Fabian Beneito, the Spaniard who aspires to reach the world elite of Crossfit | Sports

Fabian Beneito (La Font de la Figuera, Valencia, 26 years old) has won the title of fittest man in Spain for three consecutive years thanks to his performance in cross fit, a high intensity sport that has gained popularity in the last five years. The Valencian, who aspires to repeat the achievement this year and go even further, deals with the usual problems of an elite athlete in a booming sport. Finding the balance between family conciliation, hours of training and moments of disconnection are key to managing stress as a result of pursuing the dream of reaching the Crossfit Games, the most important competition in this discipline and which every year proclaims to the fittest people on earth.

This sport, born in the 70s in California, was created by Greg Glassman with the aim of developing a training system that is as complete as possible. Combine weightlifting exercises, such as the snatch and two-stroke, with gymnastic movements, such as pull-ups, and metabolic: a series of exercises that significantly increase caloric consumption. The growth of this sport has favored its professionalization in recent years, with an annual season and competitions all over the world, such as the Wodapalooza in Miami or the Dubai Crossfit Championship. Precisely Beneito won the latter last December; he was ahead of figures like Brent Fikowski, one of the best crossfitters in the world and regular on the podium at the Crossfit Games.

Benedict arrived at cross fit at the end of 2015. His thing, until he was 17 years old, was motocross: “It was a very beautiful time and at the same time very hard. You can be the most disciplined and the most skilled, but in the end the economic factor matters a lot. Although the results were there, he was not rewarded. My parents almost went bankrupt, and I decided that this had to stop.” So he traded in mud for gyms. “I have always liked competing, and when I saw some Crossfit Games I told myself that I wanted to be there”, recalls the Valencian, who in 2019 was classified as the second best Spaniard in the Open.

The Open marks the beginning of the season of cross fit, which this year started in Madrid on February 16. Thousands of people from all over the world sign up to compete in three tests over three weeks. Many do it for fun, but it is also the first step to be at the Crossfit Games in August. After the Open, a quarterfinal and a semifinal are held with the best athletes from each region to select the forty men and forty women who will compete in the games.

Fabian Beneito traps the rope during a test at Wodapalooza in Miami.
Fabian Beneito traps the rope during a test at Wodapalooza in Miami.Manuel Riano

Beneito earned a spot at the Crossfit Games in 2020, his second season at the highest level, but was unable to attend because covid-19 changed everything. Where before 40 athletes participated, in 2020 only five did. In addition, that year he joined everything. Just a few months before the state of alarm, he had injured his spine from overtraining and lack of rest. He spent two months without training. “It was a very hard year for me. I didn’t believe what was happening. I think I deserved that opportunity because I earned it and I had a very good level ”, recalls Beneito, who during the quarantine came to move with his partner to the gym to be able to train. It was not the last time that the stress and demands of the sport forced him to slow down.

The personal problems of not being able to spend time with his son and his partner, Sara Valera, added to excessive training, made Beneito consider leaving the competition: “Everything came together, bad results training and not being able to see my son all the time. that I would like It formed a very large ball that all it did was crush me. He didn’t know how to get out of there. I needed a drastic change in my life and if it wasn’t for the people who love me, I wouldn’t be here now. We decided to leave everything and come to Zarautz”. He moved to the Basque Country to join Training Culture, a program of cross fit which has brought together some of the best Spaniards in the discipline. Pablo Cazalis, one of the founders, was to blame. “He told us to go with him, that we would be happy here. Training Culture has given me everything, self-confidence and affection”, affirms the best cross fitter of Spain, a title that he won again in 2022, after being champion in 2020 and 2021.

Since moving to the Basque Country, Beneito achieved his best result in Dubai, thanks to the work inside and outside the box (this is how specialized gyms are known), also on a psychological level. “The psychologists have helped me a lot, but the one who has helped me the most in the end has been my partner. Sara is the one who has put up with me the most and she is the one who knows how to get me up on bad days, when you don’t feel like anything ”.

The day to day of the Valencian, who seeks to reach the top of Crossfit, is quite “monotonous”. Breakfast is his “moment”. He trains in the morning for three or four hours. After eating and resting, he goes back to training for another two or three hours. “We make social life in the box”, he comments between laughs. On Sundays he dedicates them to rest. He is now a professional, he lives from his work. And that is due in part to The Fittest Managers, the first agency of representation of crossfitters from Spain. “Before starting with them, I did not have any salary from the sponsors. They have been responsible for me and other colleagues being able to start getting paid, not just receiving shirts and products. They have changed everything.” Beneito is also co-owner of a box in Alzira (Valencia) and collaborates with some Training Culture clients, his other sources of income.

In top form, he also has more time than before. “I see my son more and everything is more on track. I am training with a lot of head. I think about getting to the Games, I’m not going to lie, but I focus on the process and now. The day I don’t enjoy it, I’ll consider leaving it again”, says Beneito, who this February and March faces the challenge of once again proclaiming himself the fittest man in Spain to reach the Crossfit Games.

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