By AFM Team – July 1, 2016
photography by Brian FItzsimmons

The AFM FITTEST is an annual competition comprised of ten tests measuring strength, agility, power, balance, and endurance. Every year, there are hundreds of competitors, but only a handful of winners.

Meet the ten individuals and three teams who emerged victorious.

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Michael Mark: 5:16 mile (Rank 3)

David Braswell: 34 pull-ups (Rank 2); 39 inch vertical jump (Rank 1 – Tied with Jordan Trudeau)

Jordan Trudeau: 40' 03" med ball toss (Rank 1); 39 inch vertical jump (Rank 1 – Tied with David Braswell)

Kent Smith: 3 Time Champion


Bethany Branham: 6:02 mile (Rank 1); 1st Place Battle Ropes

Tanya Tudor: 05:66 40 yard dash (Rank 1); 25 pull-ups (Tied with Alison Gardner)

Alison Gardner: 25 pull-ups (Tied with Tanya Tudor); 1st Place Mystery Test 2

Kathleen Parker: 5 Time Champion

Keep Reading!


Jordan Trudeau

Overall and Age Group Champion >> Men 20–29

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? One.

What inspired you to compete? I saw it in the magazine, and then I saw the results and I knew I could hit those numbers. My boss really wanted me to do it so I told him, “If you sign me up, I’ll do it.”

Favorite test? The vertical and med ball toss, because I knew I’d do well. 

Least favorite test? Mystery test 2. 

If you could add your own test, what would it be? A broad jump.

What’s your diet like? I eat everything as long as it’s in the range of being healthy. I don’t really restrict anything from my diet. I get a lot of protein, a lot of carbs, and I try to do my best with vegetables. I consume a lot of calories—probably more than most people. If I had to guess I eat about 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day.

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or did you just rely on your regular training routine? I started conditioning more for the mile and working on pull-ups so I could get more reps there. 

What goals did you set for yourself? To win overall. And, not to come in last at the mile, because I’m not a distance runner.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? Someone who is an all-around athlete. Balanced, strong, powerful, agile, good muscle endurance, good range of motion. Coordination and good genes, too.

How did you feel on event day? Nervous. I saw David Braswell there and assumed he would do well. I wasn’t sure about last year’s winner [Taylor Johnson] because he wasn’t in my group. But the guys I did compete with looked pretty fit, so that made me nervous. After we got through some of the tests I felt better, though.

How would you pitch the AFM FITTEST to somebody who’s unsure about competing? Look at past results, do some of the tests and if you feel good about it then go for it. Doesn’t hurt to try!

What or who motivates you? The guys I work with at HIT Center, especially my boss Brett. He was the one who signed me up and kept encouraging me to do it. After last year’s AFM FITTEST issue came out, I was amped up to do it, but throughout the year he’d work with me and make me train for it.

How has your fitness regimen changed with age? The more I learn the more it changes. When I was in college, everything was isolated. I’d do chest one day, legs one day, arms one day. But your body works better as a whole, so I start doing more full-body movement.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Bethany Branham

Overall and Age Group Champion >> Women 20–29

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? Two. 

 How have the previous years gone for you? Last year, I got third overall.

What do you think kept you from first place last year? The softball throw—I don’t have hand-eye coordination skills. I got only two out of 20!

What inspired you to compete? I’ve watched it for many years, but what I like about the AFM FITTEST is that it focuses on different aspects that make up fitness. 

Favorite test? I actually didn’t mind the mile run. I know I don’t look like a runner but that’s what I did back in high school. I also liked the second mystery test.

Least favorite test? The battle ropes were terrible.

If you could add your own test, what would it be? An AirDyne for time and calories.

What’s your diet like? I eat baby food throughout the day. I don’t have a lot of time to eat, so I eat protein bars and baby food and then I’ll have a big meal. Usually I’ll eat a burger for dinner—with cheese, bacon, bun, the works.

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or did you just rely on your regular training routine? I was going to, but then time caught up to me. I stuck with my regular CrossFit training program because that pretty much covers it all. 

What goals did you set for yourself? To do the best I could. That’s all I wanted to do. If it got me first place, awesome, but that wasn’t the goal. I just wanted to have fun. I love being out there, meeting new people, giving high-fives, and cheering everyone on.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? Someone that can do it all. That’s why I like the AFM FITTEST, because it really showcases athletic ability. 

