This weekend, at the StubHub Center in Carson, hundreds of athletes are trying to become "Fittest on Earth" — a lofty title for the best competitor at CrossFit, a workout craze and lifestyle that's swept the country.
CrossFit, founded in 2000, combines Olympic-style weightlifting, cardiovascular exercises such as rowing and running, and basic gymnastic maneuvers, the likes of which — rope climbing, for example — many of us haven't seen since elementary school.
At CrossFit gyms across the country, workouts change daily, and each day's exercise, which lasts about 15 minutes, is called the "workout of the day," or WOD.
The games were launched in 2007 and have grown steadily since then. Contestants battle it out in various events each day that resemble individual WODs. They are scored for time.
Qualification rounds for this weekend's games started in March, with individuals and groups from around the world trying to get to Carson.
Competitors prepare for this weekend's games by training as many as five to seven days a week, although most choose to take recovery days between workouts. They learned what their events entailed only upon arrival.
Athletes descended upon StubHub on Tuesday to begin competing. They enter events in one of three categories: individuals, teams or "masters" (athletes 40 and older).
So far, workouts have included a 2,000-meter row and a 50-yard sprint with an obstacle course.
The winner of the CrossFit Games stands to collect $275,000. Second and third place will take in $65,000 and $35,000, respectively, with smaller payouts for other winners. First place in the teams events will pull in $40,000, and in the masters division, $3,000 is the top prize.
2013 Reebok CrossFit Games