“I try to be as relaxed as possible and not think too much before a (workout). The less I think and strategize, the better I perform.”
Jaco Van der Vyver finished the 2012 Open in 144th place in Africa. In 2013, he placed third.
He also works and trains with Africa’s 2011 Regional winner Mona Pretorius.
Prior to CrossFit, Van der Vyver participated in several of South Africa’s most popular sports.
“I played provincial cricket and rugby, and took part in athletics at school. And I played provincial cricket after school,” he says.
“I started CrossFit in October of 2011. I watched a video of two guys doing this crazy workout with thrusters and pull-ups (Fran) and just had to try it. I've always loved functional training, so it suited me perfectly.”
Van der Vyver is now co-owner of CrossFit ECX with Pretorius.
“I met up with Mona in January 2012, and we slowly, but surely began building our box and community,” he says. “Being involved in a training environment where you don't need earphones to get a good workout in is special. Working with people every day and meeting like-minded, driven people really makes life interesting and challenging at the same time. Most of all, I’m doing what I love every day.”
Van der Vyver’s approach to training is simple: Don’t think.
“I try to be as relaxed as possible and not think too much before a (workout),” he explains. “The less I think and strategize, the better I perform.”
His approach to the Open was very much the same, but he has since changed his training in order to prepare for Regionals.
“Volume has definitely gone up to make sure my conditioning is perfect for the heavy load and volume that will definitely be thrown at us,” he predicts of the Regional Events.
Van der Vyver boasts a 135-kg clean and jerk, 105-kg snatch, 250-kg deadlift and can complete 30 muscle-ups in 3:40. That, coupled with his strong performance in the Open, has him going into the Regional competition as a potential podium finisher.