March 20, 2013
Every Rep Counts: Keith Kandetzke
By Laura Watler

“I hold myself to very high standards and I make every rep count, whether in training or competition.”


Keith Kandetzke started off last year’s Open fighting bronchitis going into the first workout of seven minutes of burpees. He finished in 351st place. He was able to fight to get back to the top 60 and no one saw him coming. He finished the Open in 57th place, just qualifying for Regionals.

Kandetzke has the heart of an underdog who was able to push through the Open.

Fast forward to Regionals in Cali, Colombia, he got through Event 1 and gave it his all during Event 2 to advance to Day 2. However, he had to medically withdraw from the competition due to back spasms.

“It killed me to watch those last workouts from the bleachers,” he says. “And I don’t want that to happen this year.”

He is focused and ready to show off his past year’s training.

Juggling a hectic work schedule, which racked up to more than 110,000 air miles, he still finds time to train. He says keeping a decent diet is sometimes tricky and “sleeping in different beds each night makes it hard to get the rest you need.”

Kandetzke is still able to focus with the help of his coach, Ursula Garza, USAW Senior International Coach (Level 5), his support team, and his community at his box, CrossFit Iron Heart. They keep him on track, accountable and help him get through the late night and early morning workouts. Providing him the space to get his training in and putting up with the extra demands of an athlete that is trying to qualify, he is very grateful to have them with him.

“I injured my wrist four days before 13.1 was announced and I was terrified for anything in the front rack position,” Kandetzke says.

The beginning of this year’s Open was interesting for him, but he was able to finish in third place in the Region with 19 snatches at 165-lb. for a score of 169.

Kandetzke scored 280 reps on 13.2, but this was only enough for 50th place for that workout in the Region. He sits at 16th place after 13.2. Now, it all depends on if the last three workouts cater to his strengths.

His training for the 2013 Open focused on the Olympic lifts, moving heavy weights and fitting in met-con work; it all seems to have gone well. Kandetzke sees the Open as “very important in terms of cardio and getting the engine prepared.”

He says he is using the Open as fuel to prepare for Regionals, so when the pressure is on he is ready and able to use the engine and not burn out. His main goal right now is to listen to his body and schedule extra rest days in order to hit the Open Workouts only once, and as fresh as possible.

“I hold myself to very high standards and I make every rep count, whether in training or competition,” he says. “This is very important once you get to Regionals.”

He is excited for the upcoming workouts and moving onto the Latin America Regional, hoping for more technical movements and heavier weights.

He knows CrossFit can throw curve balls sometimes and he is feeling prepared for anything.