Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brooke Ence CrossFit 2015 Competitor

With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with today? Where are you from? How old are you? 

Brooke Ence Sawyers aka Brooke Ence (in competition) I'm originally from Saint George, Utah, but I currently reside in Santa Cruz, CA. and I am 25 years old.

How did you get into CrossFit?

I was preparing for a dance audition for the show "Le Reve" at the Wynn Las Vegas and I was looking for someone to help me learn to do some skills such as rope climbs and skin the cats.

What years have you competed in the CrossFit Regionals and what did you place? Have you competed in other competitions?

In 2011, I was on Ute CrossFit Team and we took 2nd at Regionals. In 2013, I competed in a new region (Northern California) with Team CrossFit West and we took 5th I believe. Finally, in 2014, I competed as an individual in the Northern California Regionals, and I finished 6th.

Everyone sees a bright future for you in this sport. What are your hopes and dreams with CrossFit for the next few years? 

I want to make it to the CrossfFt Games and continue to become an inspirational athlete that people look up to. I would also like to work on my interviewing skills and be in front of the camera a little more. :)

Looks like she does pretty well in front of the camera already...

Where have you had the pleasure of coaching? What is the most challenging part of coaching?

Crossfit Amundson for a brief moment then moved right to Crossfit West Santa Cruz and eventually adding Crossfit Watsonville.
It is important to know the movements and know how to teach them but it is even more important to be the person that people want to be around and learn from. When teaching it is tough to be "on" at all times. Every class, each day, I am teaching the same movements and coaching the same workouts, but every person that comes to class is different. I have to be present and ready to be engaged with each class, as if it's my first time correcting the exercises that we are working on that day.

With your experience in the bodybuilding world, what do you think about trying to participate in both that and CrossFit concurrently? Is it an easy crossover from one of those to the other? 

I am no longer interested in the world of bodybuilding. I have mad respect for people that do it, because I know first hand how much work and time it takes. What's different with CrossFit is that I have found a healthier community that serves as one big family. I will never turn back [to bodybuilding]. People are connected to CrossFit in a different way than other sports; I love it!

A CrossFitter who could also step on stage and win a figure show 

A lot of people read your Boxlife Magazine interview about nutrition this month. How does it feel to be noticed by companies like that and to be the "standards model" for CrossFit HQ?

It is surreal! I am totally honored every time someone recognizes me or asks me about what I do and or wants a picture or autograph. I remember when it was a "dream" to be someone that was noticed for her hard work. I knew that i just had to keep working on myself and my goal [which was] to make it to Regionals and then The Games for to become a reality. Look at me now- I want to be the same person on the way up as I would be on the way down. I work to stay humble and recognize how lucky I am to be where I am today.

Who are your favorite fellow CrossFitters to watch? 

Sam Briggs aka Engine, Mat Fraser, Lauren Fisher amazes me every day. and seriously so many others.

For all of us who want to "Be Like Brooke," what programs should we be following? Is there any other general life advice you could give us to be better at who we are and what we strive to be? 

Just DO CROSSFIT. there is no magic program. Eat to perform and work on your weaknesses. you have to be willing to suffer, as shitty as that sounds. :)

The suffering obviously pays off. Thanks Brooke!

An epilogue to this interview: Brooke became a coach at CrossFit West shortly after I started there myself. She was the only female coach, and gave the fiercest instruction of anybody there. As far as my very visible/talked-about vegan lifestyle, Brooke has always had a genuine comment or question about my strict adherence to it. I'd like to think she's learned something from me, as I have learned from her. She was interviewed in Boxlife Magazine next to my vegan brother in iron, Ed Bauer, discussing different diets for CrossFit performance. Although her diet and mine are not alike, her coaching has helped me utilize my plant-based performance nutrition for WOD excellence this past year and a half. Team PlantBuilt will benefit from my contribution to their Wodapalooza team score this year, so I will give one final thank you for that. 
Brooke Ence and Billy PlantBuilt Prusinowski
March 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kettlebell Sport with Vegan Athlete Scott Shetler

With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with today? 

 My name is Scott Shetler, I am a business owner, professional trainer, speaker, author, over the hill iron addict, supporter of animal welfare, plant eater, massive Gilmore Girls fan, and not yet totally convinced that I am not Spiderman.

Can we follow you on Instagram? What is your handle? 

Yes, my personal IG is @sshetler613 and my training center is @eptsatl 

You're a small business owner, which is admirable, and very difficult to do. Tell us about your business and what you do every day. 

Thanks! I agree, I admire anyone who takes that leap as well. I own a private training center in Atlanta, Extreme Performance Training Systems, where I train everyone from very high level athletes to motivated fitness enthusiasts. I love to write and have authored / co-authored 10 books, in addition 100% of the sales from my two Plant-Based Performance books benefit animal welfare organizations, specifically Mercy For Animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Forgotten Animals Rescue. I also do quite a bit of online coaching / consulting, public speaking, and am the co-founder of an online golf fitness and performance business called EP Golf.

