Aussie Crossfit champion James Newbury ready to take on Crossfit Games 2017

Article | James Utai-Cairns

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Congratulations on winning the Crossfit Pacific Regional! How does it feel to achieve something so special?

 It has been a long time coming. I’ve been crossfitting now for six years and to finally win my region I’m very happy with my progression, it really is a testament to my coaching and the work I’ve put in over the last few years. I’m absolutely stoked, it is a dream come true. It’s a really good lead into the games, it means a lot to me.


What was different heading into 2017?

A big aspect was the mental side of things. Instead of focusing on certain goals which I have done in the past, I have focused on what is really important. In the past I’ve always said that I want to get that position, or place in that spot.

My focal point now is putting in my best effort, a lot of emphasis on that in training, each session i think give my best effort and it will be enough, I thought the same during the regionals. Honestly that has worked a treat. My training has also been a lot more intense, a lot more volume, a lot more time on recovery, making sure my body is ready to go and withstand what I have to put it through.

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What will your preparation look like going forward over the coming months?

Preparation for the games is really intense. It’s a lot of work, a lot of recovery, a lot of time, effort, commitment, dedication. I usually hit about 5-6 hours of training a day, that includes the hard stuff.

A lot of it is down time, working in a lot which I call it. Sauna, massage, prehab and rehab. The stuff that keeps the balance between the hard and the light stuff, it gets you ready for each session, it’s non-stop all day every day.

If you wanna do well, you can’t leave any stone unturned. You can’t go there unprepared, if you go there unprepared you aren’t going to have a fun time. If you are prepared you’ll have fun and do so much better.


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Do you feel more comfortable going into this games as opposed to the last one?

Having my rookie season, it’ll be a massive bonus for me. Most importantly it’s just knowing what I will have to put myself through, what to expect from myself, what I need to get myself ready.

I learnt from some mistakes last year, learning experiences that will make me better. I’ll have things prepared, I’ll know where to go, what to do. Now it is in a new city of Madison, it’s a level playing field, everyone will be new to the environment.


What is it about crossfit?

I was an ex-rugby league player who did athletics, surfing, a lot of different sports. What got me about crossfit is that I am super competitive. Being one of six children and having an older brother by 11 months everything was always a competition; who was the strongest, fastest etc.

When I first stepped into a crossfit gym in 2011, I did my first workout and I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was fit because I did a lot of gym work, did a lot of running. I was just getting hammered by everyone with these things they called metcon and WODs. I remember thinking, whatever this is I need more of it.

I’m really drawn to the challenge and I enjoy pushing myself and seeing what I am capable of. The competition side of it was appealing but I also enjoyed the people you meet, it’s so different to any other gym environment.