May 7, 2012
A Family Affair: CrossFit Brossard
By Kate Rose

"With so much family involved in the box, we try to make every member feel like they are a part of it."

The battle for top team in Canada East was a tough one, and lasted right down to the last minutes of 12.5. When the dust settled, CrossFit Brossard bested its closest rival, CrossFit Altitude, by a meager two points.

CrossFit Brossard is owned by three siblings: Alexis, Claude and Rachel LeBlanc-Bazinet. Their sister, Camille, and their parents, also take an active role in the affiliate. The three co-owners are also on Brossard’s Regional team (Pascal Baillargeon, Alexandra Bergeron and Alexandre Beaulieu round out the team’s roster). But just because they don’t share the same last name doesn’t mean they aren’t a part of the same family.

The Leblanc-Bazinets have spent considerable time creating a family environment. “With so much family involved in the box, we try to make every member feel like they are a party of it," Claude says. "Everyone feels like they are a part of the team."

"Team" and "family" mean the same thing at Brossard.

The closeness of the team is partly due to the time they’ve spent together. The members of this year’s Regional team have been together for three years. “We started as beginners together and we grew up in the world of CrossFit together," Claude says. "Knowing each other for so long, it’s easier for us to train as a team because we know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so well."

On Sundays, the team gets together to train. They have fun, even if their training is really tough. Their coach, Camille – ranked 5th worldwide after the Open – wants them to succeed. “Camille is really involved in the team. She’s planning the team WODs and she’s really excited about it. She’s really tough on us. I think she wants her entire family to complete at the Games with her,” Claude laughs.

The team is pulling its weight, too. They are committed to working hard to succeed. Claude and Alexis work full time, but the other four are students. Pascal and Alexandre are in school 90 minutes away, and make the drive on Sundays to be with the team. During the week, they train on their own at a globo gym. Last year, five of the six members of this year’s team competed in the Canada East Regional, but all as individuals. This year, the Brossard family turned to the team competition in an attempt to earn a trip to the Games.

The team has spent the past year focusing on their weaknesses, and they’ve helped each other out. Claude and Rachel are former gymnasts and Level 2 gymnastics coaches. That skill was complemented this year with a strength bias in their training. Half of the team took a risk this year and decided to work specifically on weightlifting and technique. They’ve gotten considerably stronger.

The Open did not give the Brossard team the opportunity to showcase their new strengths, but they still excelled. In the team results, Brossard placed 1st in the region for the last three events, to solidify their 1st overall finish. While these scores included the stats from top finisher from Canada East Region for the women’s side, sister Camille, the rest of the team had a very strong showing.

Alexandra Bergeron placed 4th in the individual race, placing 7th, 3rd and 3rd in the final three workouts. Three of the six members placed in the top 60 during the Open, and the majority of the team gained momentum as the five weeks passed. Each week brought an improved result. Currently sitting in 20th in the world after the Open, Alexis doesn't believe they've hit their stride yet. “We are really happy that HQ decided to put a lot of heavy and technical skills in the Regional Workouts. Our entire year of work should pay off,” Alexis says.

The women in particular are happy. Their strengths are different from one another, and the Regional Workouts will allow them to showcase that versatility.

The team is thrilled about the challenge of Regionals. “The WODs really represent the evolution of CrossFit. You would not have seen 225-pound hang cleans or 100-pound one arm snatch two years ago, and we cannot wait to see what happens at the Games,” Claude says.

They also know that this evolution reflects their own development. “We would never have been able to do those WODs last year and this year, we are ready and super excited about it,” he continues. “Everyone has to be ready to attack [all] of the WODs.”

Three weeks out, they continue to work on their weaknesses, but take no solace in their strengths. Their plan is to work hard, have fun, and keep the family on the path to success.