Last week you submitted your questions for CrossFit Games veteran, Julie Foucher, and we have her answers!
1. How has your adjustment been from training to compete to training for life? – Sarah Novotny
It has definitely been an adjustment, but I don’t think it could have gone better for me. After my Achilles injury last year, I spent a lot of time doing rehab and re-building to get back to training, and it was fun to see so much progress every week. I think that period also allowed the rest of my body some time to rest and recover from the past several years of training. This year, while I complete my clinical rotations in medical school, I committed to training 5 days per week for an hour with my husband and some friends at the gym. We do my TRAIN programming together (www.btwb.com/juliefoucher) in the evenings, and it has been really nice to train for fun and with no pressure on performance. There have been so many days I would have skipped the gym but having this training group and program have really kept me on track.
2. What was the most frustrating aspect of your Achilles recovery, and when did you start to feel like your old self in the gym again? – Troy Barnes
I think the most frustrating part was just trying to get around when I was non-weight bearing! It seems silly, but when you have an injury you realize how much you take for granted the little things like being able to take a shower. My recovery was very smooth, and by about 4 months I started to feel like myself in the gym again. By 6 months, I was comfortable with running and jumping again, and I haven’t had any limitations since!
3. How did you get started with CrossFit? – Kathy Lukhard
The first time I met my husband, we lived in the same dorm in college at the University of Michigan. We were both in a mutual friend’s room, and he pulled up CrossFit.com. I was immediately interested, and it wasn’t long before we both joined our local affiliate, HyperFit USA (CrossFit Ann Arbor).
4. How can I go harder, or find that dark place? – Rich Sanders
I think the best way to do this is to re-test workouts on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s hard to “find the dark place” the first time you do a workout, but the next you know how to push your limits a little more and eventually you can really find your edge.
5. What are the top 5 things you would advise a 15 year old who wants to become a professional athlete? – Maria Luna
1. Fully dedicate yourself to whatever you are doing in the moment. This means practicing your sport, conditioning or training in the off-season, school, extra-curriculars, or spending time with friends and family. Being well-rounded is important to your ultimate success as a professional athlete, and the lessons you learn on the field, in the classroom, and in life are equally important for your success.
2. Know WHY you want to become a professional athlete. It’s not going to be easy, and the only thing that will keep you on track when times get hard is a deep understanding of why you want to achieve this goal. This reason may change over time, but it is something you should always be thinking about.
3. Work harder than everyone else. Succeeding as an athlete requires the right genetic potential and the right environment to nurture that potential, but above all, success will come from the work you put in day in and day out when no one else is watching.
4. Believe in yourself! Keep your eyes set on your goal, make a plan for how you will get there, and make progress every day. Visualize success on a regular basis.
5. Have fun! This is probably the most important advice – if you are not having fun and enjoying the process, it’s not worth doing.
6. How do you best handle the critics of Crossfit within the medical field? – David Smith
Usually critiques come from a lack of understanding of the methodology, and a good explanation of how CrossFit is infinitely scalable and intensity is relative does the trick. I also discuss how the benefits of CrossFit outweigh the risks in a blog post “On CrossFit and Risk” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-foucher/crossfit-risks_b_5161112.html
7. In your professional, medical opinion… Should I grow my hair out or keep it short for the summer? – Christopher Galvan
8. How much fish oil do you take? – @kyyyyye
I take 2-4g of Pure Pharma O3 every day.
9. What’s the best recovery tool not involving having to consume anything? – @meilin_mcdonald
I find that going to a yoga class at least once per week helps me to feel more recovered. Also, you can’t beat sleep for recovery – I try to get 8+ hours when I can.
10. Do you plan to continue cross fit as a resident and beyond?- @student_shelby
Of course! I’ll always do CrossFit, even if it might be in different capacities in different phases of my life.
11. What are three things to do in everyday life that you believe contributes most to your overall heath? – @arbrittain
Good question! There are so many things but I would say the top 3 are CrossFit, eating real, high quality foods including lots of fruits and vegetables, and connecting with family and friends.
12. What was your hardest movement to learn and how did you overcome that challenge? – @holamellamopiscinadelumerta
Of all the movements I learned while competing in CrossFit, the backward roll to support on rings was the hardest for me. This was a skill I decided I wanted to learn a couple of years ago, and I worked on it every week with my gymnastics coaches Dominique Moceanu and Dr. Mike Canales. I would see very slow progress each week but it was so rewarding to finally feel comfortable doing this skill after almost a year of hard work.
13. How to respond when a woman is to “bulky” or “manly”? 🙄 – @asdfjkl.sadafy
There will always be people who make comments like this, but I try to focus more on what my body can do than what it looks like. In the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – YOU need to feel happy and healthy in your own skin, and doing CrossFit allows me to feel that way.
14. What advice do you have for beginners who want to get more serious? – @r0bjam
I would say to set realistic goals and start checking them off one by one. When you look back you will surprise yourself with how much progress you’ve made! If you want to spend more time in the gym, start with skill practice under low intensity – make sure your movements are sound before you start increasing your training volume. Also, extra attention and focus on nutrition, sleep, and recovery can never hurt!
15. Now that you have scaled back, how do you program your workouts compared to while you were actively competing? – @bbgamer702
Now that I’ve scaled back, I program 5 workout sessions per week for 1 hour each through www.btwb.com/juliefoucher. We have different training cycles depending on the time of year, but generally I try to make sure we do all of the major movement patterns on a regular basis. We also spend some time under low-intensity working on gymnastics skills and Olympic lifting.
16. Do you plan to incorporate CrossFit into her career as an md? – @ridinsaulo
Absolutely! CrossFit has shown me how to prevent disease and cultivate healthy communities, and I intend for this to be a major focus of my career as a physician.
17. My husband completely tore his Achilles a couple of years ago. I’ve wanted him to join my box as something to do together, but he says his limited range of motion makes him nervous he’ll tear or injure it again during some of the more explosive moves. What stretches/exercises helped you? Did you ever use kinetic tape? Any advice in general? – @mrs_mccarley
Some of the tools that helped me most with my recovery were voodoo floss, soft tissue work, and focused rehab exercises from my physical therapist and Airrosti provider. Now I avoid rebounding box jumps, and I make sure to do some strengthening exercises (weighted eccentric toe raises) as well as soft tissue work (foam rolling) a few times per week for both of my Achilles.
18. I’m going to be moving to South Korea for a year to teach English. I know you spent some time there last year, what was it like training there? Do they speak English at the CrossFit gyms? How did you diet change while you were there? – @brendanfrank
I had such a great time in South Korea! Some of the gyms that I visited spoke English, but everyone was incredibly nice and helpful. My diet didn’t change too much while I was there, but I did enjoy some Korean BBQ!
19. What kind of snacks do you eat? – @sarahdutemple
I like simple snacks, like nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans) or nut butters (almond or natural peanut butter), fresh fruit, or some turkey or chicken slices. Usually I just try to eat frequent small meals throughout the day!