PE’s Dave fittest guy in Africa

Thulani Gqirana

A PORT Elizabeth man who beat thousands of hopefuls to be named the Fittest Man in Africa for the second time running, is hoping to make his mark in California when he pits his skills against the best in the world.

Biokineticist Dave Levey, who founded CrossFit East London and Algoa CrossFit in Port Elizabeth, won both the Africa Open and the Africa Regionals of the CrossFit Games by good margins to secure the single qualifying place for an African at the contest in the US.

Last month, Levey competed with a team of CrossFit East London athletes over three days at the Africa Regionals at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg.

Next month, Africa’s fittest man will represent the continent at the Fittest Man on Earth leg of the competition in Carson, California.

In early rounds of the CrossFit Games, people from around the world can compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online.

Every workout needs to be validated. Competitors can validate their performances in two ways: they can work out at a CrossFit affiliate, where they can be judged in person, or they can submit video evidence of their performances. Athletes can do the workouts as many times as they want to, but scores must be submitted before the close of each week.

Competitors are ranked both by region and worldwide.

Newton Park’s Levey said the games comprised a gruelling number of exercises that included running, gymnastics, lifting and throwing.

“It’s not child’s play. Your metabolic conditioning is tested at different levels,” he said yesterday.

For the father of two, technique is the key to success in the games, and he trains six times a week. “I do what I call ‘the workout of the day’, which includes up to eight different exercises. Anything from a 600m swim to sprints or weights. For the games you have to be able to do any kind of workout, including hand-stand walking and ‘muscle ups’, so that’s why our workouts have to be varied.”

Last year, the 35-year-old Levey placed 36th out of 46 entrants at the international leg of the games, after training for seven months. “This year I’m hoping to make it into the top 20, at least. It’s a tough competition but I hope to do better than last year.”

The businessman, who spends his time in Port Elizabeth and East London, said being named the Fittest Man in Africa was “amazing” considering he was “relatively new to the CrossFit Games”.

“I’ve only been training for a year- and-a-half for the games. I’ve competed against guys who have been training for anything between three and 10 years.”

Besides training, he coaches people at his gyms. “So I train throughout the day, one way or the other.”

He will compete in California from July 22 to 28.

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