How did you feel on event day? Nervous.

What’s your next goal to achieve? I’m buckling down with CrossFit, and I’m trying to compete at a high level with that.  

You ran the fastest mile and fastest interval run, but also placed top three in pull-ups and battle ropes. How do you find balance in speed, endurance and strength? You have to work on your weaknesses. I think genetics play a big part in it as well. CrossFit has helped me work on my weaknesses, and forces me to do the things I don’t want to do in order to be balanced. 

 What or who motivates you? My family. And my husband—he’s pushed me to do things I didn’t think I could do. I think a lot of it is self-motivation too. Having a gymnastics background has helped also. Family support is huge. My family always comes out and supports me in no matter what I do. 

How did the AFM FITTEST compare to your expectations? I did better than I thought! I thought I would do well but didn’t think I was going to win. 

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


David Braswell

Age Group Champion >> Men 30–39

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? All five years.

How many years have you won? I won overall once, and my age group twice.

Which year felt the best? The first year, because I was in better shape. I was competing in track more regularly, so my legs felt conditioned.

Your first year competing felt the best, even though you didn’t win? That was the year of the notorious softball throw! I missed every single throw. There was no way to come back from those points. If it wasn’t for my bad throwing, I probably would’ve won or placed. During the first year, I think I had the highest placements in each test than I have out of all of them, but that softball throw destroyed me because I got last place in it.

How has your workout regimen changed from year to year? What are you trying to include or exclude in the future? I’m trying to stop taking breaks and include more consistency.

How does someone become a pull-up master? By doing a lot of pull-ups. I think the previous years have carried over for me, though. I actually did less than I did last year as far as training. But I think it’s all about consistency. I would do pull-ups two to three times a week—so nothing crazy. But the pull-up workout in itself was long; the whole workout would be pull-ups.

How would you pitch the AFM FITTEST to someone who is unsure about competing? I would just say it’s a field day for adults. Try to frame it in the most non-intimidating way possible, so they can just think about having fun. 

Last year, you said your goals for this year were: run a faster mile, improve on pull-ups, and stay healthy. How’d you do? I did not improve on the mile, and I stayed consistent on pull-ups. The mile was hard to improve because of what comes before it. The tests before the mile change every year.

What are your goals for next year? Execute the things I messed up on this year. For example, I DQed on the first medicine ball throw. I didn’t get injured so I’m happy about that.

Has anything happened in the past year that affected your preparation? Life! We opened a gym in January, and business is hard. People think, “Oh you’re a trainer so you work out every day.” Not true. We’re just like everyone else. It’s hard to find time for yourself.

What’s your advice for someone who wants to compete in the individual and team division? Be really conditioned and be smart. Whenever I’m competing as an individual, I don’t give it my everything because I know I have to compete in my team events. The interval run is a great example. A lot of guys stop at eight, instead of pushing for nine or ten so they can save energy.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? Someone who is well-rounded. You don’t have to be great at everything, because I don’t think that’s even possible. Just be proficient in most things. 

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Tanya Tudor

Age Group Champion >> Women 30–39

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? This was my first.

How did you find out about it? It might have been when I first moved to Austin and glimpsed at the magazine for the first time. As I got more involved with the fitness community, people would talk about it.

Where did you move from and when? I am originally from Barbados, but I moved to the Bay Area to get my master’s degree in in traditional Chinese medicine. From there I moved to Austin.

What inspired you to compete? It looked like fun, and everyone said I should! 

Favorite test? The 40-yard dash and the pull-ups.

Least favorite test? The battle ropes and the mile.

If you could add your own test, what would it be? A rope climb (with no legs).

What’s your diet like? I’ve always been pretty lucky in knowing what my body likes and doesn’t like. I don’t necessarily believe in restricting myself from anything. With that said, it’s just a balance of protein, carbs and fats. My diet is no one particular diet. I will go down on some pizza though.

What goals did you set for yourself? To do my best and have a really good time. I didn’t really read up or know much about the tests. I looked everything over the night before the event!

