Recently I profiled Becky Yackley and how she uses running to get #SHOOTFIT for 3-Gun. This week I am chatting with the talented Athena Lee about her favorite fitness program for staying in top shooting shape.
The first time I saw Athena was back in 1999 at the USPSA Open Nationals in Barry, IL. A tiny spit fire of speed shooting awesomeness I knew the second I saw her compete she was a force to reckon with in practical shooting. In fact she has been one for over two decades now. A 2-time IPSC Women’s Open World Champion she’s always a top contender.
Athena is also a stud-ette off the range. A fan of Crossfit, not only can she squat 200 pounds, she’s also a certified Level I instructor for the popular fitness program.
JulieG: How did you discover Crossfit?
Athena: I pulled my back twice in 2008. The second time it happened was two weeks before the IPSC World Shoot in Bali. I felt something needed to be done. My physical therapist told me that I had a weak back so I started doing some research on back exercises. Being as attention span impaired as I am, I saw Crossfit posts on Facebook from my friend, Dave Re. Dave happens to be a GM ranked USPSA shooter and who also now works at Crossfit’s Headquarters. I asked him about it and resolved to look into it locally when I got back from competing in Bali.
JulieG: So when did you officially start Crossfiting?
Athena: I started on April 2009.
JulieG: With so many fitness programs and gyms out there, why is Crossfit the best for you?
I have tried everything from Bikram Yoga to hiring a personal trainer. Crossfit was the only one I stuck with because: 1) I saw incredible strength gains in such a short span of time, 2) The workouts are different everyday and 3) The competitive environment is so similar to shooting!
JulieG: How has it helped you get in good shooting shape?
Athena: It has made me a lot stronger. It has eliminated any worries I have about being physically prepared for shooting.
JulieG: As someone who has completed Level 1 Crossfit Certification what advice do you have for people who might be interested in giving it a try?
Athena: Just go. All the workouts are scalable to your abilities and it is the most supportive community out there. Ask questions and go for it.