Two years ago, Nathan Beves first walked into CrossFit Effects (CFX), where head coach, Mick Shaw, introduced him to the fundamentals class.
“I remember thinking after the fundamentals class, ‘CrossFit is not so bad.’ That’s when Mick asked if I wanted to try a workout called Fran,” he recalls. “Of course, I said yes, only to find myself eight minutes later lying on the floor in a heap of sweat, exhausted, thinking I did pretty well.
“I asked Mick what a good time for that workout was. He told me Steve Willis … does it in around two minutes. It was then I thought, ‘Holy shit, I’ve got a lot of work to do.’”
Almost two years later, Beves brought his Fran time down from eight minutes to an impressive 2:28.
Now, he is embarking on a new challenge.
“This year, I have one simple goal: make it back to the Regionals as an individual,” Beves says.
After placing 137th in Australia during his first Open in 2012, Beves went on to compete at the 2012 Australia Regional as a member of Team CFX.
“Last year was all about the team and trying to ensure CFX made it to Regionals,” he says. “Once we got there and I was able to experience the whole weekend, I realized I wanted to come back as an individual.”
Beves’ journey to the 2013 season has not come easily. After suffering a medial meniscus tear to his left knee after the 2012 Regionals, he suffered an unexpected setback.
“By the time Regionals were over, I was already planning my training schedule in the lead up to 2013,” Beves says. “Then, I suffered this injury so needed to go under the knife.”
When his doctor told him his recovery could take up to six months, Beves realized the only way he was going to get back to the 2013 Regionals, was to train around his injury.
“I’m 31 years old, so I don’t have many years left competing. The level of competition is getting so high, just to make it to Regionals is almost a full-time training occupation,” Beves says. “I knew if I wanted to get back there, I couldn't afford to take too much time off.”
Just 24 hours after his surgery, and against doctor’s orders, Beves was already back in the gym working on the arduous task of strengthening his knees, hamstrings and glutes.
“The physio said part of my problem was I was really quad dominant. So during my recovery, I worked on doing exercises like reverse hypers, seated good-mornings and plenty of glute-ham raises,” he says. “Anything to increase my hamstrings, hip and glute strength.”
Eight weeks after surgery, Beves PR’d his back squat.
“All the glute, hip and hamstring exercises must have paid off because I’ll admit, I was a little shocked when I hit a PR of 210 kg on my back squat. That’s when I knew 2013 was not as far off as I had thought.”
Last October, Beves began implementing five- to 10-minute met-cons twice a week to his training. He also added heavy powerlifting and Strongman movements.
By December, almost six months to the day after surgery, he was able to walk back into CFX and resume his regular CrossFit training.
“I knew I had a bit of work to get back into ‘CrossFit shape’ because I’d been focusing on my strength so much. I started doing two sessions a day, three times a week, that was usually composed of an Olympic lifting session, and then a met-con.”
Weighing 103 kg, Beves decided he needed to drop some weight after experiencing its impact during last year’s Open.
“I’m not a small guy, so really suffered during 12.1 with all those burpees. I didn't want bodyweight to be deterrent this season, so I shed 5 kg and also made sure I programmed … bodyweight movements into each week’s met-cons.”
After scoring 174 reps on 13.1, Beves is currently ranked 26th in Australia, proving he has not only healed well, but has moved one step closer to achieving his goal of competing as an individual at the 2013 Regionals.
“I’m optimistic, but there are still four more workouts to go, so anything can happen,” he says. “Still, I’m happy where I am.”