[Warning: The video above contains footage of the injury. Watch at your own risk.]
The first workout of the online Wodapalooza Challenge/Qualifier was a 6 rep max of the Bear Complex. The complex consists of a clean (any style), front squat, shoulder-to-overhead (from front rack), back squat and shoulder-to-overhead (from back rack). The barbell was not permitted to rest on the ground during the six cycles through the complex.
The Bear Complex is a popular CrossFit barbell complex, but it also receives a lot of criticism – mainly regarding bringing the barbell onto one’s shoulders from overhead in order to do the front squat. Bringing the barbell onto one’s neck/spine can be dangerous and cause serious injury. The Wodapalooza workout description even provides a disclaimer about potential injury:
*Please use caution when performing this workout. A few extra pounds on your lift is not worth an injury.
This is where Julia Glotz’s story comes in. Glotz is competitive CrossFitter in the South East region. She has finished in the top 50 in the South East region during the CrossFit Open the past two years.
Glotz signed up for Wodapalooza’s Elite division qualifier in hopes of competing alongside some the best in the sport. On September 24, Glotz was redoing the Bear Complex workout in order to move up the leaderboard. After successfully completing the complex at 162 pounds the day before, Glotz added 5 pounds in an attempt to post 167 pounds for Workout #1.
On her final cycle, Glotz was bringing the bar back onto her shoulders for the final back squat when the bar slid down her back. Glotz was unable to release the bar thereby breaking her humerus.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Glotz to help with her medical bills. Glotz did not have health insurance at the time of the incident. So far, over $15,000 has been raised of a $25,000 goal.
This is the only serious incident we’ve heard about regarding the Wodapalooza Bear Complex workout. Leave us a comment if you know of anyone else who was injured from the workout.