: All The Details On Open Registration

By News, Online Challenge

Athletes who don’t qualify during the WZAOC (Online Challenge & Qualifier) have another chance to compete on the floor at WZA Miami through Open Registration.

On a pre-identified date, registration for Scaled & Beginner divisions will open to all eligible athletes who completed the WZOAC in its entirety (completing all workouts, submitting required videos, etc.). Athletes are invited to race against other eligible athletes to sign up and secure their spot to compete at WZA Miami.

WHO’S ELIGIBLE?

  • To become eligible to register for Open Registration, all athletes must complete all WZAOC workouts for their appropriate division (individual and/or team), submit their scores for all workouts and any requested videos (prior to the video submission deadline) in order to be eligible to register for Open Registration.
  • On specific dates (see a full list of important dates and deadlines here!), athletes are invited to race against the rest of the eligible athletes to try and sign up and secure their spot to compete at WZA Miami within the Scaled or Beginner division.
  • In years past, it has sold out within seconds. While we don’t want anyone unhappy with the process, unfortunately not everybody is guaranteed a spot. These spots are first-come, first-serve, and extremely limited. There is a huge demand, and they will literally fly off of the shelves.
  • Only those eligible (that submitted all their scores & the required videos) will receive an email with the link and passcode 48 hours before Open Registration launches.

Number of Open Registration SPOTS:

  • Individual Scaled – 30 Spots Per Gender
  • Individual Beginner – 20 Spots Per Gender
  • Adaptive Seated – 6 Spots Per Gender
  • Adaptive Standing – 6 Spots Per Gender
  • Team of 3 Scaled – 50 Spots Per Gender
  • Team of 3 Beginner – 20 Spots Per Gender

OPEN REGISTRATION TIPS & TRICKS:

  • To get ahead of the game, prior to the start of Open Registration, go to www.competitioncorner.net and sign in using your same account information for the WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier. Then click on the registration link. Please note, your Wodapalooza account is the same as your Competition Corner account.
  • As soon as Open Registration opens, select your division and type in the unique case-sensitive passcode provided in your email (this will be sent out to eligible athletes 48 hours before Open Registration begins), and click Proceed.
  • By signing in beforehand the registration form will be pre-populated with most of the information you’ve already provided, saving you time in completing the process.
  • Once you’re on the registration page, it will notify you if you’ve secured one of the limited spots. Proceed through registration and payment, and you’re good to go!

2021 WZA Season Updates

By News

Wodapalooza is fast approaching, and with it, the qualifying piece to earn a spot to compete on the Miami floor is set to begin: The WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier.

WZAOC INDY CHALLENGE BEGINS: OCT 4th
WZAOC TEAM CHALLENGE BEGINS: NOV 1st 

Take a look at some of the changes to this year’s online challenge!

*NEW* Taking it back to Teams of 3!

  • With our 10th year here, we’re going back to our roots and celebrating the tight-knit teams that make up our community.
  • Grab your two best buds and test your fitness on the most fun stage in the fitness world!
  • No need to be together to compete in the WZA Team OC! Team members can register and compete from across the world with hopes of meeting together on the competition floor in Miami!

*NEW* Beginner Team of 3 Divisions

  • In order to accommodate the vast diversity of abilities with athletes, now the true CrossFit beginners are eligible to compete in a division that best suits them: Beginner.
  • Open Registration” is still also an alternative to what has become a very competitive Scaled division at Wodapalooza.

*NEW* More Spots for Master’s in Miami

  • Master’s 65+ division has been added!
  • We want to give more opportunities for Master’s to compete and now they can along with a greater chance to qualify to compete in Miami!

Everyone Must Compete in the Online Challenge

  • This isn’t a change, but still worth noting! Whether looking to compete in beginner, scaled, elite, or Rx, the first step is completing the WZAOC in its entirety. Unless you fall into one of these groups… Who Receives Invites to WZA Miami?

While WZA seeks to stay true to our roots, it’s important to continue to grow and adapt. These changes seek to keep Wodapalooza ahead of the competitive curve and to provide the very best experience to athletes as part of the Online Challenge & Qualifier, as well as the event in Miami.

There is only one thing left to do. When registration opens, sign up, and get ready to throw down. If planning on vying for a team, grab two friends and prepare for exciting workouts over ten days.

The WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier registration opens Monday, August 30th!

WZA Stories: Natalia Volya

By News, WZA Miami

“I have learned so much about myself, my abilities and what my body can do. A year ago, I fully recommitted myself to it and could not be happier. My trainers are the best and believe in me so much. You need that.” Russian athlete Natalia suffered an accident by electrocution at just 13 years old, which resulted in the loss of her legs. Yet, she chose to stay active, and found CrossFit 4-5 years ago.

