April 11, 2013
A Different Mindset: Whitney Cappellucci
By Mandi Lo

"I haven't thought about the goal once I get to the Games, but we've been preparing for it as if I'm definitely going."

Photo by: Kim Jackson

Whitney Cappellucci’s third year of competing in the CrossFit Games Open has resulted in taking her exactly where she wants to go — the road to top three at the South West Regional.

Cappellucci finished this year’s Open in 11th place in the South West Region.

“The Open has actually been a lot of fun, especially since there weren’t seven minutes of burpees,” Cappellucci says with a laugh. “I’ve really liked the programming and the workouts have been great. But don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been some challenges.” 

Last year, Cappellucci excelled at Open workout 12.2, a workout that featured snatching. She approached Open Workout 13.1 this year expecting to get to the 120-lb. snatch, but surprised herself at falling just slightly short.

In Open Workout 13.5, Cappellucci hoped to attain a second set of four minutes, but was just two pull-ups short before time ran out.

“It’s OK, though. I’m very happy with how I performed in the Open,” she says. “I’m really happy with how my whole team performed.”  

Cappellucci says the team members of CrossFit Albuquerque had a strategy going into the Open: Do not repeat any workouts and “go at it once, and go hard.” They wanted to focus on having a full week to prepare for the next workout and not burn out.

However, Cappellucci knows as well as anyone that strategy needs revision sometimes. She ended up repeating a couple of the workouts to get a few more reps for her team’s overall score. The Albuquerque team finished in 20th place.

Cappellucci plans to compete at Regionals again this year as an individual.

“It’s different this year because last year was my first year competing individually. In my mind, I wasn’t shooting for the Games,” she says. “I just wanted to get in there and see what I could do. This year, I know what I can do. It’s a bit of a different mentality.”

She says she’s not thinking about what will happen once she gets to the Games, as long as she gets there. It’s going to be a tough and demanding road.

“The region got tougher this year. Azadeh (Boroumand), an amazing competitor, is new to the Region,” she says. “She’s definitely one to watch out for since she did so amazing at the Games last year.” (Editor’s note: Boroumand recently pulled out of competition and is taking the 2013 season off.)

After finishing Regionals last year in seventh place, just four spots shy of entry into the Games, Cappellucci hit her training to work on some areas she felt needed improvement, including gymnastics. Ben Abruzzo, one of the owners of CrossFit Albuquerque, is coaching Cappellucci again. 

“He (Ben) has been throwing more gymnastics movements at me because that’s what I needed to work on — muscle-ups, toes-to-bars,” she says. “I only do two-a-days one to two times a week, but when I do, the second workout is short and it focuses mainly on gymnastics.”

Cappellucci has also changed up her nutrition to help with her training. She switched her diet to Zone/paleo with the addition of fermented dairy, which has helped to lean her out and contributed to her performance with gymnastics.

Though CrossFit and competing has become a large part of Cappellucci’s life since two torn ACLs forced her to take a long break from playing rugby, she still makes time for other goals in her life, such as getting into medical school, which also demands a lot of time and effort.

“With working, working out, getting prerequisites done to get into med school, friends and family, there’s not a lot of free time,” she says.

Cappellucci knows how to get it done, as her 11th-place finish in the Open indicates.

“I haven’t thought about the goal once I get to the Games, but we’ve been preparing for it as if I am definitely going. That’s the mentality I’m in right now.”