It’s been a rough couple of years for three-time CrossFit Games athlete Jacob Heppner. Last year, he had to withdraw from the 2017 CrossFit Open after 17.1 due to bursitis in his knee. Now, he’s shared on his Instagram page that he won’t be qualifying for Regionals, which comes as a shock to many.
Heppner finished 41st worldwide in 18.1, 63rd in 18.2, 1015th in 18.3, and 22,723rd in 18.4. The standards for this year’s Open have been questioned by some in the community a few times, and this particular situation has sparked a conversation regarding athletes with body proportions that may be statistical outliers. We’re not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with Heppner here, but we though it relevant to highlight his point of view.
In Heppner’s Instagram post’s description, he explains his take, saying,
“Really not sure how to start this off. So I guess I’ll start by hooking you with the statement “I will not be qualifying to Regionals.” Now read below for the explanation.
My 18.4 score was 104 reps. Most of you know that I love HSPU, HS Walking, and pretty much anything inverted. If these movements existed in a Regionals or Games workout then I usually came out top 5. Unfortunately a problem arose from the new standard, height + 1/2 forearm length. Now for all you folks claiming “If an athlete doesn’t like the new standard then they need to fix their body positioning and get better upside down” this is where you realize that isn’t always true.
Let’s admit we’ve all at least seen that one person who really struggled to hit the standard and it wasn’t because they had bad positioning, but instead was due to their anatomy. The issue lies in the forearm length measurement. Instead of taking the whole arm length, which I admit would be difficult, only the forearm was measured. This creates the possibility that certain athletes, like myself, could be a statistical outlier in our ration of forearm length comparative to bicep/total arm length. Meaning having really long forearms when compared to overall arm length.
I’ve watched my video many times and believe me I couldn’t get any closer to the wall or get my hands any narrower. I just happened to be one of the few athletes that had to stretch and press as much a possible to bet barely over that dreaded line.
I would be lying if I told you the thought didn’t cross my mind of shorting a few measurements, bending my knees when measuring my height, or cutting a few 1/8’s off my elbow measurement. But when it’s all said and done I just wouldn’t be able to live knowing I cheated someone else out, regardless if I agree with the new standard or not.
CrossFit isn’t life and I’d rather be known as a man of integrity than a great athlete.”
Feature image from @jheppner66 on Instagram