Facing the World’s Best: CrossFit Athletic

Published on Fri, 2012-07-06 15:57
Andréa Maria Cecil

The team takes a different approach to training, with some members doing additional volume while others rest.


CrossFit Athletic boasts three second-place finishes at the Australia Regional this year proving size doesn’t matter.

The team is one of the smallest teams — in terms of height and weight — competing at this year’s CrossFit Games. They finished second overall at the Regional and are ready for their inaugural appearance in Carson, Calif.

To prepare, team members arrived in Scottsdale, Ariz. on July 1 to “acclimatize (to) the heat,” team member Christian d’Astoli says.

“It’s winter back in Sydney, so we needed to expose ourselves to the heat,” he says. “We are training twice a day. All of the handwork has been done. Now it’s a matter of fine tuning what needs to be and making sure that we peak … at the Games.”

Generally, the New South Wales, Australia team trains three days on, one day off, two days on, one day off. Although team members train together at least twice a day, they don’t all do the same workout.

“Each athlete is on their own program,” d’Astoli says. “As we are all different and play different roles (on) the team, we are training different aspects. The only workouts we have done (as) a team were the Regional (workouts).”

The programming, courtesy of team coach and member Paul Walton, is set up so the entire team trains together twice each day but some members do an additional third workout — and sometimes a fourth — because they can handle additional volume.

“It varies on the individual,” Walton says. “Some of our team members can handle a lot of volume, whereas others can't. With the ones that can't handle the volume constantly, we have had to be smart about their programming and allow more rest.”

The team’s day typically begins with an 8 a.m. Olympic lifting session, followed by a short met-con. The team regroups at noon for a strength session and another short met-con. Finally, the team meets at 3 p.m. for a conditioning session.

“Each session largely depends on what energy system needs developing for that individual, and that determines the time domain and intensity of the workouts,” d’Astoli says.

CrossFit Athletic is concerned with heavier weights showing up in the workouts.

“We are going in to the Games as one of the smallest teams and will struggle to compete with the other teams in anything strength biased,” d’Astoli says.

They are expecting this year’s events will follow the way of the Regionals.

“It is gonna get heavy,” d’Astoli says.

He is certain we will see atlas stones, prowlers and yokes at the Games.

“The usual staples like pull-ups, rope climbs and Oly lifting will make an appearance,” d’Astoli adds. “But (in) what combination, who knows.”

Last year, d’Astoli and others on the CrossFit Athletic team were spectators at the Home Depot Center.

“We didn't envision that we would (be) competing the next year,” he says. “We know we are going up against the world’s best, so we want (to) take it one workout at a time. We want to represent our region of (Australia) and (New Zealand) well and do our affiliate proud.”


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