The national event, which will begin Thursday in Carson, Calif., pits contestants in events such as the deadlift, handstand walk, legless rope climb, front squats, pull-ups and ring dips. Athletes are scored in each event, and scores are combined to determine an overall winner.
While he has gotten stronger, the 23-year-old Mayer said the biggest change from last year is related to his confidence level. He admitted that he was a bit intimidated in his first CrossFit Games.
“Last year was a big eye-opener,” he said, “just to see and believe how good you actually are. I think that is the biggest thing for me.”
Mayer’s athletic roots are in motocross racing, which he did at the amateur level for eight years. Weight-training for that sport led to his involvement with CrossFit, which began in 2010.
In many ways, Mayer’s life now revolves around the fitness regimen. He is the co-owner of a CrossFit gym in Alpharetta, but he doesn’t train for more than five days in a row to give his body necessary rest.
Mayer said he tries to look at the Games as a fun reward for his hard work.
“Going into the Games is a lot less stressful than going to regionals,” Mayer said. “Once you make it to the Games, that’s the fun thing. You train all year, and you’ve worked for the past three or four years to get to the Games. It’s time to just give it everything you have and just have fun with it.”