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Tia-Clair Toomey is the most dominant female athlete CrossFit has ever seen. Unsurprisingly, the key to that success is lots of dedicated training, following a structured programme laid out by her coach (and husband) Shane Orr. The five-time Games winner is gearing up for the Rogue Invitational at the end of the month, but that's only the short-term goal – Toomey is also training hard in an attempt to qualify for the Australian bobsled team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Since she competed for Team Australia in weightlifting in the 2016 Summer Games, she would be the first CrossFit athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, according to BarBend.
Toomey shared a video of one of her workout sessions from Lake Placid, New York, where she is able to train for CrossFit while also preparing for the more specialised nature of the bobsled competition. While she's pulling double-duty, the strength and conditioning portion of the session is as dialed-in as you'd expect from a five-time reigning champion.
The workout starts with plyos that she says will help to prep her for the bobsled. Orr explains the thought process behind the programming: "Now that we're deep within the preseason camp, we're applied plyometrics possibly two to three times a week," he says. "We're focusing more of our high-output or sprint intervals or explosiveness actually on the ice—that's our best form of learning at the moment." In order to keep Toomey in shape for her upcoming CrossFit event, Orr says that they're doing some extra conditioning on the days that she doesn't push the sled on the ice.
"It's interesting for Tia and I to be exposed to a lot of this bobsled-style training," he continues. "I wouldn't say that it's completely different than what we're used to—a lot of it overlaps with what we currently do now. I think it's just the timing of it all and where we are in the season. It's certainly not the most ideal scenario." But there are benefits. He feels that the double-duty training has helped Toomey to be more explosive, stronger, and faster—three important qualities for a successful CrossFit athlete. That's a frightening thought for the competition.
After the plyometrics, some rowing, and accessory work, Toomey does some clean and jerks. While resting, Toomey acknowledges that this specialised camp has left her a bit isolated. "I really miss training with Brooke [Wells, fellow CrossFit Games athlete]," she says, while also mentioning that Orr has made an effort to step in for some of the sessions. "But I've definitely been missing Brooke and just having that training partner to push and basically have someone there going through the pain with me." Ultimately, however, she recognises that the tough moments are the ones that can help her to "dial-in" and stay focused.
Orr also acknowledges that this type of training and traveling is tough, and that it's not sustainable over the long term. But for shorter periods, he sees the benefits of simulate competition settings.
To finish up the workout, Toomey cycles through heavy dumbbell lunges, some more barbell work, rowing, and handstand walks.
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