What is your regular training regimen? I go to Atomic Athlete a few times a week. I do yoga once a week, and a couple things on my own. I’m trying to get back into martial arts and rock climbing. I want to make those a more regular part of my routine.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? If you’re moving your body, and you’re feeling good about what you’re doing—if you’re feeling accomplished, no matter what that is—that’s fit.

How did you feel on event day? I felt great! All the women in my group were awesome. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if they were going to be super competitive, so when I showed up and saw some familiar faces, I just had a ball.

What’s your next goal to achieve? I have two. I want to do the True Athlete Games again. The other is, take myself, my business, my brand, and my style of fitness a bit bigger.

How was the AFM FITTEST pitched to you? How would you pitch the fittest to somebody who’s unsure about competing? People who knew what the event was told me that most of the tests were in my wheelhouse. Honestly, for anyone going into it, just look at the 10 events and go for it. It was so light and easy with a healthy dose of competition.

Was there an event you were dreading? The mile! 200 meters is the longest I would like to run.

How’d you push yourself through it? Music. Dancehall and calypso music is what I like to work out to.

Who or what motivates you? I don’t know if I have any one person. I am so lucky to know a lot of athletes on such a broad spectrum. You name it, I know someone who excels at it. I’ve had the chance on a regular basis—sometimes every day—to rub shoulders with them. Heck, even my clients! I get inspired by so much around me.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Michael Mark

Age Group Champion >> Men 40–49

How many years have you competed in the AFM Fittest? This was my first year. 

What inspired you to compete? I think every person has a desire to be better today than they were yesterday. I think it's deeply human. For me, sports are a great way to get instant and ongoing feedback on how I'm performing. Being able to test myself across a number of challenges and formidable competition is a perfect setting—head-to-head, with a judge watching, and nowhere to hide when things get hard. 

Favorite test? The timed mile as the 10th and final challenge. 

Least favorite test? The med ball toss. I just didn't practice enough. 

If you could add your own test, what would it be? An incline treadmill set to 30 percent, or timed box step-ups with weight to see who can go the farthest or complete the most steps. 

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or did you just rely on your regular training routine? I was worried that the contest would favor CrossFitters, so that scared me into the gym twice just to get used to doing the wall ball toss and med ball push toss. I relied heavily on my training for obstacle racing to carry me through. 

What goals did you set for yourself? I wanted to win; at least for my age group. In your own words, what defines a fit person? Well, I think fitness encompasses strength, endurance, speed, agility, and mental fortitude. 

How did you feel on event day? My body was good, and I was excited and a bit nervous.  

What’s your next goal to achieve? I’m currently ranked second in the world for Spartan Race's Masters category. I'd like to hold my top three spot and get podiums at both the Spartan World Championships and Obstacle Course Racing World Championships, which are both held in October. 

What or who motivates you? My dad instilled a deep confidence in my ability and supported me through both wins and losses. He was my biggest fan and I loved seeing the joy my success gave him. He passed away a couple years ago, but my son, Lincoln, who just turned four years old gives me all the motivation I need to be the best possible version of myself—in competition and in life. 

How has your fitness regimen changed as you’ve gotten older? I listen to my body and give it needed rest much sooner than I used to. By training smarter, I've actually been able to train harder. Although I played semi-professional baseball and college basketball years ago, I’m in the best shape of my life right now, and I plan to continue taking that to new levels.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Alison Gardner

Age Group Champion >> Women 40–49

How many years have you competed in the fittest? This was my third year (2013, 2014, 2016).

How did you rank in the previous years? Top 10 in my age group.

Favorite test? Pull-ups.

Least favorite test? Battle ropes. 

If you could add your own test, what would it be? Handstand walking.

What’s your diet like? I’d say 90 to 95 percent clean and five percent “other.” I don’t feel deprived. I just tried all sorts of eating habits in the past and a lot of them made me feel like I was missing out on something. Now I’ve gotten to the point where if I eat something that isn’t good for me, I can almost immediately feel it. So it’s not worth it and then I don’t miss it. I stay away from bread and pasta, and I’ll have maybe one or two drinks a week. It’s basically your typical paleo diet.