“At first, my mom was skeptical, but she now sees how much CrossFit has done for me. I remember that she said something about being nervous about me getting bulky and becoming too muscular.” In Russia, women often battle the perception that they should dedicate themselves to more feminine pursuits. “It is definitely not as progressive [in Russia] as here. But now, my mom sees that’s not the case, that I’ll get bulky. Now, my husband does it, my son, my mother-in-law. It’s a family affair.”

Natalia can jump rope, walk on her hands. There seem to be more things she CAN do than she can’t. How does she take on something new and get this good at it? “I just try things, and figure out a way that I can do them. In my gym, I have my own set-ups; I don’t require help, no one looks at me differently. For example, my weights are my problem. If I need to grab plates or put them away, I do it myself, I like that. Someone gifted me a jump rope, I brought it to my coach laughing and said what are we going to do with that. She said, we are going to jump. And here we are!”

Asked about her Wodapalooza experience, Natalia reflects, “I can’t even describe it. I had no idea I would have this kind of support from complete strangers. The workout on The Deck got me through it and kept me moving. I thought I should have signed up for scaled, at that moment I was reminded why I didn’t. I never expected so many photos, so many people talking to me, messaging me. I am so humbled and grateful.

“It was so amazing to meet other adaptive athletes, to learn from them and see how they adapt to certain workouts, the equipment they used. I definitely need to get one of those cushions for my lap. It’s just been a great experience and I am overwhelmed with kindness, unexpected attention, and other athletes.”

Natalia’s advice for other adaptive athletes looking to start? “Find a gym, find a good trainer, and then you just do it. That’s what my trainers did for me, I said, ‘I will work if you will work.’ And here we are.”

WZA Stories: Emma Cary

By News, WZA Miami

Emma Cary is a 2019 CrossFit Games Champ in the 14-15 age groups. Without a doubt, teens are the future of the sport, so we asked Emma what she’s hoping to show the youth who look up to her.

Emma: I hope to show the youth we shouldn’t limit ourselves. I mean, even in this year’s Open, I didn’t want to look at the leaderboard cause I felt like I wasn’t going to do very well in the adult division. Just because it didn’t seem like I could. And that was a limit I placed on myself. And once I took that limit off myself, I did some really cool things.

You can surprise yourself when you’re not worried about failing. And I’ve learned that failing teaches you and that you shouldn’t be afraid of it because if you don’t fail, you’re really not going to learn. And if you don’t learn, you can’t get better.

And as for where Emma hopes to see the sport go?

Emma: I love competing. I love the community of competition and I hope to see the sport have more people competing and not even just competing at the high level, but competing even at local competition shows you where you can go.”

To compete at this level, Emma has to dedicate herself to hours of training, recovery and specific nutrition intake. We asked where she finds the drive to pursue her goals with such laser focus at only 14.

Emma: I like to be a better version of myself. That’s what I ask myself, ‘Is this making me better?’ Whenever there’s a day when I might not want to train, I ask myself, ‘Will just sitting here make me better?’ And then it’s like, no, so I need to get better, because everybody else is getting better. And I want to win. Winning isn’t my only goal, but I know if I’m not the very best version of myself, I won’t win. And if I am the best version of myself, I’m going to try really hard. And if I don’t, I still can’t complain cause I did everything I could.

Wondering what a typical day looks like for an athlete like Emma? Same. So we asked her.

Emma: I usually wake up around five to hit an hour and a half-ish of conditioning work before school and then I go to school, come home, have a quick snack and then train from about four to seven, do some homework real quick and go to bed. I try to get all my homework done that I can at school by managing my time well. So if I finish something else early, instead of playing a game or looking at Instagram, I look at what I can do now that I will be happy I did later.

Is it possible for her to squeeze anything else into her busy days?

Emma: I coach a kids class at our gym. I love working with kids, I want to be a pediatrician. We have about 14 8-12 year olds. I just love helping people, whether that’s inspiring them or coaching them or just encouraging them. That is what I like to do.

So, what is Emma most proud of in her young career as an athlete?

Emma: I am most proud of being dedicated to improvement. I don’t chase being perfect. I used to, but I know that I’m not going to be perfect, so instead of quitting because I’m not perfect, I relentlessly chase improving. I’m just going to believe I can do it. And if I believe with everything I have, I’m going to work with everything I have and then I’m going to do it.

