Neil Scholtz in Event 1 at the 2010 Games

2011 CrossFit Games

Catching up with Neil Scholtz

Food, Travel Surprises, and Representing African CrossFitters

CrossFit is just starting to put its roots down in African soil. There are eight boxes on the continent and they are all clustered in one country, South Africa. With few CrossFit athletes to come by, the Africa Regional has been small (16 men and 7 women in 2010) and has yet to produce an athlete ready to challenge the international elite.

But CrossFit is growing in Africa, and the African competitors are stepping up their game. We caught up with 2010 Games competitor Neil Scholtz and heard what he learned from international competition. Neil is the owner and head trainer of Ballistix Fitness in Pretoria, South Africa. He has made his presence known at the last two Africa Regionals, claiming 3rd in 2009 and 1st in 2010. He saved up, bought a ticket to California, but did not have the finish he hoped for: he claimed 42nd.

Diet and ‘travel surprises’ played a pivotal role in his finish. Neil arrived in California with little money in his pocket and found that he could not afford to buy good food. As he put it “I just wasn’t able to afford to eat correctly. Eating the way I do in South Africa while over in the US for a week would cost me about a month’s worth of groceries” and as a result his diet during the Games “was a bit of a disaster.”

Since returning from the Games, Neil has been working on his diet and strength. He discovered that his diet “prior to and during the Games was not poor combinations or poor quantity, but merely not enough.” He thought that by eating small quantities he could achieve strength and low body mass, but he found that he didn’t have enough energy. While he has not switched to a set diet such as Paleo or Zone, he is now eating directly after workouts and eating more. He focuses on eating meats and vegetables or more generally “quality, fresh foods.”

With his new diet and new emphasis on training the Olympic lifts, Neil is setting better times on the benchmark workouts and max lifts. He has gained 11 pounds of body mass and increased his max clean & jerk (up 17lbs), snatch (up 24lbs), back squat (up 55lbs). His current benchmark stats are: Fran 2:25, Diane 4:14 @ 245lb, Helen 8:15, Cindy 20 rounds with 22lb vest, 430lb dead lift, 407lb back squat, 215lb snatch, 275lb clean and jerk, and 50 pull ups. He plans to emphasize more met-con workouts during the next four to six months leading up to Regionals and the Games.

For Neil, returning to the Games and performing well is not simply a personal ambition. By bettering his performance he hopes to help change the CrossFit community’s view of the African Regional for the better.

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2 comments on this entry

1. Jesus wrote...

I keep checking the games sites where they have the live streaming and they still haven't put up the first hour of the first games event. Does HQ plan on fixing it?

2. Danie wrote...

Neil, seems you have been putting in the effort and we know it will pay off buddy, well done bro you make us Proudly South African. If all goes well, we'll see you at the Games!


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