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or did you rely on your regular training routine? Regular training routine. I go to CrossFit Jääkarhu six or seven times a week. On Sundays I’ll do an active recovery or drills for movements I’m weak at. I’m stronger now than I was in my 20s. And I’m certainly drinking the CrossFit Kool-aid, but it’s an incredible group of people who are incredibly supportive. I get about an hour to and hour and a half a day in the mornings. It’s the only time I have to myself without kids or work.

What goals did you set for yourself? I wanted to get more pull-ups than the past two times I’ve done it. Each year I go up by one, so we’ll see if I can continue to do that. I also wanted to win my age division.

How did you feel on event day? Curious to see how I would do compared to years past. One thing I’ve noticed from switching from running to CrossFit is that I’ve gotten stronger, but there are definitely some compromises with speed in my running. My running times have gone down but my strength has increased. For me, it’s about finding a balance I’m happy with.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? I think each person has to define feeling fit for themselves. If you feel good about the workouts you’re doing, and your body feels good, and you feel like you’re eating relatively well, that’s fit. 

What or who motivates you? My kids motivate me. I have three girls, ages six, nine, and ten. Watching their personalities and watching how they grow as individuals and athletes is really interesting. They do swimming and gymnastics, and I love going to their meets and watching their different sportsmanship come out. It’s motivating to watch them excel and learn and shape themselves. 
The other people who motivate me are all the people in my gym, which I consider to be an extended family. My coaches are just unbelievable athletes, and watching how they physically perform is amazing. Everyone there wants you to do well, so it’s a really encouraging place to be.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Brent Schroeder

Age Group Champion >> Men 50–59

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? What inspired you to compete? This is my first year. I love competing. I saw it come up on my e-mail one day and jumped on it. 

Favorite test? Probably either the pull-ups or the agility shuttle.

Least favorite test? The vertical jump. I’m not a very good vertical jumper.

If you could add your own test, what would it be? Probably something with kettlebells. Either a push press or a Russian swing for time, or something along those lines.

What is your diet like? Fairly strict. Mostly protein—a lot of protein. Six times a day. All sorts—fish, chicken, beef, and also green vegetables. I incorporate pretty much everything. I try to go light on simple sugars, bread, rice, and potatoes. I haven’t always been as strict as I am now. In the last three or four years I’ve become more strict. Each milestone, competition, and birthday, I realize I want to retain this as long as I can, and I push it a little harder. I’ve worked out for many years, but the last four years have probably been more intense than ever. I found a couple of fitness competitions, and that just drives me even harder. 

Did you train specifically for the AFM FITTEST, or did you rely on your regular training routine? I made a few small adjustments, but there wasn’t anything that I really needed to add that I wasn’t doing. It was more optimizing some of the specific exercises. 

What goals did you set for yourself for the AFM FITTEST? Top three. I looked at everyone’s top scores from last year and said that’s what I have to match. 

In your own words, what defines a fit person? Someone who is well-rounded and has a broad range of disciplines. They strive for strength across that broad range and aren’t necessarily focused on one thing.

How did you feel on event day? I felt great. A little nervous but not afraid of it.

What are your keys to success? Discipline. Having a set of goals that you understand what it takes to get to it. Whether it’s work, or recreation, or this competition. Dedicating what it takes to achieve that.

What’s your next goal to achieve? I haven’t set my next goal yet, but I’m scanning for additional competitions. It’s always good to have a goal; then it gives you something to measure up against. 

How would you pitch the AFM FITTEST to someone who is unsure about competing? The real competition is yourself. I think people lose their way in fitness because they don’t have a goal, and they get bored. If you have an objective—whether it’s health or an event—that’s what it requires.

What motivates you to be fit? I tell people that I don’t live to be fit, I’m fit to live. I never want to be at a point where I can’t do something because I’m physically incapable.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Kathleen Parker

Age Group Champion >> Women 50–59

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? All five!

Which year felt the best? I’ve loved every single year. They’ve all been so different.

How did this year’s AFM FITTEST compare to previous years? I thought this year was hard. The battle ropes were hard; everyone was going to failure. I’m sad they got rid of the burpees this year, but the wall ball was a good replacement. I will say, I’m so glad they got rid of the softball throw because I got last place in that every single year.

Favorite test? Wall ball.

Least favorite test? I don’t like the mile run that much. I like sprinting. Plus, this year I had Achilles tendinitis, so I ran a slow mile.

