I’ve always led an ‘active lifestyle’ and enjoyed hockey, cross country, karate, and OCRs competitively before finding CrossFit. I’d been running to-and-from a commercial gym, and weight training when I got there for a couple of years before I attended an oly lifting workshop. I found a PT who’d coach me in the snatch and clean and jerk weekly, and did that for about a year, before I took the plunge and tried CrossFit. That was about 4 years ago.
Now I follow The Athlete Program. And specifically I follow the Elite track, which is 2 sessions a day, 5 days a week. In order to fit both sessions around my job, I train at 6am and then again at 6pm, except on my scheduled rest days, where I usually fit in a yoga class and a swim. I have to try to be really sensible with my rest and really sensible with my diet, which is a pretty fine balance; when one slips, I definitely notice the difference in my training as well as my mood!
I get up a little after 5am to get to the box, I train out of CrossFit Colchester which, luckily for me, is just a short drive away. I workout fasted in the mornings (well, I workout on one strong black coffee in the mornings) not because I believe there are any health benefits, but because I just can’t make myself get up any earlier in order to get a substantial breakfast down me before I train. I keep my cardio - the gassy EMOMs, and the beastly AMRAPs - for my morning sessions, and then when I need to be lifting heavy, I get to that after I’m done at work and I’ve got a bit of fuel inside me from breakfast and lunch… and snacks.
A look at nutrition
I’ve only ever briefly dabbled in tracking my calories, and that was quite a few years ago. It’s taken me a while to discover what’s ‘right’ for me, but now I know, I do make sure I eat well. I’m a creature of habit, so I like to stick to my favourite meals, much to the amusement of friends and family. My work colleagues are highly entertained by the regularity in which I have my big ol’ bowl of porridge at my desk every morning; with a very healthy spoonful of local honey and an even healthier spoonful of peanut butter. Then I top it off with whatever fruit I fancy - love me a blueberry.
Typically lunch includes lots of veggies, rice or sweet potato, and a source of protein like chicken or fish. (Usually chicken - fish is not a popular choice in an open plan office!) I absolutely love coffee, but I consciously cut myself off after lunch because I worry all that caffeine - and it is a lot - will affect my sleep. I snack on loads of fruit through the afternoon because I have a hella sweet tooth… plus I think it provides me with a much needed/craved energy boost once the caffeine stops.
I don’t take a lot of supplements. I understand that loads of people feel they benefit from them, but other than mixing creatine into my protein, I only take a daily multi-vit and drop echinacea in my water. I do take ZMAs if or when I remember, but because after I train of an evening I’ll eat a really carby meal to help prepare me for my early session the next morning, I think the risk of a carb-coma probably does more to get me to sleep.
Surely it’s not all about CrossFit...
Outside of training, I love to read and write. I recently started journaling, and while I try not to make it all about bloody CrossFit, I’ve enjoyed being able to look back and learn from some of my sessions. Not necessarily in terms of numbers or rep schemes, but just how I’ve felt during and after a workout; if it gets dark in that pain cave, it can be cathartic to spill it out onto paper! Other than that scholarly stuff, I indulge in cartoons and podcasts. The sillier the better. I’ll watch most anything from Adult Swim, and I absolutely love Chris D’elia’s Congratulations for a silly goose time.
Follow Libby Bearman on Instagram: @LiftLikeLibby