BoxLife Magazine

Josh Bridges: 2011’s 2nd Fittest Man Is Back!

By BoxLife Team

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July 12, 2013

Do you have a training partner or group you train with?

JB: I do it all. I don’t think having a training partner is always a good thing. Sometimes going at it alone is good because you’re only racing the clock and pushing from your own inner strength. I do train with Camille [Leblanc-Bazinet] a lot while she’s in San Diego with her husband David, and she definitely pushes me. I do it all, and I think that’s what CrossFit’s about.

Coming into 2013, how are you approaching your training?
JB: I’m focusing a lot on strength because it’s one of my weaknesses. Competitive CrossFitters have to focus on those things they don’t like or want to do. I’ll never neglect anything I’m good at, but I will always have to work on my strength. At 165lbs, if I’m not working on getting stronger, the other guys will get stronger and I’ll just become obsolete on [heavy] workouts and I can’t really do that.

How important is body weight? Do you ever try to put on weight?
JB: I don’t worry about weight so much as much as how I feel and how bodyweight movements feel. I’ll eat a few more calories, if I’m working out more and that might make me stronger, but I never think of weight as an issue or something of concern.

Speaking of eating a few more calories, what’s your diet like?
JB: My diet is pretty standard. I just eat clean, lots of meat and sweet potatoes as veggies. I do eat a Carne Asada burrito at least every other day…I can’t help that.

Do you take any supplements to aid nutrition and recovery?
JB: I take supplements. Most lifestyles don’t allow you to eat every time you need to, so I take Xendurance’s Xecute protein, Extreme Endurance, and some fish oil.

Year after year we’ve seen less smaller/lighter elite athletes make it to the Games. Do you think the Games are moving in that direction, requiring heavier weighted athletes who are able to lift more?
JB: I don’t think so. As long as you can get stronger, I don’t think CrossFit will ever get to a weight that I can’t handle, because at that point it’ll become a mini Strongman competition. I think CrossFit does a really good job of keeping things balanced. In looking at this year’s Regionals, the overhead squat event is pretty much the only one that’s raw strength. I don’t think CrossFit is ever going to out-grow the little guy, at least I plan on sticking around.

Tell us how you handle the mental aspect of CrossFit, when your mind tells you you’re tired, when it tells you to drop the bar.
JB: You have to learn to shut your brain off. You have to tell yourself, ‘This sucks but I have to keep going.’ I have a strategy where I get in a few more reps than I thought I could, and that keeps me going. A lot of the wrestling background has helped me transfer over. I always tell myself my body can handle so much more than my mind thinks it can, so I can’t stop. That really helps.

CrossFit Invictus always has an incredible presence at the Games. What’s it like to have them cheering you on?
JB: It is unbelievable to have the Sea of Green in your corner. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. There were times in the 2011 Games that I wasn’t feeling it but then I saw the crowd…it’s indescribable. I had nothing to do with the following. That’s something CJ created. They have a phenomenal team and everyone just wants to support each other.

You’re a family man. What’s the best part of that experience?
JB: My boys have been the best thing I have ever been a part of! You change when you become a parent. For the better.

How has CrossFit impacted your life?
JB: CrossFit has been a huge impact on my life, it has made me live a healthier lifestyle. It has allowed me to be an athlete again.

Are there any activities you enjoy on your free time?
JB: Other things on my free time (laughs) I love hobbies: rock climbing, shooting both bows and guns, and hiking.

What’s your favorite WOD? Why?
JB: Olympic lifting is really fun, unless you are having a bad day.

What are you most looking forward to about the 2013 Games experience?
JB: Competing.

Aside from yourself of course, who do you consider to be a top contender at the 2013 Games?
JB: Rich Froning of course. Sam Briggs is going to make an incredible showing. I think Camille is going to do really well. I think Matt Chan will also do really well again.

What’s your advice for an athlete looking to compete?
JB: If you’re not having fun, if you make it too real or too serious, it becomes more of an obstacle to overcome. I really try to approach my workouts like fun. It’s my time. I don’t take it too seriously. I will go out there and do what I do. If that puts me on the podium then that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too. Have fun with it, get after it and push yourself.

In one word, what does CrossFit mean to you?
JB: Passion.

Train Like Josh
Josh trains about six days a week, roughly 2-3 hours a day. On his rest days he stays active, usually a light trail run.

Sample training day
Morning Session
EMOM for 12 min, 185#
2 Squat Cleans
3 Jerks
4 Hang Power Cleans

Afternoon Session
Snatch on the minute, working up to failure
5 sets of Back Squats, 2 reps working up to a heavy squat
1,000m row
60 HSPU (Handstand Push-ups)
40 T2B (Toes to Bar)
1,000m row

Check out Josh Bridges crushing Event 6 during the 2013 SoCal Regionals:

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