WZA Stories: Guilherme Malheiros

By News

Odds are, you’ve run across a video of Guilherme Malheiros pulling unreal weights on Instagram. The Brazilian Beast, as he’s known by many, is just 20 years old and already at the top of his game in his home country and rapidly gaining recognition globally. We dug into his background (and the story behind his mismatched shoes).

“I started Crossfit when I was 10 years old in 2015. I used to play basketball. So then I started to do Crossfit to improve my basketball game. In the end, I got better in CrossFit than in basketball. So I made this change.” Guilherme climbed to the top of the teenage division and didn’t stop there. “I went from scaled in the beginning of the year to elite in the final of the year, with the big dogs in Brazil. Guys who were 22, 24 years old. And I was 16 years old. And I always fight with them.”

Unfortunately, injuries don’t politely wait for athletes at the finish line. “2018 was a year of lessons. I learned a lot. I had an injury, so it made me grow as a person and an athlete. So today I’m more smart than I was in 2017.” Guilherme injured his lower back and was unable to move in many of the ways he wanted, throwing his training plans for a loop. It would be easy to get discouraged when your plan A goes out the window, but the champ had some great advice for anyone struggling through hard times. “Use this time off your program to learn about yourself and to learn about your body, what your body needs.”

The Brazilian Beast held himself accountable throughout his recovery. “I have to improve, and if I don’t, it is my fault.” His training came full circle when he was once again forced to work on what some call the most dreaded aspect of any sport: conditioning. Through tough days and a lot of running, Malheiros came out the other side and wants you to know that you can, too. “An injury can be good. Just has to be that put your mind that it’s an opportunity to grow.”

Today, Guilherme is applying what he learned from his time recovering to not only be the best athlete he can be, but doing it in style. He sometimes wears two different colors of the same shoe to compete, but not because he feels it gives him a competitive edge. Smiling ear to ear, the 20-year-old crowd favorite says, “People love it.”

WZA Stories: Josie Portell

By News, WZA Miami

Josie Portell is a 2x WZA Champion vying for her 3rd title this weekend. Watching her on the competition floor, her intensity is unmistakable. We asked her about the phrase, “Never whine, never complain, never make excuses,” stitched on her chair.

“There’s going to be no point in doing that [whining]. So why do it? It’s just going to hurt you in the long run. Like, if something doesn’t go my way in a workout or the weight’s heavier than I thought or something, let it go and don’t complain or anything. Because it’s just going to hurt you.

Josie and her father, Bob, started Bar X adaptive, a program for athletes of all ages and ability levels. Bob explains, “We started with Josie as basically our first athlete and that was I guess almost two years ago. Now we’re probably at 15 athletes and we’ve got a bunch of new kids coming in now, but the main thing about our program is it’s inclusive. The athletes come in and do the same classes as everybody else. We just adapt the workouts. They’re in with all the other athletes and everybody else, so it’s not a separate adaptive class, it’s inclusive.” The future of Bar X Adaptive is also looking bright. When asked if Bob and Josie would ever take Bar X Adaptive on the road to reach more athletes, they said, “If the opportunity presented itself, we would obviously entertain, but right now, we’re trying to be the best we can with the athletes we have.”

Bob was also the inspiring force that sparked Josie’s CrossFit journey. Bob began CrossFit first, and Josie said she wanted to do it, as well. “She wanted to come to the gym and I started doing research. The gym owner was nice enough for her to come in and that’s kind of where it all started. I just started finding out how to adapt the movements and such, which is where we are today.”

 

Josie and Bob originally viewed CrossFit as a great way for Josie to condition for her basketball season. Being a natural athlete, Josie excelled and added CrossFit to her schedule which, at one point, also included school, basketball, track, and cheer. Now, as she begins to look at colleges, she now “just want[s] to keep growing, doing sports and just fine-tuning.”

Josie is hoping to take her talents to the University of Illinois and play Women’s Wheelchair Basketball for the Fighting Illini, and Bob will continue to grow their gym and adaptive program.

After Party | Veza Sur

By News, WZA Miami

The party never stops in Miami! Let’s keep the celebration going at the official 2020 WZA After Party on Sunday night! We’ve got the details on the place to be, so join us to raise a glass (or two) to all your hard work this weekend.

I’m so in, where are we going? Wodapalooza has rented out the entirety of Veza Sur Brewing Co. from 9 PM – 2 AM, we expect you to pack this place to the brim! Veza Sur is one of the hottest new breweries in town. The hot spot, which opened its doors in 2018, is a Miami-born brewery with Latin and American roots.

