King of the Vlog, jet-setting businessman and dad; it’s a miracle that Christian gets a chance to train at all! He may well be dropping in to a box near you on his road to the top 400 in the Open 2017…
How old are you,Christian?
As only CrossFit age counts, I’m 44 😉
How long have you been doing CrossFit and where do you train?
I started in June 2013, just when I turned 40 so it has been 3 years and a half. HHHHmmmm where do I train?? Wherever I can really but officially my box is CrossFit Lutterworth.
What’s your sporting background?
I grew up in Quebec City, Canada with very cold and long winters. I played ice hockey pretty much every day for 6 months every year either on an outdoor rink or as part of a team. I made it to elite level (Junior AA) and carried on playing until I moved to England for work. It’s an amazing sport, I like to call it ‘Rugby on Ice’, teaches you teamwork, determination and hard work.
What are the other commitments in your life?
A very demanding Business Programme Manager job for an American company. I cover Europe in my role as I speak 4 European languages meaning I travel a lot. I do the normal-ish 40 hours a week but if you include travel it can easily get to over than 60 hours a week…
I also have 4 kids, 3 from a previous relationship and Damian with my love Sabrina. Every other weekend I have my kids together and this is time I try not to be in throwdowns as otherwise I do not get to see them. The challenge with that is the remaining weekends I want to spend with Sabrina and Damian… meaning doing a throwdown is taking time away from them and so this is why I have reduced considerably my presence on competitions.
I coach at CrossFit Lutterworth even though I will reduce this involvement as work is crazy this year for me.
Oh, I was going to forget, I have a YouTube channel where I share my journey and showcase our amazing CrossFit community but with a focus on us Masters!!
What keeps you coming back for more?
The Open: prove to myself I am getting fitter every year.
What achievements are you most proud of?
My Open worldwide results:
2014 aged 41: 2,260th out of 8,114 Masters 40-44
2015 aged 42: 1,262nd out of 17, 321 Masters 40-44
2016 aged 43: 650th out of 20,898 Masters 40-44 (9th in the UK)
Also very proud of my Rainhill Kennedy 2nd place finish in February 2016
What are your strengths?
Gymnastics EXCEPT muscle-ups
What are your weaknesses?
What are your goals for 2017?
Top 400 in the Open 40-44. Sort out my bar and ring muscle-ups.
Who does your programming?
The best: Mitch Adams and his amazing service of a personalised programme. Perfect for me who is on the road and has to deal with so many constraints
Which athletes / coaches do you most admire and why?
Obviously I admire all the masters that top the leaderboards but also the guys that, like me, struggle to fit a workout in. ‘Cause if you own a box and are pretty much full time I do expect you to do well!! Actually this makes me think I have started a series called ‘Master Extraordinaire’ where I will showcase extraordinaire masters and those will not always be the guys at the top of the leaderboard…
Can we find you on social media? Who do you follow on social media that you’d recommend to others?
Of course you can find me on social media!! I vlog about CrossFit on YouTube, something I tried out but somehow managed to get a good subscriber base. After 8 months I am getting close to 4,000 Amigos and Amigas which I find hard to believe (Amigos and Amigas is the way I call my subscribers). I am also quite active on Instagram and of course Facebook
What are your favourite CrossFit comps?
Rainhill even more now with a Masters Edition!! The Greek Throwdown, I have done the two editions and those guys make you feel like you’re at the Games!
What supplements do you swear by?
AMSPORT UK 1000%!! I was a customer before I was approached to be a brand ambassador. I love the fact their products are formulated and manufactured in Germany. I work in Supply Chain manufacturing actually and I know that so many supplements company today buy from China and basically just put a label on what is essentially the same product… AMSPORT was founded by an ex-Olympian German swimmer Mark Warnecke who became a doctor specialising in muscle repair, when he realised he could not find the ‘perfect’ amino acid compound…guess what? He formulated his own and that was the birth of AMSPORT. I also swear by their Magnesium shots… they make me sleep like a baby!!
[Make sure you join the Masters United group on Facebook as Christian is often able to share discounts on AMSport products – MtB]
What advice would you give to a Master just starting out in CrossFit?
By all means chase others, but always compete against yourself. Do the Open EVERY year, it is your only real benchmark and the level of granularity you get from the leaderboard will show you if you are indeed improving and that is what counts. Together with that do at least 1 throwdown a year: be a MAN (WOMAN) IN THE ARENA
What’s the key to effective recovery for you?
8 hours sleep a night, ROMWOD, a massage and chiro session every other week. AMSPORT Aminosauren and Magnesium shots.
And I’m proud to say I was probably one of the first crossfitters to use activ7. Not sure how Parvin found me but once he did he asked me if I would try his 7 essential oil formulation. He said it would help with inflammation. That triggered my interest as every night my ACL knee gets slightly inflamed… I was suspicious but tried the product anyway. The next day my knee felt so good a day I had almost no inflammation. I became such a fan that I started promoting the product everywhere and as a consequence Parvin made me Brand Ambassador 001, a title I’m very proud of 😂.
From Theodore Roosevelt speech in Paris in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
What would you advise CrossFitters to stop doing?
Worry so much about their performances (me included). At the end of the day we need to remember why we do CrossFit: to be fitter and stay around longer and happier. We do it to be around with our loved ones for as long as possible.
What should they start (if they aren’t already!)?
Be thankful to our family members that let us get away with our crazy obsession with this sport!!
Thanks for a great interview, Christian!
Check out the other athletes in the Meet the Masters series.