March 21, 2012
Who is Frederik Engelbrecht?
By Imtiaz Desai

Frederik Engelbrecht has gone from dark horse to serious Games contender.

With one week left in the Open, a group of 10 men have established themselves as leaders of the Africa Region’s competition. The sport of CrossFit is still very much in its infancy in the Motherland, and therefore the names at the top of the men’s Leaderboard are very familiar. However, amongst the old foes stands the name Frederik Engelbrecht.

Engelbrecht began CrossFit alone approximately six months ago. After getting a taste for what CrossFit had to offer he began training at CrossFit PBM in February of this year. Given his relatively short stint in CrossFit thus far, his performances in the Open, as well as in training have been nothing short of staggering.

Engelbrecht, 27, went 10 repetitions in to the third station on the snatch workout, placed 6th in Africa on 12.3 and got through 8 muscle-ups on 12.4. He’s muscling in with Africa’s best, and his benchmark numbers indicate his Open performances are legit. Here is some insight in to the man behind the name.

What is your athletic background?

I played school (provincial level) and varsity rugby. I competed in gymnastics up to the age of 14 years, attaining provincial colors and attended South African Championships.

I also competed in arm wrestling. I have my national colors in arm wrestling in the 85 kg class, and placed in the top 20 and 30 at the 2006 world championships for the left and right arm competitions, respectively.

I also enjoy recreational running and mountain biking as part of alternate training days.

What drew you to CrossFit?

It started with the “300” workout before a local gym personal trainer approached me and directed me to This grabbed my attention and fed my imagination, and I converted from normal weight training to what CrossFit envisaged for functional training.

What are your goals for the 2012 Games season?

To reach the regional qualifier, whether as individual or as a part of CrossFit PBM’s team.

What is one interesting thing about you that not many people know?

I sustained a torsion fracture in my right humerus (upper right arm) during the first round of the world arm wrestling champs in 2006. I underwent surgery in Manchester, England where the competition took place. Two metal plates held in place by 17 metal screws now form part of my anatomy. Safe to say I’m well recovered after four years of rehabilitation.

I’m a civil/structural Engineer. [It's a] day job to support hobbies like CrossFit and my wife.

Who is Frederik Engelbrecht? The major dark horse in the Africa region in 2012.

CrossFit Benchmarks:
Angie: 11:30
Barbara: 20:46
Cindy: 25 rounds
Fran: 2:57
Grace: 1:37
Helen: 6:51
Annie: 6:17
Mary: 17 rounds