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Five-time CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey regularly shares content on her YouTube channel which provides insight into how she physically and mentally prepares for competitions. In a recent video, the “Fittest Woman on Earth” invites her camera crew to tag along for an entire day of training, which amounts to more than 13 hours of intense physical activity. This, she explains, is “pretty standard” for the period leading up to the Games—starting with a 5:30 a.m. start.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really like getting up early, but I really feel good afterwards.” says Toomey. “I know that for me, that aftermath feeling is pretty satisfactory.”
Toomey begins the day with a swimming workout, completing a circuit of 1 x 100m, 2 x 200m, 3 x 300m, 2 x 200m, and 1 x 100m. “It’s one of those things where it does catch up on you,” she says. “If you are behind the pace, you find yourself always playing catchup throughout the whole session… My rear delts hurt so much doing that. They’re screaming.”
The swim is followed by breakfast, during which Toomey’s husband and coach Shane Orr does his best to ensure she’s eating enough calories to fuel her epic workouts. “I tend to forget to eat because I’m super busy or I just don’t have enough time,” she says. “I definitely eat throughout the day, but I think he’s very conscious of making sure I’m actually over-eating instead of just hitting a certain amount.”
She also explains that she tries her best to limit her social life during her Games prep, so as not to over-schedule these already packed days and end up “stretched too thin.”
Come 11 a.m., Toomey hits the track for some sprinting drills. “We work with an agility coach, and he helps us with our footwork, going around cones, and just touching on athleticism,” she says. “I think that that skill is incredibly important, and can transfer over to so many different things… We were a little rusty compared to last year, so over the course of the next few weeks we’ll get better and better, and it will feel more natural.”
The last workout of the day is a prolonged weights session, during which Toomey performs clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts, shoulder press, kettlebell swings, handstand walks, pullups, and SkiErg, before finally dipping into an ice bath to aid muscle recovery in time for her next training day.
“Everything that we’re doing is progressing us into the next phase,” she says.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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