Pensacola Beach Brawl 4 – A Review

Pensacola Beach Brawl 4 – A Review

Competition brings out the best in all of us.  I mean, we compete with ourselves everyday.  Whether we’re lifting heavier weight, attempting to run just a second faster, hitting that AMRAP for just one more rep, we want to be better than we were yesterday.

We compete not just with ourselves, but against others.  How good are we?  How far have we come? We find the answers through competition.  Competing against others is a testing ground and the testing ground came this past weekend at Pensacola Beach Brawl 4.


Having a goal, working towards that goal, and then achieving the goal is an amazing feeling and becomes very addictive.

Pensacola Beach Brawl (PBB) is a CrossFit competition  and has become a very popular event through it’s early infancy.

During the weekend, more than 1,000 athletes competed against one another through individual and team events.  Ty Hanson, Event Director, put on one heck of a weekend and I’m sure I can speak on behalf of many others as we say thank you to not only him but the many volunteers who allowed PBB to go down.

From the very start, at least as far as I know, the competitions went off on schedule and even the small amounts of rain and strong wind gusts on Sunday didn’t seem to delay the events that were taking place.

Individual Competition Day – SaturdayPensacola Beach

For myself, the weekend began on Saturday.  It was then that I was among 73 males competing in the RX division.  A tremendous amount of competition making for one fun day.

And let me honestly say this.  Last year, to even find the balls to go up against these individuals would have been a feat by itself.  To now know I can compete among these guys gives me confidence and is a complete natural high.

Event 1:  “Hang On”
250 Meter Row, 21 Toe to Bar, 15 Snatches (115 lbs), 9 Bar Facing Burpees

Time Completed:  3:31
Standings: 40th
Takeaway:  Bar Facing Burpees got the best of me on this one.  However, I knew this going in.  Speed, endurance and bodyweight exercises are not my forte.  I’ll get this fixed.

Event 2: “Beach”
50 Meter Sled Pull (70 lbs), 50 Meter Sandbag Carry (70 lbs), 150 Meter Run, 
50 Meter Sandbag Carry (70 lbs), 50 Meter Sled Pull (70 lbs)

Time Completed:  3:07
Standings: 49th
Takeaway:  My fear coming into this one was the sled pull.  Competing with a team last year, I had a debacle pulling the sled through sand and it’s given me a nightmare for a year.  I vowed to avenge this.

Not knowing how much weight would be on the sled this year, I took my sled to the beach with 170 lbs and began pulling away.  It was a victory in itself when I learned we would be only tugging at 70 lbs.

Biggest surprise was that pulling the sled was the easiest part for me.  What used to be my weakness became my strength in the workout as it helped me get through the finish line a little faster.

However, running 150 meters mid-workout did me and my calves in.  I should prepare next year by running a lot more in the sand.

Event 3: “Complex”
Without letting go of the bar perform the following Complex using any variation of clean and jerk: Clean+Hang Clean+Hang Clean+Jerk

Weight: 225 lbs
Standings: 35th
Weakness & Takeaway:  My best performance of the day and I walked away with a 10 lb PR and a ripped hand.

As a bigger guy, I should be able to clean more weight.  This comes down to technique.  However, I walked away feeling good with this performance knowing I’ll be better next year as I spend more time under the bar.

Event 4: Final Event – “Chipper”
For Time Complete the Following: 20 Shoulder to Overhead (155 lbs), 50 Double Unders, 20 Box Jump Overs (24″), 7 Ring Muscle Ups, 
20 Box Jump Overs (24″), 50 Double Unders, 20 Power Cleans (155 lbs)

Time Completed:  9:48
Standings: 49th
Takeaway:  This became more of an endurance workout as time elapsed.  Having performed this workout for time of 10:37 in preparation for this event, my goal was to come in under 10 minutes which I was able to do.  Being the final event and having reached my goal time, I was able to walk away satisfied.

Overall Placement: 48 of 73 – Not a phenomenal finish by just looking at the number.  However, I know what I looked like last year.  I know how the last year me would have faired this year.  It would not have been pretty.


To see how far I’ve come in a year is such a blessing.  It shows that hard work does pay off in fitness.  Whether it’s in the kitchen or in the gym, we have the control to become a better version of ourselves.  The only thing that differentiates the two is desire.

If you don’t like where you stand with your fitness level right now, you can do something about it.

Knowing where I need to improve and what work it is going to take to get me there, I have even higher standards for myself at the 2016 Beach Brawl and can’t wait to bring my best effort again.

So for those of you who don’t think you can ever do something like this or that it seems impossible, here’s a tip.  Don’t think about where you are today, think about where you will be tomorrow.

Get started now and lay the foundation.  Set your sights on the process and maintain your focus there.  Amaze yourself.  It’s a wonderful feeling.

Until next time…Stay Jacked, Stay Strong.