A QUICKFIRE WITH CROSSFIT CHAMP KARA SAUNDERS
Kara Saunders may have been crowned 2nd fittest on earth, but that’s all in a day’s work for the new mom from Brisbane.
How did you juggle training with pregnancy and then with being a new mom? Also, how on earth did you get back into mega shape so fast?
Training pregnant was the easy part. Sometimes you’re tired and need to rest so you do, and other times you feel superhuman. I tried to just let myself feel my feels and roll with it. Being a new mom was a whole other story. People think it’s about sleep deprivationwhich is definitely a part of it, but your hormones Must drive things so diIfferently. Your body has to repair from one of the craziest changes ever, and all while it’s prioritizing someone else. I do what I can, when I can, and just try and build up as my body feels it’s ready. As for the getting into shape, I’ve been an athlete for almost a decade now so I know my body really well. I not only learned how to workout really fast, but how to be the healthiest I could be. Those skills were the most valuable after I had my daughter.
What first got you into CrossFit? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I was 20 and I was going out living the party life and after a while I just felt gross. I had no motivation or purpose and my mom told me to join the gym. I did and I never looked back. I turned up every single day because I made a promise to take care of myself. After a little while someone introduced me to CrossFit and I absolutely loved that it challenged my mind as well as my body. I didn’t plan on being an athlete, but showing up everyday and putting in my best effort added up.
When’s your next comp?
The CrossFit Open in March. This is the first Qualifying stage for the Crossfit Games. I have taken part in this competition since 2011.
Tell us about your weekly training split? How did you work on building your strength over time?
I leave that in the hands of my trusty coach who knows a lot more than I do about elite athlete training. These days I focus more on balance throughout the week, with somewhat of a periodized focus and small strength cycles in there.
I train twice per day for five days per week and rest entirely on Thursday and Sunday. Those double days vary a lot. I usually complete my isolated aerobic work or skills in the morning and the strength and metabolic conditioning/high intensity work in the second session.
Tell us about your daily diet?
My background is in nutrition so I use food as my medicine. I truly believe in utilizing nutrition to optimize how your body functions, and to avoid major health concerns and/or using medication. I have always lived this way. I purchase a range of proteins, fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and I rotate them throughout the week. I eat very simple foods with minimal components in each meal. I don’t think nutrition should be entertainment or torture. I don’t eat much processed food, usually just on an odd occasion with my husband, and I exclude dairy and eggs from my diet entirely. This is partly due to intolerance and also due to my beliefs around the negative efects of consuming dairy. This is very personal for me, and I would recommend people research what is right for them.
We love your series on the Ultrahuman app! What can people learn from your series on Ultrahuman?
I have lived a holistic life for as long as I can remember. When we were sick in my family we turned to food, sleep, mindfulness and exercise and that is exactly what Ultrahuman embodies in one place. I have created a series for absolutely anyone to show up each day and benefit from movement the way I have for many years now. I want to be there to help people love their best days, and I love how Ultrahuman provides all of the resources from each element, to complement that.
What are some practical and useful tips that you’d like to share for women who’d like to start training?
Start where you are with what you have. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s unless it propels you forward and makes you motivated or inspired in a positive way. Showing up adds up. Feel what you need to feel, it’s okay to not always love it to start, but know that it’s a choice you’ve made because you want to live your best days, feeling your absolute best.
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