Former Champion Ben Smith Hosts Training Camp for 2023 CrossFit Games. Laura Horvath and Gabriela Migala Show Out

This elite squad of athletes is preparing for the big week in Madison.

The 2023 CrossFit Games are quickly approaching and elite athletes are preparing to go all in for the big week in Madison, WI on Aug. 1-6, 2023. In particular, Ben Smith, the 2015 Fittest Man on Earth, was joined by 2022 Women’s third-place finisher Laura Horvath and 2022 Women’s eighth-place finisher Gabriela Migala are training for their upcoming challenge.

The three competitors were joined by other CrossFit athletes, as well as non-competitor gym members, for what was called a training camp. On June 30, 2023, CrossFit Krypton (which hosted the event and is co-owned by Smith) shared a video of camp highlights on their YouTube channel.

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Smith can be seen explaining the planned workout for the day to the assembled crew in Chesapeake, VA. The warm-up phase was a two-round circuit incorporating rowing, push-ups, SkiErg, hanging L-sit leg raise, stationary bike riding, handstands, and burpees.

Next was the main workout of the day. It included three separate stations with exercise pairings performed back-to-back in a superset style. The entire circuit was completed for as many rounds as possible within 12 minutes.

Station One

  • Rowing — 20 calories (men) / 16 calories (women)
  • Bench Press — 10 reps with 84 kilograms/185 pounds (men) / 56.7 kilograms/125 pounds (women)

Station Two

  • Stationary Bike — 20 calories (men) / 16 calories (women)
  • Legless Rope Climb — Two reps (height not disclosed)

Station Three

  • SkiErg — 20 calories (men) / 16 calories (women)
  • Strict Handstand Push-up — 10 reps (facing the wall)

Following the circuits, Smith then instructed the groups to take turns doing strict pull-ups using the “ladder” method. They began by performing one rep per person, followed by two reps on the next set, three reps on the following set, adding one repetition per set to a maximum of 12 reps or until they reached failure. Members that couldn’t perform pull-ups with their bodyweight were using resistance bands to help them complete their reps. 

Following a question and answer session with the high-level athletes, they all moved on to the “cashout” phase of the workout, which featured snatches, back squats, burpees, and toes-to-bar leg raises. This was the final portion of the workout.

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Horvath is the highest finishing woman from the 2022 Games returning to this year’s competition. She placed third behind six-time champion Tia-Clair Toomey, who withdrew from the this year’s Games because of her pregnancy and time as a new mother, while 2022 runner-up Mal O’Brien withdrew from the 2023 season due to personal challenges. Migala, meanwhile, will try to improve on her eighth place finish from 2022. Her highest career finish in the Women’s division was sixth in 2021 — in 2016, Migala placed third in the Girls (16-17) division.

As for Smith, the 2023 Games will mark his first CrossFit Games appearance since 2019. This year will be the his first time competing in the Teams division rather than the Men’s division where he won his 2015 championship. Smith will be the captain for Team CrossFit Krypton. This year marks the team’s first time making the Games since their second place finish in 2019. Smith hopes to join Rich Froning Jr. as a former Individual winner to also win a Teams title at the Games.

Featured Image: CrossFit Krypton / YouTube

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