March 27, 2013
Michelle Kinney: Consistency is Key
By Jessica Sieff

“These seconds are so important. Since this sport has gotten so competitive, you don’t have a lot of margin for error.”

The top photo is courtesy of James Cheney (blue shorts). Hank Word supplied the photo of Kinney in green shorts. 

With every Open Workout, Michelle Kinney gets closer to making it back to the CrossFit Games. With three down and two left, she’s in second place in the Central East, 21st in the world and looking for a rematch.

Last time the 28-year-old Games athlete glistened under the arena lights was in 2011. It was the killer cage, and Kinney struggled with the 155-lb. front squats. Out of 35 athletes, she took 34th place.

She vowed to come back stronger in 2012. And she did.

Kinney planned on big weight at Regionals last year. She took top 10 in five of the six events. She even finished second to the second-fittest woman on Earth, Julie Foucher, in the chipper at the end of the weekend.

Her valiant effort landed her fourth in the region, one spot short of the Games.

“Every year, there is someone who comes in and makes noise,” she says.

Last year, it was Heather Welsh. Welsh took third to go on to the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, giving Kinney an extra season to prepare her comeback.

Today, Kinney says she’s happy to find her name so high on the Central East Leaderboard. Currently, Games competitors like Welsh, Foucher and Lindsey Smith are all taking a backseat to her. But she says she’s not focused on that. Instead, she goes at each workout with her own expectations in mind. Worrying about others will just make you crazy, she says.

“There’s always going to be these scores that are of people you don’t know of,” she says. “A lot could and could not contribute to a higher score.”

Within the Central East, Kinney took ninth on 13.1 with 193 reps, and 10th on 13.2 with 351 reps. She says strategy played a big role.

“These seconds are so important,” she says. “Since this sport has gotten so competitive, you don’t have a lot of margin for error.”

The day after the workouts are announced, she performs one round to gauge her rhythm. Then on Fridays, she goes all out.

On 13.3, she posted 266 reps — nine reps better than last year’s 12.4, and within the top 10 highest scores posted by women all over the world.

She says a lot of her good training vibes are coming from CJ Martin at CrossFit Invictus. He handles her programming, which she says is “basic CrossFit.”

Kinney trains two hours a day, six days a week at her box, CrossFit Chickasaw.

“Over the course of the five (Open workouts), the consistent will stick to the top. As long as I see consistency (in my own scores), that’s what I’m going for,” Kinney says.

She adds: “I know these people are out there and I’m definitely not taking them for granted.”

She’s confident about her preparation saying, “It’s better than it’s ever been.”