Interview With CrossFit Games Athlete Kelly Friel

We caught up with Kelly Friel, owner of CrossFit Southampton, recently to discuss CrossFit workouts, sports supplements, nutrition and recovery. We hope you enjoy the interview:
 

HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT CROSSFIT AND WHEN EXACTLY DID YOU START?

KELLY: I started Crossfit in October 2012. A friend of mine opened Crossfit Southampton and said you gotta come down and try this out. Myself and my husband (Simon) went along and basically have never looked back.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT CROSSFIT VS. "TRADITIONAL TRAINING?" IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT CROSSFIT?

KELLY: With Crossfit I feel you never stop learning. You achieve one goal, then you have another list of goals to achieve.


HOW DO YOU PROGRAM YOUR TRAINING? WHAT DOES A SAMPLE WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

KELLY: My training week includes 5 training days - 2 rest days (one of these may be an active recovery day like Bike/Swimming/Running). Trying to work on my weaknesses which are gymnastics.


CROSSFIT SOMETIMES GETS KNOCKED FOR PEOPLE GETTING INJURIES, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AND HAVE YOU EVER BEEN INJURED WHILE DOING CROSSFIT?
 

KELLY: I personally think you can get injured doing any sport!!! I have known people that just go to a normal globe gym and have pulled a muscle putting their socks on getting out of bed. I have been injured a few times - the biggest wass with a knee injury/calf injury and a shoulder impingement. The biggest thing that I have learnt from these injuries is listen to your body- get specialist advice and make sure you follow the rehab process.


WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT SUPPLEMENT INTAKE LOOK LIKE?

KELLY: I don’t like drinking water whilst training so I take daily BCAA daily - the fruit punch flavour is my favourite. It helps me get the fluids on board ( i do I aim to drink 4-5 litres of water daily).

I have protein in my oats in the morning (usually have the Vanilla & Cinnamon).

In the evening I have Chocolate Brownie Hibernate in some Greek Yoghurt- which is my favourite pudding- added with dark choc/berries and peanut butter.


WHAT'S YOUR APPROACH TO NUTRITION? DO YOU COUNT CALORIES OR FOLLOW A TYPE OF DIET?

 

KELLY: I never used to track my food but then got to a point that I felt like I needed some help and support so about 6 months prior to Regionals 2018 I contacted Tim Briggs at We Dominate Nutrition and have been with them ever since. I think just being accountable definitely helps. I get a plan monthly - tracking Carbs/fat/protein etc.


IF YOU TAKE COUNT, HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO YOU EAT PER DAY?

KELLY: Protein at the moment 143g per day.


WHAT'S THE HARDEST WOD YOU'VE EVER DONE?

KELLY: Umm that’s a hard one!!!! They all seem hard - maybe the Ruck Run at the Games 2019 as not only was it challenging physically but mentally as well. .


HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR JOINTS?

KELLY: I take Omega 3 and also highly recommend GLC2000 to help look after my joints. I really notice a difference if I stop taking either.


HOW MANY HOURS SLEEP DO YOU GET PER NIGHT? DO YOU TAKE ANYTHING TO HELP IMPROVE SLEEP AND RECOVERY?

KELLY: My aim is to try and get at least 7.5 hours sleep per night- ideally I want to get 8 hours + but when I’m early morning coaching its usually less than this. I have hibernate in my yoghurt as my bedtime snack


DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH RECOVERY?

KELLY: Ummm not generally. I am noticing though the older I get my joints/muscles seem to ache more so I try to make a bit more time for mobility.


WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE EXERCISE AND LEAST FAVOURITE?

KELLY: Favourite has to be anything with a barbell!!!! Least favourite as everyone most probably knows its gotta be ring muscle ups- I’m hoping one day i will start to love them.


WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT PBs?

KELLY:

CLEAN: 110kg- from a hang
SNATCH: 76kg
FRONT SQUAT: 130kg
CLEAN AND JERK: 107.5kg
DEADLIFT: 155kg

HOW MANY REST DAYS TO YOU TAKE PER WEEK?

KELLY: I have 2 days rest per week- always a Sunday as its family time and usually a Wednesday (sometimes a Wednesday can be an active recovery day).


WHAT'S YOUR FAV CHEAT MEAL?

KELLY: Waffles and Icecream!!! Do love a pizza too.


WHEN IS YOUR NEXT CROSSFIT COMPETITION (Subject to Lockdown ending this year)?

KELLY: Who knows this year- ha ha !!! I guess it all depends what events will be on. We had confirmation last weekend that all video checks had been completed and I finished 2nd overall in the Age Group online qualifiers - this means I would’ve been heading to Madison for my 3rd year running!!! Unfortunately the Crossfit Games have cancelled it due to the current situation we are all facing- sad times but makes me more excited for the Open 2021


I KNOW YOU RECENTLY COMPETED AT THE CROSSFIT GAMES FOR THE SECOND TIME, HOW DID YOU FIND THAT? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?

KELLY: No nothing really. I was told the first time I was there by a fellow Master Games Athlete- Jeb Simmons , was to ensure that I enjoy every moment as the weekend flies by so fast. That’s my main aim is to go out there, have fun and try my hardest.


FINAL QUESTION - IF SOMEONE READING THIS IS CONSIDERING STARTING CROSSFIT WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

KELLY: Go give it a go!!!! Maybe try out a couple of sessions as sometimes attending one doesn’t give you the full feeling of Crossfit. Its a great way of keeping fit as well as meeting new friends!!


IF PEOPLE WANT TO CHECK YOU OUT, WHERE CAN THEY FIND YOU?

 

KELLY: Instagram - @kelfriel