The 27-year-old finished 15th in Europe for this year’s Open with only one other British athlete, Steven Fawcett, ahead of him. Will came 1st in Europe for 15.2 and 7th for 15.1, despite an injury. He is also a coach at Crossfit Cheltenham and co-owner of CrossFit Westmids.
Thanks for your time, Will. Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and your sports background.
I was born in Winchester and went to university there but moved to Cheltenham in 2009. I’ve had a pretty varied sports background ranging from athletics and football to MMA and rugby. Rugby took over as my main sport and I played in the national leagues for 4 years until I found Crossfit.
From your results across the board, it looks like you had a great time with the Open. How do you think it went?
Considering that I was ill for 15.1 and injured for the rest I’m really happy with where I’m placed. Because of my ankle injury I haven’t been able to run, squat or lift for a month which has been so frustrating. Winning 15.2 and placing top 10 in the world was also a highlight. Saying this I have Pheobe Bolton, Aimee Dew and Radu Dumitrescu all working their magic to get me fit. Some of the treatments Radu had given me with new techniques are amazing and I would recommend him to anyone.
Especially this year, we’ve seen more British men and women around the top end of the leaderboard. What are your thoughts on the future of Crossfit in the UK?
Really positive. I think it’s great seeing people like myself and the other UK guys doing well in European competitions and showing the UK Crossfit scene that we can challenge the Americans. If coached correctly and if people look after themselves I think us Brits can produce some big contenders.
You’re going to Regionals. How does that feel?
Great and proud. I’m determined to do CrossFit Cheltenham and WestMids proud but somewhat frustrated because of my injury. It’s hard not only having to deal with the pain of a workout but having to deal with the pain of an injury is annoying. David Shorunke knows all about this! But hopefully I can get repaired and push for a top 5 finish at Regionals.
Do you bench press? If so, what’s your 1RM?
Yes, maybe once per week. 127.5kg
What advice do you have for other athletes, trying to get the most out of their performance in the gym each day?
When I first started Crossfit I just used to hit random hero workouts and do crazy stuff but I certainly have more structure now. Having won a few big competitions and placed second in the Athlete Games I’ve had lots of messages from people about me programming for them.
I consult with Rudy Neilsen about training but I think everyone who is serious about getting the most out of their performance should follow a weighting template and aim to have no weaknesses in any areas. Myself and Steve Bunn (CrossFit Cheltenham head coach) write programs for anyone looking to take their training to the next level.
What are your favourite lifts?
Overhead squat, snatch, power jerk.
Imagine you’re going team with some of the top Crossfit athletes in the world. Who’s on your team?
You never know this could happen. Euro dream team!
Is there anything you know as an athlete now, that you wish you’d known a year or two years ago?
Go pick up a barbell! Technique, efficiency and strategy are crucial to success!
Who’s winning the Games in 2015?
Photos by Pete Williamson.