The ultimate proving ground for the ‘Fittest on Earth’. That’s the trademark of the Reebok CrossFit Games, slated to take place this summer in Madison, Wisconsin.
The 2019 Games will feature a St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) presence --- a first for the school. His name is Jack Farlow, a Grade 11 student, aka, ‘The Quiet Storm’.
“About four years ago I was watching the CrossFit games on the computer,” says Farlow, a Mississauga, ON resident. “It was the first year that the teen division had been implemented and I thought it looked cool. I haven’t looked back since.”
Farlow is currently ranked 10th of 2,399 on the world competition circuit of boys 16-19 years of age, and first of 142 in Canada in the 2019 Open category.
Only the top fraction of a percent advance from the Open and Sanctionals (CrossFit competitions throughout the world that are independently operated) to earn a chance to compete on the big stage.
“While competing in this tournament is a proud accomplishment, finishing a tough workout knowing you’ve given it your all is a feeling of accomplishment that’s hard to find,” says Farlow.
A rigorous training regimen since the age of 12 --- some of which took place at SMCS --- coupled with progressive success in competitions, has earned Farlow a berth in the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games.
“SMCS has great facilities for exercising,” he says. “The weight room provided a place I could go to during lunch or after school to get extra work in. Also it was great having a few gym teachers in the building (notably Mr. Adrian Spagnolo, teacher and coach) who understand what CrossFit is and are willing to encourage and support me in many ways.”
ULTIMATE FITNESS TEST
CrossFit combines elements from different fitness activities and sports into a high-intensity cardio-focused workout. Disciplines range from weightlifting and aerobics to gymnastics and navigating an obstacle course. The CrossFit Games have been taking place annually since 2007.
“As an accomplished weightlifter, Jack has continued to focus on building on his strengths at Element CF gym in Mississauga, while also dialling in his nutrition and sleep patterns in order for optimal recovery and CNS activation,” says Spagnolo, who coaches several teams at SMCS.
“Jack’s summer focus is on attributing more time to developing his gymnastics foundation, swimming and cycling, and cardiovascular conditioning in order to become an even more fierce competitor headed into the games.”
For 17-year-old Farlow, it has been a journey rife with challenges. His demanding training and eating schedule has pushed his mind and body to the limit.
“During school I often stay at school until about 5:00 p.m., and get all my homework done. From there I get to the gym a bit before 6:00 p.m. Depending on the time of year and what competitions I have coming up, a session is anywhere from two and a half to three and a half hours,” he says.
All of that has ramped up even further, in recent months.
“Leading up to the games training volume has gone up,” Farlow continues. “In the morning I usually do some sort of mono-structural work such as a track (running session) or swimming. Sometimes both. From there I’ll rest a few hours and go to the gym for about a three to a three and a half hour session. My diet is pretty basic. Eat enough quality food that I’m not hungry and don’t eat junk.”
“Break it to Build it” is a coined term by Spagnolo that Farlow has lived. It has carried him to this point in his CrossFit career. What awaits will have the attention of many.
The 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games take place July 31, 2019 to August 4, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin.