Complete Human Performance Coach, Elise Fugowski, heads to sunny Miami, FL this weekend to compete in this years Wodapalooza. Elise joins teammates Kristen Graham, owner of CrossFit Toms River, and Corrin Lemieux who trains out of Taunton, Massachusetts.
We sat down with the trio to discuss what their training has looked like, the their hardest WOD’s, what they are most excited for, and other topics. Read the full interview below!
What’s the team aspect of training like?
Elise: Team training and workouts are my favorite way to compete. You’re each able to focus on what you excel at most. We’re an extremely well rounded team, but each have our own niche. Being that we are in three different states, we haven’t been able to all train together leading up to the event. Fortunately, we have great chemistry and are looking forward to the energy that comes on competition day.
Kristen: Training as a team pushes you beyond your limits. Where you may stop, or rest or take it easy training alone, the team aspect of training forces the athlete to come out and be a better version of you. Your training affects others now.
Corrin: Training team is what makes CrossFit fun! Work rest work rest! It’s not always easy. You need to know how your partners move and be able to mimic them. You have to know when they are tired and be able to communicate. There’s no I in team!
Does that affect programming?
Elise: We’ve each been following our normal programming. We are confident that our training will prepare us for what we will see in Miami.
Kristen: The programing remains consistent. There are times where adding a “synchronization” to a rep scheme is a fun addition to training.
Corrin: It does and it doesn’t. I’m in Massachusetts so I don’t get to train with the ladies. I continue my regular training as I prep for the open season.
Does prep for Wodapalooza tie into the CrossFit Open season?
Elise: Absolutely. We haven’t really swayed from what we would do on our normal programming. We’ve added in some specific movements to the competition such as swimming and running that you won’t typically see during the Open.
Kristen: Of course. CrossFit is constantly varied function movements preformed at high intensity and Wodapalooza will be exactly that.
Corrin: For me no! It’s a good push to get me ready for that and regionals .
Do training styles for those competitions differ?
Elise: There certainly will be movements during WZA that you won’t see during the Open. Running, swimming, and rope climbs to name a few. You never know what they will surprise you with!
Kristen: No, not really. We may test a workout as they are announced but training is the same.
Corrin: Oh hell yes! Opens training. You need to be able to run your engine and have a lot of muscle endurance. Training for team events, is like GRID league. You get to show your specialties and what you’re good at!
Who or what (or what experiences) influenced your current training style?
Elise: I would definitely consider myself a Hybrid Athlete from all the work I’ve done with CHP. My background of collegiate soccer and competitive OCR has made me much more partial to the aerobic side of CrossFit than the average athlete.
Kristen: A group of athletes were training together and offered to include me. It was a great decision and I haven’t looked back. It brought us to the Elite Team Division of Wodapalooza and will throw us full speed into the Open as a team.
Corrin: Training for regionals last year really made me realize I’d never want to be an individual athlete. I’m 2015 I made individual for regionals. Honestly glad I decided team. Then last year 2016. Being part of a team on the floor was great. I’d never want to train any other way.
What do you love about Wodapalooza?
Elise: The energy in WZA is unreal. You’re on a stage in front of thousands of spectators competing alongside the best athletes in the sport. Plus, it’s Miami! It doesn’t get much better.
Kristen: The Open and Regionals limits the playing field to our region. Wodapalooza opens the field up to the world where we otherwise may not have the chance to complete against some of the athletes.
What was the hardest WOD you did throughout training and why?
Elise: Everyday we have one piece that is just awful. It allows us to learn to push through those dark places you’ll find yourself in on competition day.
Kristen: If you mean in the qualifier, I would say the Hang Cleans, Wall Balls and Double Unders. It was grueling to me.
Corrin: The worst one was the deadlift cleans and push press. Not sure why because I’m a barbell girl. I cycle it fast but that just caught me off guard real quick! I was on the floor gasping for air.
What area do you think you excelled most in?
Elise: I love anything that involves gymnastics – muscle ups, handstand push ups and pull ups for my top three.
Kristen: The strength components are always my favorite.
What part of training helped you best?
Elise: Have a plan to follow and partners to train alongside. We’re able to compete everyday, which has pushed me to be a better athlete.
Kristen: Pushing myself against other athletes. It is something I haven’t really had the opportunity to do in years past.
Corrin: Training for the American Open and nationals helps me with CrossFit because I’m always getting stronger.
What could you have improved on?
Elise: Everything! The problem with CrossFit is there is always something you can get better at.
Kristen: I always believe I can do better in the gymnastics end of CrossFit. I will never be happy there
What are you most excited about for Wodapalooza?
Elise: Competing alongside my teammates under some Miami sun!
Kristen: We are going into it ranked 2nd so I am most excited to see how we finish.
Corrin: Working with Kristen and Elise. I’m excited to be on that stage!!
What has your journey into CrossFit / Wodapalooza been like & how have you come together as a team.
Elise: This will be my second year competing at WZA. Corrin, Kristen and I all know each other though competing in GRID. Corrin and I were teammates while Kristen was on a rival team. We became friends through competing against and alongside each other. We’re all well-rounded athletes but each have different specific strengths. We knew this would be key to making us a great team for WZA.
Kristen: I started CrossFit to lose weight after my daughter was born. After about a year I realized it was a highly competitive sport if you accept the challenge. I’ve competed a lot over the last few years and more recently entered a bunch of team/partner competitions and have had the most fun. Being in a position where I have competed up the East Coast and entered the NEGL I have been introduced to many phenomenal athletes, Elise and Corrin included. We reached out to each other and formed a team. Nothing fancy, just 3 girls wanting to throw down and kick ass.
Corrin: My journey has been unreal. Regionals 2013/2015/2016 NEGL GRID League champions 2016. I started on 2012 during a rough patch of my life and CrossFit helped me to gain my strength back mentally. I’ve been a coach since 2013 and just opening my own CrossFit gym! CrossFit Turf in MA!! I met Elise and has the pleasure of going to California and winning the GRID League. I was her partner last year for the wodapalooza, unfortunately injuries happen and I had to back out. I’m so excited to be healed and going after it again!!
To get an inside look and behind the scenes at Wodapalooza, follow us on Instagram @completehumanperformance !
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