“My goal is to get to the Games. There is a lot of opportunity in the North West to make some moves.”
Sun Chang finished 26th at the 2012 North West Regional. Fast forward nine months, add an average of 25 percent to his Olympic and powerlifting numbers, and bring on the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Chang is on the smaller side.
That became apparent to Chang at last year’s Regionals.
“The biggest challenges I saw were because I’m just smaller than the rest of the field,” he says.
Chang used his performance in 2012 as a learning experience building on his participation on teams at the 2010 CrossFit Games and the 2011 North West Regional. He started strategizing his off-season training immediately after last year’s Regional.
“I met C.J. Martin at the North West Regional and I started the CrossFit Invictus Competition Program the following Tuesday,” Chang says. “I knew that being smaller, I had to bridge the gap on the heavy lifting.”
The lifting requirement at the Regional level have progressively gotten heavier and heavier. Chang knew he would have to hang with the heavy hitters while maintaining speed and capacity on gymnastics and endurance requirements in order to move up the Leaderboard.
The turning point for Chang was attending CrossFit Invictus’ Athletes Camp in November 2012.
“I was working out side-by-side with elite CrossFit athletes — men and women. Santino Marini and Nichole DeHart really stood out to me. Santino is similar size to me and he humbled me because he kinda kicked my ass, but he also gave me a lot of confidence,” Chang says. “Nichole was amazing, lifting as much as some of the guys at the camp. In my mind, if they can compete at that level and capacity then so can I.”
Martin, owner of CrossFit Invictus, has helped Chang virtually.
“Following up and keeping track of Sun is easy because he is diligent about entering his training results,” Martin explains. “The more data an athlete provides, the more I can give feedback and advice in attacking workouts.”
Over the course of the offseason, Chang has hit many PRs including a 225-lb. snatch, a 290-lb. clean and jerk and a 500-lb. deadlift. Chang has also increased his competition exposure.
“I’m not afraid to compete,” Chang says.
He carries this attitude into competitions and has been dominating on the local level in CrossFit and Olympic lifting events. Added strength coupled with increased conditioning has created a well-rounded athlete, ready physically and mentally.
“Sun has seen some great strength gains over the last nine months. He has always had a great engine, but he needed to get stronger and more competent at repeating efforts with high percentages of his one-rep max,” Martin says. “He has done that.”
Chang is hoping to peak at the North West Regional and perform well enough for a ticket to the Games.
“My goal is to get to the Games,” he says. “There is a lot of opportunity in the North West to make some moves.”
Martin is confident in Chang’s ability.
“I think the entire field is going to be much better this year, but I think Sun's hard work will pay dividends,” he says. “I definitely expect to see him competing on the Sunday of Regionals.”