Road to the Top 10

By Andréa Maria Cecil

In Athletes, CrossFit Games

September 10, 2012

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Former all-American volleyball player and Olympic weightlifter Lindsey Valenzuela went from 34th at last year’s Games to ninth this year—and she has bigger goals in 2012. Andréa Maria Cecil reports.

In July, Lindsey Valenzuela finished the CrossFit Games in ninth place, jumping 25 spots from 2011 and meeting her goal of making the top 10 in 2012.

“It was an amazing arc in a year,” said her coach, Dusty Hyland. “She climbed the ladder and the competition got stiffer. For her, we’ve seen a lot of growth as an athlete on a mental level, on a competitive level and on a physical level.”

For the new training year, Valenzuela’s programming will mostly be the same. For Hyland, he wants to address weaknesses that led to low finishes at the Games, including 37th in the O-Course, 39th in the Broad Jump and 25th in the Rope-Sled.

“What we’re going to do this season is get her more prepared for the unknown,” he said. “She’s going to get a heavy dose of gymnastics and weightlifting.”

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2 Comments on “Road to the Top 10”


wrote …

It makes me really happy to see Lindsey do well. There are so many former gymnasts/etc. in the sport, especially on the women's side, whereas a lot of the rank-and-file CrossFitters are more occupied with the weightlifting, etc.; it's easy to wonder if we're all a little off-track or at a disadvantage. But Lindsey's arc is evidence that intensity and raw talent combined with good coaching can bridge the most popular aspects of day-to-day CrossFit with the CrossFit Games podium. Back off, Takano! We want Lindsey for another year at least.


wrote …

Lindsey is an amazing crossfit athlete. This comment does not intend to criticize her in anyway.

I think its interesting to note that she has some of the highest snatch and clean and jerk numbers among the female games athletes. But, her standing broad jump ranks below the 50 th percentile in her peer group.

The standing broad jump is arguably an equal or even better measure of athletic power than vertical (as tested with a Vertec).

We hear a lot of anecdotal evidence that the Olympic lifts improve athletic power (ie vertical jump) and coaches champion the lifts to improving athletic power. However, as coaches who agree with anecdotal evidence that lifts increase athletic power, we should also consider evidence to the contrary - the lifts do not increase athletic power to the degree we espouse them to.

Lindsey's numbers, which have the added credibility of being compared against 50+ other top female athletes being tested at the same time in the same environment, do not support the idea that ability in the lifts correlate with athletic power.

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