Technology0Programming Analysis: 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship


Photo Credit: Preslie Hirsch

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The 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship finished up after three days and eight events of competition. Karin Frey dominated the women’s field, winning by 120 points and taking her second podium finish at Dubai. Fabian Beneito had a breakout performance, with a come-from-behind win over Brent Fikowski. 

He ended up tying Moritz Fiebig in overall points, but won the tie-break for having more event wins throughout the weekend. Looking back at the weekend, we’re breaking down the programming based on the modality, time domain and the stimulus tested. 

Weightlifting: Six out of the eight workouts featured an external load (if you don’t count the weight vest in the Burj Khalifa challenge), with seven total weightlifting movements being programmed over the weekend. There were three workouts featuring a barbell, two featuring dumbbells and one utilizing a sandbag. 

  • Hang Clean
  • Snatches 
  • Dumbbell Thrusters
  • Clean + Front Squat + Shoulder-to-Overhead Complex 
  • Sandbag Carry 
  • Devil Press
  • Double Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunge

Gymnastics: Five of the eight workouts featured a bodyweight movement, with six total 

gymnastics movements being programming over the weekend. 

  • Toes-to-bar
  • Legless Rope Climbs 
  • Burpee Box Clears
  • Chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • Handstand walk
  • Ring muscle ups

Monostructural: Five of the eight workouts featured a cardio movement, with five total monostructural movements appearing in the competition’s programming. 

  • Stairs
  • Ski Erg
  • Echo Bike
  • Shuttle Run
  • Heavy Rope Double Unders 

Time Domain and Stimulus

  • Event 1 (Burj Khalifa Challenge): This was the endurance test for the weekend, with the time domain being between 30-45 minutes. 
  • Event 2 (Hang Clean Ladder): This was the strength test for the weekend, using the popular format of filtering athletes through increasing weights until they’re no longer strong enough to keep up. The tie-break is a quick and entertaining way to rank athletes who may have capped out at the same barbell weight. 
  • Event 3 (Get a Grip): This was the longest traditional metcon of the weekend, with the time domain being between 15-20 minutes. The mix of cardio, gymnastics and lifting is a classic CrossFit triplet, featuring a spicy test of grip and midline stamina. 
  • Event 4 (Ride or Die): This was an elimination style event, featuring descending sprint intervals of one to three minutes. There was a full recovery between intervals with the stimulus being a true test of Echo bike power and legless rope climb stamina. These workouts reward efficiency and execution. 
  • Event 5 (Fast Like an Onyx): This was a fixed interval format, with 10 minutes of work being distributed evenly between four sets. Athletes had a one minute recovery between each interval. The format started with a buy-in and finished with 45-60 seconds of max dumbbell thrusters, testing the engine and strength endurance of the athletes. 
  • Event 6 (Heavy Handed): This was a quick grip stamina test, taking between four and seven minutes. The workout combined heavy double unders, sandbag carries and chest-to-bar pullups in a pyramid chipper, testing how well athletes could ride the line without crossing over into grip failure.  
  • Event 7 (Barbell Furious): This was a short barbell cycling test, taking between 90 seconds and three minutes to complete. The barbell was heavy enough to force breaks across the 30 reps, but not so heavy that athletes couldn’t do big sets. 
  • Event 8 (Walking with the Devil): The final workout tested a combination of overhead stamina/stability and ring muscle up capacity, taking athletes between seven and 11 minutes to complete. The final was the second longest metcon of the weekend, testing the classic mid-range capacity of these athletes. 

The bottom line: The Dubai Fitness Championship is a wrap and the programming featured a mix of new tests with classic combinations. Keeping 50% of the available points for the final day allowed for some breakout performances and incredible come-from-behind finishes at the 10th anniversary of the competition.

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