I used to wear a Whoop for a couple of years and found it useful for tracking my sleep and recovery habits. However, when it told me I was 20% recovered on the day of a competition, I decided to take it off and never put it back on. Despite this, I still performed extremely well in the competition. Transcript: "I wore a whoop for a couple years in about 2017 2018 I stopped wearing it and I have never worn any real biometric stuff since there's some a lot of value in them I think you can learn a lot by paying attention to data and wearing them for long periods of time but I think it kind of depends a bit on your personality and I know there are people who get very obsessive about data and I knew a lot of athletes who started wearing them and you know got so obsessive about their sleep data that it would keep them up at night and it would you know then the recovery data was saying it was bad and so they would go into a session primed thinking they were gonna have a bad session whereas you know I was never really I never wanted to be a you know a victim of my data so I never wanted to take it too too seriously I used it to improve my sleep hygiene habits try to figure out some sweet spot on things like that but I remember the day I took it off was the day of the regionals the East regional in 2018 that woke up for the first day of the competition and it told me I was like way in the red like 20% recovered it shouldn't do any activity today but it was the day of the competition so like it or not you had to go and I took it off threw it in the corner and never put it back on performed extremely well for that entire weekend one of the best competitions total competitions I've ever had so you know at that point I think I had learned everything I needed from it so I think there's a lot of value you can gain it's good to share that data with like your coaches or people it can help you from over training that kind of stuff but it can mess with some people's heads so just be wary of that"
Wearing a leather grip or strap around the bar can help improve your grip endurance and reduce the amount of hand strength you need to hold the bar. It may feel awkward at first, but it is recommended to wear them in order to keep your hands healthy for longer periods of time. Transcript: "It's actually a little bit of both. Using a grip really well can help to improve your grip endurance over time. Most athletes now will throw a leather grip or something over the bar and where the strap holds on puts a lot of the pressure on your wrist instead of on your fingers when you would be gripping a bar with just your naked hand. So because of that it reduces the lever and it also means that you use less hand strength to hold the bar. You just rely on some passive tension through the grip material. There are some things, I never used to wear them on rings because I like the feel of the wood rings in my hand, but over time you have to give a little bit because at a certain point the sport progresses and we're doing 50 ring muscle ups in a workout and if you rip your hands and it sets you back 3, 4, 5 days of training where you can't work on other gymnastic skills because you've got ripped up hands, you need to avoid that and put together more good days in a row. So they sometimes feel really awkward when you first start using them but my general recommendation is the same as learning hook grip for weightlifting. You just have to put them on, start getting used to them, you will get used to them. You don't have to wear them all the time but there are certain times where you'll really want them either for grip strength and endurance or just for protection to keep your hands healthier for longer periods of time."
CrossFit shoes are the best for this type of workout because they are flexible and provide a good balance between running, jumping, and weightlifting. They are usually not too soft or too stiff, providing a comfortable feel for different workouts. Transcript: "A lot of this is just your preference, but I will say for most CrossFit stuff, you want a shoe that's going to perform well in a lot of different conditions. And it's sort of a continuum where on one end you've got shoes that are maybe a little softer, a little more flexible. They feel really nice to run in, you know, do box jumps, skipping, that kind of stuff. And then the far other side is something like a weightlifting shoe that's very flat, very stiff, but super stable. So if you're doing anything like squatting, you know, Olympic lifting, you feel really sturdy under weight. But obviously the stiff shoe doesn't perform well if you've got to run and jump, and the runner doesn't perform really well if you've got to weightlift. You feel like it's really soft in the foot and you might lose your balance. So you want something that's kind of in the middle. Generally a shoe that's a little bit flatter, is comfortable to wear, has a little bit of flexibility. So, you know, you can play with a few different shoes. A lot of the companies that make a CrossFit shoe, they're all doing the same thing. Some of them are just on one side or the other of that sort of stiffness scale. So play with whatever you want, but you're never going to get everything. You're always going to be either a little softer, feel better in that running, jumping stuff or a little stiffer, feel better with the barbell and the stable security. So you can kind of cater that to whatever types of workouts you tend to do more of. And you'll have happy feet."
