Brandon Crump isn't a familiar name at the top of the Open Leaderboard.
Though he's been in sports his entire life, and in CrossFit for 18 months, he failed to complete all of the Open workouts last year and was eliminated.
"I was introduced to cleans in high school as part of football," Crump says. "I did some typical bodybuilding stuff, and just kept doing cleans with it."
Moving to Thunder Bay to study at Lakehead, Crump stumbled upon CrossFit and found one of its largest personalities: Funbobby Kwasny at CrossFit SubZero.
"Funbobby really got me into it," he says. "My goal was never to really compete. I got the bug after watching Funbobby at the Ontario Open at Element. That sparked it for me."
His SubZero nickname is Dozer.
"I started doing the Open in 2012. I did half of it, but then had to move to Southern Ontario in the middle,” he says. “I caught up on each workout, but didn't enter all my scores. I did all right. I was still fairly new to CrossFit, so the strength wasn't there. My conditioning was always OK, so I had a good foundation. I was average at both the burpees (he scored 119 on 12.1) and snatches (164 on 12.2.)
When Crump was forced to leave Thunder Bay, the Zeroes helped Crump keep training.
"Funbobby set me up wicked. He gave me a bunch of weights so I could keep up training through the summer. He threw a fundraiser to back me with my bills for my dog," Crump recalls. "I trained by myself all summer, and started at CrossFit Crux in September.
"I'm a relatively smaller guy, so burpees shouldn't faze me, but they crushed me last year," he says of 12.1. "I've been throwing in three minutes of burpees before and after workouts since then."
His snatch has also climbed. In 2012, every 165-lb. snatch in 12.2 was a new PR. A year later, his max snatch is 225.
"Sean Allinson is one of the head trainers at Crux. He's been programming for me for the past six months. We started with a strength emphasis, then weightlifting, then conditioning. It's a great atmosphere there, with lots of great people,” Crump says.
"When I first saw 13.1, I was excited, but nervous at the same time. I knew the burpees weren't going to be an issue, just the combination of burpees and snatches. I just wanted to set a good pace and stick with that pace. For me, the 135-lb. bar seemed like the brunt of the workout. I planned to get to the 165s and just chip away there. I was a little surprised by my score; I never thought I'd finish so high."
Skilled, but humble, Crump is taking the Open one workout at a time. And he's shaking up the Leaderboard in the process.
"There's still lots to go. I'm just taking it one week at a time. I think 13.2 will be something gymnastics-oriented,” he says. “I'd like to see HSPU and pistols. Anything around that would be wicked."