Saxon Panchik is one of the three Panchik brothers that competed at the 2018 CrossFit Games Central Regional. Scott has been to the CrossFit Games six times. Scott’s 7th appearance at the CrossFit Games will be a little different. Saxon will be joining him on the competition floor.
Saxon was part of probably the most exciting finish at regionals this year. Saxon was 7th heading into the final event and vaulted into 5th after a great finish alongside his brother, Scott.
Now Saxon and Scott are training for the CrossFit Games. With just over a week until the start of the Games, we caught up with Saxon to find out how his training is going, what it was like to hear his named called in the 5th spot at Regionals and what event he would like to see repeated this year.
The Barbell Spin: You’re obviously one of three very fit brothers. Do all three of you follow the same programming year round? If so, how competitive do you guys get during a workout?
SP: Yes, we all follow the same program. It can get pretty competitive in the gym at some points. One thing we’ve done to keep it fun while still being competitive is team workouts. This lets us push each other in different areas to get better and keep each other accountable.
TBBS: The Central Regional is one of the toughest in the world. Did you have any goals entering the weekend?
SP: In previous years I looked at our region and was very intimidated. I would look to the left and right and see where the people around me were in the workout. This year I changed my mental aspect and focused on me and everything that was in my control. I can’t control what other people do. So I went out in each event and did my best and tried not to look beside me and let other people dictate my pace.
TBBS: How did you do on the events in practice compared to competition?
SP: My times were all over the map compared to practice. Some I did better some I did worse. It’s hard to replicate the transitions you see on the regional floor in your own gym.
TBBS: Event 6 was one of the most exciting events of all the regional competitions this year. When you crossed the line did you know you had a shot at qualifying?
SP: When I crossed the line I actually did not think it was enough. My goal was to try and win that event and if I didn’t win it then I didn’t think I would make it. But I knew I did everything in my power to have the best outcome in that event and that’s all I could ask for from myself. [Saxon finished 3rd in the event, just behind his brother Scott]
TBBS: Describe the emotions when your name was called to join your brother, Scott, at the CrossFit Games?
SP: When I heard my name it was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve experienced. I’ve visualized hearing my name called for the last 6 years every single day in the gym. Then to be able to go do what I love with my brother made it even more amazing.
TBBS: Now that you’re training for the Games, does it make it easier to have a brother who has been there 6 (soon to be 7) times when it comes to preparation?
SP: It definitely helps having Scott in my corner training for the CrossFit Games. Everyday when we finish a session we reflect how it went. He is able to relate how I am feeling and how I will be feeling at the Games.
TBBS: I saw you were out in California with Scott working with Brian MacKenzie. What have you been working on with him and have you seen improvements already?
SP: Yes we’ve been working with Brian since regionals. The improvements we’ve seen have been significant since our first session with him. He is a very knowledgeable guy and we are excited and blessed to have him in our corner. Now we are excited to get out to Madison and put it to the test.
TBBS: Dave Castro has shared that we will see a road bike and clipless pedals. You’ve obviously been on a bike before, but does the addition of clipless pedals make it any tougher for you?
SP: I love that he’s making us clip in. It’s putting everyone on an equal playing field. I’ve been in them before so I think we will be okay.
TBBS: If you could bring back any event from a prior CrossFit Games as a repeat in 2018, what would it be and why?
SP: 100% I love myself some box jumps.
TBBS: How long until all three Panchik brothers are competing together in Madison?
SP: 11 months.
Follow Saxon on Instagram @saxon_panchik.