July 5, 2013
Like Any Other Day: Rob Forte
By Rebecca Marshallsay

“I’ve got a lot more confidence going into this year than last year. I feel like I’ve done the work this time around and I’ve got a good attitude going into this year.”

Finishing in first place at this year’s Australia Regional, Rob Forte has proven to be a consistent performer.

The owner and head coach of CrossFit Frankston, Forte finished third at the Australia Regional in 2011 and second in 2012 before stepping up to the top place on the podium this year.

Since his Regional debut, Forte has incremented his training volume to keep up with the increasing demands of the sport, both physically and mentally.

“For me, 2011 was the toughest year. I think back then a lot of us didn’t train as much volume so it was hard on the body,” Forte says.

“I thought (this year’s Regional) was good and it was probably a little bit more mentally demanding for a lot people, but that is something I’ve been working on and I found that I was able to back up every single workout without too much trouble.”

Although he has only a few weeks before the CrossFit Games, Forte is not changing his training or preparation dramatically. He prefers to train as usual.

Mentally, Forte is keeping his focus on the training rather than the Games.

“I’m not really thinking about (the Games) too much. I’m not putting pressure on myself … I don’t overthink things too much like that,” he says.

“I’m just doing what I’ve been doing all year and adding a bit more running, a little bit of swimming ... apart from that, just doing what I do any other day. I’m just hitting everything like I’ve been hitting it all year.”

Forte hopes the decision to incorporate extra running into his Games preparation will help him leverage one of his strengths at the Games.

“They typically like to put a long run in and that’s something I usually do well at, and I haven’t been running all that much throughout the year,” Forte says. “So, just making sure I can (do well) if a running event comes up …”

Like his training, Forte’s diet is an exercise in consistency and he won’t be making any major changes in the lead up to the Games.

“I did a paleo challenge in February 2010 and have just been eating that way ever since. So for me it’s about 90 to 95 percent paleo and if I feel like having something different, I do that. I don’t go super strict leading up to the Games or Regionals and then go off it afterwards and binge,” Forte says.

“I eat the same all year round. I train the same all year round. For me, I just do it because I like to do it. I eat the way I eat because that’s the way I want to eat and it makes me feel good. It’s not like I go in phases just for the Games or Regionals. So training and nutrition, it’s just consistent all year.”  

Although Forte has a clear idea of what works for him, he is open to new ideas and has been tweaking and perfecting his regime year by year.

“I change what I do every year, just learning more, and asking people questions. It’s always going to change for me, just being exposed to more ideas and different ways of training,” Forte says.

“I guess the biggest thing that’s changed for me is the structure of how I do things and the amount that I do. I’ve gradually, over the past four years, gradually built up the volume. I haven’t just gone straight into what I’m doing now. I’ve built up to it and I’ll be able to keep doing this for a long time by doing that gradually, not just jumping into it without that conditioning being there initially.”

Forte finished 30th at the Games in 2011 and 35th in 2012. He says his 2012 experience was less than ideal.

“It was more just my attitude going into the workouts and heading into that weekend,” he says. “I’d done everything right at the Regional without sort of knowing it, and then I did everything wrong at the Games and then realized that.”

Forte describes last year’s Games as a significant learning experience and says he has taken valuable lessons away from it. The biggest adjustment he has made is to his mental approach to competition.

“Just going there with the attitude that I want to do the workouts and that I really enjoy it. It is what I train all year for. Pretty much, I train because I enjoy doing it but this is sort of a test, and for me it’s been hitting each competition and just going in there with the attitude that when it gets hard on my body, I’m still looking forward to doing the workout and not feeling like I have to do the workout,” Forte says.

He adds: “I find that I get a lot more out of it so just those little things like that make a big difference for the overall result.”

Forte has already felt the benefit of this mental shift at local competitions and at this year’s Regional.

“Last year, I had a bad workout, or a couple of bad workouts, and I let that effect me on other workouts that shouldn’t have been as bad,” Forte says. “Where this year at the Regional, I had the bad muscle-up workout and then that night, I was just joking around with a couple of people I was staying with.”

Forte says he has no idea what’s in store for the competitors at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. He believes success will depend on the events.

“I think Froning will win. I think Bridges should be in the top three and … the third person could be anyone,” Forte says. “I’m not really analyzing what everyone else is going to do too much.”

“I’ve got a lot more confidence going into this year than last year. I feel like I’ve done the work this time around and I’ve got a good attitude going into this year.”