“But CrossFit is the first thing in 20 years that I found where I've got a goal, I've got a program, I've got people at the gym that are working out with me that are my teammates. It’s been life-changing.”- Derek Kent, Co-owner of CrossFit Verus (With his wife, Kelli)
Channeling Your Athletic Drive Post College Through an NIL Deal
Until recently, college athletes could not receive any financial compensation for what they had achieved athletically.
You might remember the controversy surrounding Reggie Bush, who allegedly received a monthly stipend while playing at USC, and QB Johnny Manziel, who sold autographed pictures of himself under the table while at the University of Texas.
Enter Derek Kent, who owns CrossFit Verus in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife, Kelli. Kent discovered CrossFit when he was 40 and quickly fell in love with it. But the 43-year-old’s passion for competition and fitness began early on.
Kent: “I was a college football player at a Division II school, Truman State University in Missouri. I was a walk-on player who got strong and fast by working out like crazy. I went from a walk-on to a three-time all-conference full-ride scholarship.”
Kent finished playing football 20 years ago, and he found that he didn’t know what to do with himself once his career was over.
“I didn’t know how to transition that competitive drive and all that strength and conditioning I gained while playing football,” he remembers. “At first, I got into long-distance running marathons, but I lost all my muscle.”
And then someone exposed Kent to CrossFit.
“It is 20 years later, and I’m a rejuvenated athlete. I made the Quarterfinals in my second Open and almost made it [to] my first Open. I’m addicted to it.”
Kent is still an avid college football fan, and a young runningback named Cody Schrader caught his eye when Schrader was playing at Truman State, Kent’s alma mater.
Kent: “He was an all-American there. Then, he left the scholarship at Truman State to walk on at Mizzou. He has climbed the depth chart there and is one of the best college RBs in the country.”
The two met at a Special Olympics fundraiser and connected immediately. They had the Truman State college football connection, and Kent hoped to work together. Kent saw the talent and character in Schrader and wanted to sign a NIL deal with him so he could represent some of Kent’s business ventures.
Besides his CrossFit affiliate, Schrader signed on with Kent to represent two of his franchises, a Smoothie King and a Jersey Mike’s. It was Schrader’s first NIL deal, a big thing for a collegiate athlete.
But the most important collaboration was CrossFit.
Kent shared his story with Schrader, telling him how he felt 20 years after football, trying to find something that made him feel like an athlete.
With a redesigned isoprene surface that has imprinted micro-grooves, you now have the freedom to chalk or not! That’s because these micro-grooves grip any steel bar like tire tread- WITH OR WITHOUT chalk.
At 1.2mm thick, reinforced with kevlar and a steel buckle, you can keep your natural grip/feel on the bar without sacrificing full palm protection and durability.
The Standard 🛶: Rogue’s newest challenge, The Standard, involves max meters rowed in a 24-hour period. This challenge is open to teams of two, three, or four, and entry fees benefit The Big Fish Foundation.Register now. Complete the challenge between December 16 – January 2.
🚨 New Book 🚨: Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr’s new book, The Heart is the Strongest Muscle, is available now for presale. Check it out.
TYR WZA Event 1: “Cortadito”: The 2024 TYR WZA Fitness Festival team has begun to release workouts for this year’s elite division in Miami, FL, on January 11-14. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the first workout, Cortadito. More to come! 🌴
ICYMI: The final installment of our “Memories from Madison” series highlights the most iconic event of this Games era, “The Capitol.”
New Year, but We Don't Need a "New" You
With the new year rapidly approaching, now is the time when you start seeing all the ads for fitness challenges, magic bullets, and special teas that are guaranteed to get you everything you want in more than just four weeks or less.
2023 Games Rookie Jelle Hoste Continues Long-Term Partnership with Reebok
Finishing 10th this year at the Games, rookie Jelle Hoste made his debut in a loud way. After finishing 4th at the European Semifinal, spectators had a sense that this newcomer was going to make a splash, and many were anxious to see what he could do on a larger stage. In Madison, Hoste took home a test win on the 5k and had four additional placings inside the top 10. At the Rogue Invitational, his results were similar, finishing 11th with four placings within the top 10.
Some background: Hoste grew up in Belgium playing soccer, but further into adolescence, he desired more of an individual challenge. This led him to judo, which he pursued for 15 years. While finishing on the national podium for Belgium two times, Hoste felt that he had reached a plateau in the sport. He had been training for strength, with some bodybuilding and running thrown in, but only in order to improve in judo.
His CrossFit journey began by “accident,” as there was a box near his home, which he began attending for a new challenge. As he puts it, he shortly “became infected with the CrossFit virus.” Two months later, he competed in his first competition.
