Are you The Fittest Person on Earth?
Find Out What it Takes
We all know that person. Every time you go to the gym, they’re there. They are in the front row of the fitness class exhibiting perfect form. You try to keep up with them. They are the tangible ideal that you strive to achieve. They are the proof that if you just work that little bit harder, you might be able to do amazing things.
Where I work out there are beginners, many reasonably fit men and women, and then there is Dr. Sheldon Levy. At 50 years old he is by far the fittest person I’ve ever met. He may be one of the fittest men, his age, in the world. Very soon he’ll find out, because he’s currently training to compete in the CrossFit Open Competition in the age 50-54 cohort.
For the Open, thousands of individuals and teams worldwide compete in five pre-determined workouts over five weeks in March, posting their scores online in real time. The 60 fittest male and female athletes from each of 17 regions then compete in “brutal” regional competitions to see who will move on to the final three days of Games to vie for the title of Fittest on Earth. For Sheldon, the Open provides an opportunity to measure his overall capabilities against a large geographic and heterogeneous population of competitors.
Go to games.crossfit.com/workouts and you will see that the workouts are extremely intense. Training is a real commitment. Sheldon trains three to four hours a day on general pursuits (activities such as spinning, skipping, stair-climbing, boxing and yoga) and a “healthy five to six hours a week on specific CrossFit training alone”.
The training takes its toll. In addition to the time commitment, there’s also the risk of injury. Crossfit is considered extremely ‘explosive’ in nature. Movements are fast, repetitive, often heavy and for the purposes of the competition held to exacting standards (for example for any squat to count as a rep, the greater trochanter of the hip must be lower than the knee). As a result of training he’s suffered multiple minor injuries/sore spots including his knees, hips and right shoulder. He engages in various forms of therapy including restorative yoga, active release therapy, muscle activation therapy and massage therapy, all together about five to six hours per week of therapy in addition to the training.
Sheldon’s diet is extremely weighted on multiple portions of fruits and vegetables and 2 lean proteins a day of reasonable portion size. He watches his carbohydrate intake and avoids sugar all together. He takes daily supplements that include: 2000 IU Vit D, OMEGA-3 fish oil high potency; non-iron containing multi-vitamin; fermented glutamine and vegan protein shakes. He says; “My goal is geared around a combination of my weight and total body fat, 160 lb. and 7%-9%.” ...That and maybe being the fittest person on earth.
Jamie Bussin is the Publisher of Tonic Magazine. He spins in the front row with Sheldon several times a week. But he is not the fittest person on earth.