Now that two of this season’s three major Crossfit competitions are in the bag, all that’s left for Kevin Simons is the big one: the 2015 Crossfit World Championships that start on July 22 in Southern California.
For Simons, a 27-year-old graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School who qualified by finishing seventh at the Crossfit Regional games May 29-31 at the Tacoma Dome, it’s all about getting ready for the world games — four grueling days of various exercises aimed at finding out who is the fittest all-around athlete of them all.
“We do weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, biking, strongman equipment, they can throw anything they want at us,” Simons said.
For Simons, who trains at Alpha Strength and Conditioning in Auburn, his own workout gym next to the Auburn Gymnastics Center, the road to Crossfit began back in junior high when he started competing in gymnastics.
After graduating from Jefferson, Simons attended Washington State University, where he studied kinesiology and began weightlifting.
After graduation, he coached gymnastics at Auburn Gymnastics, and four years ago transitioned into personal training.
“Slowly, it got bigger, and I realized that this was what I wanted to do full time, so I passed off the gymnastics team to someone else (and opened Alpha),” he said. “We’ve been open about a year and a half.”
Not long after that, he started competing at Crossfit. This year he finished first in Washington State in phase one of the season, the online Open, which drew in more than 209,000 competitors worldwide.
“I ended up in 21st [in the men’s competition], first in Washington and second in our region,” Simon said. “It’s an online competition where they release the standards, and you can either submit a video or you can go to a Crossfit affiliate and have it judged. But if you’re going to regionals you have to turn in a video of one of the events.”
Next came the regionals.
And now, it’s all about the world competition.
Unlike the regionals – Simons said he knew the events he’d be competing in about six weeks before the actual competition – he’s going into the competition without knowing any of the events.
“We come in blind for that,” he said. “Sometimes they announce a few workouts early just to get people interested. Typically they tell you and you have an hour to strategize and go do it. But it makes it fun because right now I get to train for everything.”
“I’m one of the stronger athletes in the competition, so I like the heavy events,” he said. “I like the more skilled events with gymnastics, too. Don’t love the long workouts but I’ve been working on that this year, trying to build my aerobics base. So it’s not as much of a weakness as it’s been in the past.”
Simons said he’s working out for six hours or more a day to prep.
“I usually get to the gym around nine or ten,” Simons said. “Then I’m usually doing some type of intervals, whether it’s rowing, running or biking. It’s about an hour and a half of that. I also do gymnastics skill work in the beginning there. Then it’s sleep, and eat and come back and train with my heavy lifts from 2-4 o’clock. And then I do more conditioning at 6 o’clock and turn in about 8 p.m.”
Nutrition is also crucial, and Simons puts away about 3,500 calories a day.
“That’s about 400 and 500 grams of carbs, about 175 grams of protein, and somewhere between 60 and 90 grams of fat,” Simons said. “I track all my food, so that helps. I’ve always been heavy, so I’ve been trying to lean out this year. I lost a lot of weight before regionals, so that really helps out a lot. I went from 95 kilos (about 210 pounds) down to 84 kilos (about 185 pounds). That was really helpful for the running and the gymnastics and all the body weight stuff.”
The Crossfit World Games begin July 22 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. and continue July 24-26 in Carson, Calif. For more information visit www.games.crossfit.com.
To help defray the cost of travel and lodging, a GoFundMe account has been set up at http://www.gofundme.com/Kevinscrossfit.