May 5, 2014
Old School: Dominic Adam
By Lisa Zane
“I love competing in the masters. It gives us a chance to compete against some old school fit guys that didn’t get the chance to discover...
“I love competing in the masters. It gives us a chance to compete against some old school fit guys that didn’t get the chance to discover...

“I love competing in the mastersIt gives us a chance to compete against some old school fit guys that didn’t get the chance to discover CrossFit in our 20s.”

Photos by Danny Roy

Dominic Adam is headed to the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games after finishing fourth in the Masters Men 40-44 Division after the Masters Qualifier.

“I love competing in the masters,” Adam said. “It gives us a chance to compete against some old school fit guys that didn’t get the chance to discover CrossFit in our 20s.”

The 40-year-old from Montreal, Canada was introduced to CrossFit almost a decade ago. At the time, Adam—who has a martial arts background—was training and coaching fighters. When a client asked Adam to train her for a new “fittest woman” test by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Adam began looking around for training ideas.

“She had about six weeks to prepare,” he recalled. “At one point, I went to the RCMP headquarters in Montreal and saw a couple of guys doing CrossFit. I asked them what they were doing, and they pointed me towards the (main) site. I tried it out the next day, and from then on it’s been my training.”

Since then, he’s competed in the 2010 Sectionals, and has made three trips to the Games as a member of L’Usine CrossFit’s team, finishing 29th in 2011, 33rd in 2012 and 39th in 2013. Adam, the owner of L’Usine’s Montreal affiliate, decided to make a switch to individual competition after returning from Carson, California last year, knowing he would soon be 40.

“It played out that a couple people from the team were not coming back,” he said, adding that work commitments made it difficult for some of the team members to dedicate the same amount of time to training as they had in previous years. “I just geared up to go individual as a master. But (the team) was still able to qualify in the top five, so I’m pretty happy about that with all the changes that happened—everyone’s got a crack at regionals.”

During the competitive season, Adam has had a lot on his plate. He programs for himself and the team, and coaches Mississauga, Canada’s Kristine Hatfield, who finished 17th in the Masters Women 40-44 Division and will be headed to Carson, as well.

Even with all the demands on his time, Adam was still able to qualify as a masters athlete and as an individual competitor, placing 14th in Canada East among athletes half his age.

“I focused a little bit more on being more competitive during the Open,” he said.

In previous years, his focal point with the team was being able to move heavier weights at regionals.

“I moved a lot of reps with lighter weight for two to three months and got back into heavier weights after,” he said.

It paid off. Adam finished the Open in third place worldwide among his age group. His best event finish was fourth in 14.1—a workout he remembered from the 2011 Open.

“I did well the first time it came out, so I knew that was a good one for me,” he said. “I think I improved by … 20 or 30 reps.”

During the Masters Qualifier, Adam meticulously plugged away at each event, garnering two top-10 finishes, including a second-place effort in Event 3 after flying through three rounds of the 50-calorie row, 15 handstand push-ups and 50 double-unders in 10:02.

Adam is proud of his performance.

“I’m pretty happy,” he said. “I was excited finishing in this position—I’m more confident attacking the Games (now) than I was at the end of the Open.”

As a veteran competitor, he is happy to see how the sport has evolved. In particular, the substantial improvement there has been in technique over the years. In the early days, Adam remembers watching a one-minute video on repeat for an hour so he could teach himself how to do muscle-ups on equipment for which he had to barter—while working for a school board, he repaired the physical education teacher’s personal laptop in exchange for his first set of rings.

He has also noticed a considerable difference in the attention masters athletes receive from the community as a whole.

“I think with the years going by, there will be more and more masters athletes (competing),” he said. “I think people will get more and more involved with this.”

With the Games just three months away, Adam has several weeks of training to look forward to as he aims for the podium.

“I don’t think I’m going to change that much,” he said.

He added that the recipe he has used so far seems to be working. He will be focusing on the basics, while throwing in some training sessions with fellow Montreal athlete, Albert-Dominic Larouche.

“He’s gonna push me hard,” Adam said of the three-time Games athlete.

Adam is excited to be heading to California to compete for the fourth time, and is thankful for all the support he has had during his CrossFit journey.

“The only person putting pressure on me is my daughter, Louah,” he said. “She’s 3.”

The toddler has been to the Games to watch her dad compete every year since she was born. For her, it’s a welcome holiday.

“For a year, she’s been asking me, ‘Daddy, are we going on vacation to the big gym?’” he said.

After training hard to qualify, his answer is now a solid yes.