by Danni Levy
Having starred in Wonder Woman as butt-kicking Amazonian warrior Penthiselea, Elite CrossFit competitor Brooke Ence knows a thing about being a female boss!
Brooke’s Naked Training App is a global hit. The synchronicity of beauty and brains inspired me to delve deep into the past, present and future of the seemingly unstoppable girl. Brooke spoke in a calm, soothing tone from her Santa Cruz, CA home, which created the perfect dichotomy between power and inner peace.
“Initially, I launched an eBook with my partner Jake who was a transformation program and that naturally grew into an app,” she says.
“You can move freely through the programs, and home bodyweight and dumbbell programs are available, so you can switch between gym and home. It’s been a lifesaver during the lockdown, and it’s great if you’re traveling. The app is for people of all genders. We all have the same muscles and don’t need to train differently- it depends on your goals and starting point.” Brooke, a confessed macro machine, insists dietary data is of primary importance to support a consistent training program.
“Macro diets have become very popular, and there’s a reason for that, but a lot of people don’t know what macros are and just jump on the bandwagon,” she says. “This is how macro diets first became a trend. Realistically, you’re hitting a certain number of carbs, proteins and fats to structure your caloric intake. This is what helps me best to maintain my body composition and performance. We need data, and that’s what macros are for. It’s much easier for a coach to look at hard data and make changes rather than trust someone’s word. 99% of the time as a coach, you’d predict someone was ‘accidentally’ lying because if you need help, you’ve not been doing it correctly and likely have been doing things mindlessly.
“Even as a professional athlete, I always enlist a coach to help calculate and monitor my macros. I was never over-consuming, but I am a total snacker; I love snacks, so to get someone to sit down and pay attention to what they’re eating helps to work on habits and change not only what you’re putting in your body but the way you feel about certain types of foods. There can be a lot of underlying connections or emotions attached to certain foods, and we need to dig down and identify those by using data. Whether your goal is to gain or lose weight doesn’t matter. It’s very empowering for someone to know they can control the physical outcome of what they’re putting into their body. Feeling you’re out of control with food and need help can be scary. Consistency and slow changes give you the power and understanding to change your diet for good.”
As a former figure competitor, Brooke has since made a name on the CrossFit circuit and adapted her food intake accordingly.
“I first tried CrossFit in college in 2009; I was 19,” she says. “It was when the sport was first getting big. I found a CrossFit gym because I’m from Utah and had been asked to audition for a circus show in Vegas as a performer- I sang and danced growing up and wanted help brushing up my gymnastics skills. A friend told me this gym might be able to help me. When I tried CrossFit for the first time, it crushed me. I’d tried the bodybuilding and bikini world and won two figure competitions, but I had learned it was very hard to have your worth in sport be so subjective to whoever was judging you in that world. It took a long time to not look at myself and judge my body purely on aesthetics. By contrast, CrossFit was all about what you can do- not what you look like or your age. I liked that.
“Even as a professional athlete, I always enlist a coach to help calculate and monitor my macros.”
“I was teased a lot growing up for my strength and arms, and I was finally in a community where it was celebrated- not for my looks but for my ability. There’s so much equality- men vs. women, it’s such a wonderful space, and I’ve been doing it ever since!
“When I compete (in CrossFit), I eat a lot more because I’m training a lot more,” she says. “I don’t need to consume much food compared to some of the other CrossFit girls. The most I’ve ever eaten was 2,000 calories a day. My coach said no one going to the CrossFit games should eat less than that. I was strong, and my weight went up 4-5 pounds, but I didn’t feel good for that little extra weight. I perform and compete better when I feel good, so my coach got rid of the idea that I had to eat that much, and I sat between
1850 and 1950 calories. I wish I could eat more, but I didn’t need to. I was around 152-155 pounds at 5’6” 1/2. Now I’m not competing and don’t eat that many calories. I sit at 149 pounds, and I enjoy wine with friends. My lowest weight has been 146.”
Brooke’s CrossFit Prep Macro Split
150-160g protein 175-190g carbs 50- 65g fats
“These could alter depending on where I was in my training. I’d carb load if I had a load of running or biking ahead of me. My body functions better with low fat because I don’t digest it super well,” she says.
Despite being hugely successful on the circuit, Brooke put the games on hold instead of focusing on her business projects and television work.
“Before quarantine, I was training to compete at the West Coast Classic,” she says. “I planned to compete again to enjoy it and for everyone who enjoys watching me compete because it’s been a long time. It got canceled, and gyms closed. It was very hard because I live alone but quarantined with my two best friends at home. I had just gone through a divorce that took its toll on me, and my focus was on the competition and my training so it was rough, but I got through it.
“Now I have my YouTube up and running, and I’m working on my vlog with a new videographer. I’m filming a new TV series and working on another secret project that’s been coming to fruition for four years. I’m not training to compete, but I’m training to be ready for anything.
“I’m also starting a new female-owned business for women, which I’m super excited about. It’s a monthly subscription, and I’ve been thinking about it for so long. I’m an ideas person, and I finally have time to launch this one, which will be awesome. I’m a natural entrepreneur.
“From a young age, I always wanted to do everything. I’m the youngest of four, and my parents always pushed us 100% to do any sport we wanted to so long as we gave it our all, or they’d pull us out!”
Now that Brooke has time to focus on aesthetics, she focusing on developing specific muscle groups.
“At the moment, I’m committed to getting my butt bigger,” she says.
“I have big hamstrings and strong legs, and I’m adding butt exercises whenever possible!”
Brooke’s Top 3 Booty Building Exercises
• Bulgarian split squats
• Barbell hip thrusts
“I love this booty band trio of exercises,” she says. “It can be performed as a finisher, in-between weighted sets, banded kickbacks, and hip extensions. Great for home workouts!”
• Sit on a bench with the band below the knee and your butt down. Take feet slightly wider than hip-width. Lean back and do abduction with your knees, rolling your feet out. Keep tension on the band. Do sets of 30.
• Sit up straight and do 30 sitting upright.
• Lean forwards and do 30 with your chest above your legs.