How would you pitch the AFM FITTEST to someone who’s unsure about competing? It’s fun. It’s something good to train for every year. It’s a great test to gauge how fit you are for your age.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? A fit person would be strong, agile, flexible, fast, and fit on the inside. Someone who has a healthy, good soul. I always say a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. If you feel good about yourself on the outside, it makes you feel good on the inside. Self-esteem is part of being healthy. 

Who or what motivates you to be fit? Staying healthy and living life. I love to live life. I want to surf and snowboard and water ski and jump off things! And I don’t ever want say I’m “too old.” I want to keep up. I’m going to be 56 this year, but I still feel like I’m 28. I love getting up in the morning, teaching my classes, and getting out on the lake. I can do whatever I want because I’m strong enough.

How has your athletic ability changed with age? In my 20s and 30s, I was more of a jogger. I didn’t do any strength training, just because we didn’t know back then that we needed to. Now I do it because I have a history of osteoporosis in my family. But in my mid 40s, I started my career as a trainer and began incorporating strength training and plyometrics.
What’s funny is that, in the competition, my times have gotten faster every year. It makes me feel good to know that I’m not slowing down.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Kent Smith

Age Group Champion >> Men 60+

How many years have you competed in the fittest? Four years. I injured myself preparing for AFM Fittest the first year (2012) and had to miss.

Which year felt the best? Last year (2015) was special because I started well on the first few tests (med ball, vertical, 40) and that feeling stayed with me throughout the whole event.

Do you train specifically for the AFM FITTEST, or do you stick to your regular workout routine year round? I have trained specifically for AFM FITTEST with Greg Cook, a two-time overall winner of AFM FITTEST. Greg coaches at Rail Training and Pure Austin Fitness. Greg focuses on speed, explosiveness, and balance, and is a great coach. Seeing his picture on the cover of Austin Fit Magazine in 2012 and 2013 was an inspiration for me to work hard and try to achieve something. 
I have also greatly benefitted from sprint work with David Braswell’s sprint group, boot camps at Heat Bootcamp, powerlifting at Austin Simply Fit, and yoga at Wanderlust. 

As a veteran, how did you feel coming into this year’s competition? Do you feel more comfortable as the years pass? I think anyone will feel more comfortable if they have done it before. You have a better idea of how things will go and how you will feel. You can also learn from any glitches or mistakes you might have made in prior years. But there have been lots of first time winners, so having experience is not a prerequisite to winning!

How has age affected your athletic ability? How has it changed from your 20s to your 60s? I played baseball and soccer in high school, some intramural sports in college, and then soccer in Austin city leagues for many years. Nobody would’ve thought of me as much of an athlete. I was the guy reading books and studying. (I still love to read.) But I always wanted to be more athletic. I found that you can achieve some little successes, and you can build on those to achieve more success. As you do that, your confidence grows, and you find that you are in a positive spiral where one good thing leads to another.

How do you juggle a full-time job working as a lawyer and a diligent workout schedule? I am lucky to work at a fine law firm, Reed & Scardino, LLP. The firm honors the outside interests of employees, including fitness. Reed & Scardino is a sponsor of the Boneshaker Project, which is working in schools and outside of schools to get kids and their families running, biking, and doing other outdoor activities. Another great thing about the firm is that everyone is treated with equal respect. 
Over time, I have probably limited the things I do. I focus on work, working out, and family. I am satisfied doing those things.
Finally, I feel blessed to have met (and worked out with) so many great folks in the Austin fitness community. Everyone is positive and encouraging, and I have lots of role models to look up to!

In your own words, what defines a fit person? Anyone can be fit. To me, the most important aspects of fitness are not what you look like now, or how fast you can run, or how much weight you can lift. The most important aspects of fitness are the willingness to work hard and the consistency to stick with it. Consistent effort translates into tremendous results over time. Tiny little improvements add up to mind-boggling transformations if you just stick with it.  
We tend to look at really fit people and think they have always been that way. When we see someone doing some amazing athletic feat, we say, “I wish I could do that.”  Well, we can! The person we are admiring probably couldn’t do that feat years ago but kept working at it and making improvements until he or she could do it.  Great athletes and very fit people get tired just like the rest of us, but they keep at their craft and continue to get better.  Set your goals very high—you can accomplish more than you think you can.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Mary Faria

Age Group Champion >> Women 60+

How many years have you competed in the AFM FITTEST? This is my first year. I was talked into this by [AFM’s publishers] Lou and Lynne Earle. They’ve been trying to get me to do it for a few years.

