March 21, 2012
Not Just Luck: David Stowe
By Kate Rawlings

"I think you got lucky," David Stowe's wife told him after doing well in a local competition. Stowe took that as a challenge.

David Stowe was first exposed to CrossFit in the summer of 2010 when a friend invited him to compete at the Fit Club Summer Games near Columbus, Ohio. Stowe accepted the challenge thinking, “Should be fun.” 

Quickly Stowe realized nothing prepares you for “CrossFit fun.”

Methodically, Stowe spent 30 minutes learning double-unders, and various foreign movements. In Stowe’s first ever CrossFit experience, he left with a trophy. Not to mention a lasting spot on the CrossFit performance radar.

Stowe carried that momentum into the Fall Brawl, a competition hosted by CrossFit R.A.W. every fall. Again, Stowe was rewarded upon the podium. He solidified his statue by going from dark horse to contender.

“I think you got lucky,” Stowe’s wife told him when reviewing his performance leading into the 2011 Games season. Stowe took that statement as a challenge. Although Stowe missed his CrossFit Games window in 2011, he doesn’t plan to make the same mistake in 2012.


During the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival, Stowe connected with Brian Yoak, owner of CrossFit Legacy. Stowe, a garage gym athlete, would eventually make CrossFit Legacy his 2011 Open home. It was during the Open he learned a lot about being an elite athlete.

Stowe, never the one to shy away from extra work, diligently put extra hours in his training. Eventually, he began wearing down his immune system and losing weight. “Over training is just as bad as not training enough,” he says.

In addition to over training, he obsessed over the Regional workouts, and for nearly a month, he found himself doing parts of each workout almost everyday to prepare himself – a tactic that would prove faulty.

Stowe performed the Run/HSPU/Row workout several times, knowing handstand push-ups were his weakness. He would also utilize every available weekend as a sort of “Regional mash-up,” performing all workouts, in order, with minimal rest. While Stowe was well prepared, he was under-recovered.

With limited recovery, Stowe managed 4th place in the Central East, one spot shy of the big show. He finished top three in every workout, except the one he dreaded most – the one with handstand push-ups. His 21st placing was simply too much ground to make up.


In 2012, Stowe isn’t thinking about the Open, or Regionals. He’s thinking about the CrossFit Games.

Since his near miss in 2011, Stowe picked up an Olympic lifting coach who uses old school methodologies. Along with Stowe’s regular CrossFit training, he works with his Olympic specialist two to three times a week.

He has also implemented a comprehensive mobility and recovery program, ensuring the same demons from last year are gone.

Stowe’s attention to improvement is nothing special when compared to other CrossFitters vying for the same title. His strength lies within his ability to be objective about himself, realizing luck will only last so long. Greatness is asking the hard question, and making the hard decisions. Two things Stowe does well.

After four weeks, Stowe is in 18th place in the Central East Region. When he walks into the Regional in May, he will be all business. “I won’t take off my shirt to show off my ripped physique, I will be too busy doing work.”