Eliseu Quintiliano caught the attention of the local CrossFit community two years ago when he went for his first-ever 1-rep-max back squat. The São Paulo native kept loading the bar until it bowed with 396 lb.
He put the weight on his back, went below parallel and stood back up. Ever since, he has been shouldering the expectations of the CrossFit community in Brazil.
Last year, he narrowly qualified for the individual competition at the Latin America Regional with a 46th-place finish in the Open. He opted to compete with his affiliate team—CrossFit SP—that went on to take second in the region.
“Having competed in the Open and in the Regionals last year gave me a lot of experience to prepare for this year’s challenges,” Quintiliano said, “and I feel ready to prove myself as an individual athlete.”
Over the last few months, he has been training for a top-10 regional finish. Someday soon, he hopes to represent Latin America as the first Brazilian competitor at the CrossFit Games.
He now has a 2:35 Fran, a 308-lb. clean and jerk, and a 242-lb. snatch. He has also been targeting the weaknesses last year’s season revealed.
“My main weaknesses in 2013 were toes-to-bars and box jumps,” he said. “I’ve been working on all my weak spots and have improved considerably from last year. I am now able to do at least 40 unbroken toes-to-bars, in comparison to about 10 last year.”
Last winter, Quintiliano’s standings on the Latin America Open Leaderboard took a hit when he submitted his score for Open Workout 13.2. The 10-minute AMRAP of shoulders-to-overheads, deadlifts and box jumps tested the athletes’ engines.
Quintiliano managed nearly nine rounds (262 reps), while veteran Games competitor Orlando Trejo completed nearly 11 rounds (320 reps) to take first in the region. Quintiliano sank to 128th place.
“I used a wrong strategy on this workout and tried to speed too much through the box jumps,” he said. “My recovery time was slow then, and I couldn’t finish as many rounds as I should have.”
Although he hasn’t re-tested the 2013 Open workouts, he feels confident he will prove himself to be a better athlete in 2014.
“Although I have not re-done any of last year’s Open workouts, I have worked on improving all my weak movements, and nowadays my movements are much more consistent,” he said. “I’m able to maintain a higher intensity while keeping the integrity of the movements.”
“I feel more confident in myself and more prepared, not only physically but also mentally,” he added.
Quintiliano believes human performance isn’t just a numbers game. To be among the best athletes in the world, a person has to have faith.
“We are just as big as our faith is,” he said. “Have faith not only in God, but in yourself, and it will take you to amazing roads. The difference is not how you train, but how you are deep inside.”