How Julie Foucher Prepared For Super Regionals

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Since 2009 Julie Foucher has recorded her entire CrossFit journey on Beyond the Whiteboard. Over the years she has posted over 5,000 results and set about half a thousand personal records. In 2012, she finished in 2nd place at the Reebok CrossFit Games. After taking the 2013 season off from competition to focus on medical school, Julie placed 3rd at last year’s CrossFit Games. It was at that time that we released an in-depth analysis of her entire CrossFit journey. Earlier this year, we highlighted the crazy amounts of rowing work that she puts in. Leading up to this weekend’s Central Regional, we thought we’d give you an inside look at her BTWB numbers and charts to see how she’s been preparing for this Games season.

Inside The Numbers

The first thing we noticed is how much time Julie has been spending in the pool. Her Swim Movement page shows that she’s already swum over 31 km this year, and swam a total of 47 km last year. As you can see in the chart below, she takes it easy in the pool during the off-season, but ramps up her volume leading up to the Games in July. She’s already logged 15 pool workouts in just the last 3 months.

For the most part, though, there haven’t been any dramatic changes in Julie’s training since last year’s CrossFit Games. Julie is still diligently following Doug Chapman’s programming via HyperFit. Plus, she did take 3rd place. How much could she possibly change? Julie reflects on the past year:

I don’t think too much has changed since 2014. I’ve been a little more flexible with my training, trying to be more well-rounded and balanced with school and life. After the 2014 season I started working with Chris Hinshaw for some endurance programming and he has helped me to target my weaknesses (which have traditionally been the short duration efforts) and to maximize my aerobic base.

Julie Foucher’s Swimming Distance, April 2014 – June 2015

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Volume

Julie works out a lot. Like a LOT lot. Since January 1st, 2015, she has logged 815 workout sessions (as of 5/27/15). Of the 147 days that have passed so far this year, she has logged workouts on 139 of them. This is an average of 5.9 sessions per day, and 6.3 days per week. On some days she has logged as many as 11 different sessions. Below is a sample two-week period from her monthly Profile calendar in May.

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Programming

Over the past 3 months, Julie has had a pretty solid mix of movement modalities. Her personal modality pie chart shows that 41% of her movements were weightlifting, 29% were gymnastics, and 23% were monostructural. Her weightlifting percentage is lower than many games athletes, witch is likely due to her relatively high amounts of monostructural work. Her most common monostructural movements are runs, rows, and swims, as well as double unders and handstand walks. For weightlifting, she’s been doing a lot of Snatches, Squats (all varieties), Deadlifts, Wall Balls, Thrusters, and Cleans. She hasn’t been doing as many Jerks as we would normally expect (probably due to the fact that they aren’t featured in this year’s regionals). For gymnastics, she’s been focusing on Pull-ups, Ring Dips, Muscle-ups, Handstand Push-ups (all varieties), Rope Climbs and Toes-to-bar.

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As the BTWB programming breakdown chart shows below, the majority of Julie’s daily posts are single modality efforts (M, G, or W). These include lifts, run/rows/swims, and gymnastics skill work. She does anywhere between 5 and 15 multi-modal workouts each week, with most of those efforts being a combination of gymnastic and weightlifting elements. Most of her workouts are “For time” or are some kind of lift. She also does a lot of “other” workouts, which include a lot of her skill work posts.

 

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Lifts

Below are some of Julie’s recent lifts (not all of them are maxes). Most notable for the upcoming Regional is the 180 lb Snatch she lifted in April. If she can get close to that this weekend, she should be sitting pretty on Event 5 (1RM Snatch). For comparison, a 180 lb Snatch would have earned a 5th place finish in last weekend’s California Regional.

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Even with all of the top finishes in Julie’s past, it is important to remember that she does still get nervous heading into a big-time competition. She’s particular nervous about the snatch event, and rightfully so. We’ve already seen what one small slip up did for Christy Adkins’ chances at returning to the Games at the Atlantic Regional. Julie describes the Events she’s putting a little more thought into for this weekend:

The snatch always makes me nervous because you only have 2 windows. Randy and the last event also make me nervous just because they are so short and the margins are so small. Overall though I’m just going out there to do my best on each workout!

If we look at her BTWB Weaknesses chart for her Olympic Lifts, we see a completely different picture. Julie is as efficient and strong across the board as can be. She has a level 98 rating or better on each of the O-lifts and their component pieces. Having said that, competitions settings are way different than casual gym settings. Anything can happen in the heat of the moment, especially when pressed for time on a max lift.

