"Last year I was always looking left and right, trying to run up before someone else. This year, I tried to concentrate only on me."
From almost his first moment at CrossFit Chambly, Albert-Dominic Larouche knew he wanted to compete at the CrossFit Games. “They asked us what our objectives were,” he says. “It was after the 2009 Games and I was a big fan of Mikko Salo, so I wrote down that my goal was the 2012 Games.”
Larouche obtained his goal a year early. He competed in the 2011 Games as the second-ranked man from Canada East. However, 21 year-old Larouche was not prepared and finished in 33rd place.
This year, Larouche is entering as Canada East’s first-ranked man, and feels better prepared for the big show. “Last year, I was a little guy impressed by the whole big thing of the Games,” he says. “This year, I think I’m more confident and I know myself better.”
Larouche’s performance at the 2012 Canada East Regional supports his claim. He entered the weekend with the goal of finishing top five in each event, and earning a return trip to Carson, Calif. He did just that with the exception of a seventh place finish in the Snatch Ladder. “I wasn’t focused on my last lift, so I failed it,” he says. “It’s only proof that I need to concentrate more.”
Improving his concentration on the task at hand and on his own performance has been Larouche’s focus this past year. “Last year I was thinking of the second day, the third day, looking too far ahead,” he says. “I can control my performance, not the other ones. Last year I was always looking left and right, trying to run up before someone else. This year I tried to concentrate only on me.”
Since his 2011 Games experience, Larouche has increased the volume of his training, and has more confidence in his capabilities. “Last year, I was a little bit shy, in my corner and not talking with the other guys, and I think they were surprised to see me coming in the top two,” he recalls. This year, I’m more confident. I’m still always a shy guy, but now I know my capacity with training and this helped me to get through the weekend this year.”
Larouche was also helped along in the final moments of Event 4 by the energy from the crowd. “The last 30 presses, I wanted to drop the bar at 15,” he says. “But the crowd is always continuing to count the reps, so you go unbroken. Everybody did that. You feel cheap to drop the bar when everyone is counting. There’s a great community and everyone is excited. They’re not sitting down and just watching. They’re doing the reps with us.”
Larouche is looking forward to the Games and would love to see a strongman event or a triathlon. “I loved the swim WOD last year,” he says.
His Facebook page is flush with videos illustrating his training variance. A unique incorporation of his is slack line training. As a former elite hockey player, Larouche would be equally well suited to any type of ice event, although he feels it is somewhat less likely. You may notice him resting down on one knee between events, his trademark position and an unbroken habit from his days in the sport.
One final factor plays to Larouche’s advantage. A timely graduation from Police School the week before this year’s Regional has left Larouche’s schedule much more open than he is accustomed to, and he has devoted that time to preparing for the Games.