CrossFit Games director Dave Castro is happy being the sport's 'villain'

"Our community needs a villain and if it's going to be me, fine."In the world of CrossFit, there is n...

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 1:50 PM
Updated: Aug 1, 2018 1:50 PM

"Our community needs a villain and if it's going to be me, fine."

In the world of CrossFit, there is no more controversial figure than Dave Castro.

Diet, nutrition and fitness

Exercise and fitness

Health and medical

As director of the CrossFit Games and its qualifying events, Castro is the sport's de facto face and as such, any controversies are directed solely and squarely at him.

Often Castro is subjected to the full fury of the CrossFit community -- mainly over the brutal make-up of disciplines at the events -- but it is something he feels is an occupational hazard.

"I don't do this to be popular," Castro tells CNN Sport. "I don't do this to make friends. I don't do this to have a lot of followers on Instagram. I'm not doing this to further my popularity.

"I'm doing this because I have a mission to create this sport, to test these athletes and determine the fittest in the world and I'm true to that."

This year has been no different.

During the 2018 CrossFit Open -- a global event with approximately 500,000 competitors -- Castro announced an event with a degree of difficulty so high that the community immediately erupted.

In the third of five global qualifying rounds, Castro announced the ring muscle-up (more on that later) ahead of the bar muscle-up, in doing so, making it theoretically impossible for many to advance beyond the start.

READ: Tia-Clair Toomey reflects on nail-biting 2017 finale

READ: Noah Ohlsen targets 'little moments ' for big impact

A bar muscle-up is like a pull-up, except the move isn't complete until an athlete is completely above the bar with arms locked out, as if stretching to get a better view. The ring muscle-up is essentially the same, except performed using gymnastics rings suspended from the ceiling.

Both variations are difficult, with the rings considered significantly more challenging. It's something most CrossFitters cannot do, even those who have mastered bar muscle-ups.

It's like having a giant wall to scale just a few yards into a marathon. Actually, it's as if a large proportion of the runners had mastered scaling brick walls, only to find out that before they get to the brick wall, they must scale a glass one.

READ: Is the CrossFit Open the biggest sporting competition on Earth?
READ: How to talk to someone who does CrossFit, if you really must
READ: Meet CrossFit's 'Fittest Man on Earth'

'Furious'

This year's controversy wasn't anything new. Back in 2011, Castro introduced double-unders into competition (a double-under is simply jumping rope, but the rope must complete two cycles per jump. Basically, a double-speed rope jump), and the backlash was immediate

"That surprised me. I was blown away." Castro recalls. "These were basic, but people were furious."

A few years later, muscle-ups were introduced in the Open, once again causing a firestorm among CrossFit competitors, with many once again calling the competition too difficult and exclusive.

But as Castro explains, there is a method to his madness.

"If someone doesn't have a bar muscle-up for whatever reason... [that week] that person is fighting like hell to get their first bar muscle-ups. [When I announced it] guess how many people around the world got their first muscle-up? Tons!"

It appears Castro might be on to something. Just a few years since double-unders were first introduced in the Open, the movement has become a staple, considered a basic standard all CrossFitters are expected to do.

As for muscle-ups, it's interesting to note that their inclusion is no longer considered controversial on its own. Rather, it's the order in which they appear that's the focal point.

Perhaps five years from now, Castro will be facing criticism for introducing something hereunto unknown in a workout before ring muscle-ups.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news and features

You can just hear the cries: "That's ridiculous. Ring muscle-ups are easy, but that? That's crazy!"

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15523

Reported Deaths: 734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18018

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather