Interview With PT Wars winner - Craig Manville (CMX Fitness)

Checkfit caught up with Craig Manville (CMX Fitness) after his recent success as the PT Wars winner. The team sat down with Craig to get an insight on how he trained in the build-up to the event. We also asked his thoughts on the whole event, what benefits did he get from winning the event and what he found the hardest during the day. He also let us into a little secret of his which helped him win the competition…

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How did you know about PT Wars?

I think I saw it on Instagram, I was scrolling through and saw them upload the competition, and I‘m always up for a competition, so I thought I’d go for it. I was really interested in it. I had seen their recent posts and was trying to find out more about PT Wars. For me, it looked like a good way to promote myself so I thought why not!

Did you see the competition as a good way to showcase yourself?

I was more interested in going down and see what PT’s I could meet, obviously on the day I knew it would be different as it’s a comp but I was looking forward to meeting people. Ever since I was about 15 I have always done things for the sake of it, I don’t have much of an ego. I have done a lot of work the past couple of years on myself and the mental side of me. I’m big into the spiritual side of things.

Did you train differently on the way up to the event?

I’d say 8 weeks before the event I was focusing on strength training, I also train at Battalia CrossFit gym so Tom and the lads down there helped me. I was doing this 3-4 times per week and in between, I would do my own thing. About 6 weeks before the event I started trying to train my mind which ended up paying off.

Is there anything you would change for next time you train for a competition?

Yes, I would probably spend more time preparing for the event.

Going into the event was you confident that you would do as well as you did?

I didn’t set myself any expectations as that would increase the pressure on myself. I was confident in my ability going into the event. I didn’t feel like I was going to lose but I didn’t approach it in a cocky way. I knew in the final it would be potentially the three fittest people there on the day. I was in the final with two lads, Kevin Poole from PT Wars, he was in the far lane so I didn’t see him much, the lad next to me, Craig, was a CrossFit trainer so I could see him more which pushed me while I was going. I remember going into one of the last exercises and was struggling, I saw Craig next to me flying past me, that’s where I thought I didn’t win it. But luckily, I had done more reps than him on another exercise which ended up giving me the edge.

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On the day of the event, what was the hardest thing you? Did you have any mental blocks?

No, not at all. I have always been interested in the mind. When I was 16 I hypnotised my science teacher, I used to do close up magic as well so with doing that I got into psychology. I watched a lot of Derren Brown shows which got me into hypnosis. The first time I put myself under I was shocked that it actually worked.

There was a technique I used in the competition that helped me. I used a technique called anchoring. Four-weeks before the event I was train myself once every other day with this technique, I’d think of a time where I couldn’t be beaten, for me it was when I was doing the CrossFit Open. I was in the gym with the coaches cheering me on. So, what I do is close my eyes, pinch my middle finger and thumb together and think of that time and feeling. I’d do that for 60 seconds then open my eyes, have a walk around for a few seconds then do it again and again. By the third time, you will start to generate that feeling again, you start to take deeper breaths, you feel confident.

As I was doing this for 4 weeks by the time it came to the event I didn’t even have to go through the routine, all’s I had to do was pinch my fingers together and the feeling would come back. If you look at any pictures from the event you can see in between my sets I was doing this technique.

How did you feel once you had won?

Obviously, it was great, I honestly didn’t think I had won it. It was me, Kevin and Craig left at the end. Kevin got called up first for third place so we congratulated him, then he announced second place was Craig, we both looked at each other and laughed, then he said Craig’s second name which cleared it up. I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was, I felt like I really achieved something

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How would you rate the event?

I would do it again. The exposure the event gave me has been great. I have had people sending me messages asking me to train them. what I want to do now is set up an online training portal. I want to be online more, be more interactive with people.

What style do you prefer to train?

When I very first started training when I was 11 I started doing kickboxing, then went into BJJ. When I was 21 I went to America done a bit of training out there, I then went to Canada. From there I slowly moved into strength and conditioning. I have spent the past 8 years of my life trying to get qualified in as many things as possible. Now I’m ready to start looking forward and help as many people as possible.