Final-Five Athlete Kari Pearce on Balancing Games Prep and Training Athletes Around the World
When it comes to preparing for the CrossFit Games, most athletes have a regimented training schedule, multiple daily sessions and a plan that revolves around dedicating most of their time to the main event. But for six-time Games competitor Kari Pearce, her prep must also be balanced with being a business owner, and training men and women from all walks of life, all over the world.
Take it back to Phase One: at the start of the 2020 CrossFit Games, Pearce found herself battling for a top spot through the online portion of Phase One. Six events over the course of three days of competition stood between her and an invitation to the Ranch. Although she had been doing as much back-of-the-napkin math as possible, the blind leaderboard kept her guessing right up until the live announcement of the final five.
- “Every time I talk about it I get goosebumps… it was the longest hour of my life,” she said, recounting waiting for the results after finishing the last event.
Now that Phase 2 is upon us, Pearce has taken the final leadup to the competition to taper her training and prepare for whatever Dave Castro can throw at her.
- “My body’s been through it up to this point,” she said. “It’s seen what it’s gonna see. Right now it’s all about recovery and resting and getting everything ready for Friday.”
But outside of this final competition prep, the 6-time Games athlete has a lot on her plate — balancing her training with running her own online training business.
It’s all about the abs: Kari is the first to admit — she’s been getting noticed for her 6-pack for some time now. A background in gymnastics provided her with a serious level of baseline core strength, and her expertise as a trainer made it a no-brainer business move. In December of 2018, PowerAbs was born — a 10-minute daily core workout led by Pearce in a series of online videos.
- “I was a gymnast for 18 years, I have my degree in movement science from The University of Michigan, I was a personal trainer, CrossFit coach, and everyone always commented on my abs. And so, it’s something we wanted to do, but we wanted to make it as efficient as possible for people. So we came up with: 10 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 30 days,” Pearce said.
Fast forward nearly two years, and tens of thousands of people have gone through her program.
- “People don’t have excuses. There’s no equipment – and that’s part of what draws people in. And they’re fun movements. Gymnasts do crazy things that are really hard but challenge your core in a unique way, so people who don’t even really like working out, end up liking the program,” she said.
In-person vs. online training is something that’s been on everyone’s mind lately, especially with the gym closures that COVID has forced upon the fitness community this year. And while Pearce has plenty of live training experience, there are some perks that she says makes this model stand out for her:
- A supportive online community: “We have over 100K people in the PowerAbs Facebook group of all shapes and sizes and… all fitness levels. Something that keeps me going and engaged is having fun with and connecting with people on a different level there.”
- The ability to work with people all over the world, from all walks of life: “There’s a 71-year-old doing it! That’s some serious goals right there,” Pearce said. “You never know whose life you’re going to affect. That’s the best part of it.”
- The opportunity to continually expand both your knowledge, and your business: Pearce has developed a number of programs that go along with her original PowerAbs course, including a partner program, a meal program, a pull-up program, and most recently, a program specifically designed for moms — with the help of a pre/post-natal certified trainer.
So how does she do it all? The key to training, developing online programs, filming videos, and staying on top of social media, Pearce says, is bringing people on board to help lessen the load.
- “I’m so, so thankful that I have an amazing team that I work with for PowerAbs. I’m in charge of all the content… and the team takes care of a lot on the back end,” she said.
That gives her more time to focus on the task at hand. Right now — that’s keeping an eye on the podium at this weekend’s competition.
- “Overall I just want to see a well-rounded test of all fitness. That’s how you crown the champion of the CrossFit Games,” she said. “Obviously I love the gymnastics stuff but I know there’s going to be some running, some heavy lifting. It will be cool to retest ourselves with the CrossFit Total.”
For more on Pearce’s various programs, checkout her website.