To find the perfect blend of programming, mentality and diet for an aspiring Games athlete, Emily Beers looks at the approach of four 2011 competitors.
Like thousands of other CrossFitters around the world, I have openly proclaimed my desire to qualify to the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2012. I’ve competed at the Home Depot Center twice with CrossFit Vancouver, but I haven’t let go of the individual dream.
At the elite level, it seems CrossFit has pretty much become a professional sport. It’s not uncommon for top athletes to hire multiple coaches—strength coaches, Olympic-lifting coaches, etc.
As for these CrossFit coaches, it seems every month there’s a new alleged programming expert who takes the stand on the soapbox, loudly shouting to the CrossFit masses about the best way to train. CrossFitters listen to these experts for a while, until a new one comes along with even more expertise, creating a fickle but continuous cycle.
In the process of figuring out how to train for the Games, I have met elite CrossFitters who train three times a day five or six days a week (I used to be one of them), athletes who cut out even the slightest sip of alcohol for months at a time, athletes who meticulously weigh and measure their food, and athletes who put their careers on hold for a chance to compete at the Games.
I’m torn. I don’t want to devote my entire life, dawn to dusk, to CrossFit. However, as an aspiring Games competitor, I wonder whether this devotion is a mandatory sacrifice. I often feel lazy that I’m resistant to this lifestyle in the first place.
In light of this, I decided to talk to some 2011 individual Games athletes to find out what exactly they’re doing to prepare for 2012.