About Andrea: "Andrea Ferry is a Fitness Ambassador for the Reebok FitHub store in Georgetown and coaches at CrossFit Metro Center and CrossFit Bethesda. She is a former National Figure Competitor, State Ranked Power Lifter, and Regional CrossFit Athlete for District CrossFit. She competed this past May at the CrossFit Games Regional Event. Andrea also has a diverse background in nutrition, training and wellness. She works with individuals to assess their nutrition needs and puts an achievable program in place to see immediate results."
Andrea was kind enough to answer questions for us in a new series focusing on CrossFit athletes and instructors.
1. What kind of athletics did you participate in before CrossFit? How did you start CrossFit?
Before CrossFit, I was a National Level Figure Competitor and I dabbled in the Powerlifting arena. In high school I was a cheerleader and played softball. I met a RKC coach who introduced me to CrossFit and I liked it because it was challenging for me.
2. What made you become a CrossFit instructor?
I enjoy working with people and helping them accomplish things they never thought possible. I have always said that people just need one person in their lives to believe in them and I enjoy being that person. CrossFit addresses nutrition and weight training, which are two things that are key to staying in tip top shape.
3. From an instructor's perspective, tell us one thing you think CrossFitter's should do more of and one thing they should do less of.
I think CrossFit athletes need to get more sleep (7-8 hours) and make sure they are recovering properly outside of the gym. Weight training (in general) and high intensity workouts are demanding on your body, so sleep and proper nutrition is key. I think they should also listen to their body if something hurts. Sometimes CrossFit athletes can overtrain themselves, so my suggestion would be to train less when your body needs it.
4. What is your favorite CrossFit workout and why?
CrossFit has benchmark workouts names after girls. My favorite girl workout is "Grace", it is 30 clean and jerks at 95lbs for women and 135lbs for men. Barbell work by far is my favorite, so Grace is in my wheelhouse. I also like the fact that as soon as I get to 30 repetitions, I know I am done with the workout. A very simple workout that can be completed quickly!
5. How big of a role do you feel diet plays in your ability to perform at a high level? What foods do you eat a lot of? What foods do you avoid?
Nutrition is KEY to any training program, no matter what type of athlete you are or sport you play. If you want to feel your best and perform your best, you should eat non-processed foods such as green vegetables, low sugar fruits, lean meats, nuts and plenty of water. I eat a lot of eggs, vegetables, rice, potatoes, avocados, chicken and fish. When we were getting ready for regionals, I gave up the occasional donut, chocolate snacks, alcohol and french fries. A rule of thumb is if the food has 5 ingredients or less and if it grows from the earth...you really can't go to wrong with that rule. I recently started working with Unbroken Nutrition who looks at the athlete from the inside out. They use functional lab tests to uncover hidden stressors that could be draining performance, as well as look to maximize health and performance for their athletes through dialed in nutrition, supplements and rest/recovery.
6. What is your favorite article of gear or clothing you use when training?
When I train, I am very particular about my sports bra and my shoes. I need clothes that are breathable, as air conditioning is not always an option depending where I am training. For the work that we do in the gym, I am usually in my Reebok Nano 4's or Reebok Sprints - both are great shoes for any type of cross training workout. For the sports bra, I want one that is supportive for explosive movements and feminine looking at the same time - I use the Reebok CrossFit double strap line of sports bra.
7. Describe your weekly workout schedule. How many days off do you take?
My current schedule is two days on, one day off (pretty much 5 days of training with 2 days off sprinkled in between). On the days "Off", I may do an active recovery day of jogging, rowing or swimming. When the District CrossFit Team was getting ready forThe CrossFit Regionals, it was a whole different ball game. Competing at a high level in CrossFit demands a lot of your time and body. Now that Regionals is over, we take the time to work on skills that need to be polished for next year. Noah Gabriel Landis of District CrossFit has written my programming for the next 6-8 weeks which includes gymnastics and olympic lifting. I also use companies like Rose Therapy (PT) and Got Your Back Chiropractic for any aches and pains that I may experience along the way. At least 3 out of the 5 days a week, I have the opportunity to train with Noah or Kate Garufi - both have qualified as individuals to compete at the CrossFit Games Regional Level.
8. Please offer some advice to someone thinking about trying CrossFit that hasn't taken the plunge.
For someone who is new to CrossFit, I would have them try a few gyms in their immediate area. No CrossFit gym is the same as any other. Since moving here a year ago and working for Reebok, I have been to at least 60+ gyms as part of my job and none of them are the same. Another thing I would tell a perspective CrossFitter is that coaching does matter - a good coach listens, corrects, cues, motivates, inspires and tells you to stop if something hurts. I cannot emphasize how much a good coaching staff is in a CrossFit Gym or any gym in general.
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