Hoste shares that he found many similarities and transferable skills between judo and CrossFit, which helped him excel quickly. The two involve high-intensity training, time domains, and bouts of extreme strength. He reflects that if he had found CrossFit sooner, he would have been a better judo competitor.
No Shortcuts: In recent years, Hoste has become an integral member of the No Shortcuts training camp. Working with Games veteran Andre Houdet’s crew has been “amazing,” Hoste says. Alongside fellow Games athletes like Manon Angonese and Rebecka Vitesson, Hoste credits much of his success to this training camp and its methodology.
“[Houdet] is a coach with an athlete’s mindset. I can put my trust in his hands, and he has such valuable advice. He has done it all himself, which gives power to the words he says. He’s at my side at every competition,” Hoste said.
Additionally, Hoste has been working with specialists this season, isolating specific aspects of his training. Besides Houdet, he’s been working with multiple coaches, at least one session per week, fine-tuning his weaknesses.
Reebok: While Hoste’s partnership with Reebok isn’t new, it’s no less exciting for the athlete. This is his sixth year partnering with the brand, as they began backing him as he was emerging on the CrossFit scene.
Important Canadian Study Suggests High-Intensity Training Might Be Safe for Pregnant Women After All
Keep exercising, but not too hard: That has been the general advice to pregnant women for decades now. The thinking is that too much intensity is dangerous.
As a long-time CrossFit athlete who was recently pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby boy in September, I found myself torn about what was safe and what wasn’t on more than one occasion. Eventually, I just went with the listen-to-my-body approach when it came to fitness.
This resulted in people giving me grief (and sometimes skeptical glares at the Globo gym) for pushing sleds aggressively, jacking my heart rate, and doing burpees well into my third trimester.
I knew, though, the intensity others perceived I was doing was just that: a perception. So instead of letting it get to me, I chose to take comfort in knowing that, despite continuing with some degree of intense training during much of my pregnancy, I was working at a much lower capacity than what my non-pregnant body could normally do. And I felt good about it.
This just in: If new research out of the University of Alberta, and published in Sports Medicine Journal, is on track, then it appears I might have been onto something with my pregnancy fitness regime. In the study, research found that bursts of intense physical activity during pregnancy might just be safe for both the mother and baby, after all.
Today’s workout is programmed by the UK’s Fittest Woman in 2022 and CrossFit Games veteran, Lucy Campbell. In the 2022 Games, Campbell had two event wins and placed 16th overall but sat out the 2023 season to rehab a wrist injury she sustained during the 2022 Quarterfinals. She will return to competition in 2024 with her sights set on another Games run. In the off-season, she focused on lower-body strength and endurance, hence the programming below.
Part A: 15 Minutes to build to a heavy single front squat Part B: 3 Sets
40-Seconds max reps front squat at 75% of above heavy single
– Rest 1:20 –
40-Seconds max reps DB box step-over, 65/50 pounds (30/22.5kg) and 24/20 inches
– Rest 1:20 –
40-Seconds DB jumping lunges, 20/10 pounds (10/5kg)
– Rest 4:00 –
Scaling tips: The dumbbell weight and box height can be adjusted, and the jumping lunges can be switched out for regular lunge steps.
Advice from Lucy: “For the heavy single front squat, warm up to a decent weight, then set a timer for 15 minutes where you can have 10 attempts to build to a 1RM for the day.
For Part B, the box step-over weight should be heavier than what you’d usually do a WOD with but should be doable unbroken for the 40s. These kinds of workouts are great to test different strategies each time. Try steady unbroken for a set, try fast reps with a break for a set, then pick what works best for you for the last set.”
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
Morning Chalk Up's Holiday Gift Guide
Stuck on what to gift the CrossFit lover in your life this holiday season? Look no further! Surprise them with gear that elevates every workout. And guess what? You deserve the gift of peak performance too! Treat them (or yourself) to the latest in fitness essentials – from performance-enhancing gear to recovery essentials, we’ve curated the ultimate gift guide to make every workout merry and bright.
Looking for the competitive advantage in this year's Open workouts? Elevate your performance with Frog Grips - the go-to choice for Bayley Martin, Jay Crouch, and Royce Dunne at the DUC. Don't miss out, experience the winning difference of Frog Grips for yourself and dominate the Open.
December is always a tough month to stick to your fitness routine but here are some tips to keep you motivated. By shifting your focus and planning ahead, you don't have to forego a month or even weeks of your training.
Choose your own add-on to your Butcher Box subscription. Butcher Box delivers high quality meat straight to your door each month, so you don't have to hassle with the holiday crowds at the grocery store.
We use our three hamstring muscles to walk, climb stairs, squat, deadlift and more. They're extremely susceptible to injury, especially for those who run and sprint. For these reasons, it's vital to train and strengthen them. Try these exercises, using minimal equipment, to train and protect these voluntary muscles.
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