In the sport of CrossFit, Canada’s Patrick Vellner has a resume that speaks for itself. His first three individual appearances at the CrossFit Games, beginning in 2016, all resulted in podium finishes. In both 2016 and 2017, he earned third-place finishes. In 2018, Vellner earned his highest finish to date with a second-place podium spot. What makes all that even more impressive is that Vellner was able to do that while balancing the workload of a full-time chiropractic student.
Here’s a preview of our interview with Patrick Vellner (PV):
What does a typical day look like for you?
PV: I usually train for about two hours a day. I use my time wisely. I’ve had to turn down some opportunities because of school, but I wouldn’t trade it. I value education a lot. It sets a good example, for those in the community who can’t put everything down to train for the Games. I train a little less during exams, but, training does help my brain. It helps me be more efficient when I go back to studying. More than anything, it has taught me how to schedule my time. It’s tough, but you make time to do what you want to do. There’s no secret. I just do it. I find or make the time, and I still have time at night to watch a Netflix show. You have to make the decision and commit to it.
How do you fit it all into your schedule?
PV: Between sets, I’m setting up the next part of the workout. I take 5-10 minutes to warm up. If after a metcon, I’m gassed, then I’ll put away plates during my rest. But during my training, I’m usually always setting up or putting away another part of my training. If I’m doing an EMOM, I’ll use the 20 seconds remaining to roll plates across the gym. I keep it moving. I know I have 120 minutes to complete “x” amount of work, and that’s just how I just how I do it.
In my opinion, what kills people is transition time. I can wake up, have breakfast and be at school in one hour. If you take longer than that, I feel you’re just wasting time. In the morning, my bag is packed. I warm up, get in and do what I have to do. I tell myself if 40 minutes in, I’m not by part C then I’m not going to have time to do XYZ. Once I’m done, I pack my bag and head home. Once I’m home, I’ll do an assignment for school, or eat, watch some Netflix and get to bed.
Some days, I might not talk to a single person while I’m at the gym. I know the social aspect of CrossFit is huge for a lot of people and for me as well, but some days, there’s just no time for it. I have to make sure I get myself out the door because there’s other things I have to get done. If you can get from one activity to another without interruptions, you get so much more done. I try doing things in two-hour blocks. I train for two hours, study for two hours, run errands for two hours, then go back and train for two hours. I find you can get so much done in a day.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
PV: Everyone is always looking for the best way to do something, but there’s no magical formula. It’s about time under tension. The bigger message is to be consistent. Keep showing up. Keep doing your best every day. It’s cliché but that really is all it is. It’s hard some days. But get there. Once you’re there, just do what they tell you to do and you’ll feel better after. Keep showing up. Do it, go home and you’ll feel better every single time. I guarantee it.
Ever wonder what the training schedule of one of the fittest athletes looks like? Here’s a sneak peak at two of Patrick Vellner’s training days.
2 Strict False-grip Chin-ups
2 Strict Muscle-up Transitions
4-6 Strict Ring Dips
EMOM 5 Minutes
Build yourself an obstacle course (plate pyramid, ramp if you have one, paralettes, etc.)
4x Obstacle Course, 50’
5 Rounds for Time
Assault Bike 20/15 Calorie
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
10 Power Snatches (155/115)
Rest Exactly 4 Minutes
50 Box Jump Overs (30/24)
(Move box forward every 10 reps)
8 Kettlebell Snatches (Right Arm)
25’ Overhead Walking Lunges
8 Kettlebell Snatches (Left Arm)
25’ Walking Lunges, not for time. Go Heavy (32/24)
Each Round for Time
Row 1000 Meters
Ski 750 Meters
10 Dumbbell Bulgarian Deadlifts Per Leg (70/50)
50’ Sled Push at Heavy but Non-stop Increments of 25’
25’ Seated Sled Pull Hand Over Hand
Clean & Jerk
6 x 4+1 @ 80%
5×4 @ 70%
(Based off best Clean & Jerk above)
5 Rounds for Time
10 Weighted Burpee Step-overs (50/35)
4 Rope Climbs
1000m Bike Erg
50 Heavy Rope Double-unders
60-second Max Cal Bike Erg
8 Burpee Box Jump Overs
Rest 3 minutes between rounds.
5 x 10 Dumbbell Overhead Squats Per Arm
For the full interview check out the Patrick Vellner Issue of BoxLife Magazine.