Did you prepare specifically for the AFM FITTEST or rely on your regular training? I was relying on my regular training. As a competitive runner, I do a lot of strength work, so I was just relying on that for this. I really didn’t focus on it, other than the pull-ups, which help to build upper body strength for running. 

Are you a marathoner? Yes, I am a big distance runner, very big marathoner. I have done 33 marathons. I just did The Boston Marathon in April for the seventh time. 

Can we assume that your favorite test is the mile? Yes. It was so much fun!

Least favorite test? Definitely the wall ball because I couldn’t hit the line and I was not prepared for that at all with the coordination. I was doing it but I could not get it up there, so that was the hardest, definitely the one I did not enjoy. But now I know that I have to practice that.

In your own words, what defines a fit person? I believe it’s more than just the physical. It’s mind, body, and spirit—the whole person. Spirituality is very important. Austin is a great city where I think more people are inclined to be more holistic. 

How did you feel on event day? I was nervous. There were a lot of things that I was trying that I hadn’t tried before. But overall it was a fun day. I ran into a friend—Alison Gardner—who I hadn’t seen in years. She and I used to run and do marathons together. She showed up in the 40s group, so we were competing together and she was giving me little hints. She won her age group, and I was so excited about that.  

Are you going to compete again in the AFM FITTEST next year? I think I might. It was a great baseline for me; now I know what I need to work on (like the wall ball). I’ve been thinking about how I can incorporate some of those things into my workouts. Some of the things we did I’ve never done before so it was a good learning experience. 

How has age impacted your athleticism? I’ve been running competitively since I was in my 30s. And interestingly enough, even in my 50s, I was getting faster. My best PRs were in my 50s. The only time I didn’t beat my PR was in the marathon, but I still think I can do it—even in my 60s! I think it takes persistence; you have to stick with it. 

What motivates you to be fit? I just think we’re just so blessed to have these wonderful bodies. I think if we take care of them, they’ll carry us through life, and we’ll have a better quality of life. I see so many people my age that are unhealthy, and they’re not thinking about the gift we have. We only have one life, and we want to have the highest quality of life we can. For me it’s not so much about looking fantastic but about having a better quality of life overall.

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Team JET

Overall Team Champion >> Jayson Lee (36), Taylor Johnson (25), Cameron Josse (25), Edwardo Williams (35)

How did you form this team?
JL: Edwardo and I had been thinking about putting a strong team together for the past couple of years, but we just needed the right pieces. Funny enough, I met Taylor at David Braswell’s sprint session, and that’s how we connected. I work with Cameron at DeFranco’s Gym at Onnit, so he hopped on as well.

When did you form the team?
Around January or February. Originally it was just three of us, but we added Cameron later because of what he brought to the table.

What was the team’s training schedule like?
We actually didn’t even meet at all. Each person had their own responsibility for each test, so we checked in with each other from time to time. We tried to meet as a team, but we all have such busy schedules.

How did you divvy up the tests?
JL: Pull-ups and agility shuttle.
TJ: Vertical jump, 40-yard dash, and interval run.
CJ: Both mystery tests and wall ball.
EW: Med ball toss and mile run.

Did your team have a favorite test?
EW: I’ve been training a lot of runners, logging a lot of distance, and doing races every other weekend. When I was told I only had to run one mile, I was excited about it.

If you could create your own test, what would it be?
JL: I miss the burpees. I’d bring those back.
TJ: A broad jump would be cool to do.
CJ: I’d like to do a med ball throw where you can use your legs and not get disqualified for stepping over the line.
EW: I want some kind of tower climb.

How did the competition compare to your expectations?
JL: Our whole intention was to beat Outright Body Shop. We were checking in after each test to see how we were stacking up against them. Last year I was at the AFM FITTEST rooting them on. They have such a tight bond, and I thought I could form a team like that.
CJ: That’s how Jayson sold me on the team division. I was on the fence because I was competing in the individual and wanted to be done after that. But then he told me there was this team that has won four years in a row, and I said, “You know what? It’s always fun to take down a champ. Let’s do it.”

