Prime Yourself for the NFG With This Two-Part Competition Simulation by Zack George

·4-min read
Photo credit: Mike Melling
Photo credit: Mike Melling

If anyone understands how to prep for a functional fitness competition, it's elite athlete Zack George. The CrossFit Games qualifier and extremely fit human has designed a two-part workout that simulates the pressures of live competition to gird you mentally and physically for the National Fitness Games.

National Fitness Games (NFG) is the ultimate team-based fitness competition for sports and gym enthusiasts of all abilities. Held at iconic sporting venues with world-class facilities, teams of competitors from across the UK come together at their events to put their fitness to the test and compete to be crowned NFG Champions 2021. At NFG, their aim is to redefine the way we view athleticism and stamina. With every event we push boundaries and test all aspects of an athlete’s physical ability across four key pillars of fitness: strength, speed, power and endurance.

With a range of social categories available at all three events, including Male, Female, Masters (over 40s) & Mixed (2 men + 2 women standard requirement), and the absence of any overly technical lifts or movements, NFG’s social competition welcomes all athletes to compete regardless of prior experience or fitness level. We invite you to train for more – train for the games!

To find out more about NFG, check out their Instagram page @NationalFitnessGames or visit the website

In the meantime, use Zack's key pieces of advice to attack this workout, then check out the full workout description below. Go well and good luck.

No more than 3 attempts on the C&J. You should have warmed up to 70/80% of your max before you start. Then have three weights already planned, these are a safe weight you will definitely hit, a challenging weight but something you think you should smash under a pressure and then a final weight that is bit of a reach.

You want at least a minute between attempts. Try and find the balance between hitting a score and reaching your max. So make sure you use all of the 6 minutes – your last attempt shouldn’t begin until there are 30 seconds left on the clock.

This workout is all about the thrusters. Staying unbroken will minimise wasted time off the bar, as every break is going to add 20-30s onto your time. Pace the calories and burpees to a level that allow you to hang onto the bar for unbroken sets, with one break if you really have to. We are looking for max sustainable intensity, where you never have to stop.

Make sure you use your arms on the assault bike. Your legs are getting a lot of work in the thrusters and burpees, so you want to transfer some metabolic load into your arms where you can. Think about keeping a stable trunk and core whilst driving in both the push and the pull to give your legs a chance to recover and flush out lactic acid.

NFG Individual Competition Stimulus Session

Part A: 0-6 minutes

Max clean & jerk

Once your barbell is loaded, set up so that your feet are shoulder width apart, bar directly above the middle of your shoes laces. With a slight band in the knees, hinge down with a flat back and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, just outside of your knees (A). Dig your feet into the floor and create tension throughout your entire body, stand up explosively, using the momentum to pull the bar high, before dipping under and twisting your wrists to ‘catch’ the bar high on your chest, standing tall once it’s secured (B). Take a deep breath and bend your knees, dipping down to create power from the lower body, before driving back up and pressing the bar overhead (C). Lower the bar under control to your chest, then to the floor.

1 minute rest

Part B: 7-14 minutes

5 rounds for time

15 calories Assault Bike

Set up on the bike – your back should be straight and the saddle adjusted so you have a slight bend in the knee at the bottom (A). Go for a maximum-effort sprint for 10 calories, keeping your torso upright, head up and controlling your breath (B). Try not to flail around, basically.

10 thrusters 42.5/30kg

Start with the barbell held across the front of your shoulders. Now squat down, keeping your back straight and your chest up, until your thighs are beyond parallel to the ground (A). Stand back up explosively and, in one motion, press the bar overhead to full lockout (B). Now, reverse the movement and repeat.

5 burpees over barbell

Turn your body ninety degrees, so that the bar is to your side. Take a deep breath and drop into a press-up position, then straight to the ground. (A) As your chest hits floor, exhale. Jump your feet back towards your chest, before explosively standing up and launching yourself laterally over the barbell (B). Once you land on the other side, stand tall opening up your rib cage and take a deep breath before repeating.

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