After claiming first place at the regional Reebok CrossFit Games early this year, Kara Webb is preparing for the World championships, in the hopes of claiming the title of ‘The Fittest on Earth’.
The 26-year-old Brisbane local is a renowned CrossFit athlete and coach. At 19, Kara joined a regular gym to kick her drinking and partying habit. Being fit and eating well brought a new positive perspective to her life, and after meeting her now-husband Brian she gave CrossFit a try and has been hooked ever since.
Kara’s first competitive fitness event was the 2011 Open where she qualified for the Regionals and ended up placing 12th. Since then she has won the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Regionals events and placed 2nd in 2014 at the Championships.
She is competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games in California from July 19-24, with the title being announced on the 24th. Here’s how she gets game ready.
How did you first get into CrossFit?
“I was introduced to CrossFit in 2010. Brian Bucholtz, owner of CrossFit Roar in Brisbane was my personal trainer at the time. He heard about CrossFit and completed the level 1 seminar. In 2011 he opened CrossFit Roar and I was one of the first ones in the door. I loved the variance, excitement for something new each day, and the opportunity to learn so many new skills.”
What does a typical training week look like for you?
“For the better part of the year I train once a day. I typically train for 3 days, take an active rest day, train for 2 more days, and then take a complete rest day on Sunday. I’m usually in the gym at about 2:30pm and train until 4:30pm. This session includes warm ups and cool downs. In competition season I train twice per day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, once on Thursday, active rest Friday, and once on Saturday. Each day looks quite different from the last, focusing on my weaker elements throughout the week.”
Talk us through your day on a plate.
“My first meal can often be quite early on the days that I am training twice as I coach 2 classes before that first session. I could be eating my first meal at about 5am. Each of my 3 main meals all contain vegetables and some kind of protein. I’m not fussy at all and try to select my food based on its role. I’ll identify if I need more protein, carbs, fat, fibre, antioxidants etc and construct a meal accordingly. I love cooking and I enjoy clean, healthy food in general so it’s quite easy for me to spend time making food. Sometimes I am tired or really busy and I might just throw something together that ‘does the job’. I try to vary my protein as much as possible, but often breakfast and lunch will contain leftovers from dinner the night before. I have a recovery protein shake after every workout, too.”
How important are rest days?
“Rest days are my secret weapon. Training intensely is pointless if you don’t give your body the opportunity to recover and adapt. I’m very strict with my rest days and make sure I don’t make any big commitments on those days so I can really switch off and spend time doing things that are good for my body. Swimming is perfect on an active rest day, or sometimes I pull my Concept 2 Rower or Assault bike out into the sun and just tick over for half an hour. On Sundays I make a point of doing nothing. I stop as much as possible and make an effort to get some time outside in the sun and fresh air.”
What's the biggest misconception about CrossFit?
“That everyone who does CrossFit will get injured, and that it’s the nature of CrossFit that causes it. This is not the case at all, and people really need to take responsibility for their own health. CrossFit was designed as a strength and conditioning program to assist with functional movements in every aspect of life. When done at high intensity it makes us fit. The problem is, you need to earn the right to move intensely by learning the movements and essentially re-teaching your body the functional movements first. By the time most people start this sport they have spent decades sitting in cars, at desks, slouching, or being stuck in particular positions or movement patterns for their careers. We tighten up and lose the ability to move the way we were designed. To expect to walk in and add heaps of weight to a barbell or do a technical gymnastics movement in positions that have been lost due to lifestyle factors, and add intensity, before addressing these issues is quite naive. CrossFit has so much to offer if the athlete is willing to take the natural time to progress.”