Sleep, Carbs, WHOOP and Rich Froning: How Haley Adams Prepared for the MACC

May 26, 2021 by
Courtesy of Haley Adams:
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Since placing fourth overall at the CrossFit Games last summer as a 19 year-old, Haley Adams is heading into this weekend’s Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Semifinals in Knoxville, TN stronger and fitter than ever. 

  • Training wise, she has been following a “super consistent strength cycle” for the past few months. This has translated into some major growth, such as performing front squat triples for 10 sets at loads she used to do just one set. “Overall everything has gotten better from last year,” Adams said of her improvement.

Adam’s day-in-the-life of details: In recent months, Adams has been waking up each day at the same time — 7:30 AM.

  • She eats a piece of toast with banana and honey for breakfast, a notable addition to her morning routine this year, as last year, Adams said she rarely ate before her first workout of the day.
  • Then Adams heads to the gym for her first of two three-hour daily training sessions with her mentor and training partner, four-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning. Generally, they hit all of the same workouts together each session.
  • On a good day, it’s a seamless experience, but on the days when Adams is feeling particularly “hard-headed,” sometimes they start acting more like brother and sister, she explained. “We fight. We do argue a lot,” Adams said, laughing.
  • Usually the argument starts because Adams just doesn’t like what Froning has planned. “And it just goes down from there,” Adams said.
  • Regardless, the result is always the same: Froning “wins,” and often Adams feels bad and apologizes. 
  • After her six hours in the gym are complete, Adams heads home and eats, and then eats some more. “I’m a night eater, which also works for me,” Adams said.
  • Dinner usually includes a big bowl of salad, a big bowl of rice with chicken, and a couple potatoes. Then before bed, she has a bunch more snacks. “I could eat more than that. Easily,” she said.
  • Then, at 9:30 PM, it’s lights out.

Notable: Adams has been eating 500 grams of carbohydrates a day, up from the 400 grams she ate last season. She also consumes 175 grams of protein and 55 grams of fat a day, which is consistent with last year. The increase in carbohydrates has been doing wonders for her. 

  • “My body feels good. I feel recovered,” Adams said, adding that she also has more energy in the morning and can give more intensity. “And also, just knowing I have so much food to eat. And I love food,” she said. 
  • And while more carbohydrates hasn’t led to an increase in body weight — she’s consistently around 140 pounds — “I feel like I look like I have put on mass, and everyone else seems to think so too,” Adams said.
Courtesy of Haley Adams:

One big thing: In late 2020, Adams began using WHOOP, a wearable strap that provides strain, sleep and recovery data, and said it has been particularly helpful in allowing her to normalize her sleep, provide insight into her nutrition and hydration, and ultimately improve her recovery. 

  • Since using WHOOP, Adams discovered she recovers best, and feels the best, when she goes to bed at the same time each night and wakes up at the same time in the morning. This wasn’t the case before WHOOP.
  • “I feel like I would go to bed at a different time every day last year, and not really think anything about it…Sometimes it would be 8:30 and sometimes it would be 11:30,” Adams said.
  • Further, when WHOOP tells her her recovery is low, Adams said she now has the tools to actively improve it. This usually means eating more food, drinking more water, making sure she’s “actually resting” between workouts, she explained, and sometimes having a 30-minute sauna. 
  • “I have been doing it the last few months, and on days that I’m in the sauna, I just feel better and I’ve noticed it does help my recovery go up a bit,” she said.

The bottom line: After nine months of doing everything she can when it comes to training sleep, nutrition, hydration and recovery, Adams couldn’t be more excited to take on some of the best CrossFit athletes in the world this weekend and punch her ticket to the Games. And at the age of 20, although Adams already has a sparkling CrossFit resume, it does feel like she’s just getting started.

  • “I’m super pumped. I feel really fit, really ready, I love the workouts. I can’t wait to compete in front of a crowd again, (to) finally throwdown (again) with some of the best in the sport, and I can’t wait to show everyone,” she said. 

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