Who’s invited? Everyone! Spectators, volunteers and of course, athletes! Flash your wristband at the door and then dance the night away with us. We’ll have a DJ dropping beats and bartenders slinging craft brews and cocktails all night.

Jason Wiese: From 400 Pounds to Wodapalooza

By News

BY EMILY BEERS

Originally Posted by The Morning Chalk Up

 

Jason Wiese isn’t sure how much he weighed at his heaviest.

“I know I saw 397 pounds. I have no idea if that was the highest point or not,” said the 30-year-old Wiese.

Unlike many people who make lifestyle transformations, and who can pinpoint the exact moment when everything changed, Wiese doesn’t remember a specific event that prompted him.

“I don’t have an aha moment story, you know, like where I was sleeping one night and woke up scared and decided I needed to change my life,” said the six-foot-four Wiese.  

 

There wasn’t a specific moment, but there had been years of moments that slowly built up to a place where he lived with a constant lingering fear that wouldn’t go away.

“I lived with this fear of dying of a heart attack by the age of 35,” Wiese said. “And I guess eventually I just got tired worrying about whether I could make it through a hike with my friends. I’d always get so out of breath….I just didn’t want this to be the thing that controls me anymore. Didn’t want it to be the thing that holds me back.”

Small Steps

Some manage to change their diets and lifestyles overnight, this wasn’t the case for Wiese.

“I just decided to start taking small steps. First, I had to get over my fear of ‘what will people think of me’ in the gym, and just start doing it,” he said.

Wiese started out by doing some exercises his wife Nicole Wiese found on YouTube. Then he hired a personal trainer and later went to the YMCA and a Globo gym. He also started eating a bit healthier and managed to get down to 330 pounds in the following months.

Though he was happy with his progress, Wiese still wanted more. That’s when he found Together We Rise CrossFit in Indianapolis, Ind. It was the summer of 2018.

What spoke to Wiese right away was the concept of having goals beyond just weight loss, which is exactly what CrossFit gave him. It’s what had been missing, he explained.

Photo Courtesy of Jason Wiese

Setting and Achieving Goals through CrossFit

CrossFit helped him realize the value of both action-based and tangible fitness goals, and that they were more fun to chase than just a number on the scale.

“I don’t want to be skinny or thin. I want to be strong. I want to be more flexible. I want better endurance. I want to be able to lift 200 pounds over my head. Those are my goals now,” he said. “I don’t want to be measured by the scale. My self-worth isn’t on the scale.”

Having these types of performance-based goals also made it a whole lot easier for Wiese to take care of the other things in his life, like his nutrition and sleep and recovery.

For Wiese, this meant shifting his relationship with food and following a diet that fuels him to be able to perform his best. He turned to counting his macronutrients for this, which he said has been incredibly useful.

“I understand now what I need to eat for my body to survive and thrive,” he said.

And though it was not his main focus, the more he concentrated on his newfound fitness goals, the more he continued to shed pounds. Today, Wiese weighs 265 pounds, 133 pounds less than the heaviest he remembers seeing on the scale.

But again, that’s not the important part, he insists.

What is important is how he feels today, namely the confidence he has in himself.

“Mentally, I know I can achieve anything. I know what I’m capable of. I know that I’m strong,” Wiese said.  Emotionally, he’s a lot happier, too.

“I don’t want to be sitting down anymore. I want to be active…I’m just happier. And one of my favorite parts of the day is when my wife and I come home from the gym and cook dinner together,” he said, adding that they’re both in a better place today than before CrossFit.

Photo Courtesy of Jason Wiese

Competing at Wodapalooza

The next step in their journey together: To compete at Wodapalooza in Miami, FL together next weekend in the new beginner division in their first live competition.

“When they first announced the beginner division I was absolutely excited. I want to be involved in that world. I want to be part of it because I fell in love with CrossFit. I’m terrified, but I’m so excited,” Wiese said.

He’s incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

“There has never been a place for me in the competitive world of CrossFit, except for watching in the stands or from my couch,” he said. “And even though I’m not an elite CrossFit athlete, this is still a sport to me. It’s what drives me.”

Tia-Clair Toomey vs Sara Sigmundsdottir has fans salivating for Wodapalooza this weekend

By News

Written by BRIAN FRIEND

Originally Posted by South China Morning Post

Arguably one of the biggest Sanctionals of the CrossFit season, Miami’s 2020 Wodapalooza is also poised to be the premier display of talent before August’s 2020 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.

A field of about 40 competitors, most of whom have significant experience, will be joined by a few up-and-comers looking to make their mark from February 20-23. There are no cuts or a skewed scoring system, and the field is large enough that every placing in every event matters. There will be a lot going on this weekend, so here are the most important storylines as CrossFit turns its eyes to South Beach.

