Inside the Underdogs Athletics Training Camp with Coach Justin Cotler

August 25, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Justin Cotler (

With training camps trending in elite CrossFit circles today, the assumption is often that the athletes go head-to-head every day, creating a competitive atmosphere that must push them all to become stronger, faster, fitter. 

And while there’s some truth to this at certain times of the year, Justin Cotler, the Underdog Athletics coach who trains Kari Pearce, Danielle Brandon and Bethany Shadburne in Las Vegas, NV, explained it’s not exactly that straightforward.

The truth is, while Pearce, Brandon and Shadburne are training partners, they’re not going head-to-head on double DT every day. They’re very much following highly individualized training programs that meet their unique needs, said Cotler, who also coaches male athletes Matt Dlugos and Tola Morakinyo, and there “are more coming,” he said. 

From August until the end of December, for example, Pearce, Shadburne and Brandon might go compete on three or four metcons a week, Cotler explained, and sometimes they will do their monostructural conditioning workouts, such as rowing and biking, together, “which (is) just really good to do together as a group,” Cotler explained. However, 75 percent of the time they’re following an individualized program and sometimes they’re not even at the gym at the same time.

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