By Nicolai Mainz and Kristoffer Kjaer, Butcher’s Garage (Denmark).
We have been training together for some months now, on and off depending on our individual schedules and other commitments. Our CF friendship and training partnership has slowly grown out of training on the competition team at Butcher’s Garage in Valby, Copenhagen, and recently culminated at The Frontline CF competition in Malmø, which was our first real test as training buddies.
The competition went very well from a team performance persepective. Our teamwork, competition mentality and routines, and the way we supplement each other in skill performance oriented strengths and weaknesses worked out to our strong advantage, and we ended up going head to head with some of the really heavy guys. A great experience, that can definitely be contributed to us being training buddies (which is obviously more than just team mates :-).
We train together 3-4 times each week whether it be for WODs or for strength sessions. We do not follow the same programming, so often times it is just as much about giving pointers on certain movements or just shouting the right cue at the right time. This is an important element of becoming good training partners, the ability to know when it is time to shout and when it is time to shut the f*** up.
We have pretty much the same ideas about nutrition, rest, workout strategy, what’s wise and what’s insane and so on, and that definitely showed itself during the competition in Malmø.
I started my CF “career” at Butcher’s Lab about 3 years ago. Before that, I had not been doing any kind of sport, so I was literally playing with bands and doing pullups on my knees as many other new crossfitters do, when coming into the box for the first time. I soon fell in love with the raw kind of training, the environment and the constant small competition for best times on the whiteboard. None of my friends were doing CF with me, so I quickly found someone within the box to compare myself to and battle with. My passion grew, and after doing a Starting Strength cycle, I joined the newly opened Butcher’s Garage to “get strong”. Some months after, I tried my first CrossFit competition (Fit As F*ck 2011) and fell in love with the competition aspect of CrossFit. Soon after that, Butcher’s launched an official competition team, which I joined.
After some months of competition training, Kristoffer had a tryout for the team, and immediately got accepted. He had only just started CrossFit, but had a great background from spinning and regular strength training – and most important of all: he was determined to improve, and he wanted to do it quicly – and so he did.
As the more experienced CrossFitter, I watched his progress, and as he began beating me in various WODs, and at the same time getting stronger and better at lifting weights, I saw his potential as a team mate. I asked him if he wanted to come to a competition in Sweden with me, and he was on. Team Bacon & Veins was born J
We have only been to one competition as a team, but it was one of the best team constellations, I’ve ever tried. We compliment each other great; I’m a bit stronger and a bit more technical, but he has a huge engine and just keeps on going, which helps me push myself to the limit (and over). If he continues to improve the way he has done since he started, he’ll be a real poisonous athlete in the future!
The value of having a good training partner is hard to describe. To me, it’s very important, and I’ve found it with Kristoffer and the other guys from the Competition Team. It makes you want to go harder when someone is pushing you in a WOD or out-lifting you at the platform. During competitions it helps immensely to have someone, who knows you and your abilities, shouting at you. It’s also a great inspiration and motivation to train alongside people exactly as dedicated – both in, but in a great deal also outside, the gym. When your mind is constantly tuned in on CrossFit, you got to have someone to share your thoughts with J
I started crossfitting as a supplement to my cycling, running and globo gym strength training sometime in the spring of 2011. Right from the start I was in the top of every class often winning the WODs and I absolutely loved the competition aspect. Over the next 10-11 months I slowly did more and more CF and less and less globo training. In the spring of 2012 I decided to exclusively dedicate myself to CF and joined the competition team in Butcher’s Garage to get some more challenging workouts. I was immediately hooked on the high level training and the shared engagement across everybody on the team. It’s safe to say that most of us train, eat, sleep and dream CF.
To me the value of having a training partner is that you have someone that pushes you both in training and in competitions. Nicolai and I are quite well balanced, he is a bit stronger than me and I have a slightly bigger engine from my endurance background, and both have the desire to get better and the will to eat ourselves when we hit our pain threshhold in WODs. Furthermore, I think that you need to have common ground in terms of sense of humor and your view on training and competing in order to maintain a solid CF friendship. I can say without a doubt that a lot of my progression as a crossfitter has come from having a training buddy that meet these criteria.