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Nutrition & Rest

Not to be forgotten are Julie’s nutritional and resting habits. In How Julie Foucher Became Julie Foucher we discovered that Julie didn’t always subscribe to a paleo-diet. It took her a while to jump on the clean eating band wagon. Once she did though, she “removed all grains, dairy, legumes, and added-sugars from [her] diet, and rarely [eats] anything processed”. This year it’s more of the same, but to help with her busy schedule, she’s gone the pre-made meals route.

My eating and resting habits are more or less the same. I still try to prioritize sleep as much as possible. I started using Paleo Power Meals this year which makes meal prep easy. I also started taking a few more supplements that are anti-inflammatory like Turmeric and Boswellia. This past fall I experimented with no caffeine for a while and now I drink a lot more herbal teas. PurePharma’s PR3 protein has also been a regular component of my post-workout recovery.

2015 Regionals

If the past several years are any indication, it’s that Julie knows how to get ready for competition. Her Regional experience alone consists of two first place finishes (she took 2013 off). In both of those years, she finished 2nd and 3rd at the CrossFit Games.

Regionals/Games History

Year Regional Placing Games Placing
2015 ? ?
2014 1st 3rd
2013 NA NA
2012 1st 2nd
2011 none 5th

This year’s Central Regional poses a much bigger challenge than Julie has had to face at this point in the past. The Central Regional combines both the Central East and North Central regions. Former Games athletes vying for a spot at the Games include:

Name Games Appearances
Stacie Tovar 5
Elizabeth Akinwale 4
Deborah Cordner Carson 3
Deborah Cordner Carson 1
Lindy Barber 1
Heather Welsh 1

 

As we’ve already seen with other Regionals so far in 2015, many of the top athletes are knocking each other off. It has helped make room for many Games first-timers to crash the party. Will the Central Regional be any different? Julie hasn’t let the idea of a “super” regional distract her from her mission:

I’m excited for the super regional but honestly I’m not approaching it any differently than usual. The task is still the same – to perform each of the workouts to the best of my ability, executing them better than I practiced. If I do that I’ll be happy with the weekend, and I know everything will fall into place.

 

She admits to a minor back problem in the weeks leading up to this weekend’s Central Regional, but all signs point to a healthy Julie ready to claim her title as the Central Regional queen.

I feel really good! I’ve had a little back problem the past couple weeks so I’m actually glad I had 3 weeks to practice the workouts. Last week everything really started to come together, and I feel ready to go now.

Good luck, Julie!

Tracking YOUR Fitness Journey

Are you interested in tracking your fitness journey, too? Sign up for Beyond The Whiteboard and gain access to each of the graphs/charts used in this article to analyze Julie’s road back to her 5th CrossFit Games. All BTWB users also gain access to our innovative Fitness Level feature.

Your Overall Fitness Level is a number from 0-100.  It is a relative measure of Fitness, meaning it compares your performance to the rest of the community.  A Fitness Level of 77 means you are more Fit than roughly 77% of the community.  As athletes everywhere continue to improve, it will become harder and harder to stay in front of the curve. Your Overall Fitness Level is determined by averaging your performance across 8 different categories.  For each of these categories you will receive a Category Level, as seen in the bar chart below. So, how fit are you?

TRAIN with Julie Foucher


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“We’re all busy – we have jobs, significant others, children, friends, homes, projects, and pets to attend to, and there are only 24 hours in a day. In order to best meet all of life’s demands, we must first care for ourselves. You don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the gym each day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get and stay fit! Although I am working to complete my medical training and become a physician I still want to maintain a high level of fitness. Thus, ‪#‎TRAINwithJF‬ was born: 1 hour in the gym per day, 5 days per week, fully scheduled out for you and jam-packed to build a solid foundation of GPP and proficiency in the full gamut of weightlifting, gymnastics, and monostructural skills. This is the actual programming that I am doing each day, so you can rest assured that based upon my 6 years of experience training for the CrossFit Games, this is what I believe to be the most efficient programming to maintain a high level of fitness in just a few hours per week. Come workout with me! You just get to the gym, and let me worry about the rest. Each training day you will receive a task list which includes a warm-up, workout, strength and/or skill work, and a cool down. The tasks will be scheduled to fit a strict 60-minute timeline. I recommend you write this timeline up on the whiteboard when you enter the gym, set the clock, and go all out. When the clock hits 60, you can leave the gym confident that you put in the work to increase your fitness in a time-efficient way. I am working with btwb so we’ll be able to see and comment each other’s results. I’ll share nutrition and time-efficiency as well as host Q&As with you guys so we can get to know each other.” -Julie Foucher (Learn More

Learn More: http://btwb.com/juliefoucher