March 21, 2013
On Track: Jennifer Osborn
By Josh Bunch

“I expect myself to make it this year.”
Credit: Kim Potterf

Jennifer Osborn isn’t a household name, but she is well known in the Central East. Any Central East fan worth their salt can spot the nearly 6-foot, 170-pound competitor who has ended the Regional weekend in the top 10 for the last two years.

Still, she isn’t satisfied with two strong Regional finishes.

“I expect myself to make it this year,” she says.

Since her programming wasn’t enough to push her into the top three in 2011 or 2012, Osborn decided to follow in the footsteps of a woman who has reached the Central East Regional podium three times. Like Julie Foucher, Osborn now follows the programming and remote coaching of CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Trainer and CrossFit Ann Arbor owner, Doug Chapman.

So far, it’s going well, and Osborn appreciates his no bullshit approach.

“He’s not the coach who comforts you,” she says. “It takes so much for him to say good job, that when he does, you know he means it.”

Before Chapman, she wrote her own programming and occasionally asked her boyfriend, Brad Berlin, for help spotting flaws in her movement or approach.

“The whole boyfriend/girlfriend coaching thing didn’t work,” she says.

Chapman has also dramatically increased the volume of her training. A typical day in the gym may involve intervals of three reps at 90 percent of her max back squat, followed by three reps at 90 percent of her max push press, skill work and a met-con.

Chapman values progressions and all of his athletes practice barbell and gymnastics complexes multiple times per week. He also drills technique with every-minute-on-the-minute lifting.

“(He) makes you trash your body and then try to PR,” she says.

Although the programming isn’t easy, she’s sold.

“To be a good athlete, you have to do a lot of volume,” she says. “Doug really prepares you for the Games.”

Last year, she prayed that handstand push-ups and pistols didn’t come up in the Open or Regional workouts. Now, she’s not worried about any one movement.

After two workouts, she’s on track to qualify for the 2013 Central East Regional. She took sixth on 13.1 with 197 reps, and 39th on 13.2 with 331 reps. Currently, she is tied for 15th place overall.