What kind of fitness training have you been yourself lately?

I believe training should be holistic and focus on internal as well as external development. My external training consists of the basic powerlifting movements coupled with kettlebells and Indian clubs - specifically I am training for kettlebell sport competitions and deadlift specialist powerlifting competitions. My internal training consists of meditation, qigong (I have been devoting my time to learning the Yi Jin Jing / muscle tendon changing classic and the Xi Sui Jing / marrow cleansing classic forms), and the internal martial art of Taijiquan. I’ve had the honor of studying qigong and Taiji with my Shifu, Shi Deru - 31st generation grandmaster of the Shaolin Temple, for nearly 4 years now.

What is kettlebell sport? Why do so few know that this even exists? 

Kettlebell Sport (also known as Girevoy Sport) originated in Russia and is the power endurance counterpart of Olympic Weightlifting.
Instead of establishing a 1 repetition maximum as in weightlifting, kettlebell sport involves lifting fixed weight kettlebells for as many repetitions you can perform in 10 minutes without setting the bells down. Just like other strength sports it is a bit of a cult sport, but I’d say many people know about it based on the fact that there were over 500 athletes from all over the world competing at the 2014 IUKL World Kettlebell Lifting Championship! There are three events contested in kettlebell sport - the biathlon (jerk and snatch), long cycle (clean and jerk), and snatch-only. Women use 1 kettlebell in all three events and men use 2 kettlebells except in the snatch where they use 1 bell. When 1 bell is used the lifter may only switch hands once. It is a brutal sport, but the US is really making progress and producing some great lifters.

Someone who looks and performs like yourself must have a pretty legit protein plan. What do you eat? 

Despite all my joking with bodybuilders, I eat very healthy and periodically throughout the year I go through periods of being completely raw vegan. My regular diet is mostly raw, usually one or two green smoothies and a fresh pressed vegetable/fruit juice each day. In addition I eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and my other food is usually rice and beans, tofu / tempeh, and for a quick fix peanut butter sandwiches. I drink my share of coffee and the only other things I drink are tea, water and non-dairy milks. I don't count calories or protein grams and honestly think the protein addiction is a bit ridiculous. If you eat a predominantly whole food plant-based diet with enough calories to support your training, you will get all the protein you need. I don't use many supplements and think most are pretty ridiculous but I do have a post training drink that is usually a serving of a plant protein (Vega, Plantfusion or Warrior Force) mixed in chocolate almond milk with a serving of creatine. This is only after heavy training sessions to help with glycogen/protein/ATP replenishment to stimulate recovery and tissue repair. I'm not totally anal about food and I do have a sweet tooth and enjoy dark chocolate, cake, and I am a huge fan of the vegan donuts from Revolution Donuts in Decatur-huge thanks to my friend Amy for turning me on to that place! I've been known to have an Oreo or two as well! When I go out to eat it’s usually a specialty vegan restaurant, or an Indian, Ethiopian, or Asian place. Atlanta actually has some very good options.

We went out to eat in Atlanta, GA several months ago, and you said you drove there in your Lamborghini. Now, I never saw it, you really have a Lambo? What's up with that? 

Props to Soul Veg, that place is awesome right?!?! I was there recently with my boy Jeremy Hiebert guitarist of one of my favorite bands, Comeback Kid, when they played Atlanta - they are about to destroy the West Coast so go see them, they are insane live!
Yes, I have a Lambo, my wife Lisa (who is the real car nut in the family) and I got it brand new in 2012, it’s a Verde Ithaca (bright green) Gallardo LP 550-2. We are both fans of high performance exotic cars and currently have a Maserati Granturismo S, and my wife’s baby a brand new 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia in addition to the Lamborghini. Here is a picture of the Ferrari and Lambo at Tint World, a custom shop that painted our Lambo’s wheels a few months ago.

It seems like you are doing a lot of great things with Team PlantBuilt and Abundant Health/Extreme Fitness. What are your goals with these endeavors in the next few years? 

My goals are to help people and help animals, and when I can combine the two it’s even more awesome! I plan to be at the 2015 Plantbuilt event in Austin, TX - terrorizing the bodybuilders with my bestie Jason Morris, again ;) This year I won’t be powerlifting, instead I will be part of our first ever kettlebell sport team. For my personal business I plan to continue with my training and consulting business but with my focus shifting more toward holistic wellness I am starting to pursue destination wellness retreats where I would love to teach meditation and qigong, among other things. It’s tough to say right now, but there are ton of opportunities popping up!

If people would like to follow my work or blogs they can check out the following sites: 

Thanks for the chat Billy! It was a blast and I can’t wait to hang out with you and the rest of our Plantbuilt teammates in Austin again!

Scott Shetler, NSCA-CPT 
Owner Extreme Performance Training Systems,