OF ALL the events Brandon Swan faced at the CrossFit Games in the US, "The Triple 3" was the one he dreaded the most.
The event consisted of a 3000m row followed by 300 "double-unders" - an exercise performed on a jump rope in which the rope makes two passes per jump instead of one.
After that he had to embark on a three mile run - that's 5km - in what was a supreme test of athletic endurance.
"The hardest part was that it was a race," the 23-year-old from Brassall said.
"The weather was so incredibly hot that day too.
"Some of the fittest people in the world were collapsing from exhaustion.
"I managed to finish it in about 30 minutes."
It was the third consecutive time Mr Swan had taken part in the Reebok CrossFit Games; an international event that searches for the fittest people on Earth.
The gruelling three-day competition was held last month in Carson, California, and televised live on ESPN.
Athletes were put to the test in a series of events which included a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight-lifting.
Mr Swan, who is the owner and a fitness coach at CrossFit Western Front in North Ipswich, said competitors had to train to be prepared for anything.
"No one knows what exercises they will have to do until the day of competition," he said.
"Which means you have to train across all dimensions of physical fitness.
"We had to do a series of beach-themed events this year such as ocean swimming and running on the sand as well as lifting weights and doing burpees.
"But the organisers could ask us to run a marathon, for example, and we'd be expected to do it, even though none of us are specially trained marathon runners."
Mr Swan finished among the top 30 competitors at the games.
To qualify for the competition, he was whittled down from an original pool of 200,000 CrossFit athletes.
"I had a bit of an elbow tweak which unfortunately affected me in a few workouts at the games," he said.
"But it was a much better result than last year when I fractured my leg during one of the exercises."
With the exploding popularity of CrossFit, Mr Swan said the games were attracting more spectators and fiercer competition each year.
"It's getting increasingly difficult to qualify," he said.
"It's rare to see athletes return to the games for years in a row because so many people take CrossFit very seriously now.
"I'm currently training four to five hours a day six days a week to stay competitive - as well as coaching."
Mr Swan said though he was pleased with his result this year he wouldn't be content until he finished first at the games.
- The very first CrossFit workouts were for the sheriff's department in Santa Cruz, US.
- Nerve impulses travel to and from the brain at 273kmh when one does CrossFit.
- Actively doing CrossFit for as little as two weeks can alter the body's hormonal make-up.
- Out of the 10 million self-described CrossFitters, about 60% are female,
- Matt Damon used CrossFit training to sculpt his physique for the movie Invictus.
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