Unless you live in Spain, there’s a fairly good chance you’ve never heard of the Fittest Freakest Challenge, a NIKE-sponsored competition in Barcelona.
Fittest Freakest Challenge, a Barcelona-based fitness store which sells all kinds of gear and apparel for CrossFit, are the organizers of the event.
In its fourth year, the competition is now a mainstay event for the Spanish-speaking CrossFit community especially once NIKE got involved in 2017. Since then, it’s grown to welcome crowds of more than 2,000 fans packed into iconic locations like Sant Jordi Club, and served as a showcase for NIKE’s impressive roster of CrossFit athletes and new rollouts.
Spain is home to also to more than 450 affiliates, the eighth most worldwide.
A different style of competition.
The CrossFit world really only knows one style of competition — everyone competing in the same workouts all at once or in heats, and the individual or team with the most points wins. After all, the CrossFit Games is a test to find the fittest athlete on the earth and that’s the right way to do it.
The Fittest Freakest Challenge is the exact opposite. A single-day, four-hour tournament style elimination competition with brackets where workouts are released a few minutes before the start. All you have to do is perform better than the other team and you advance. The process continues until the finals and one team is crowned the winner.
Despite the different approach, the event has found success.
Packed with entertainment, bright lights, smoke, music and dancing during intermissions Freakest more closely resembles a fight night than a CrossFit competition.
NIKE’s heavy support is also an important factor as they’re able to rally their superstars. Sara Sigmundsdottir, Laura Horvath and Sol Siguradottir came onto the floor during one break for a fun workout with fans. Later in the evening Mathew Fraser and Lukas Hogberg joined for their part.
A pathway for others to follow.
With all of CrossFit’s recent changes, there’s now more opportunity than ever for event directors to experiment beyond the typical competition format.
It’s the style of event that brings together the best of entertainment. Short enough to be watched in one sitting, live streamed, where top name athletes can come out and participate mid-season without asking too much of them or take them away from critical training time.
It’s the perfect balance of entertainment and competition, and one that local competitions should strongly consider for the future.