The New Guy in Canada East

Published on Mon, 2014-04-07 12:00
Chris Cooper

Alex Vigneault is a newcomer who submitted his scores by video for every workout. The question now is whether or not Vigneault can stay at the top at the regional level.

Photos by Karolyn Bedard

After the conclusion of the Open, the Canada East Leaderboard looks a lot like last year’s regional finish—with one huge exception: Alex Vigneault.

Everyone else has been pushed down by one spot due to Vigneault’s presence on the Leaderboard.

Vigneault is a newcomer who submitted his scores by video for every workout. The question now is whether or not Vigneault can stay at the top at the regional level.

“Last November, I got to compete at an event with a lot of the athletes from the 2013 regionals,” he said. “That helped me a lot. I got to see what my weaknesses were and to work on them, but also gave me the feel of the atmosphere in a CrossFit competition.”

With a newfound confidence, he signed up for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, “and here we are now.”

Vigneault’s scores and numbers—a sub-15-minute Filthy Fifty, a 305-lb. clean and jerk—are impressive. To top it off, he’s been doing CrossFit for less than a year. But he’s no stranger to sport.

“I’m a former hockey player,” he said. “Working out has always been a part of my life. I have always loved high-intensity sports where I have to push my limits.”

Vigneault trained in his parents’ garage through the summer of 2013. Self-coached, he was performing multiple workouts in a day without a real plan.

“That’s when my passion for the sport developed to the max,” he said. “I was recording myself on my phone to try and improve every detail.”

Before he returned to school in Quebec City, Canada, Vigneault completed the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. Two months later, he was competing in fitness competitions. Now, he’s preparing for regionals.

“My gym isn’t a CrossFit affiliate, so I had to record myself during every (workout), and then submit the video,” he said. “It didn’t affect me because I’m always very careful about my reps to make sure they meet the CrossFit standards.”

Vigneault added he wanted to represent the gym where he’d been training throughout while a student, so he didn’t do his Open workouts at an affiliate. The video review process exposes him to the critical eyes of CrossFit athletes and judges around the world, but the videos proved the validity of his scores.

Throughout five weeks of the Open, judges clicked “Score Is Good” on Vigneault’s Open submission.

Despite his Open performance, Vigneault is trying to keep his expectations modest for the 2014 Canada East Regional.

“Athletes like (Simon) Paquette, (Albert-Dominic) Larouche and (Matthew) Lefave are beasts, and they have experience on their side,” he said. “They are models and sources of inspiration for upcoming Quebec athletes, and I’m very excited that I will get to compete with them.”

“I will give my 100 percent and be as consistent as I can be all weekend,” he added.


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