March 9, 2012
The Transformer: Josh Golden
By Dan Uyemura
Learn about the man who's currently leading the worldwide standings.
Learn about the man who's currently leading the worldwide standings.

Nicknamed "La Machina," Golden has a robot-like ability to just keep going (and going) in a workout.


Ask anyone to name the top male CrossFitters and the answers are pretty standard: Rich Froning, Chris Spealler, Graham Holmberg, Miko Salo … but one name you likely haven’t heard is Josh Golden.

Normally if you Google any top notch CrossFit athlete, you’ll be flooded with CrossFit and fitness-related results. When you Google Josh Golden you will find a photo of a dog doing pull-ups and a Justin Beiber lookalike selling records. Rest assured the Josh Golden atop the worldwide Leaderboard is not a pop singer with frosted tips – and he’s on a mission to put his name on the map in 2012.

Golden, a well spoken and humble rising star, has been an athlete his entire life. He took 3rd in the state of Maryland as a high school wrestler and since then has coached in and owned fitness facilities.

Although he’s been practicing functional forms of fitness for years, Golden hadn’t been exposed to CrossFit until last year’s Open. In fact, 11.1 was his first ever CrossFit workout. Skip forward six weeks and Golden wrapped up the 2011 Open season solidly positioned 125th in the SoCal region. With that experience in his pocket, Golden decided to train hard and make a push for 2012.

“I realized in 2011 I had what it took, but I needed to work on a lot of things,” Golden says. “For instance, I never did an overhead squat in my life until 11.4. Finishing 125th was encouraging and we are aiming for a top 10 SoCal finish this year.”

So he did what every serious athlete would do. He quit his well paying and stable job, left the comfortable confines of the city, and joined his lifelong friend and coach Ben Green in Grover Beach, Calif. Grover Beach is a small town outside of Santa Barbara, Calif., where they get raw milk delivered fresh from the pasture and drive past the farms that sell the grass-fed meats that fuel their diets. In other words, a CrossFit Games training camp utopia.

Golden has dedicated the last year of his life for this moment – and it’s paying dividends. He’s been doing multiple performance- and competition-based workouts a day and has planned both his diet and his exercise payload around the 2012 Games season.

Golden cashed in 140 Burpees on Workout 12.1 to place him 45th in the world (5th in SoCal). Proving he can handle heavy weight along with body weight movements, he completed 90 reps in 12.2, placing him 19th worldwide (5th in SoCal). Those scores land him in 2nd place both worldwide and in SoCal through two weeks. He even scored a 483 on 12.3 in his early test run.

Nicknamed “La Machina,” Golden has a robot-like ability to just keep going (and going) in a workout. Ironically, Golden feels this is counter-intuitive to his true approach to CrossFit and why he has done so well. When asked what motivates him to get back up and crush the next workout, he simply tells it like it is. “I guess I’m just an animal, and animals like eating things in their way and winning … but that kind of goes against the whole ‘La Machina’ thing. I guess in reality I’m something like a machine-animal transformer.”

Every year, a few new faces emerge during the Open as serious contenders for the CrossFit Games title. This year, Golden is making a well planned move to be one of those athletes, and the machine-animal transformer is looking to devour everything in its path.