Having tested themselves against the fittest teens on earth, Rotorua brothers Bayley and Riley Martin have a renewed hunger for training.

The boys travelled to Madison, Wisconsin, last month to compete at the CrossFit games, after qualifying in the top 20 athletes in each of their age groups.

CrossFit is a sport designed to test a wide range of fitness aspects including high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, power lifting, gymnastics and strongman. The annual CrossFit Games are where the world's top crossfitters go head to head for the title 'Fittest on Earth'.

Riley finished eighth in the 14-15 age group, his best event finishes being second in the sprint obstacle course and sixth in both the one-rep-max snatch and run, swim, run.


Bayley finished 13th in the 16-17 age group. His best event finishes were fifth in both the sprint obstacle course and vest triplet (four rounds, wearing a weighted vest, of 400m run, 24 squats and 12 burpee box jump-overs), and seventh in the run, swim, run.

Rather than pat themselves on the backs for making it to the Games and more than holding their own, they boys are already thinking about how they can go back and do better next time.

"I'm not as hyped as I thought I'd be [about finishing eighth]," Riley said.

"There are things I could've done better, which makes me want to train, and hopefully if I make it again next year I can do the best I can and know I've trained enough. Now I've got a taste of it, so I know what to expect next year."

COMPETITIVE: Riley (left) and Bayley Martin finished eighth and 13th respectively in their age groups at the CrossFit Games. PHOTO/FILE
COMPETITIVE: Riley (left) and Bayley Martin finished eighth and 13th respectively in their age groups at the CrossFit Games. PHOTO/FILE

Returning to the games will be a tough task for Bayley, who will be too old for teens and will have to compete in the open division, but he is determined to do whatever it takes to get there.

"You're never too good; you can always do better. In a New Zealand competition you can look at other athletes and judge what they'll be good at, but not at the games.

"At the games, even if he's a big lifter, he can still do muscle ups and gymnastics. You have to go in there saying 'I don't have any weaknesses, I'm going to crush the this'.

"I watched the top guy in my grade and there's nothing special to him, he just gets it done. If you watch him he doesn't look unbeatable, he's just consistent," he said.


Riley said he was nervous going into the Games, but gained a lot of confidence after finishing sixth in the first event.

"After the first two days I was coming third overall, that boosted my confidence. I don't think I would've hit my lift, a PB, without the crowd and the atmosphere."

Before the games, Bayley identified swimming as a weakness and worked hard on improving it, so finishing seventh in the run, swim, run was a highlight.

"That was cool because I'd trained for it, because I sucked at swimming, it was a major weakness. I would've never been able to swim 500m."

He said the whole experience was amazing and a little overwhelming.

"Seeing the [professional] athletes in the warm-up area, just walking around, was pretty cool. We saw [four-time individual and two-time team CrossFit Games champion] Rich Froning because he was on a team and they warmed up in the same area.

"That first workout the crowd, when you hit your lift, they pump you up."

Riley said it was good to speak with some of his competitors, who were all there to win but friendly in between events.

"There was another New Zealander in my group so i talked to him the whole time. The dudes were all pretty friendly, it was good just talking about CrossFit with them because there's not many people our age here you can talk to about it," he said.