904’s Fittest: Laura Davie
904F: How did you get into weightlifting and CrossFit?
LD: After my junior year at Emory University, I started Weightlifting and fell in love with the sport. From 2008-2010, I competed nationally, even after graduation. When I went back to school for my Masters’, I had to take a break from Weightlifting because I wasn’t able to dedicate sufficient time to training. Halfway through my degree I got fed up with being out of shape and decided to try out CrossFit because of the time efficiency. I enjoyed it so much I earned my Level 1 in November of 2012 and started coaching shortly thereafter. Now that I have more free time I’ve finally been able to get my lifts back up to speed. Currently I supplement my training with CrossFit a few days a week and I think it has really helped round out my athleticism.
904F: What does your training week look like?
LD: In Weightlifting season, I’ll lift 5-6 days/week. Daily training consists of 1-2 pulls, a press, and a squat—e.g., snatch and or clean exercises, overhead work of some kind, and hopefully some really heavy squats. I’ll add in 2-3 days of MetCon after lifting to help maintain my work capacity and protect against injuries. In CrossFit season, I’ll cut back Weightlifting to 3-4 days/week, and increase MetCon frequency to 5-6 days/week.
904F: What are a weightlifter’s biggest challenges?
LD: Work, recovery and your own head!
Having a day job: Training is time consuming because every single repetition is important—whether it’s an empty bar or a PR attempt. It can be draining to work 9 hours and then spend 3 hours in the gym every day. Everything is important during a training session, so you can’t screw around and expect to get better.
“There’s always a little voice somewhere in your head that wants to convince you, “This is heaavyyy!” or “You’re gonna miss this!” It takes years of practice learning how to shut it off.”
Recovery: I squat every day, and my legs, back and butt don’t like it. The only way I can do it continually is if I keep up with recovery. It’s so easy to over-train in Weightlifting, so I get in as much mobility, massage, and chiropractic work as possible.
Mental strength: In competition, the actual lifts don’t last very long. But you train for months and sacrifice so much to do well in competition. Even if you compete super prepared, there is always a chance the little voice of self-doubt will creep in, and it takes a really long time to learn how to shut it out.
904F: What’s the best thing about weightlifting?
LD: Jean shopping is way more interesting, and there’s no running is involved. A lot of people think that in order to be lean, you need to run a lot. Not so—train Olympic lifting 6 days/week and you’ll totally change your mind.
904F: What message would you share to those looking to take their fitness to a new level in the New Year?
LD: Seek out the “white moment”. Self-actualizing can be hard for some athletes, but you have to be mentally a little crazy sometimes. There’s nothing more gratifying than the experience of hitting a PR. One of my favorite quotes by former Russian heavyweight, Yuri Vlasov, describes this as “The White Moment,” – “At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly becomes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than before, as if great spotlights have been turned on. At that moment you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precious moment in life than this, the white moment, and you will work very hard for years just to taste it again.”