Balancing a family and work life is difficult and requires a lot of organization. Make sure to keep good communication with your partner, have a good babysitter on call, and prioritize what's important. Transcript: "This just is difficult. I think there's no way to make it not be difficult. It just takes a lot of organization. You know, I'd spend a lot of time every week organizing the following week with my partner of when either of us are gonna be working, when I'm gonna be training, who's got the kids, like what's happening. And I try to plan ahead so that when the time comes we can just kind of skate through it and you just have to be wherever you plan to be, do whatever you plan to do, and you don't have to think on the fly quite so much. Obviously with kids things don't always go to plan and you do need to be able to adapt. So to be honest, personally I'm working on that still. I like to be able to stick to a rigid framework. But we've just made it whatever is a priority is a priority and we plan around that stuff and you kind of keep as open lines of communication as possible. And to be honest, have a good babysitter on call if you can, somebody who can come help out, whether it's family or just you're hiring a sitter, because sometimes things happen and you've got to be able to take off and do something for a little bit. But yeah, it's not easy and I don't think it ever will be. So best of luck. If you figure something out you let me know."
When looking for a coach, look locally and find someone who meshes with your style. Ask around and make sure you keep open lines of communication with your coach to ensure that it is a successful partnership. Transcript: "I think you just ask around and you try to find people who kind of mesh with you. My recommendation would always be to look locally and find somebody that you can work with, especially if you're just kind of starting out, because having eyes on and instant feedback is really irreplaceable. If you're very skilled and been competing for a long time or you're something of a veteran, then remote coaching is another option. You should try to make sure that you have reasonably open lines of communication with your coach, but I think you just have to ask and you have to look around and you might have to go through a coach or two to see if someone really fits with your style, really understands you, really gets what you're trying to do. I think that if you can find all of those things, any coach will be fine. Everybody's a little bit different. Everyone's tastes are a little bit different for the athlete and coach. You just want to find somebody that meshes with you, but I would just get on whatever on social media, locally call around, pop into gyms, talk to people, see who's interested in working with you. A lot of coaches nowadays might have an interview process of sorts to sort of see if they feel like you're a good fit for them as well, because at the end of the day, it's a team and you need to make sure that everybody's doing their part to make that a successful partnership."
I got involved with Decca comp because Michele Letendre, who runs it, used to be an individual competitor at the games. We became friends and she took me in during a difficult time in 2016. We have a strong coach-athlete relationship and I trust her for my training and competition. Transcript: "So I got involved with DECA Comp because Michelle LaTondra, who runs it, used to be an individual competitor at the Games. I lived in Montreal, I went to school there, same town as her, and I qualified for my first Games in 2016, which happened to be her last year. My partner was going to school still there, and through a series of events, basically, she switched programs into another city. I was living with her and I ended up homeless in Montreal that summer. Michelle actually took me in to live with her and her partner and train with her in preparation for the 2016 Games. I was super successful that year, I came third in my rookie year, and then she retired shortly thereafter and started DECA Comp. We had a lot of fun training together, and we kind of get along, we view the world very similarly. We just kind of started a coach relationship then, I signed on with her, and we've been working together ever since. We've had many podiums since then, and I have no reason not to trust her. She works incredibly hard, we debrief over every competition, we make new goals every year, and she is extremely well-read and always learning in everything that we need to improve on. I have a lot of love and a lot of trust for Michelle and DECA Comp, so I don't think I would ever leave her. Are there other programs that are great? Yeah, there are. There are some that I would join, maybe, and there are some that I would not. I think it's just about finding good fits for you, and I was really fortunate to find that in 2016. Michelle's a great friend now and a really good partner in this coach-athlete relationship. So I think that I'm going to see that through until I retire, in all likelihood."