Austin Malleolo

2011 CrossFit Games

Austin Malleolo Recalls His First Games Experience

Inside the Games Competitor's Mental Game

Don't fall behind.

One more rep.

Austin Malleolo repeated these words through his mind as he fought through the muscle-ups and squat snatches of Day One of the 2010 Crossfit Games. Failing a rep would cost him valuable time, and make it that much harder to reach the podium on Sunday.  But as of Event One, Sunday was two days and an unknown number of events away.

Austin had kept his head down walking into the arena, trying not to look at the stands of spectators who were there to watch him perform. It was all a new experience for him. His first Games competition was the same year the Games moved from pastoral Aromas, California, to the flashing lights of the Home Depot Center.

He had not expected the Games to be like this. From the venue to the programming, to the athletes, the whole atmosphere was very professional. The Games were evolving into a big-time sporting event.

The experience threatened to overwhelm him, and distract him from the task at hand, doing as much as possible in as little time as possible. Cheering him on were his father, Pat, and his girlfriend, Marin, as well as his 12 year old brother. During Austin's rebellious teenage years, his father had stuck by him and forgiven him for his youthful indiscretions, while Marin had put up with the 9:30 bed-times, 5 block zone paleo meals, and three-a-day training sessions of Austin's early twenties.

Austin finished Friday's Event 1 in 4:14, the seventh best time on that event. A slew of mostly top-10 finishes on Saturday earned him a chance to compete with the rest of the top 16 athletes on Sunday, the third and final day of the competition.

The hours behind the final event found Austin and the other top 16 male and female athletes quarantined in a windowless isolation room buried deep within the Home Depot Center. The athletes had no information about what the final event would be, nor did they have access to any food. As Austin sat waiting for several hours, he started to feel like the event was never going to start. The wait was "truly excruciating," but it didn't compare to the three back-to-back events that awaited Austin outside.

When the dust had settled, Austin had established himself as the 6th fittest man in the world. At only 23 years of age, though, he still has many years of competition ahead of him. With the 2011 CrossFit Games Open only a month away, Austin's made a few changes to his training program. He's changed to a 3 on/ 1 off, 2 on/ 1 off schedule to maximize his recovery, put James Hobart in charge of his olympic lifting training, and is spending at least 20-30 minutes each day working on his mobility. Austin will return to CrossFit competition this year as a more experienced competitor and a more capable overall athlete. And his recent 555 lb. deadlift won't hurt either.

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11 comments on this entry

1. Tim Carr wrote...


Keep Crankin' brother. . .rootin' for ya'!

2. Kimberly Malz wrote...

Best wishes to you for continued success Austin! Your drive, determination, focus, and perseverance show that you are a champion.


Kim Malz

3. Kim Hans wrote...

So committed, so deserving. Go get 'em Austin!

4. Ryan @ crossfit 714 wrote...

Austin is a great guy. Good luck this year.

5. Kirk wrote...

Good luck Austin.

6. Steve Liberati wrote...

Austin is the man! He's the whole package.

7. Oma wrote...


8. Austin Malleolo wrote...

Thank you very much for the kind words. It means a lot to me to have support! Very well written article, thanks CFHQ. I am looking forward to this year!

Thanks again guys!

9. Dannypirone wrote...

Yay Austin. I'm rooting fo yah!!!!! Never evan thought one of my cousins would get so far.

Keep it up,
Your cousin, Danny Pirone

10. Dannypirone wrote...

By the way, i was thinking you could
Sign a poster next time we meet up.
Still your cousin, danny Pirone

11. Amit wrote...

Continued success Austin! Good luck to you!


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