True Competitor: CrossFit® Games Athlete Tommy Vinas

“Why compete? Why not, you wanna be last? I always want to be first, it’s who I am.”

CrossFit® Games and OPEX Athlete Tommy Vinas is mentally and physically gearing up for the upcoming CrossFit® South Regionals. With a 17th place finish worldwide in the 2018 CrossFit® Open, Tommy stands in an excellent position to shake up the competition and make some tremendous gains.

Like the stories of many high-level athletes, Vinas didn’t get there alone and he didn’t get there overnight – victory is always a team effort.

In 2014, OPEX HQ Coach Will Trujillo met Rookie Games Athlete Tommy Vinas. Trujillo, a former collegiate football player turned CrossFit® Games and Regional athlete, had been training and competing in the sport since 2011.Vinas, a 17 year-old former competitive swimmer and dabbler in high school football, had a single solitary 185th place Open finish under his belt and 170 lbs. of untapped, unexpressed raw talent looking for his own chance to play on the big stage.

“He absolutely wasn’t strong enough to play the game when he came to us at seventeen. He had decent knee flexion but his bending and posterior chain strength wasn’t good enough to keep him healthy. He got a good dose of deadlifts, pulls, rear elevated split squats and lunging patterns,” – OPEX HQ Coach Will Trujillo

An Exercise Science graduate and a doctoral student in Physical Therapy, Trujillo’s athletic background and passion for writing strength and conditioning programs lead him to a CrossFit® box in Goodyear, AZ where he programmed group classes for almost 600 members, among them the competitive athletes in the gym.Vinas fit that category and started training with Trujillo and other Games and Regional’s veterans on a consistent basis, borrowing mostly from Trujillo’s personal programming at the time. But Trujillo was the stronger, more experienced athlete and in training sessions it was no contest with Trujillo besting Vinas consistently in metcons, strength and aerobic work. Soon enough, however, Vinas closed the gap, first, beating him every other week, then once a week and then surpassing him altogether.

2017 proved to be the breakout year for Tommy Vinas, when he finally succeeded in securing a spot to the games with a fifth place finish. Not exactly a flashy photo finish, but progression, dedication and the execution of a good plan. However, the 2017 CrossFit® Games were challenging for Tommy, but he still managed to stand out and make an impression on his competitors with events like the max snatch event where he placed second overall.

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Since his rookie debut at the 2017 CrossFit® Games, Tommy has been chipping away at the weaknesses and events that held him back. With a 17th place finish overall in the 2018 CrossFit® Open compared to the 212 placement overall in the 2017 CrossFit® Open, Tommy is well on his way to making it to the podium of the CrossFit® Games in Madison. After four and a half years and more than 3,000 logged training sessions with OPEX fitness methodology, Vinas will soon be realizing his goal to compete for the title “Fittest on Earth”.

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