"If competitors go in thinking they have a claim, they are risking a lot. I'm going to try to do better than last year. That's my goal — so many things for me to fix and improve upon."
Heading into last year’s Open, Bryan Diaz was known in South Central as the athlete who kept missing the Games by just a few spots.
A year later, after winning the South Central Regional and competing at the Games, everyone knows him. Everything has changed — except him.
“People always ask me what do I want to say about myself,” he says. “Well, nothing.”
He adds: “It hasn’t changed a bit — the feel of getting better every year — if competitors go in thinking they have a claim, they are risking a lot. I’m going in trying to do better than last year. That’s my goal — so many things for me to fix and improve upon. I have more capacity that I can deliver and my goal is to seek that out.”
Diaz’s training program and diet have not changed. Over his last few years competing, Diaz has gotten a little bit better each year. Still training with Brian MacKenzie, they’ve added some new elements and personnel to the routine.
Cody Burkhart is coming on as Diaz’s “intellectual coach.” Diaz says Burkhart brings a technical and technological element to this team. He is “proficient with breakdowns and systems, functions and malfunctions.”
“My two coaches in California and Colorado work together as a single entity,” Diaz explains. “They do my programming, and one of the best parts is that they work with videos and we have more lines of communication. They track specific issues and adjust my training based on my recovery.”
On training days, he spends about three hours in the gym with one to two recovery days a week where his focus is mobility.
“I’m basically doing something everyday,” he says. “It’s work, train and work some more.”
This year, Diaz is looking past the Open and right to Regionals.
“I’m looking at the Open as part of training with a bigger goal in mind,” he says. “I have the confidence that I can turn it on and make it through the Open. Trainers just want me to understand that this is just part of the training to get through to Regionals. I’m just going to do the (Open Workouts) once. I’ll probably do it Friday or Saturday as part of my training regimen.”
And the CrossFit Games are not far from his thoughts. After a tough face-off in the ocean swim in the Pendleton Event, Diaz identified swimming as a weakness. But it didn’t stay that way for long.
“I’ve always known about myself that I’m not the greatest swimmer,” he admits. “So, this year I’ve been swimming quite a bit. We’re trying to clear that up. Swimming has become prevalent in a lot of my training. But my ability to navigate the water has improved greatly. Trying to manage those currents was just wild for me.”
After a 43rd-place finish at the Games, Diaz took a little time off, and then got back on the local competition circuit. He says he wanted to “dust off the cobwebs and get the competition mindset back.”
It’s that mindset that will keep him focused throughout the season.
“More and more at the Games, I began to realize that it has to do with competing within yourself,” he explains. “Stay in the competition, do the best you can … I have to stay within myself to do well.”