Chad Mackay

2011 CrossFit Games

Chad Mackay Slims Down to Return to the Games

The Australian Games Competitors Prepares for 2011

At 6'2 and 213 pounds, Australian affiliate owner Chad Mackay took 12th place at the 2010 CrossFit Games. Chad took several lessons away from the experience, including the fact taht he came into the competition too heavy. This year, in order to improve his chances at the Games, Chad's planning to lose about 15 pounds and compete at under 200 lbs of bodyweight. To get there, he's dialed in his fat intake, limiting it to twice the standard Zone diet prescription. In addition, Chad limits fruit to post-workout meals, and doesn't consume dairy products. In terms of training, Chad is running very frequently, with 3 to 4 running workouts a week. 

It is difficult for this already lean and fit athlete to lose weight, but it pays off in his performance. At a lower bodyweight, his gymnastics movements "improve greatly", running becomes much easier, and he feels lighter on his feet. Larger athletes losing weight in order to become more competitive at gymnastics and running events may be a trend in the CrossFit community, with rumors floating around that Jason Khalipa and Tommy Hackenbruck are planning to return to CrossFit competition quite a few pounds lighter as well.

As a top Games athlete, a CrossFit trainer, and co-owner of CrossFit Active in Waverton, Australia, Chad leads a busy life, and his training schedule has to remain flexible to accomodate it. Nonetheless, A typical training day for him includes an olympic lifting or strength training session in the morning, some skill work on a weak point, a WOD, stretching, then a few hours rest. He follows it up with either running intervals or endurance run for up to 25 minutes, some rest, and then another 3 to 6 minute workout. Chad ends his day with more stretching and some rolling out on the foam roller.

With such a packed training schedule, Chad also knows to "schedule an active rest day when needed." To aid recovery, Chad likes to run in the soft sand, surf, or practice Bikram yoga.

As a representative of CrossFit in Australia, Chad reports that the community is growing quickly down under, becoming "stronger and stronger each day." At his gym, CrossFit Active, they have "a number of members" focused on competing in the Open as well as in the Regional competition. With the quality of Australian CrossFit athletes on the rise, the 2011 Regional competition is going to be "fierce."

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23 comments on this entry

1. Jason wrote...

Funny, were were talking about this at our box a couple days ago, about high school kids always wanting to be big, and then now that we are doing CrossFit, we want to be smaller.

Shouldn't this: "To get there, he's dialed in his fat intake, limiting it to twice the standard Zone diet prescription." Read: "To get there, he's dialed in his fat intake, limiting it to half the standard Zone diet prescription."

It is interesting that he is saving fruits (generally more sugar than other carbs) for post workouts, I assume in an attempt at keeping that sugar from turning into fat, but being used instead, to refuel, and help the muscles absorb protein.

2. Russ Greene wrote...


That was not a typo. Chad was eating substantially more fat beforehand (though it's impossible to say how much b/c he wasn't measuring it), so this was a reduction for him.

3. Brad wrote...

Best of luck to him at this year's games! Hope the weight loss will help him perform at an even higher level!

4. Jason wrote...

Thanks Russ, that makes since. I just assumed that someone following the Zone is doing the proportions correctly, otherwise they really aren't following it. That is really why I like the Zone so much, no counting calories, just grams of protein, carbs, and fat.

On that note, is there any resources that you have, that point to why his fat intake was higher than normal (like for a particular reason)? I'm always keeping an eye out for different takes on diet, especially as it relates to Paleo and Zone.

5. Latham Fell wrote...

Jason, check out page 10 of this Journal article. Coach describes how most elite athletes need 4 or 5 times the fat prescribed by the standard Zone diet.

6. Jason wrote...

Thanks Latham, I have that article, but apparently never read that last section there. Well, I've got about 2% BF to loose before I'm in that bracket, some day though...

7. Chris wrote...

I hope that it works out for him. I'd be curious if he's thinned out and still maintained or gained as far as strength goes. There was really only one max effort lift and that came with a high heart rate in the games last year lots of gymnastics. The year before was very heavy. I think that why you saw Spealer do so well last year. If this years games if super heavy wonder if he will wish he had that 15lbs back?

8. mike wrote...

he looks lean and fit already, not sure where he lost weight from. muscle?

9. nick wrote...

if you look at the final 16 of the 2010 Games, all the bigger, heavier guys came unstuck on the last day and fell away - Philips, Chad, Khalipa, Orlando.

The programming on the last few WODs really favoured the lighter guys with the heavy gymnastics focus, particularly in the oppressive hear. It's no wonder they are all trimming down this year. doubt Coach will program 1RM back squat and some log carrying this year!

10. Jess wrote...

Chad is an awesome athlete & I'm sure he will put in the prep he feels necessary. Seriously I've seen him train! More power to ya Chad :)

11. Ryan wrote...

I'm not sure that guy needs to lose weight. Or hackenbruck and khalipha for that matter. Maybe they do to win the games but not for fitness sake. 2010 was basically an endurance/gymnastics event and neglected the strength aspect of fitness

12. Ryan wrote...

Another idea for these guys that are actually built like a man and want to win the games is get some bone length shaved off their limbs.....

13. Andy Edwards wrote...

Having Spent a significant time with Chad during his build up to the 2010 Games. he is one of the most dedicated individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting.

He has always had an engine and he is a naturally strong guy- due to his super human legs! trust me there abnormal, if he feels he needs to lose a few lbs to compete its not to just get to the games- its to win them!

Good luck Chado

Party Boy

14. Kara Mackay wrote...

You go brother!!

15. BK wrote...

Go you good thing!

16. Jason CFBM Haywood wrote...

Great to see "The Chad" on the game page.
In the lead up to last years regionals and worlds chad and I trained together numerous times and his dedication to training, application to nutrition and loyalty to his friends is unparrallelled. Proud to call him a close mate and keen to be smashing it up and doing it all with you again this year brother!


17. Chris Hogan wrote...

I'm sure even 15lbs lighter your calves are still bigger than my head.
Hope your training is going well, I am sure your ticking every box. Can't wait to see you at the regionals,
Good Luck

18. Gill Steele wrote...

Awesome to see the Aussie's on the Games Site!! Go Chad!

19. Mum & Dad wrote...

Always so proud of you chaddo - xxxx

20. the pinto wrote...

Good to see "Mr Hollywood" have an article written about him, trains so hard, and is an inspiration to us all training out of the active box!!
Looking forward to seeing ripping up the top end of the competitors at the games this year!!

the pinto.

21. Lynne wrote...

Chad is an amazing athlete and an outstanding trainer. Feel privileged to have his influence and expertise in my life.

Forever grateful Chaddo. I'll be there to cheer you on!

22. ("Moose") Mustafa wrote...

Chad's a fantastic competitor and a great sportsman. Just before the 2010 Games he dropped by our box with a couple of other athletes from Australia (I believe it was Linda and her husband, forgive me if I'm wrong) and they got in a WOD with us -- smashing our local Annie record -- which was highly motivating for everyone in attendance. Chad and srew were incredibly friendly and were an absolute pleasure to hang around with. Crossfit360 will definitely be on the lookout for Chad's return and rooting him on all the way!

23. Chad Mackay wrote...

Thanks for the all of the kind words and comments. Its not just nutrition, determination and hard work that will get me there it is also the support of family, friends and the community. Good luck to everyone giving it a crack this year! and look out for a bunch of AUSSIES come Games time! Let's GO!!!
Thanks again it means alot


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