ATHLETE SERIES: Becky Pykett on why CrossFit will get you fit and lean
Becky Pykett, as a 3 times CrossFit Games Regional Athlete, knows a thing or two about hard work, fitness, and being ready for anything. Ahead of the 2016 CrossFit Open we chatted to Becky about all things active: from marathons (she's run them), to white water kayaking and trekking to Everest Base Camp (yep, she's done that too!) and finally onto CrossFit, her full time passion as Coach at Reebok CrossFit Reading and part of Team Reebok UK. You'll be itching to get your hands on a barbell after reading this!
You've done loads of different sports to date. What made you choose - and stick with - CrossFit?
CrossFit keeps me interested as it’s so varied; you never reach a peak because there's always a way to better yourself. You can never do enough pull ups for example! And it keeps you striving to get better. I constantly want to get better.
How often do you train and how do you approach recovery days (e.g. total rest versus ‘active recovery’)?
I train 3 hours a day, 5 days a week - but remember, it's my job to stay fit! Sometimes I split my sessions across the day rather than doing 3 consecutive hours which can be tough. I use the principle of active recovery - I might go for a gentle run, a bike ride or swim. I’ll also focus on eating really well and will often have a sports massage on a recovery day. They hurt like hell so don't always feel like a rest, but they work wonders on my muscles!
Do you have a favourite (or worst!) WOD?
Anything that involves heavy weights! And I like it when they're short! A lot of the workouts are named after women and a couple of my favourites are Diane or Elizabeth. I’m not a fan of long workouts involving a lot of gymnastics; like Cindy or Chelsea.
[Editor's note: 'Diane' is 21-15-9 deadlifts and handstand push ups; 'Elizabeth' is 21-15-9 cleans and ring dips. 'Cindy' is a 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of 5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 squats, and 'Chelsea' is an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 squats for as long as you can.]
Is there a skill you’re developing at the moment?
I’m constantly working on my gymnastics skills, so at the moment I’m working on muscle ups and butterfly pull ups.
How does it feel being chosen for Team Reebok UK, and has it changed the way you train?
Being in Team Reebok UK is like being part of a family. I’m so happy to be supported by such a big brand and to be surrounded by like-minded people. It’s honestly a privilege! My training pretty much stays the same all the time as it's aimed towards the CrossFit Open [happening now!]. I do a few other competitions during the year as they're important for the experience.
What shoes do you train in and why?
For me, it has to be Reebok Nanos. With CrossFit it's all about the stability, because you really need that with all the functional movements. Nanos are hard-wearing for all the rope climbs, hitting toes to bar, running - everything really! These shoes are basically indestructible - they're still going strong and I train in them a lot!