Steve Willis (4th overall) from CrossFit Effects in Sydney, Australia was featured on the cover of an Australian fitness magazine. He also plays Commando Steve on Australia's version of The Biggest Loser. He wrote in about his training for the Games.
A little about my background, I grew up being very competitive, playing team sports through my school years (rugby league). My training life within the gym started when I was 15 years old. I competed in a body building comp at 17, and was quick to realize that there was more than training required if I was to have a serious chance at being competitive, so needless to say that was no longer my dream and aspiration. I joined the military at 18 and spent the better part of 10 years there, within that time I served within the Australian Special Forces. I left the military in 2004 and that is when a friend first introduced me to CrossFit.
My training since starting CrossFit generally consists of training 4 - 6 sessions a week, depending on my schedule and how I am feeling. I follow the main page WOD and or our affiliate WOD. But if I may steal a sentence from Tanya Wagner, I can honestly say that intensity is really the only thing that I'm consistent with in my training.
Leading up to the Games, I was rather busy with our 1 year old, the filming of the Biggest Loser here in Australia, the daily running of our Affiliate and training clients. With all this I would factor as much training as possible into my week, but a lot of the time that would be compromised, especially due to a lack of sleep as anyone with young children can understand. When I did train, I focused a lot on my weaknesses and pushing the boundaries with intensity as stated previously. I would aim to train 2 - 3 times a day to make up for lost time and I also focused a lot on range of movement and was having 2 -3 massages a week.
Coming from Australia, and since my commitments with work did not allow me to travel Stateside until the Monday before the games, my greatest concerns were the time difference and coming from winter to summer. I attempted to match the time zone and live the last week at home as if I were in California. To acclimatize, I even went to the extent of training with a gas mask, which was rather interesting. On previous trips to the States, I found my legs would gas quickly in WOD's, so it was recommended to me to wear Skins on the flights and in recovery once I trained, all of which I found to be beneficial.
Hindsight is a great thing. With the 09 Games over and in spite of having placed well, I feel that two of the ten general physical skills let me down: cardiorespiratory endurance and strength. Both the run and deadlift events could have been better. Also, I feel that my recovery between events suffered. And by the last event on day two, I had nothing more to give, as many of you may remember. So, for the next year until the 2010 Games these will play a major role in my preparation.
See you all next year...