Three-time defending female champion Tia-Clair Toomey will face off against red-hot Icelandic star Sara Sigmundsdottir, which will be the marquee draw of the competition.

Toomey has earned the right to be the favourite in every competition. Not only did she become the first woman to win three times at the CrossFit Games, she did it in a row and by the largest margin of victory.

Toomey is the defending champion at Wodapalooza and finished first or second in every event last year. She is also the defending champion at the Rogue and the Mayhem Classic, and she’s starting to amass a record similar to four-time defending men’s champion Mat Fraser. It’s becoming difficult to remember the last time she didn’t win.

Sigmundsdottir is the only one of the “big three” Icelandic “Dottirs” who hasn’t won at the CrossFit Games, but she has done a lot of winning in other competitions lately. She’s won the Open three times, including both in the last calendar year. She’s a three-time Regional champion (2015-2017). She’s already won two Sanctionals this year in Ireland and Dubai and won one last season at Strength in Depth.

And yet, recently she’s been largely disappointing at the CrossFit Games. Last season Toomey and Sigmundsdottir clashed three times and Toomey won all three competitions in convincing fashion. And yet, Sigmundsdottir seems like the best chance anyone has to dethrone the champ.

Annie Thorisdottir recently announced her pregnancy; Kara Saunders is in the process of making a comeback after having her first child; Katrin Davidsdottir withdrew from Dubai with a back injury, and as incredible as Sam Briggs is, she has nearly a dozen years on Toomey, which is only getting harder and harder to overcome.

If Sigmundsdottir is unable to threaten Toomey for the title in Miami this month, I’m not sure where else to look, unless one of the up-and-coming athletes has a breakthrough moment at Wodapalooza.

The women’s field is full of Americans who will be vying for not only the last spot on the podium but to separate themselves from their compatriots. There’s an odd disparity between the men’s and women’s competitions over the last decade. The last time a non-American man earned the title of Fittest on Earth was Finland’s Mikko Salo back in 2009.

However, the last time an American woman won at the Games was Kristen Clever in 2010. The top American women to watch in Miami are each intriguing in their own way: Kari Pearce, Brooke Wells, Amanda Barnhart, Haley Adams and Danielle Brandon could all potentially have breakout moments at Wodapalooza.

The biggest news on the men’s side isn’t who is competing, but who isn’t. That includes Fraser, the four-time defending Games champion. He’s coming off a dominant performance in London at Strength in Depth last month in which he won five out of the seven events. This extends his streak of winning every live competition he’s entered since the 2015 CrossFit Games.

While Fraser isn’t in the field, several of the men who are clambering to dethrone him are – notably, last year’s second-fittest man Noah Ohlsen and 2018’s second-fittest man Patrick Vellner.

If they want to send a message to Fraser, it doesn’t just mean winning in Miami, it means dominating there because if Fraser was competing, that’s what he would most likely do.

In the team division, Mayhem Freedom, led by icon Rich Froning, finished in fifth place last year. That is unheard of for any team he’s been a part of. They revamped their roster and went on to win in Asia and take third place at Rogue before, somewhat surprisingly, running away with the title (their fourth in five years) at the Games last August.

If that wasn’t impressive enough after the shaky start to last season, Dre Strohm stepped down from the team and was replaced by eight-time Games veteran and Froning’s old Regional rival, Scott Panchik.

Mayhem took the floor at Strength in Depth last month and after a poor placement on event one, won five of the remaining six events and have already secured an invitation to the Games. The field of teams lining up to challenge them in Miami is a bit stronger.

Team GoWod and Team Meat Gone Bad feature athletes from teams who have also already qualified for the Games. Though these teams don’t comprise the exact rosters we’re likely to see in Madison this summer, they are impressive rosters that will push Mayhem in several events, which is sure to make Miami a thrilling competition in all three categories.

The VIP Experience at WZA Miami 2020

By News, WZA Miami

Now is your chance to see Wodapalooza like never before! Join us for an unforgettable VIP experience with exclusive access to unique events and special access.

VIP Ticket Perks:

  • Access to the VIP Beach Daily – Includes VIP Lounge, Dedicated restrooms & Exclusive Bar Access
  • Dedicated seating at Bayside Stage (map to follow)
  • Dedicated seating at Flagler with access to VIP decks (map to follow)
  • Dedicated entry lines at check in
  • VIP Exclusive Workout led by Sam Dancer. Saturday at 7 am at the Deck

VIP tickets are selling out, get yours now!