When reigning champion Zack George went down with an injury early in the 2021 CrossFit Games season, it left a gaping hole and a title up for grabs. Enter Joshua Al-chamaa, 29, a former contemporary ballet dancer turned CrossFitter, is bringing a new sense of flair to the sport with his infectious personality. Now the UK’s “Fittest Man”, Al-chamaa has racked up an impressive resume in a short time. He took his first CrossFit class in 2017, and since then has placed well in a number of high profile competitions including Strength in Depth 2018 (13th), Pandaland 2019 (fifth) and the Brazil CrossFit Championship 2020 (sixth) and furthered his name by finishing 28th in the 2021 CrossFit Open. So, what does the new kid on the block do when he’s not a community manager for WIT based out of London? Al-chamaa, who made it all the way to the Last Chance Qualifier this season (which earned him his “country champion” title), dishes on everything from Harry Potter, greasy chicken burgers and what is the best part about being British. Who is your favourite CrossFit athlete and why? I’ve got a couple, but I can only give one right, OK I’m gonna say it’s my fellow Brit Samantha Briggs (who Al-chamaa has competed alongside as part of a team). Because she is one of those people, and I get the pleasure of seeing her workout, and she genuinely has fun. So she is my favourite athlete because she loves the sport and that is how I am trying to be. Did Justin Medeiros bypass a generation of CrossFitters? What do you usually eat before and after a workout? Sour Patch Kids. For both, before and after. Favourite cheat meal? I love a chicken burger, and I’m not talking about a healthy lean, clean chicken burger, I’m talking like a fried chicken burger, or some ribs. Big rack of BBQ ribs. How many tattoos do you have and what was your first one? A couple of them have blended into one, let’s say nine or 10. My first one was the Arabic writing down my forearm which says, “I follow the religion of love.” I got that done when I was just turning 18. Sorry mum. I actually used to enjoy religious studies and I don’t actually have a religion but I still believe to this day, of loving people and just being nice and kind to everyone. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Joshua Al-chamaa (@joshuaalchamaa) Favourite British movie, television show and music? Does Harry Potter classify as a British movie? Harry is definitely English. And then I grew up on EastEnders (a British soap opera that first aired in 1985). In terms of music, J Hus, a grime MC, or Aitch. He’s from Manchester, he’s another rapper, this is real grime stuff but seriously check them out. What British stereotype is true? That we’re always miserable. What’s the best part about being British? Well in America it’s my accent because everyone seems to be drawn to it. What else, maybe not being ashamed to neck a good pint. Do you have a pet peeve? Messes. It’s literally getting worse, my fiancé (Amber Charlton) says I’m getting more OCD as the years go on. I’m literally walking around the house with a rag cleaning everything all the time now. Any fashion tips for people in the CrossFit world? Stop wearing baggy trousers that are like boot cut and go over your shoes, don’t do that, that’s not fun. Here’s my advice, oversized is only cool if you’re working out, but it’s not cool when you’re going out to the bar. What is harder, dance or CrossFit? (Long pause) This is a hard one and I want to make it an easy one for you. I would say CrossFit is harder because you have to be really uncomfortable to do well. Everyone is good now so it’s not like whether you’re good or not, all the top athletes are good, it’s about how uncomfortable can you be. Whereas dance is difficult because everything has to be perfect. CrossFit doesn’t have to be perfect, so I don’t know how to answer that actually, can I say 50-50? No wait, let me give one answer, I’m ruining this, CrossFit is harder.