Coaching Spotlight: Cat

In preparation for The Open, you changed your workout regimen and your diet. What were the goals you were looking to achieve for this Open in particular?

My workout regimen went from doing heavy volume in Olympic lifting to more interval training and sprint work to try and increase my lung capacity. I also tried to cut body fat (~5 lbs) to try and make gymnastics volume a little easier during the workouts. My main goal in this Open was to complete all the workouts to the RX standard.

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How did your performance compare to last year?

I’m not how many places I improved, but this year went way better than last year. Last year was my first year of competing in the Open and I barely skid by with some of the workouts. This year I was able to finish almost all the workouts and came in 3rd overall in the gym.

Will you be focusing heavily on improving certain movements for the second Open coming in the fall?

I’m always looking to improve my technique as well as my efficiency in gymnastics or body weight movements. I am going to gear my skill work more toward bar muscle ups, ring muscle ups and try and add more strict HSPU (with the new standard) to my sessions.

You’ve been doing custom programming for some time now, what are some of the improvements to different movements have you seen? 

I’ve seen a ton of improvements from the barbell to gymnastics as well as just grunt work. The custom programming has allowed me to learn more about myself as an athlete and given me more insight on how to gauge workouts better. I’m more focused on my split times, my heart rate and my mentality more so then I am on having the fastest time.

Does it help having a workout partner like Jason Senatore to help keep you motivated and accountable? 

Yes! I love having Jason as my workout partner. He manages to balance my crazy drive to compete with his lightheartedness and humor. He’s always willing to come in early, late or in the middle of the day so that I don’t have to work out alone which is helpful when trying to stay on track. Him and I are always joking and talking mad trash to each other about who will lift more or have a better metcon time, it helps keep us both motivated even on days we don’t want to be there.

How has your diet changed? Do you feel the focus on your diet has changed the outcome of your workout performance?

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This past year I’ve lost about 23 lbs (RIP Fat Cat). I never really focused on nutrition and previously as a college athlete thought, “Well I worked out today, so I can eat whatever I want.” It wasn’t until I started weighing my food and tracking it that I realized how much I was over eating. I 100% credit my performance in the Open (or any workout) to my balanced diet. I have more energy when working out, I feel less fatigued, less sore and doing bar muscle ups are way easier when you’re lighter!

In your opinion, how important is it to work on movements in order to get better at them? 

Skill work is the most undervalued thing I think in a CrossFit gym. You won’t magically get better at HSPU, snatches, handstand walks or anything else for that matter, in a workout with your HR jacketed up to 185 bmp. I like to think of the workout as the “game.” You’re not going to be better at the game unless you practice, right? If you want to be better at certain movements in the gym, you have to dedicate the time to practice them and appreciate the progress of skill work. Trust me, it might be frustrating at first but, once you get it, it's very rewarding!