March 22, 2012
Doubling Down at L'Usine CrossFit
By Kate Mitchell

Dominic Adam says he’s got a different approach to this year’s 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. It may be a little unorthodox, but it has definitely shown some early positive results. How is it that L’Usine CrossFit has more than 75 athletes registered for the Open? “The secret is, I threatened them,” Adam says.

The threat of being assigned 50 burpees was reason enough for half of L’Usine’s current membership to sign up. “We laughed when the 12.1 WOD was posted; 7 minutes of burpees,” quips Adam. 

Kidding aside, Dominic is proud of L’Usine’s level of participation and focus on competing. “We have all levels of competitors and they’re all watching the Leaderboard – more than me even.”

“We are covered with lots of skilled athletes, in case someone is chosen to perform individually or if they need to cover for someone.” 

What’s emerging from L’Usine this year is a powerful player in the team competition.  L’Usine has four locations in Quebec – Boucherville, Gatineau, Montreal and Terrebonne – and each location is participating with its own team. L’Usine CrossFit, the Montreal location, finished 1st at last year’s Regional. This year, the Montreal location will front two teams – L’Usine CrossFit and L’Usine Montreal.

“Mike [Eberts] and Louis [Hodge] have moved to the West, so we’ve had a change to last year’s team,” Adam explains. 

Alexandra Castonguay and Christopher Kalec have joined the 2012 L’Usine CrossFit team. Both Montreal-based teams have held down spots in the top 15 so far and Adam expects them both to be contenders at the Regional.

Beyond extortion, as coach and trainer Adam has employed a strategy of non-specialization for the team. “We are not specialists, we are well-rounded,” he says. 

That strategy often means when working as a team they resort to drawing straws to decide which team member will perform a component of a workout. Sometimes Adam employs another “secret” tactic from his arsenal. “I tell them that three athletes will perform a WOD and the others will work on another WOD. Then everyone gets to do another WOD, the same one as their teammates just did.”

When coaching teams or individuals, Adam says he prefers to take an all-inclusive approach. “Everyone does every movement in our WODs. In this way we are covered with lots of skilled athletes, in case someone is chosen to perform individually or if they need to cover for someone.” 

This philosophy is extended to new athletes as well, with emphasis placed on form and appropriate scaling. “It’s the same core WODs for everyone.”

Adam, who has been an affiliate for more than four years, does his own programming.  His training plans have worked well not only for the L’Usine CrossFit team, but also for individual competitors like Roch Proteau and Mizar Fuentes-Ortega, who Adam anticipates will return to the Regional event this year.

As of the close of Week 4 of the Open, L’Usine CrossFit would appear to be a “lock” for the Regional event, along with CrossFit Altitude and CrossFit Brossard. For L’Usine Montreal in 11th place, the team will need to continue to push hard to compete alongside their brothers and sisters in Toronto.

Regardless of the outcome, we can be sure to see some powerful performances from L’Usine’s athletes in this year’s Open and Regional events.