As part of our athlete series, we asked our O2 athletes more about how they got into fitness and what their training looks like. Here's a look at O2 Athlete Kari Pearce.
How did you first get into fitness? How has that changed over the years?
I began gymnastics with my older sister at the age of 3 and did it for 18 years. I finished my career at the University of Michigan on the Varsity Gymnastics Team. Right after that, I got into weightlifting, followed by bodybuilding and did a physique show, then I did a powerlifting competition. I had a college gymnastics teammate, Lindsay Menery, that tried to get me to start CrossFit after college but I didn’t want to have anything to do with gymnastics even if it was super basic. She kept bringing up CrossFit throughout the years and I finally listened to her after I did my powerlifting meet in November of 2014. Now that I have been doing it for almost 5 years, I am really glad Lindsay kept trying to convince me to try CrossFit. I love the sport and am so glad I am a part of it.
Name one quality you learned thanks to your sport that you are so grateful to have learned.
Hard work. I learned a lot about this in gymnastics. I remember having a coach that told me I wasn’t the most talented girl in the group, but I was the hardest worker. Initially I thought it was an insult, but as I grew older I realized it was a very high compliment. I believe that you will get anything in life you want if you are willing to work for it.
What’s your least favorite part about your given sport?
Anything to do with front squats. Whether it is squat cleans or front squats because my front rack mobility isn’t the best. I have been working on it more and more but it is just such an unnatural position for me. That is also the beauty of the sport is that it forces you to work any weaknesses you have and be a well rounded athlete.
Go to music when crushing a workout?
It really depends. My automatic go to is AC/DC because thunderstruck is my favorite workout song and I like others that are similar. However, sometimes I just want to be happy and in a good mood so I prefer Backstreet Boys.
What does your workout schedule look like?
I do two a days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. One session will be cardio which can include running, rowing, swimming, biking or something on the ski erg. The second session will be a mix of weightlifting, gymnastics skill work, metcons, accessory, and core work. Thursday is an active recovery day and consists of a swim or swim and row. Sunday is a complete rest day where I let my body and mind rest. I believe it is even more important for my mind than my body to have that rest day. Makes me excited to go to the gym and get after it on Monday.
What does your recovery routine look like?
I place a big emphasis on sleeping so I do my best to get at least 8 hours every night. I know that is super helpful since my workouts are intense. My diet is very clean as well because I believe the proper foods help me to recover quickly and perform my best. Along with that is making sure I stay hydrated which is why I drink 2 cans of O2 on my training days and one can on my active recovery and rest days. I foam roll and/or stretch after every training session as well as another 15-30 minutes before I go to bed. In addition to all of that, I love taking epsom salt baths, using my Rapid Reboot machine, and my massage gun. As you can see, I place a big emphasis on recovery in addition to my training.
Favorite flavor of O2 and when do you enjoy it most?
Blackberry Currant is my favorite though Lemon Lime is a very close second! I love my coffee as well so it is great for me because it's caffeine free. It is the perfect drink after an intense training session! However, sometimes I have to crack a can open in the middle of my cardio intervals and it helps me to get through and finish strong! Sometimes at night I want something sweet, so I will grab an O2. It quenches my thirst and satisfies my sweet tooth! Win-win if you ask me!
O2 is so proud of Kari and all of her accomplishments, especially being a 2020 CrossFit Games Finalist. Read about her journey with Coach Justin Cotler as they prepped for the games and dealt with a pandemic!