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Fitness & Health

18th Jun 2015

How I got to the CrossFit Games: Britain’s Fittest Man Steven Fawcett

Ben Kenyon

We’ve all seen Rich Froning dominating the CrossFit Games – the man’s an absolute beast.

But all 40 athletes fighting for the ‘World’s Fittest Man’ title in the toughest fitness competition on the planet are near superhuman.

The CrossFit Games Final is broadcast around the world on TV, but no British man has ever made it…until now.

Steven Fawcett finished in 3rd place in the European Regionals to make history as the first UK man to join this elite group of athletes alongside close friend and fellow Brit Phil Hesketh.

This is the moment he realised he had made it…

Steven, who runs CrossFit JST in Wigan, spoke exclusively to JOE about how he stepped up to the elite level in CrossFit.

What do you have to go through to make it to the CrossFit Games?

There are only 40 people that make it out of hundreds of thousands of people that apply in the Open.

They’ve gone through six or seven tests through the Open and then another seven tests at Regionals. So they have been tested with 14 workouts to try and find the five best people from each region.

There was the clean and jerk and snatch that has been tested – so there’s your Olympic lifting movement and then multiple gymnastic and conditioning style workouts where it’s like handstand push-ups, ring muscle-ups and chest-to-bar pull-ups and things like that.

Then just no-nonsense stuff like running, sumo deadlift high pulls and box jumps on the more conditioning style workouts so everything was tested like skill-based stuff.

What does it take to get to the CrossFit Games among these elite athletes?

You’ve just got to make a lot of sacrifices. Over the last year I’ve knocked down the working hours that I’ve done.

Luckily I’ve got John who runs the gym with me who has taken on some of my hours so I can literally wake up and go straight into training.

I eat, train, eat and either go home or do one or two hours of coaching, rather than three hours coaching in the morning and five hours at night and trying to train in between, like it was a few years ago.

So, I think making sacrifices and then just prioritising your lifestyle around competing rather than just trying to fit your training in around your working hours.

How do you build up to perform at that level?

It just comes down to patience with your programming. You’re not just going to suddenly get all the results and be a Games athlete straight away.

It’s a very slow process. It has taken me four and a half years. At times there would be months where none of your lifts go up.

You don’t feel like you’re getting any fitter but then there’s little areas that have kept increasing with that and it comes back round.

What can you point to which has taken you to the next level?

I just focused on Regionals this year, whereas last year I did other competitions in and around. I did Battle of London last year, the Open and then Regionals so I’m trying to peak for three things in the space of three months and it didn’t really pan out as much as I’d liked.

Whereas this year I didn’t enter any other competitions. The first thing I was entering was the Open so I peaked my training for that and then again for Regionals.

Training-wise it was prioritising that all I wanted to do was get to the Games.