March 7, 2012
For the Love of the Team: Chad Augustin
By Brittany Miller & Sam Radetsky

Augustin says one of the joys of CrossFit is that, "there are so many things I have to improve on, I never get bored." 

One of the biggest questions in the Northern California region as the CrossFit Games season gets underway is whether Rocklin CrossFit ace Chad Augustin will go individual or team.

There was never any doubt in Augustin’s mind, however. He loves competing with his team. Given that Augustin was 3rd in NorCal in the 2011 Open, and is currently tied for 4th place, this will probably be welcome news to the NorCal field of individual competitors.

The Rocklin CrossFit team stood on the podium in 3rd place last year at the Games in Carson, but Augustin knows they could have done better, and he thinks strategic errors, not ability, cost them big. “This year we have some unfinished business and it [has] really made us come together even more as a team,” Augustin says.  This year, the Rocklin team knew “right from the get-go that we had something special.”

Augustin originally came to CrossFit via a long line of athletic endeavors, starting with high school wrestling. An extremely intense activity with a very high power output, wrestling is a sport that greatly embodies CrossFit’s 10 Attributes of Fitness. The seeds of Augustin’s future CrossFit success were planted right there, on the hard mats of his high school wrestling program. He later competed in bodybuilding, got into powerlifting, and then heard about CrossFit via his job as a firefighter. It is a common story in the CrossFit world, but Augustin’s success has been anything but common, especially given his age.

At 38, Augustin has a few years on his much younger competitors. He says his age forces him to “think more about strategy and to vary my training so I stay healthy,” and not just charge each workout like a 20-year-old can.

Augustin says one of the joys of CrossFit is that, “there are so many things I have to improve on, I never get bored.” For him, CrossFit “is so fun. You just have to be good at everything. I call it the great equalizer. You can be super strong, but if you can’t do bodyweight things or if your flexibility is lousy or if you are not good at gymnastics—shit, swimming. There’s just always something to work on and I love that.”

Augustin just loves to compete. “I just like having something to work for. Getting up each morning and saying ‘ok I got a job, gotta get better today’.  And having something to work for, that definitely gets you out of bed in the morning.” For all his competitive drive however, Augustin also has a truly humble attitude. “Hey, if I improve on my lifts, or if I‘m a little bit faster, I may get beat, but I still did my best. It’s hard to be disappointed.”

Due to his bodybuilding background, Augustin is very experienced at planning and following specific modes of eating and he feels that nutrition is a strength for him, whereas it might be a struggle for others. “I don’t do binges, I pretty much just eat for fuel all year round.”

With the exception of his Oly lifting sessions, which are coached (“Olympic lifting is my Achilles heel”), Augustin does all his own programming. He always puts his weaknesses at the “top of my list.” “I always have to work on my gymnastics, I always have to run, always have to row. Olympic lift.” The rest of his training is a mixture of everything--metcons, strongman, powerlifting, “variety, total variety.” It is only recently, with Blair Morrison’s help, that he has come to appreciate rest days.

Given the history of the CrossFit Games, what surprise does Augustin think will be seen this year? “Headquarters does a phenomenal job of keeping us on our toes,” he says. He hopes there will some strongman stuff, Atlas stones or yokes, for example, but whatever comes, he is sure “there is going to be some stuff that just blows us away.”

Augustin in a soundbite: he loves the smell of bacon, likes protein powder and Mark Bell, thinks firefighters are way fitter than cops and that every cop would have been a firefighter if they could have done more pullups, loves fish oil--“I’m old! I need it”-- and beer--“I don’t go crazy, but I like my beer”, likes long AMRAPs but says Fran is a great workout.

Augustin proves very aptly that one can be a great CrossFitter, compete in the Games, regularly win both CrossFit and firefighting competitions, be an inspiration to guys who think being in their 30s is the kiss of death, and remain a very nice guy.body text]