The 2019 CrossFit Open is fully underway and we are quickly progressing towards the CrossFit Games. One of the major CrossFit HQ changes that happened outside of the restructuring of the CrossFit Games season was the dismantling of much of CrossFit’s media department. This news came as a shock to many heavily invested in the routine CrossFit Games coverage.
For fans and athletes, this meant that the iconic CrossFit Update Studio with Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland would be no more, and their last episode aired in October 2018. Although, just like in strength training, change brings adaptation, and CrossFit fans needn’t worry anymore, because Marquez and Woodland are back with their new update show Inside Elite Fitness.
Similar to the CrossFit Update Studio, Inside Elite Fitness is covering all of the events that take place in the Games season including the Open, Sanctionals, and the Games themselves. We recently caught up with Marquez to learn more about Inside Elite Fitness and to provide some background on all of the changes that took place at CrossFit HQ.
BarBend: Where did the idea for Inside Elite Fitness start? Was it your guys’ idea or is it something that was facilitated by HQ or another third party?
Marquez: It was our own idea for sure. After the sweeping layoffs of the media team, a bunch of us got together to talk about the future, and decided that we a) loved working and creating content together and b) wanted to continue to create content for the community that we loved, and would do our best to continue to pursue that as a career
BarBend: We’re happy to have you back! Going off the point, after all of the HQ changes, how was the communication between yourselves and HQ, and also between you and Woodland?
Marquez: Individually, I still have friends and people I care about that work for the company, whom I communicate with fairly regularly. Santa Cruz is a small town so it’s not like we just disappeared. Also, through my work with Morning Chalk Up and now our studio show and podcast, Talking Elite Fitness, there are available lines of communication that pertain to work, but it’s with the same people I worked with before, so that’s not too much different. I’m just considered “outside media” now, which sounds funny I guess.
BarBend: Did all of the CF Games changes catch everyone off guard, or did you [the media team] have an idea change was coming?
Marquez: Yes and No. Yes, we had an idea that change was coming, but no I did not believe it would result in us losing our jobs. In fact, we were told point blank that we weren’t losing our jobs, and that we were part of CrossFit Inc.’s future, despite some of the early initial changes.
Some of the Games season changes were being talked about before the Games, and there were talks about potentially sanctioning events years ago, which my team was totally okay with, so the competitive season changes didn’t really catch us off guard.
BarBend: Speaking of the Games, what are your predictions for the CrossFit Games as a whole? How do you predict this year panning out?
It’s really tough to say at this point. From an event perspective, I think they’re still going to put together a world class event. The pieces are still in place from that. As far as from the perspective of a fan who can’t be there in person, who knows. The media picture of what coverage is going to look like is still unclear at this point.
Some companies may come in and cover it. But it will take a tremendous effort for anyone to be able to provide the same level of coverage available in past years, which may not happen until 2020 when there’s just more time to prepare. But who knows, someone could potentially pull it off.
BarBend: Will all of these changes grow the Games? What are your thoughts?
Marquez: That will depend entirely on the community. If they choose to continue to support the sport, as well as all of the things encompassed in the greater games ecosystem, like brands, media outlets, events, etc. Support from the community in the form of attention and money, helps all of those facets create opportunities for one another, which in turn means better content, and a better product for the community in return. It’s tough because it’s not centralized anymore, so it requires a more prudent, and diligent fan.
BarBend: For the Open, Sanctionals, and Games: Where can we catch you and do you have set air times?
Marquez: Lots of different ways! I’ll be in the studio at the desk with Sean Woodland for Inside Elite Fitness, and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, and support us through our website insideelitefitness.com, Sean and I also have our own separate podcast called Talking Elite Fitness, our Instagram Page (@talkingelitefitness) has a hyperlink to subscribe and we’re available on all platforms. We post weekly for the podcast and multiple times a week with the studio show.
I’m also a lead games analyst for the Morning Chalk Up. I’m writing articles and covering stories for them as well as potentially covering some Sanctional’s in person. I’ll also be at some Sanctional’s potentially helping out with their broadcast and media output. Also there’s my personal page (@tommymarquez), and I make some regular appearances in the Buttery Bros Vlog, which you can subscribe to on YouTube, phew!
Feature image from @insideelitefitness YouTube channel.