"I'm just getting back to going hard and having fun."
Back for round four, Jay Rhodes is bigger and stronger than ever.
It’s been a year of PRs for Rhodes: his clean and jerk max improved to 315 lb. His snatch is better than ever at 254 lb. He can back squat 441 lb. and front squat 380 lb. He’s picked up two sponsors—Pure Pharma and Beyond Yourself Nutrition — and opened Outlaw CrossFit North with his girlfriend, Lacey Van Der Marel.
Along with these accomplishments, Rhodes was able to learn a hard lesson at the 2012 Canada East Regional.
“I got a little too caught up in qualifying for the Games. Of course, that's the goal, but it was such a realistic opportunity last year, that when the Regional Events got released, I was bombarded with messages saying I was a lock, etc. I became kind of obsessed with it.”
Despite the training, preparation and determination, Rhodes didn’t make it to the Games.
“In a way, it felt like there was more to lose than to gain ... which is not true in any sense. I ended up having the worst weekend of competition I've ever had … this year, I am just getting back to going hard and having fun. Less expectations,” Rhodes says.
His training strategy hasn't changed much in his four years of competitive CrossFit. In 2010, he traveled to Okotoks, Alberta to compete in a local competition. He’d never stepped foot in a CrossFit affiliate.
Rhodes is using The Outlaw Way to prepare for 2013, with some adjustments. His new gym uses the Outlaw template, but programs workouts to fit the one-hour class structure. Rhodes trains with the group and adds some accessory lifts in his own time. His nutrition follows a similar strategy
“With food, I have come to realize that generally, the more I can eat, the better I will recover,” he says. “It's not always super clean, and I’ve found it doesn't have to be. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I've found what works for me.”
The combination of his gym, sponsors and his girlfriend who doubles as a business and training partner have made for a positive outlook on the 2013 Games season.
“I'd say I am more prepared (this year),” Rhodes says. “The level of competition keeps getting better and better, but I feel like I've done a good job of evolving with it.”