New RxIt Series to boost CrossFit©

Words: Stephan Meyer | Photos: DO IT NOW Media

CrossFit© is definitely the buzzword in the health and fitness industry these days, both locally and abroad. Although the type of fitness regime and movements are nothing new, the stakes have been raised and top athletes and teams from around the world are now competing in a three-stage test of fitness, comprised of the Open, Regionals, and the CrossFit© Games; the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth.

Growing community

Despite CrossFit© being relatively new in southern Africa, the CrossFit© community is rapidly growing. Testament to this is the number of affiliated boxes nationwide, which has already surpassed the 70 mark and continues to rise fast, as well as Level 1 CrossFit© seminars that are fully booked up within hours of releasing the details. In addition, the number of local events is also on the increase. Competitions like Throwdowns (CrossFit© PBM - April), Showdowns (CrossFit© Platinum - August), Fittest in Cape (CrossFit© Cape - January), United We Stand Games (CrossFit© Durban - October) and Invitationals (CrossFit© Johannesburg - November), plus many others, are definitely helping to increase the exposure of the CrossFit© brand to local communities across the country.

Our CrossFitters are making a name for themselves on the international competition scene too. In July this year, Dave Levey, Carla Nunes da Costa, and the CrossFit© Platinum Team made Africa extremely proud at the CrossFit© Games held in Carson, California.

Teething problems

Being a young sport comes with its own challenges. As part of the community, I have seen and heard of numerous incidents where the athlete, whether training as a serious contender or only as a lifestyle choice, has been exposed to movements and standards they are not yet capable of executing. As a result, this leaves them feeling demotivated or even injured.

Raising the bar

With this in mind, a new series has been added to the calendar, the RxIt Summer Series. However, this is no run-of-the-mill series; there are a number of objectives that it sets out to meet. First and foremost, the events are structured so that both the athletes, whether a novice or semi/professional, and coaches are educated on standards and movements ranges and efficiencies. The series is also aimed at developing the community, providing additional events to compete in while in the comfort of your own box, and increasing the profile and integrity of the sport. Ultimately, this will elevate the participants’ overall experience at these events and raise their game, improve judging standards, and ensure the continued growth of the sport in Africa.

Series format

The RxIt Summer Series is an annual nationwide CrossFit© event that will be held at every affiliate over a period of four weeks during November, with a Winter Series being added to the calendar in 2014.

The format of events will be single or coupled WODs to be performed each week, for four weeks. Substantial cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third places in the Men and Women’s Rx division, and prize hampers and vouchers for the winners of the Scaled category. In future series of the RxIt campaign, age groups divisions will be added. Spot prizes and lucky draws for weekly winners will be handed out. There will also be equipment prizes for the affiliate teams with the best overall score in both the Scaled and Rx categories. These scores will be based upon the cumulative scores of the top ten (six men and four ladies) in the Rx category, and the top thirty (twenty men and ten ladies) in the Scaled category, throughout the four weeks for each affiliate.

Affiliate owners will be invited to partake in a four-week competition prior to the RxIt Summer Series, to shoot the standard videos for the various movements themselves. These videos will be judged and the top videos will be selected and then opened to the public for voting. Handy prizes can be won by the box with the best quality video and most votes.

Get registered

Boxes will be invited to register so that their members can register online and submit their scores. The box owner/coach will be required to validate the score before it can be counted as an official result. There is no limit to the number of participants, so this means that anyone can enter. However, the workouts will have to be performed at an affiliated CrossFit© box to be considered legitimate. Non-affiliated members will only be allowed to enter the Scaled category and will have to perform it at an affiliated box. This restriction is due to an onramp being required at each affiliate, to be rated as sufficient to perform the Rx division movements and repetition counts, thus protecting the athlete from injury.

WOD information

WODs will be announced weekly and a full demo of each movement and its standard will be made available. Each week’s WODs will be launched live at various locations. These locations will comprise of other boxes and events in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria. Each launch will see a minimum of two top athletes going head-to-head and footage taken will be uploaded the same evening. Once the WOD is available on the website, athletes can start submitting their scores. All scores will be live immediately, but will require a box owner/judge to validate it before the cut off at midnight every Sunday. There will also be a live leader board for all to view on the website. Athletes competing in the Rx category will need to video record their workouts, as 5% of all WODs in this category will be reviewed. If the original workout was not recorded and the athlete’s WOD is selected, then the athlete will have to redo the workout, video record and submit it. If not, the athlete will obtain a zero score. Prizewinners in each round will be announced on the following Tuesday mornings.

This series is about the integrity of the athletes and the judge/box owner/coach.

Programming criteria

The Summer Series will cater for both the advanced CrossFit©© athlete and novice/intermediate, with programming that will suit both types of individuals. Comprehensive skill and strength/endurance will be required for the Rx division, while the Scaled division will be a replica of the Rx division, but programmed so that it is all-inclusive to the entire community and provides exposure to a wide variety of athletes wishing to participate.

Giving back

As part of the RxIt initiative, funds generated by the Summer Series and future events will be used to assist the athletes who qualify at the African Regionals and will participate in the annual CrossFit© Games in the USA. The current sum already allocated to this initiative is R50,000 for the eight athletes - individual men and women and a six-member team. The aim is to increase this amount as exposure and participation to RxIt events increases. Hence, every athlete entering the RxIt Summer Series and future events contributes to the development of African athletes and this sport.

Multiple options

With the adaptable RxIt format, various other options will be added in the future, such as Inter-box challenges, a Winter Series, and Invitationals.
• Inter-box Challenges - These challenges would allow one box to challenge another box online, for example, a box from Cape Town challenges a box from Johannesburg. After accepting the challenge, workouts will be posted for them to complete and submit scores online. The Inter-box Challenge will then be made public on the website and opportunities will be provided, if an open invitational, to other boxes to join the Inter-box Challenge. Once a winner has been announced, rankings will be published to see who the fittest boxes are in South Africa. Live streaming these Inter-box Challenges is a promising prospect for the future.
• Winter Series - The addition of a Winter Series will help athletes stay motivated throughout winter and start the Summer Series with a solid base of training. This programming will be structured so that it enhances and profits the athletes’ off-season training regime.
• Local or international invitational - This would allow for even further exposure of our South African CrossFit© athletes to an elite and or international level of competition.

Added benefits

The advantages of supporting the Rxlt initiative are numerous and benefits include having access to individualised athlete profiles and affiliate profiles, fantastic specials on merchandise, services such community calendars to advertise all events, and monthly newsletters.

The potential of our CrossFit© athletes in Africa is huge, so if you are ready to go to the next level, then RxIt will assist, where possible, to change the community one athlete at a time.

For more information about the Rxlt Series, registering, or just finding out more about CrossFit©, visit