"The Games pointed out numerous weaknesses, including Olympic lifting, parallette handstand push-ups, not enough physical work capacity and not enough time spent running up and down massive mountains."
Dave Levey claimed the title of Fittest Man in Africa after only six months of CrossFit. After finishing 36th at the CrossFit Games, he let us in on what he’s been up to since.
Since the 2012 season, have there been any significant changes in your benchmark scores? If so, which ones and what aspects of your training do you credit for the improvements?
I have unfortunately had two severe injuries — a back injury that had me on full bed rest for two weeks during October 2012, and a plantar fascia tear that had me on crutches for two weeks in December. Due to the nature of these injuries and the longer term rehabilitation, I have had to focus on gymnastics movements, light Olympic lifting work and just trying to maintain some sort of capacity.
My strength was down, but I have just broken my snatch and clean and jerk three-rep maxes, indicating that my technique has improved. My time for 30 muscle-ups has reduced significantly from 4:27 to 3:36, but mostly because I devoted so much more time to gymnastics work over the last few months.
Did your training regimen change after the Games in lieu of any weaknesses that may have been exposed?
The Games pointed out numerous weaknesses, including Olympic lifting, parallette handstand push-ups, not enough physical work capacity and not enough time spent running up and down massive mountains. My legs were toasted from (the) Camp Pendleton (Event).
However, the two injuries have had a greater influence on my training in the past five months. I had to modify things a lot just to keep some of my conditioning. I am now getting back into most aspects of the training that I would like to be focusing on.
Has the growth of your affiliate changed your perception on your own training?
The increased numbers and relationships developed with our awesome members has assisted in motivating me to lead by example and to continue striving on getting better each day.
What lessons have you learned over the past year as an athlete and coach?
To patiently focus on and devote more time to technique, be it Olympic lifting, gymnastics or metablic conditioning. Technique is key, and no matter how good you may be, technique needs to be continuously perfected to enhance your efficiency of movement, to avoid injury and to squeeze out extra capacity.
For both my athletes and (me), I have also learnt to spend more time mobilizing (and) warming up before each and every WOD. I have also focused more on developing the appropriate functional mobility for Olympic lifting and gymnastic movements.
How do you maintain the balance among your work, personal and training commitments?
I only see a few (exercise rehab) patients each week. This is a service that I provide to the members and their friends and family who may have injuries. My aim as a Biokineticist is to progress these patients into full on CrossFit, as it is the most well rounded and balanced training that there is.
The affiliate has grown substantially over the last few months and this has increased the work demand on my time. At the moment we are busy going through an upgrade and we are busy developing coaches to assist me with the CrossFit coaching commitments.
Do you think you can win the Regionals again this year?
That is my primary aim.