The Turf Games 2019

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The meaning of the word “turf” has evolved, turned into a symbol of homeground. Of where people are from, what tribe they represent, what territory they defend.

It’s metaphorical flag in the ground – and on Saturday 30thof November 98GYM brought two teams who laid it all out together to take out the Grand Final and lay their claim to the Sydney Summer Festival as their own. 

The Turf Games is an international fitness event created with the intent of breaking down the me vs you mentality, bringing people together who may otherwise be protective about their turf, joining forces and creating teams toward the common goal of teamwork, commraderie and achievement.

The day consisted of four workouts, graded on a points system whereby the top 8 teams (of 47) would compete in a fifth workout to determine the overall winner. While each workout gave individuals a chance to showcase their athletic ability, each one could only be truly won with exceptional teamwork, open communication and willingness to hurt for the team. In a moment of utter pride I can say that this is where both 98 teams truly shone – there were a vast number of exceptionally fit individuals at this event but 98 truly demonstrated what it meant to be a team. 


18 minute cap
1000m row (all athletes to complete 200m)
800m row (at least 3 athletes must be back from the run before the row can start)
400m run (three athletes must run holding a rope)
400m row (two athletes must be back before the row can start, one of which must be a female)
Three athletes must run another 400m with the rope while the other two athletes perform 25 synchro no jump burpees

98 GYM BLACK: 5th – 13.12.88

98 GYM WHITE: 16th – 13.42.60

Initially as a longer workout we thought that this would be a good workout for both teams as we often train longer efforts however neither team were particularly good running teams as such, and this was a workout won on the runs. However our strength was that we had gone through this workout earlier in the week when it was first released, and as such had a strategy to follow and each of us had roles to play. It was a very gassy workout but both teams were pleased with the outcome. 


12 minute cap
From 0-9 all males in the team must find their 3RM deadlift, females to find their 1RM
9-10 rest
10-12 max thrusters on four person worm

Part A: 98 GYM BLACK 1st – 930kgs, 98GYM WHITE 18th – 805kgs

Part B: 98 GYM BLACK 3rd – 54 reps, 98 GYM WHITE 13th – 40 reps

Each team had two bars to work with – one male and one female. 9 minutes is a very short time to find a heavy deadlift, so the progression in weights had to be smart but significant.

Several PBs were hit in part a, and this boosted morale and confidence to move into the next part. Sarah hit a lifetime 1 RM PR of 110kg, Kate of 155kg. The boys hit a lot of 3RM PRs, with Lewi hitting 180kg, Dan and Franco hitting 200kg, Jake and Denai a 210kg, Jack a 230kg

The worm thrusters were a spectacular example of how teamwork and communication can make a team. 98GYM has never had a worm and for some of our athletes the Turf Games was the first time they ever used one. Anyone who has used a worm before would know it’s an unforgiving piece of kit – not particularly heavy but awkward and once out of sync or a mistake is made it is amplified and hard to get back on track. Both 98 teams moved through their worm workout smoothly and it was reflected in their scores. 


12 minute cap
100 calorie airbike buy-in
5 Rounds 
10 synchro Russian kettlebell swings (2 athletes, 1 male 24kgs/1 female 16kgs)
8 synchro dual dumbbell thrusters (2 athletes, 1 male 20kgs/1 female 12kgs)
6 burpee box jump overs (1 athlete, male height 24”/female height 20”)
4 deadball ground to shoulders (1 athlete, male weight 50kgs/female 30kgs)
*athletes can sub in and out as wished, but must run back to the start line to tag the next athlete in
max calorie airbike in remaining time.

98 GYM BLACK: 4th – 173 calories

98 GYM WHITE: 10th – 145 calories

This was a terrible workout, one that left everyone truly on the floor. The buy in had to be indian file, meaning you had to stay in the same order the whole way through. The team wanted to get through the buy in as quickly as possible yet stay as fresh as they could before moving into the rounds. Both teams had practiced this workout in the week leading up to Turf Games, however the intensity was wildly different and much more fatiguing this time around. Watching the teams complete this workout was interesting as there were very different but clear strategies used – some teams had the workload very evenly spread, some teams had specific athletes perform their strengths and nothing else. 

It was the finish to this workout that left everybody demolished though – the airbikes Chocolate Box have pedal a lot faster with the calories ticking over much slower than what we’re accustomed to at 98. This workout was won on these last calories, so every effort was an all out effort, trying to gain as much of a lead as possible


30 x 20m shuttle run buy-in
One athlete must be lifted off the floor for the remainder of the workout
One athlete rests
One athlete mounts the tank, another pushes it to the other end of the shuttle
These two either athletes then pick up the yoke or farmers carry the weights back to the start line, then back to the tank to push it back to the start line.
Each length is 1 point, so a full round is worth 4.

98 GYM BLACK: 27th – 42 reps

98GYM WHITE: 19th – 44 points


1000m team ski
Each athlete has 15 pulls of the ski before changeover
5 burpee to plate after each effort.
*This workout was so short that every changeover mattered and every pull had to be as strong as possible. What was most impressive in this workout was that 98WHITE actually missed a changeover and released the handles but held it together as a team both mentally and physically to hold on and finish with the second fastest time of the day. To not be phased, put off or frustrated and to just get on with the work at hand demonstrated how flawless a team they were.

98 GYM BLACK: 5th – 2.49.06

98 GYM WHITE: 2nd – 2.48.04


98 GYM BLACK: 3rd – into GRAND FINAL

98GYM WHITE: 10th


1000m SkiErg (each individual must complete 200m)
Once three athletes are finished SkiErg they may begin in indian file
12 front squats + 8 shoulder to over heads (60/35kgs)
When all 5 athletes have completed the barbell complex they may as a team begin 
50 burpee to plate
One these are complete 3 athletes must run 400m holding a rope (1 of which must be female) while two athletes complete 40 alternating dumbbell snatches (20/12.5kgs)
hen both the run and snatches are complete
A 50kg deadball must be held off the ground while the other four athletes complete 
30 worm zercher squats
20 worm alternating shoulder to over heads
Into a 
1000m row (each athlete rows 200m, once they finish their effort they must move to the finish line)

Upon first read of this workout the team had mixed feelings – all the
components seemed very short and none of the movements really shot out like “we’ve got this”. However, as we found moving through the workout, it was the time it took, chipper style, that played to our strengths – we were able to hold it together with less fatigue, as well as the shorter elements helping us see where all the other teams were up to. Although our team began the run/snatch part of the workout in third place, the guys on the run (Jake, Aneka and Franco) blitzed it, overtaking two teams and holding on to get onto the worm first. Jake ran straight to the ball and held it, crushing his lungs after the sprint. Jack was our caller on the worm and did it spectacularly, being so clear and concise, holding us to a pace that was very challenging but leaving us no choice but to go and make no mistakes. We moved through the squats and into the shoulder to overheads with no mistakes, coming onto the row first. From here it was an all out sprint to hold onto our lead. As we moved through the row and our players dropped off to the finish line it looked more and more likely that we had it. As Aneka, our last rower, got up and ran to the finish line she was pretty much carried by the ecstatic boys, with 98WHITE making the most noise from behind as we finished as a whole team. 

When asked for their thoughts on the day, the team was unanimous in saying that their lasting feelings were how much of a team we were. That it felt like very little needed to be said to each other in the moment, that we all knew what needed to be done but were totally adaptable with each other when it came to it. That each team had total trust in all their members to work together.

Overall it was a phenomenal day with all of us growing closer as a team, and each member of both teams are itching to compete together again.

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