Interview with Marcelo Bruno, 4th Place Worldwide after 17.3

Marcelo Bruno
Marcelo Bruno

The men’s worldwide leaderboard is stacked full of big name CrossFit Games veterans. The top 3 include Mat Fraser, Rich Froning and Noah Ohlsen. All three have won at least one CrossFit Open and Fraser and Froning have five combined individual Fittest on Earth titles.

But in 4th place stands Marcelo Bruno. Wait, who? That’s probably a question a lot of fans of the CrossFit Games have been asking themselves since the leaderboard finalized on Monday.

We caught up with Bruno (who is really strong) to find out more about the man who is causing a stir on the leaderboard.

The Barbell Spin: Most people are probably wondering who is Marcelo Bruno is and where he came from? Can you share your athletic background before CrossFit and how/when you started CrossFit?

Marcelo Bruno: I’m 24 years old. I live in Concepcion, a city in the south of Chile (South America) and I was raised with my brother only by my mom. My dad was involved with drugs so he has never been around us.

My athletic background is very broad. At age three, I started doing gymnastics, then i moved to Judo, swimming, tennis and Capoeira. When I was 15 I found Olympic weightlifting. I trained hard and made it to the Chilean national team with a great coach Luis Lopez. He trains Fernando Res from Brazil now. This coach is who made my competitive character and forged in me the discipline that today I have.

The Barbell Spin: You put up some big numbers in Olympic Weightlifting. How has that helped you with your venture in competing in CrossFit?

Marcelo Bruno: My background in Olympic weightlifting has helped me a lot, mostly because it allows me to dedicate more time to my weaknesses that I must improve to be a more complete CrossFit athlete. I have a tendency to increase my strength too much when i only focus on Olympic weightlifting.

The Barbell Spin: You’ve competed in the CrossFit Open in prior years. You missed the submission deadline because of a time-zone miscalculation in 2013. What happened in 2014, 2015 and last year?

Marcelo Bruno: The truth is that i have always had problems with the CrossFit Open.

2013: I submitted the score, but it was past the submission deadline The time change occurred in the United States, but not in Chile.

2014: I tore my pectoral muscle.

2015: I was first in the Latin America region until 15.3, but in that workout I had too much confidence and being too much of a kid. I performed poorly and ended up 400th in the region. After that, I ended 14th on the leaderboard, but I didn’t want to submit the scores as I was too disappointed.

2016: The year was looking good. I had won the qualifier to Wodapalooza and ended up placing 17th in Miami. I was feeling strong, bur right after Wodapalooze I tore a tendon in my arm and a broken radius bone. This took me out of the CrossFit Open again.

The Barbell Spin: What are your goals for the 2017 CrossFit Games season? Have they changed since the start of the Open?

Marcelo Bruno: My goals are to qualify to the South Regional. When the Open started, my goal was to be in the top 30. I never thought that I was going to be in the top 5 worldwide. I am far away from all of the CrossFit reality and the competitive athletes of the world because I live in Chile. It’s hard to know how I would stack up this season.

As for Regionals or even the CrossFit Games, I don’t want to speculate or think about it until the Open is over. I want to focus on one target at a time.

The Barbell Spin: What does a typical day look like (training, coaching, recovery, etc)?

Marcelo Bruno: My day is all about how to train to get better. I start with my first session at 10am. After that I eat, do mobility, talk to some of the athletes that I remote coach and rest. At 3 or 4pm I start my second session. Then I do the same routine again and then I do a third session which i usually end at 11pm or even midnight. I don’t usually leave the gym until I do all my entire routine. I’m really disciplined about that.

The Barbell Spin: Do you follow specific programming?

Marcelo Bruno: I was training with Training Think Tank for a long time. I made some mistakes after my injury in 2016 as I was depressed about missing the 2016 CrossFit Games season. I didn’t want to continue training and answering to my trainer, Max El-Hag. That was totally disrespectful to him and I lost the chance to be trained by a great coach like him.

For the Open I did my own training program. I stuck to what i had learned with TTT, the values and work ethic that they have. With El-Hag we had a really defined plan and objectives so i just focused to keep those up. Luckily enough, it has done better than I expected. I hope to get back and train with him, but if it doesn’t happen I will still be thankful to him because he believed in me when nobody else did.

The Barbell Spin: Is there any movement you are hoping to not see this year?

Marcelo Bruno: I don’t really think that I have a movement that I don’t like. My planning is to focus on my weaknesses so i always end up liking those movements.

The Barbell Spin: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

Marcelo Bruno: I have a lot of “mantras” tattoos on my body, but the one that most identifies me is the word “discipline”. I have it tattooed on my chest because it is the way that I live my life by.

The Barbell Spin: Any predictions for 17.4?

Marcelo Bruno: I think that Shoulder-to-Overhead on a ladder increasing in weight, handstand push-ups and double-unders. That would be a great combo and it could make us suffer a lot..hahaha.

Keep an eye on Bruno as he looks to advance out of the Latin America region and compete at the South Regional in San Antonio, Texas.