Crossfit trainer heads to Australia for challenge

PHUKET: A Phuket-trained CrossFit beast, 28-year-old Elise Hoefsmit, took top honors in Thailand in the Reebok CrossFit Games 2016 Open, advancing her to the regional competition in Sydney next month.

“I’m over the moon. I put in hours of work to get to this point and I’m just beginning. You can’t fake hard work and it certainly pays off,” Ms Hoefsmit told the Phuket Gazette.

The annual CrossFit Games are broken down into three parts, with the first stage being the Open, which is a five-week, five-workout competition. The kicker is that the workouts remain a secret until they are released on a Thursday, giving athletes until the following Monday to submit a score.

“Athletes train year-round for a competition that is almost a complete mystery,” the CrossFit Games website points out.

Then the top athletes from each of the 17 regions qualify for the second stage of the competition – regionals. The regionals are live, three-day competitions. The top five advance to the StubHub Center in the United States for a final showdown.

“When they reach the StubHub Center, they put their training and mental fortitude to the test and take on a rigorous, broad-ranging test of overall physical capacity. After four days, the Fittest on Earth will have clearly distinguished themselves,” the website says.

So far, Ms Hoefsmit has distinguished herself without a doubt – finishing 4th in all of Asia.

“Before this I was focused on body building and power lifting. I really started to take CrossFit seriously on moving to Thailand in July last year,” Ms Hoefsmit said. “I’ve always changed up my training every few years and looked for new ways to progress my athletics. After moving to Thailand to work at Unit 27, my boyfriend [Luke Richmond, who is currently on the Row2Rio team] convinced me that CrossFit would be an exciting new challenge for me. He was right! I was hooked.”

CrossFit is designed to test every aspect of an athlete’s fitness, which sees Ms Hoefsmit combining Olympic weight-lifting, power lifting, gymnastics and conditioning in order to be ready for anything that may get thrown at her in competitions like the Open.

“My nutrition plays a huge role in allowing me to perform at my best every day. I’ve found that the biggest change in my strength and recovery happened when I started eating more and getting my nutrition right for the amount of work I was doing,” she said.

Having competed in power lifting and bodybuilding at a high level in Australia, Ms Hoefsmit entered her first CrossFit competition in Chiang Mai last September, finishing in 2nd place.

With regionals only about a month away, there isn’t a lot Ms Hoefsmit can do to ensure a win.

“Become superwoman? I will compete against women who have been doing CrossFit for 10 years. To win in my first year competing would be sensational but, realistically, top 25 is my goal. However, it’s all about the workouts,” she said.

The 40 women competitors, 10 selected from Asia and 30 from Australia, won’t be told what the workouts will be until just two weeks before the competition, which takes place May 13-15.

“With competitions like this, the hard work is done in the years prior to them, not the few weeks before. There are skills that I can perfect and become more proficient at, but in terms of gaining more strength, you don’t have enough time to add to your current base,” Ms Hoefsmit said.

Though back in Australia for the competition and a number of other adventures, Ms Hoefsmit hasn’t abandoned Phuket. The 28-year-old CrossFit trainer plans to return to working with clients at Unit27, as well as building on her base, for next year’s CrossFit Games.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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