Event tests Will power
AFTER proving himself the Clarence Valley's fittest man at the Yamba Relay for Life last month, Yamba's Will Edgar tested himself against some of the nation's best in a gruelling six-week competition.
Edgar finished 74th out of an estimated 1000 competitors from Australia and New Zealand in the daunting CrossFit challenge.
Described as “the sport of fitness”, CrossFit competitors participate in challenges that cover all areas of fitness from strength and agility to cardio and endurance.
Athletes compete daily around the world with their sessions either videotaped and submitted for validation or validated at their location by a certified CrossFit affiliate.
Edgar's performance, which equated to a 1189th placing in the world rankings, was praised by his trainer Dane Mitchell who described the 27-year-old as an inspiration.
“We used to have a whiteboard at the gym with all the best times on it but we took it down because his name was on every single one of them,” Mitchell said.
But Edgar wasn't always a picture of fitness.
“At the beginning (about two years ago) I was a massive 142.5kgs, 117cm waist and body fat in the 30s, but I just persevered, kept turning up at the gym and working at it, getting better, faster and stronger,” Edgar said.
“As the weight came off I became a better father, son, brother, friend, not just because of the weight I lost but the love of hard work and doing what is necessary to succeed that CrossFit instils in you.
“I'm now down to 108kg, 86cm waist and a lean 10 per cent body fat.” Edgar, now a CrossFit instructor at Yamba's Peak Health, said he adheres to a strict palaeo (also known as Palaeolithic) diet which means pretty much eating as a caveman might have – nothing processed, no salt, no sugar, no dairy, and no legumes.
Although he admitted it was sometimes difficult, he operated on an 80/20 adherence to the diet with the occasional meal without restrictions.
“People smash themselves at the gym to the point where they almost pass out, then they go home and have takeaway and wonder why they're not making any gains,” Edgar said.
So why does he push himself so hard?
“If you don't have your health, you have nothing and I owe it to my young family to be the best role model I can be,” Edgar said.
This year's CrossFit competition had more than 20,000 competitors from all over the globe, including Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia along with a strong contingent from Australia and New Zealand.
“The Australian men's competition had over 1000 competitors and is one of the toughest competitions to progress in,” Mitchell said.
“There are three stages: sectionals, regionals and then the big one, the CrossFit Games.”
Mitchell said sectionals were open to anyone.
“Every day for six weeks you complete a designated workout of the day at a registered CrossFit affiliate or by submitting a video of yourself completing the workout online, the scores are tallied and at the end of the six weeks a top 60 in each of the 20 regions is determined,” Mitchell said.
“These 60 then compete at regionals, which is a gruelling three-day competition where the top three men and women are selected to travel to America to compete for the title of fittest man and woman alive.”
While Edgar missed out on getting to the regionals this year, he vowed to try again next year and promised to be better, faster and stronger for it.
“I'm still training hard, working on my weaknesses. Next year my goal is to make regionals and I have a five-year plan to make it all the way to the CrossFit Game,” he said.
And ladies, Edgar made special mention of the fact that he was single.