"My gym is 100% involved in this preparation to go to Regionals. We've programmed our gum to go through all hell alongside me."
Julie Adams moved to Los Angeles in 2007 with aspirations to hone her creative skills at the renowned Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. As she began studying Interior Design and Visual Communications, Adams also discovered an unlikely passion – CrossFit.
Her CrossFit journey sparked with humble beginnings at a local park in Hollywood, Calif. Since her days at the park, Adams has created a life in CrossFit she never would have imagined. She has since traded the Macy’s mannequins and shopping window displays for barbells and chalk. Now a full-time CrossFit coach at CrossFit Culver City, she is also ranked one of the top women in Southern California.
She approached the 2012 Open hoping to finish among the top 10 to top 15 in the region and she did just that. Adams is currently making her way to the Regional, ranked 10th in Southern California and 114th worldwide.
In preparation for Regionals, Adams’ priority has become her conditioning. “I was coming from months of lifting and strength training and lifting competitions,” she says as she was going into the Open.
She now has to make a mental transition, from “making sure to hit that one lift to going faster, stronger and harder. It's knowing that the body works different with the different energy systems,” she explains. “If I get faster, my strength will go down a little. If I get stronger my conditioning goes down for a bit. I tend to get discouraged with this, so it's important to have continuous reinforcement that my coach and I are doing the right training.”
Beginning to perform multiple workouts a day, she begins to prep her body to recover faster, as well. She has realized flexibility has become a key component to her training as her mornings normally include, “a long stretching session, followed by a long bar warm-up with light weight – snatching or cleaning and pressing – and some sprinting work – distance and reps depends on which day and what I am actually focusing on.”
Later in the day she moves on to gymnastics techniques. She combines “things like handstands, handstand push-ups, hollow rocks or maybe bar muscle-ups, dips, hollow rocks and more muscle-ups,” she says. “Or I possibly even include some additional light weight or bar work. If I do, then a longer distance run, such as 800 meter or a mile.”
Adams says she is dialing in her weaknesses. “I am hitting specific techniques and progressions everyday (even if it is a rest day) to keep them fine-tuned. For example, a few sets of gymnastics movements like bar muscle-ups/hollow rocks/and more muscle-ups, then bench presses. I am also working on long distance running and short sprint intervals.”
Not to forget her bread and butter, her strength work, she continues to improve on this, as well. “On top of just conditioning, I am still focused on my strength work. My lifts, the snatch and clean and jerks, presses, and support lifts such as deadlifts, squats, etc.,” she says.
Adams concludes each training day with a typical CrossFit met-con. “Possibly including wall balls, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups, double-unders or overhead squats, but in a timed rep scheme,” she says.
She comes home each day to a balanced dinner, an Epsom salt bath, a lot of sleep and then wakes up to do it all over again.
Adams has also adjusted her diet to fuel and maintain the consistent
work she is doing. She is making adjustments to create a body that will be able to sustain the long weekend and multiple workouts at Regionals. “[I’m looking to be] a little bit lighter going into Regionals. So I am not only going to be just stronger and conditioned but also lighter and more defined,” she says.
Adams does not miss a beat when it comes to her competing schedule either. Not only is each day a training day, but Coach Danny Henry encourages her to also continue to compete as part of her Regionals preparation. “I am also still in competition mode before Regionals and am doing the StrongFit competition on April 14th down in Texas,” she says.
The week before Regionals, however, Adams says she “will taper down keeping the intensity high and volume low. We will focus on technique of skills and anaerobic conditioning.”
Adams looks to the support of her coach and community who stands alongside her each day as she trains. With the help of Henry, and the encouragement of her gym community, she says she’s feels confidently. “They are helping me on multiple forms and techniques; pushing me to go past my mental capabilities with my strength and conditioning,” she says. “I also have support from them as well as my family, my gym and my friends everywhere.”
Not only do the members of CrossFit Culver City lend her their support, they support her with empathy. “My gym is 100 percent involved in this preparation to go into Regionals. They are doing work with me. We've programmed our gym to go through hell alongside me. So they know what it takes and can also be there to support and push me if I am in class with them.”
The idea of the competition setting and dialing into the adrenaline along with not wanting to be beat is the driving force behind her inspiration to compete. “It’s inspiring to also see people who do beat you … how good they are at certain things which exposes your weaknesses. But you can learn new things about yourself meanwhile enabling you to improve all at the same time.”
The focus and mental fortitude that carry Adams through each day as she trains will certainly make her one to watch at this year’s Regional and beyond.