CrossFit Games leave California for Madison

A Fort Atkinson man is the only Wisconsinite to qualify for the CrossFit Games this year and the Badger State is hosting the international fitness competition. 

For the first time in 10 years, the CrossFit Games are leaving California for Madison. 

"This is the biggest CrossFit competition in the world and it's literally in our backyard," said Jeb Simmons, Crossfit Games Competitor.

There are more than 13,000 CrossFit gyms around the world. Almost 7,000 are in the United States. More than 80 are in Wisconsin.  Simmons owns Crossfit Fort Atkinson and he's competing in the 2017 Games. 

Hundreds of thousands of athletes compete for a spot in the Crossfit Games. The top 40 men and 40 men qualify, along with 80 teenagers and 240 masters.  The masters are broken up by age from 35 to 60+ to level the playing field.  Forty-two-year-old Simmons is competing in the Crossfit Games Masters Competition for men ages 40-44. 

"People do things that they thought they'd never be able to do," said Simmons.

CrossFit is a high-intensity workout consisting of functional movements that can be modified so any athlete, from kids to grandparents can workout together.

"A push-up, an air squat, a pull-up and then just combining those movements together into a format and just running with that," said Trent Simmons, Jeb's brother.

Jeb's brother was the one who convinced him to try CrossFit.

"I swore I was never gonna do it again.  I left there mad like this is the worst thing I've ever done," said Jeb.

Things change.

"There was something about it that drew me in.  It was a challenge," Jeb said.

Now Jeb is getting ready for days of grueling workouts, many kept secret until the competition.

"You've just got to get your body ready. See how fast you can recover to be able to do another workout," said Jeb.

No surprise, he plans to give it his all.

"I feel like I'm representing Wisconsin," he said.

The CrossFit Games are going on from Thursday to Sunday in Madison. The Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the Games to bring in more than $7 million for the city.

 

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