Two time Games competitor Cheryl Brost will compete in the North West Regional this weekend with one goal in mind: to make it back to the CrossFit Games in July. After battling injuries and dialing in her nutrition this past year, she’s ready for Regionals. “The work has been done; I am prepared,” she says. “I feel blessed and excited for the opportunity to compete.”
Brost, 41, finished 7th in last year’s CrossFit Games. In order to make it back this year, she’s made some changes to her training. “I have added more volume to my training these past 4-plus months. Rather than just coming to the box and hitting a WOD and calling it good, I’ve incorporated skill work, Oly lifting, and a met-con on a regular basis,” she says. “Along with my home affiliate, Eugene CrossFit, CJ Martin of Invictus has been assisting me in my programming this year. I feel so fortunate to have such great coaches; they put an enormous amount of energy and thought into my programming.”
In addition to a different training regimen, Brost is also looking closer at how nutrition factors into her performance. “I subscribe to the paleo/Zone diet philosophy. This year, I’ve incorporated more greens and veggies in my breakfast. One of my favorite breakfasts is bacon, Brussels sprouts, eggs and avocado. But I just recently learned I have sensitivity to not only gluten, wheat, peanuts and corn, but also to cow's milk, almonds and whole eggs. The nutritionist says I need to take a break from eggs for now and try to reintroduce them later, but only with farm-fresh eggs. I might be buying some chickens!”
Supplements have also become important to Brost in her training and recovery. “I was already taking fish oil and vitamin D, but six months ago I began taking high performance Vitamin C and B Complex. I am still setting PRs and have been real pleased with my performance,” she explains. “I know that nutrition – both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients – has and will continue to play a huge role in performance and recovery.”
Recovery has been key as Brost has faced different injuries this past year. After dealing with chronic Achilles tendinitis throughout 2011, Brost underwent a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment in November to kick-start the healing process. Just as she was recovering from that injury, another set in. “In January, I was doing some ring work which brought on some soreness in the shoulder. A couple days later I did Barbara; I recall on the hand release push-ups not finding a comfortable place for my hands, and my hand placement ended up a lot wider than usual ... mistake ... I should have stopped right there. But my pride got in the way and I plowed through the remainder of the workout. I was sore for several days and had to modify training for at least a week.”
This happened right before the Open started. “I noticed some stability issues on Open 12.2 workout with the snatch; missing attempts I would usually make. And then after Open 12.4 workout, I could not physically raise my arm overhead for a few days,” Brost says.
She sought treatment with her atlas chiropractor, as well as her massage therapist and ART chiropractor. She modified training for several weeks to rest her shoulder.
The treatments and rest have paid off and Brost is back to regular training. “Over the last month, I have been progressively increasing the workload on that shoulder and I'm happy to say it has been responding nicely. In fact, I set a big PR on my snatch last week.”
The entire Brost family is a big presence at Eugene CrossFit. Not only does Brost’s husband, Troy workout at the box, their son and daughter enjoy CrossFit. Fourteen-year-old Alex Brost assists Jeremy Stecker, Eugene CrossFit owner/coach, with CrossFit Kids classes and even competed in the Open. “He did awesome. He did all these workouts RX,” Brost says. “It was really neat to see him tackle these challenging workouts every week. The Open experience has lit a fire under him to work hard and get stronger.”
Brost’s daughter Malia, 9, is also often seen cranking out handstand push-ups and practicing butterfly pull-ups. “We have found CrossFit to be a perfect activity for the entire family.”
Expect to see the Brost family and a large representation from Eugene CrossFit cheering on Brost at the North West Regional this weekend. Eugene CrossFit registered the largest team in the North West and the box is excited to cheer on both Brost and their team. Brost is ready for the workouts. “There are a good variety of time domains and workouts with heavy loads as well as a couple with high volume, which will require some good old grunt work.”
Brost is ready for the challenge to make it back to the Games and looks forward to competing this weekend.
“My game plan is to come prepared mentally and physically and approach each workout one at a time. Each time I step foot onto that competition floor, I will deliver my very best effort.”