The Summer Sizzler

August 7, 2020

The Summer Sizzler

Aug 7, 2020 | Uncategorized

The low-down on Sizzler

by Nathan Jeffrey

As the 5th Summer Sizzler approaches, we thought it would be a great idea to give you a bit of history on the event and recap some of the good times that have been had in the last 4 years to give you something to look forward to.

If you’re an OnSide member, there is no doubt you’ve heard of the Summer Sizzler. It’s something that our community will talk about all year. The workouts, the exciting moments, and the laughs are things that we reminisce about all year and look forward to when the weather starts to get warm.

The Summer Sizzler is a (mostly) OnSide-only outdoor fitness competition in mixed sex teams of two that happens at the end of the summer each year. It’s a competition that has been carefully designed to include everyone, challenge anyone, foster some amazing friendships and create some serious excitement.


The History

This is our 5th year doing this – wow! It seems like just yesterday that Jenny and I were pondering what a Summer event at OnSide would look like.

Before opening OnSide, Jenny and I had dabbled in CrossFit competitions for a number of years. We both grew up playing sports and loved the competitiveness that these competitions brought – but we also had a growing list of things we didn’t like when comparing them to growing up around sport and competition.

Here’s what we set out to do:

We wanted to make sure that athletes would get to know each other and not just stick with their teammate.

We wanted to even the playing field as much as we could to make things exciting for everyone.

We wanted to make sure that the workouts were a true test of fitness, not just how good people were at doing CrossFit workouts.

We wanted to get outside of the gym and let nature put us to the test.

We’ve worked really hard at creating a competition that we personally would absolutely love. The downside is – we’re too busy running it to compete in it!

how the sizzler became the hottest competition around

Here’s what we did to create a truly amazing experience for people.

We let nature put us to the test by ALWAYS including something that no one has done before AND a swimming workout. Don’t worry – we’ve got lifeguards! This is the event that people look forward to the most. In true CrossFit Games fashion, we’ve been putting OnSide to the test with a swimming workout every year!

To make sure athletes make friends, WE pick the teams. We look at each person’s strengths and try to find someone with strengths that will complement them – to balance the team. Here’s an obvious one – it’s probably a good idea to put the non-swimmers with people who are good at swimming.

We’ve eliminated the Scaled and Rx Divisions. Since we balance the teams, there is no need for divisions. Every year we scratch our heads the night before and try to come up with who’s going to win – we’ve never been right!

Also, we’re one of the first to introduce CrossFit Games scoring. If you aren’t familiar with this type of points distribution, all you need to know is you’re never out of the running for a top spot. In Sizzler 2017 the team that came in last place on the first workout finished the day in third place.

One thing that we find extremely common when attending other competitions is that the Rx and Scaled Division weights are always so different. Now, initially this might make sense but if we’re going to truly test people on their fitness we need a combination of light and heavy weight. In competitions these days, the athletes who are stronger will often do better in the Rx Divisions EVEN IF they have serious gaps in other places – like cardio or endurance (*cough *cough Nathan) Everyone can scale to an appropriate weight if needed. This is what makes the Sizzler such an exciting event. 

This last point might be the most important one – we prioritize fun over everything. Yes, there are placings and scores, judges that make sure you’re meeting the standards too, but we’re lucky to have such a great community that everyone is mostly concerned with having a good time (…OK, not all of you). 

Here’s what you’re going to love

This is always the biggest event of the year. 

The Summer Sizzler is always such a great time. People are laughing and cheering each other on all day, working hard and enjoying the sun. We always end with a post even social and celebrate over good food and drinks.

What people tell us when we ask what it is they love about the Summer Sizzler – is how much this event reminds them of being part of a team and having fun as a kid. Even though you’re competing against others, everyone is friendly and truly wants you to do your best and celebrate your success. Not knowing what workouts are going to come up and having to work together with your partner to plan strategy lets you take a break from the stress of everyday life and just enjoy the moment. 

what you can get excited for

You’re probably a little nervous (hopefully VERY excited) – that’s totally normal. Just remember, what ever we throw at you, you can do it! I can guarantee this event is going to be the highlight of your 2020, regardless of how low the bar is set so far! 

There is always so much fun built in each year. Even though we’ll be social distancing, this year will still be packed with fun.

Here are some of the exciting (and funny) things we’ve done in the past.

Year 1
Exciting –  A Tug of War! Before Rogue made it cool again…
Funny – Realizing that everyone could basically touch the ground for the whole swim so it was actually a water run for many.

Year 2
Exciting – Everyones first introduction to the Sled Pull! This was a naughty surprise.
Funny – We had a tie breaker at the end of the competition (after one team had already had a beer!) that involved burpees and leap frogging over your team mate. We needed to get creative. So funny.

Year 3
Exciting – Introduction of our Wooden Worm implement
Funny – Realizing that we partnered everyone up based on strengths and forgot about height differences – The worm was a hilarious event!

Year 4
Exciting – The Assault Bike Makes its debut, along with the obstacle course and the wall!
Funny – The faces of the Assault Bike

Athletes! Good luck tomorrow and if you can remember one thing let it be this – have fun!

OnSide Performance Centre

114 Chain Lake Dr. Suite 5

Halifax, NS B3S 1B1

[email protected]

902 404 5647

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