March 18, 2013
Batuque Iribarren: A One-Man Battle
By Mato Frisone

"Every workout, I battle against myself."

Batuque Iribarren is a well-known competitor in Latin America.

After leaving Capoeira behind and getting to know CrossFit for a brief period, he placed sixth in the 2011 Open and fifth in Regionals that year. Last year, in the 2012 Open he placed eighth in Latin America, making it clear that as the sport grows, he gets better, as well.

Iribarren does not give up easily and it is his will to achieve better results that has kept him among the top-10 athletes in the region since he started CrossFit. 

Iribarren is currently the head coach at CrossFit Unidos, located in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This year, he is primarily facing himself.

“In every workout, I battle against myself. Sometimes I feel tired, but at the same time I want to continue, and that’s what pushes me to fight and break my limits,” he says.

“I find my source of motivation in tiredness. I do not need anything more than my own mind.”

He tries to sleep well the night before doing the Open Workouts and to be relaxed minutes before facing the challenge.

“I never get nervous because I know that I’m prepared to do any workout,” he explains. “What I feel is anxiety, but at the same time I try to relax so I can give my best.” 

Known well in the region as Batuque, he knows if he trains every day and gives his best, he’ll be among the top contenders in the Latin America. His secret lies in his mental training.

“I think that I have a strong mind, and that’s what allows me to end a workout till its final consequences,” Iribarren says. “I know that when it gets harder, I will continue despite its difficulty.”

He finished 13.1 with 164 reps, enough to finish the first week in eighth place on the Latin America Leaderboard. He completed 13.2 with 315 reps, which will no doubt solidify his top ranking for the second week. Iribarren thinks the upcoming workouts will be more difficult, but he’s happy and enjoys every minute of pain he suffers while doing them.

Iribarren accepts he is a very competitive person.

“I love being in an international competition. It gives me adrenaline,” he explains. “I like to compete in everything I do in my life, I’m very self-demanding. Maybe I’m with my girlfriend, Nega, doing some shopping and I race her to our house. I really enjoy that …”

When competing, he feels the need to stand out. So, when he decides to do a workout, he applies his own strategies to reach better performances. He thinks every movement through and explores ways to take his performances to another level.

“I have my strategies. If I’m going to fight with a more trained competitor, then I must think where to hit him to defeat him,” he says. “CrossFit requires the same attitude. If I’m facing a workout without knowing my capabilities, then I’ll fail constantly. First of all, I think what could be the best way to approach a workout. Then, I’ll try to apply it, but I’ll always have a strategy. That’s what Capoeira taught me.”

Despite being a top-10 athlete in Latin America, Iribarren does not feel any pressure. However, he feels it is something that requires commitment.

“It is a great achievement for me to be for two consecutive years in the top-10 of Latin America, but I face it every day with commitment. I remind myself that I must remain in those positions because that’s what I train for,” he says.

“I want to be the No. 1, but always with humility. I train to be the No. 1, and I’ll always give my best in every workout. That’s how I am.”