Katy Kazell is one of the strongest and consistent female athletes at MBS CrossFit. You might think that she is naturally gifted, but to the contrary- she works hard, maintains a nutrition plan, recovers when needed, and remains balanced. Here is her story.
Last summer I felt like I was hitting a plateau and was having a hard time getting stronger. Eating primarily Paleo and low-carb, I stumbled upon some articles about Flexible Dieting and calculating macros and decided to give it a try. I increased my carb intake by 2-3x and noticed a huge difference in strength, energy, and was actually able to gain some weight and muscle. This change made a really big difference for me in workouts and in strength. The carbs I added were basically rice, oatmeal, and potatoes.
I was diligent about tracking my food for several months, which was helpful to gain knowledge about the composition of what I was eating and how much of what I needed to be eating. I pre-prepare all of our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week because I don’t have time to cook in the evenings. It takes a little bit of time and effort on the front end, but it’s really convenient during the week and keeps us from eating out too much. Different nutritional strategies work for different people, and I don’t think there is any ONE correct way to do it, people just need to find what works best for them individually to meet their needs and wants.
I rest on Thursdays and Sundays, but listen to how I am feeling. If I feel really beat up, or if something is really sore, I will take it easy. If I feel great and have a lot of energy, I’ll come in and workout on Sunday. Stretching and mobility always makes me feel better, but I need to work on being more consistent with it.
Consistency in training:
This is really important, because a lot of the time it is overwhelming to try and tackle a big goal. If you show up and do work, you will see results. On a day to day basis, I don’t always feel “great” or “strong” or hit new PR’s…but I enjoy working out and trust the process in the sense that if I am consistently working hard I will see results in the end.
When I decided that I wanted to be a Police Officer in 2009, part of the testing process was doing 20 push-ups in one minute (touching your chest to a fist, not even to the ground). I decided to test it out ahead of time and literally could not do it, so I actually withdrew my first application. Around this time I also couldn’t run for more than 1/4 of a mile without stopping or do a single pull-up. This was a little bit of a wake up call that if this was the career path I wanted. I owed it to myself and my coworkers to get into good physical shape. Getting from that point to where I am now definitely did not happen overnight, it has been a long and steady process.
Using fitness outside of the gym:
Fitness is an important aspect of my job, but I also enjoy hiking, running with my dogs, and playing volleyball. I am getting kayaks soon, so I am pretty pumped about that too.
Working on specific skills:
When we first joined MBS, we would come early or stay late almost every day just to work on skills. Double unders, butterfly pull-ups, and OHS are some movements I specifically remember having to work really hard at to learn. With so many different movements in CrossFit and the variance of our WODs, sometimes it’s necessary to take it upon yourself to put in a little extra work in areas that you personally need to improve on. For me, that’s usually strength and I’ve found that squatting on a regular basis or doing a strength cycle really helps me.
Dan, my job, CrossFit, and spending time outside and with friends are all important to me. They overlap and compliment each other in many ways, but overall I think it is important to put time and effort into different facets of your life to maintain a healthy balance and not get burned out in one arena.