I've had the pleasure of interviewing Brendan Willis of IST CrossFit. He's a 2 time CrossFit Regional qualifier and past GameDay Competitions champion.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My hometown is Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and I have been competing for roughly 5 years. I played collegiate baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Superior from 2008-2011. I completed my Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the College of Saint Scholastica in 2014 with my teammate Alex Taray.
What made you start competing in this sport?
After I stopped playing baseball, I missed that competitive feel I had enjoyed for the previous four years. I had been interning/working at Impact Sports Training in Duluth,MN training and coaching all sorts of athletes and happened to stumbled upon CrossFit in 2013. I liked the Open format and decided to enter to see how I would stack up and ended up getting slaughtered by most of the workouts! Oddly enough, I enjoyed them even with the disappointing finishes and the rest is history.
"Do not do too much too soon! Enjoy training. Have fun with the competition and do not fret if things don’t go your way."
What do you enjoy most about competition day?
I honestly do not like competing as much as I do training for the competition. I guess seeing how well my training has worked is what I enjoy the most.
The more I think about it, drinking my preworkout is actually another enjoyable moment!
What is your favorite all time workout or movement?
My favourite all time workout is Nancy (5 Rounds of 400m Run and 15 Overhead Squats) and my favourite movement is the toe to bar (although this response changes on a weekly basis).
For what it’s worth, the Clean and Jerk is my least favourite…
Do you have any advice for first time competitors or people thinking about trying a competition?
DO NOT DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON! Enjoy training. Have fun with the competition and do not fret if things don’t go your way. Every competition is a learning experience and that is part of what makes them enjoyable. If you are thinking about trying a competition, I would recommend having a year of experience to familiarize yourself with the many stimuli that are involved with competing.