Midland exercise junkie hopes to be named Fittest Man on Earth at CrossFit Games


Owner of CrossFit Artax in Midland Hayden LaVanda is getting ready for the CrossFit Regionals in June in Sydney. Picture: David Baylis d481911
Owner of CrossFit Artax in Midland Hayden LaVanda is getting ready for the CrossFit Regionals in June in Sydney. Picture: David Baylis d481911

EXERCISE junkie Hayden Lavanda is preparing to face off against 30 of the most athletic men on the planet in an attempt to muscle his way into the CrossFit Games and earn the title of Fittest Man on Earth.

The CrossFit Games is a global competition to find the fittest man, woman, and team on earth with athletes competing in a series of high-intensity tests of fitness.

Mr Lavanda, who owns CrossFit Artax in Midland, said he was hooked the first time he tried the sport, described as one of the toughest fitness programs in the world.

“Eight years ago when I was an apprentice boilermaker I was sitting down with the boys one lunch break and one of them said they had done 50 pull ups the night before at CrossFit,” he said.

“I was shocked as I thought 50 pull ups was just ridiculous.

“So I searched for a local CrossFit gym and booked in my first session where I completed 122 pull ups.

“From then I’ve been hooked and have made a career out of it.”

Mr Lavanda said he felt calm ahead of his fifth appearance at the Pacific regionals.

“I qualified back in 2013 as a young, inexperienced athlete and got absolutely hammered,” he said.

“This time I have been training five to six days a week which is very different to the past where I was training up to three times a day.

“At this stage the events are unknown, however CrossFit has a saying, always be prepared for the unknown.”

Mr Lavanda said the sport was growing rapidly around the world.

“When I started CrossFit everyone used to ask what’s that,” he said.

“Now everyone knows about it.

“From a competition point of view there were about 5000 men competing in the open back in 2013. This year there was more than 13,000 competing for one of 30 top spots.”

Mr Lavanda said the emerging popularity of the industry meant his CrossFit gym was on track for its busiest year on record.

“Gone are the days of chest and back, shoulders and abs. It’s boring, people love variety and results,” he said.

“Our mission is to positively change 10,000 lives by the end of 2028.”

The 2018 Crossfit Games Pacific Regional will be held at Sydney Olympic Park on June 1 to 3.

The top five athletes at the end of the regionals weekend will earn the right to compete in the CrossFit Games held in America.

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