What advice would you give to other teams?
CJ: Work to your strengths.
EW: Put the team first and let your ego chill out.

Are you going to come back next year to defend the title?
Absolutely. We have to!

Keep Reading to see all of the 2016 AFM FITTEST Champions!


Team CrossFit Central

Gym Team Champion >> Andy Boerckel, 35 – CrossFit Athlete, 
Michael “Big Mike” Gregory, 34 – Co-founder and Coach, Nader Issa, 27 – Coach, Jeremy Thiel, 34 – Co-founder and Coach

How many times has your team competed? CrossFit Central has sent a team to the AFM FITTEST in the past, but made up of different coaches. This was our first time competing together as a team though.
We actually didn’t think we were going to do well. This isn’t the stuff we train for! We just wanted to go out there and have fun. We did the first test and did well; then the second test we did well too. Then we started winning each test. By the sixth event we were like, “We’re going to win!”

How did you decide to divvy up the tests?
MG: We talked about it the day before. 
NI: It was pretty much just decided on the fly.
JT: We knew Big Mike was set for the wall ball because he’s so tall, and then Andy played D1 football, so he did the vertical and sprint stuff.

What was the team’s training schedule like?
NI: Well, we just stuck to what we were doing in CrossFit.
JT: CrossFit is about functional fitness and being ready for anything. You should be ready to run a mile and do pull-ups and do sprints. It’s about being well-rounded.

Did your team have a favorite test?
MG: Wall ball—I knew I was going to win that one.

Did your team have a least-favorite test?
JT: None of us wanted to do the interval run. 
NI: I did it last year, and I wasn’t confident going into it this year but knew I was the best chance. Then I ended up DQing myself by jumping the gun on round seven.
AB: I didn’t have cleats, and it was still wet from the rain so I was super cautious running the 40-yard dash.

If you could create your own team test, what would it be? A max deadlift or a farmer’s carry with heavy dumbbells—as a true grip strength test.

How did the competition compare to your expectations?
MG: I’ve watched in the past, because Nader and Jeremy competed in the individual in previous years. We had an idea of what was there, so not too many surprises. For us to have such different strengths, we knew we could put ourselves in a strategic position to do well. 
JT: We had fun. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
AB: I had a blast. I had never been out to the AFM FITTEST, but I had a really great time.


Team 3 Dudes +1

Corporate Team Champion >> Xavier De Leon (18), Kevin Hines (40), Emmanuel Martinez (28), Rich Allen (32)

How many years has your team competed? This is the third year.

How did you form this team? 
KH: Rich and Emmanuel and I all worked together at Oracle. Last year we had a team with Rich’s brother, but he moved to Houston. I recruited Emmanual the morning of the AFM FITTEST because I needed another person and I knew he was competing in the individual. Xavier is my stepson and I told him at 7 p.m. the night before that he was going to be competing with us. He ended up winning the interval run! 

How did event day go?
KH: It was rough, because Emmanual and Rich competed in the individual division, and there was some crossover. They were finishing their individual tests when we started the team division. It was a mess. We were playing catch up for a while. Rich had to run the 40-yard dash by himself and Emmanuel had to do pull-ups alone.

If you could create your own team test, what would it be?
RA: A 400 meter run.
KH: Some kind of strongman test. Last year I made the suggestion that the team mile be a relay, and they actually incorporated that.

How did the AFM FITTEST compare to your expectations?
EM: It was refreshing–I really enjoyed it. I was challenged, but I had fun. That’s what I wanted to get out of it. I didn’t want to be completely burnt out to the point that I didn’t enjoy it.
KH: It’s always a good time out there. The fitness community in Austin is really supportive.
XD: It was a great environment.

Do you have any goals set for next year’s competition?
KH: I always have one every year I compete: take down the Outright Body Shop team.

What would you do differently?
KH: Form earlier. Normally I start in February but that didn’t happen this year.
EM: I workout regularly and play basketball, so my conditioning was at a good level. But the tests are different from what I’m used to, so next year I’d start at least two months before to get the techniques and mechanics down.
RA: Bring cleats.


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