By definition, a dynasty is a family of rulers, with subsequent generations — or members within the same generation — passing the torch down from one to the next. And in spots terms, “dynasty” refers to teams with continued success across years and even rosters, groups that help define success for an extended period of time. John Wooden’s UCLA teams were a dynasty, winning 12 championships across 13 year; the New York Yankees have had several decades-long spans of baseball domination.
So while Rich Froning’s four-peat of Fittest titles is astounding, it’s one man’s impressive body of work, not a dynasty maintained across different athletes. CrossFit Invictus and CrossFit Fort Vancouver have qualified teams eight times for the CrossFit Games, and if any teams are in the running to be called dynasties, the discussion probably begins with those two (and maybe Hack’s Pack).
But as far as family dynasties go, CrossFit has just one, solidified after this past weekend’s Atlantic Regional: The Andersons. Their collective resume:
- Steve Anderson (Father), 2011 CrossFit Games Masters Champion
- ZA Anderson (Oldest Brother), 10th at the 2013 CrossFit Games
- Alex Anderson (Second Oldest Brother), 13th at the 2015 CrossFit Games
- Jacob “Coby” Anderson (Second Youngest Brother), 2016 CrossFit Games Qualifier
Assuming Jacob “Coby” Anderson stays healthy from now until July, that makes four immediate family members to qualify for and compete at the CrossFit Games. And the youngest brother — Sam Anderson — is no slouch himself. While he’s dedicated himself to pursing Olympic lifting as opposed to CrossFit, Sam has put up impressive numbers as a junior 85kg lifter.
And all four brothers snatch over 300 pounds.
The Smiths (as in brothers Ben, Alec, and Dane, father Chuck) get a lot of credit for their collective fitness, but Ben is the only one to actually make CrossFit’s premiere event (though he’s qualified a men’s-record eight times). Though we did get pretty fired up watching Chuck’s 600 pound deadlift during this year’s Masters qualifier:
With all respect in the world to the Smiths — an incredibly impressive group — the Andersons have proved their fitness across two generations, four different family members, and six years.
While his father and older brothers have faired between solid and great at the Games, we’ll have to wait to see how Coby holds up under the heavy pressure in Carson. He’s got a good engine and is especially skilled at anything involving shoulder-to-overhead; he won CrossFit Open workout 15.4 due to some stellar handstand push-ups, and he’s push jerked up to 405 pounds on video:
And while ZA has yet to make a return trip to the Games, Alex has a chance to repeat his trip at this coming weekend’s Central Regional — though his competition will be pretty fierce.
Having two Andersons competing at the 2016 CrossFit Games would be quite the storyline to watch. We just hope they make a special “Fittest in the Family” trophy for the highest placing brother.