July 3, 2013
Overcoming Injury: Chad Mackay
By Megan Drapalski

“I just need to listen to my body, and rest when I need to and not try and overtrain or do anything too silly. I want to be coming into the Games at 100 percent, so I just really need to listen to my body at the moment."


Chad Mackay is the ninth fittest man on Earth and finished second at the 2013 Australia Regional, earning him another ticket to the CrossFit Games.

"(Training is) pretty much similar to the last few years that I've been competing," Mackay says. "You know, obviously still keeping the strength and the conditioning pieces up there, as well, but also trying to include a little bit of out-of-the-circle movements and exercises."

He adds: "I did a little bit of swimming with a kettlebell and then just some really heavy yoke carries and stuff like that.”

After undergoing shoulder surgery in October, Mackay was in a race against the clock to be fit for the Open.

"Regarding the shoulder, I just had to pretty much play it by ear before the Open," he says. "It wasn't really at 100 percent and then it all kind of just played out quite well for the Open and I was able to make the (Australia) Regional."

"The shoulder tended to not like some movements leading up into the Regionals, and then, once again, everything worked out. I’m pretty fortunate that the shoulder has come back stronger than ever.”

With the shoulder no longer an issue, Mackay is making sure to listen to his body.

“There's a few other niggles that I just need to manage, but because I've been doing it for a few years now, I kind of know when to push and I know when to hold back,” he says.

“I just need to listen to my body, and rest when I need to and not try and overtrain or do anything too silly. I want to be coming into the Games at 100 percent, so I just really need to listen to my body at the moment."

Mackay sticks to realistic expectations for the Games.

“I'm not going to put any kind of expectations of, you know, I want to come top 10, or I want to come top five or I want to make the podium,” he says. “It's pretty much the effort that I put into every single workout is my best and it's just 100 percent effort, regardless of results. I've said it before.”

With two previous appearances in Carson, Calif., Mackay has an idea of what to expect this year.

“Seeing as I've been there twice before, it takes a lot of the worry about the unknown and what to expect when you turn up on the day, the other athletes that you see or the crowd or anything like that,” he says.

“Being in another country also has its toll. It's nothing that I haven't done before, so I just try and stay fairly level headed and put everything in perspective.”

“I think a strong point for me is that I've come to know myself quite well, and know what movements I need to push and know how to attack a workout to best suit me,” he says. “It may not be the best kind of game plan for everyone but I know when to push and when to pull back a little bit so going into the workout with a game plan really helps me for sure.”

Unlike previous years, Mackay is no longer the only athlete at CrossFit Active still in training for the Games, with the affiliate also sending a team.

“We've got our CrossFit Active Waverton team heading over, so they're training in here everyday. The last two years that I've been … the Regionals have obviously finished and I've had to continue training kind of on my own and everyone else is kind of in their off season, so to speak, so it's good this year that these guys are in here training everyday,” Mackay says.

The two follow similar training programs with Mackay making small changes to suit how his body is feeling.

With the same three men from last year out of the Australia Region heading to the Games, a bond has blossomed among them.

“Swanie (Brandon Swan) and I are pretty good buddies, so I’m pretty excited to hang out with him again and Rob’s (Forte) just an all ‘round good bloke,” Mackay says.

“Those guys have improved a lot in the last 12 months, so hopefully we can all do really well and do Australia proud once we're over there.”

Mackay only envisions good things at the Games.

“The Aussies are going to give it everything we've got over there so it should be another cool season this year.”