Apr 29, 2021
Today’s guest is six times CrossFit Games
athlete and three-time Fittest American Female Kari Pearce!
During the last five years, Kari has competed in CrossFit all
around the world and represented the United States of America in
2016 and 2017 at the CrossFit Invitational.
She was sporty through childhood, beginning gymnastics at 3 and
training and competing for 18 years, building an extensive
knowledge base, and now teaches athletes the gymnastics side of
CrossFit. Having her extensive background, she enjoys sharing her
knowledge with others.
Kari was on the Varsity Gymnastics team at the University
of Michigan where her team won 4 Big Ten Championships. She earned
her degree in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology and
was three-time Academic All-Big Ten.
In addition to being a full-time athlete, she has developed
PowerAbs, which is a core program thousands of people are doing. It
incorporates many of the things she learned in her 18 years of
gymnastics and through her education to get people stronger and
In this interview, we discuss her story, Cross-Fit, how she
develops her skills set and mental toughness, her fantastic product
PowerAbs, competing at the Cross-Fit games, the factors that have
helped her to be so successful and so much more.
Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate
- Who is Kari Pearce
- Would she have entered Cross-Fit if she had not come from a
- What was she like during her childhood?
- Kari is a great example of a child whose parents who encouraged
their children to take part in sports and offered options and
letting them find their own way. You can't force your kids down a
path, but kids will greatly remember parents who encouraged them
and let them find their own path and support them along it to the
level they wish to go.
- Where does he competitive edge come from?
- What would she say the appeal of Cross-Fit is?
- The variety of cross-fit and the various intensities are a
great appeal to a lot of participants. Many enjoy the variety and
conflicting demands they can take part in a session, and with
different WODs released regularly, it is difficult to become bored
with the variety offered.
- The advice she would give to someone who is looking to start
- Look for a gym that offers a foundational beginner class to
learn the basic movements when you start.
- Focus on learning the fundamental movements before you increase
the movement. Do not rush your progression, ensure you can rep with
great form for each rep, before you increase the weight. Failure to
do so will mean you will plateau and then need to go back to
relearn before you can go forward.
- How to leave the ego at the door and work on learning the
variety of movements and not just focus on your strengths?
- How did she go from doing Cross-Fit workouts to a Cross-Fit
- Why does she think she has been so successful?
- Actions are more important than words - you will make time for
what is important to you in your life. Pick the goals you want to
achieve, not what others wish for you. Once you know what you want
from life, cancel the time-wasting behaviors and habits and work
towards achieving them ... as Kari did with her
- Rest days are vital to recovery both physically and mentally.
Do not try to work out every day, especially as a beginner. Ease
yourself in and ensure you have time to recover and pamper yourself
(massages, salt baths, good food, good sleep etc) built into your
- What does her training schedules look like?
- How do you build up the frequency, duration, and intensity of
her training, to work towards competing and develop her skills
- The importance of kids taking part in sports.
- Why she is only given her training programming until the day of
- What has she found helps avoid technical breakdown and sloppy
reps when she is tired and working high rep schemes?
- A good coach can be the item you need most when you start, he
can save you from yourself and remove the other thinking, the
jumping around programs or only focusing on your strengths - a good
coach removes the thinking, and lets you rep and workout and have a
better chance of success by removing the additional noise you don't
need to focus on.
- When training skill work, ensure you can rep as close to
perfect each time as you go. As Kari said, make sure the first
movement is correct as if it isn't the second movement won't be,
and so on. Don't train to failure but practice keeping the form
right and increasing the reps as you can maintain form.
- What does she think about when she is performing the gymnastics
movements and lifting the weights?
- How has she built up mental toughness to ensure she can compete
at the highest level, against the world's fittest people, and
endure more work to beat the others.
- Visualization training has really helped Kari in her training
- Top performers become comfortable in the uncomfortable.
- You need to push yourself more in training more compared to the
competition. You need to push yourself in training to the point
where at the competition you can just go into auto-pilot and let
your training take you to success.
- "No growth comes from being in the comfort zone"
- Be willing to listen to feedback from coaches and others. Kari
puts her ability to listen to feedback so high on the list of
reasons why she is so successful. Others can spot reasons that you
are struggling, plateauing and not progressing. Be willing to
listen to criticism and feedback. Consider all options and opinions
and use what works and bypass what doesn't.
- How does she deal with bad training sessions?
- Don't rush back after injuries. As Kari says 'you need to get
healthy before you can get back and train again. Rushing back from
injury can make things worse. Listen to your body, take time to
heal and recover and you can come back stronger and a better
- Cross-Fit can be modified to allow you to work around injuries
or complete movements to the level that your health and body will
- An area that Kari has worked on that has improved her
- How she utilizes a way of focusing on sections to avoid letting
bad events or incidents ruin her training or
- How does her training change as she works to and performs at
the Cross-Fit Games?
- Recovery and diet methods to recover from training and from
day-to-days during competition.
- What was the inspiration for PowerAbs
- The importance of training your abs to improve your sporting
- Why is there such a great community and bond within Cross-Fit
gyms and the wider Cross-Fit performers? Cross-Fit is a fantastic
sport to take up to meet like-minded and friendly people.
- What does she want those listening to take from the