Spotlight on Chyna Cho: Preparing for 16.1

Pasted image at 2016_02_24 04_11 PM

This Thursday (2/25/16) Chyna Cho (@chynacho) will be going head to head against Emily Abbott ( in 16.1 to kick off the 2016 CrossFit Games Open.

Chyna Cho has been competing in CrossFit for a long time. She first qualified for the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2010. She narrowly missed qualifying again at Regionals for the next 3 years. And, when we say narrow, we mean narrow. Chyna missed out via a tie break with Annie Sakamoto in 2011. She stuck with it though, and in 2014 made a well-earned return to the Games. 2015 was even more impressive. Not only did she qualify again, she also put in a dominating 6th place overall finish. In light of the increasingly difficult competition year after year, this is a truly impressive accomplishment.


So what changed? Enter Neal Maddox and her new coach Doug Chapman.

At the beginning of 2014, I started training with Neal Maddox. I would say that was the biggest change. Having to chase him all the time obviously helped my physical game, but being around him really improved my mental game as well. I owe a lot to him. -Chyna Cho

A lot of this can be attributed to her work ethic, consistency, and great programming by her coach, Doug Chapman of HyperFit. In August of 2014, shortly after Chyna started working with Doug, she started logging all of her workouts on beyond the whiteboard. Since then she has logged over 2,000 workout results.

Consistency and Volume

Chyna has not slowed down since finishing 6th at the 2015 CrossFit Games. There have been 209 days since those Games ended; she’s worked out on 192 of them. That’s an average of 6.43 workout days per week over that period. Some of those days were “active” rest days, but it’s still impressive. During that period she’s averaged 4.5 workout posts per day. These are not all “metcons”, but include lifting, running, accessory work, etc. Below you can see a snapshot of the two weeks leading up to the 2016 CrossFit Game Open. Note that “lightning bolts” stand for PRs.


Diet & Nutrition

The big difference Chyna made this year was in her nutrition. In fact it was the only big change she said she made this year. “The only difference I can think of is I started working with RP Strength for my nutrition. I was never good about what I ate, and when I ate, so working with them has really helped me make sure I balance out all of my meals and eat enough food at the proper times. I am still by no means super strict, but I definitely have more structure to my eating.”


Let’s take a look at the last 3 months of Chyna’s workouts to get an idea of how she’s been prepping for the Open this year. Based on Modality, 50% of her workouts have contained at least one Weightlifting movement. Her top 3 movements in this category have been Front Squat, Snatch, and Deadlift. For Gymnastics, 32% of her workouts have contained at least one of these movements. Her top 3 gymnastics movements were GHD Sit-ups, Pull-ups, and Muscle-ups. For Monostructural, 18% of her workouts have contained at least one of these movements. Her top 3 monostructural movements have been Rowing, Handstand Walks, and Double Unders.



Below you can see a breakdown of Workout Type and a more detailed breakdown of Modality combinations. We can see that most of her “metcons” come in the form of timed workouts, with a few AMRAPs and AMReps.

Almost 3/4 of her logged workouts have been Single Modality (M only, G only, or W only). And the other quarter have been some type of combination. These combos contain most of her “metcon” workouts. G+W is her most common combo, followed by M+G. She doesn’t do much M+W or M+G+W.


Here are some of her scores the Girl Benchmark workouts:


Enjoy The Process

We asked Chyna what advice she would give a competitor that is just staring their career. Her response was short and sweet, “Keep track of everything. It is so rewarding (and fun) to see how far you’ve come once you have been doing this a while. Also, enjoy the process.” We really think this sums Chyna up. Chyna is not an over night success. She has worked hard, day after day, year after year. She has had her ups and downs.

Keep track of everything. It is so rewarding (and fun) to see how far you’ve come once you have been doing this a while. Also, enjoy the process. -Chyna Cho

In the last year Chyna has Rowed over 400 km while also running over 250 km. She’s lifted over 400,000 lbs and 159,000 lbs for Front Squat and Thrusters, respectively. She’s done over 5,000 pull-ups, 1,400 muscle ups, 4,000 push-ups, 2,000 handstand push-ups, and 9000 double-unders. We have no idea how well Chyna will do on 16.1. She might dominate or she might just do better than 99% of people (it’s funny because it’s true), but one thing is for sure, Chyna will keep going. She’ll keep working. She’ll keep getting better. She’ll do all that without losing perspective of two things. To enjoy the journey and surround yourself with people who support your goals.


Chyna with her husband Freddy Camacho. Congrats guys! (photo: @richwellcorrea)

Chyna wants to thank her sponsors (RX Smart Gear, Reebok, Kill Cliff, PR Wraps, Caffeine and Kilos) for supporting athletes and making it possible for her to devote so much time to training.

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