The first workout of the 2022 CrossFit Open is scheduled to release on Feb. 24, 2022. One of the many, many, many athletes worldwide who will appear on the leaderboard is elite CrossFitter Brooke Wells, who is back in the gym following Tommy John surgery on her right elbow. Wells’ required reconstructive elbow surgery after an accident occurred during the one-rep-max snatch event (Event 12) during the 2021 CrossFit Games. While making a 190-pound attempt, Wells’ elbow dislocated mid-rep, and she had to withdraw from the competition.
With just over two weeks until the start of the Open, the Buttery Bros — Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers — shared a video on their YouTube channel featuring a workout they performed with Brooke Wells and her sister, Sydney, at CrossFit Trivium in Brentwood, TN. Prior to the workout, Sawyers asks Brooke Wells a few questions regarding the specifics of her elbow surgery and the scar that now lines the inside of her arm. Check it out below:
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During their warm-up, which consisted of stretching, bottoms-up kettlebell carries, and rotator cuff work, Sawyers asked Wells if any “hardware” in her elbow was installed during her surgery. Wells confirmed there is nothing of the sort in the elbow. For reference, here was the extent of the injury Wells sustained during the 2021 CrossFit Games:
- Complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL)
- High-grade tear of the lateral collateral
- Flexor tendon pulled off the bone
Though there was no fracture or surface damage to the joint, reconstructive surgery was still necessary. Wells’ surgery took place in Los Angeles, CA, where she also underwent physical therapy for three hours every day for five weeks. She took an entire month off from training after that before easing back in with aerobic work, single dumbbell movements, and, eventually, barbell training.
Wells appears capable of training on her elbow as though it is nearly fully recovered. She performed handstand shoulder taps, which involved the entirety of her body weight supported by her reconstructed elbow every other rep, handstand push-ups, and strict pull-ups. She handled overhead presses with what appeared to be 225 pounds without much issue or the need for an elbow sleeve.
Despite performing overhead movements, Wells admits that they still give her the most trouble. Before performing hang cleans into front squats, Wells’ said her front rack position is also not back to 100 percent as she “lost some mobility” in her right arm. She cannot yet train kipping movements and has not attempted to go “heavy on the barbell.”
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Buttery Bros vs. Wells Sisters
The Buttery Bros went head-to-head in the following workout against the Wells sisters:
Ten sets of the following — 90 seconds on/90 seconds off:
- 8 hang power cleans (65 pounds)
- 8 thrusters (65 pounds)
- 8 toes-to-bar
- Max calories on the echo bike (during remaining time)
The team with the most calories burned on the echo bike at the end of the workout wins.
The Buttery Bros got out to an early lead that slowly dissipated as the workout went on. They ultimately hung on to the lead when the final round was complete — burning four more total calories than the Wells sisters.
2022 CrossFit Open
Wells has tempered expectations heading into the 2022 CrossFit Open but aims to land in the top 10 percent worldwide to qualify for the Quarterfinals. She aims to finish in the top 120 during the Quarterfinals to claim a spot in the Semifinals.
I’m very aware of the reality of this season. Just dropping ego…to get to the next step…then really peak at the Games.
Wells’ current strategy is taking her training day by day. Sometimes she’s hitting new post-surgery PRs, and other days she has to ease off. During her workout with the Buttery Bros, she logged 101 handstand push-ups.
Wells refueled after the workout with a meal of rice, chicken, and sweet potatoes. We’ll see if her current training has prepared her to advance through the Open and earn her way back to the CrossFit Games.
Featured image: @brookewellss on Instagram