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Bethany Shadburne: Training for the CrossFit Games At Home (Podcast)

Today we’re talking to Bethany Shadburne, a multi-time CrossFit Games athlete who finished in the Games Top 10 in 2019. While many top Games athletes seem to only highlight their biggest lifts and fastest times, Bethany is better known on social media for the minutia; hundreds of thousands of people tune into her posts for creative prehab and warm-up exercises, a routine Bethany prioritizes because of a history of injuries and back pain. Bethany joins the podcast to talk about Games training during quarantine, body parts CrossFitters tend to neglect, and why she almost stopped training completely in the months leading up to her outstanding 2019 Games performance.

Note: We recorded this podcast a couple weeks before recent leadership changes at CrossFit HQ and before a series of delays were announced for the 2020 CrossFit Games.

In this episode of the BarBend Podcast, David Thomas Tao talks to Bethany Shadburne about:

  • Bethany’s home gym setup during her quarantine period (1:50)
  • The equipment Bethany’s gym members DIDN’T want to take home (5:00)
  • Bethany’s outstanding (and surprise to her) Top 10 Games performance in 2019 (8:00)
  • Predictions for the 2020 CrossFit Games (13:00)
  • Her bodybuilding background (17:20)
  • Why Bethany posts so much prehab, rehab, and accessory work on Instagram (22:30)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

My dad was the same way though too. There is four of us kids growing up and we’re just very hyper kids. At night my dad’s like, “All right, feet underneath the couch, thousand sit-ups. Let’s go.” [inaudible 0:10] just stupid stuff like that, so I just grew up with endurance, a lot of numbers, and all of that. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

Today I’m talking to Bethany Shadburne, a multi-time CrossFit Games athlete who finished in the games Top 10 in 2019. While many top games athletes seem to only highlight their biggest lifts and fastest wad times, Bethany is better known on social media for the minutiae.

Hundreds of thousands of people tune in to her posts for creative prehab and warm-up exercises, a routine Bethany prioritizes because of a history of injuries and back pain.

Bethany joins the podcast to talk about games’ training during quarantine, body parts CrossFitters tend to neglect, and why she almost stopped training completely in the months leading up to her outstanding 2019 Games’ performance.

Also, I want to take a second to say we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend podcast in your app of choice. I’d also recommend subscribing to the BarBend newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things strength. Just go to barbend.com/newsletter to become the smartest person in your gym. Now let’s get to it.

 

Bethany Shadburne, thanks so much for joining us. The first thing I have to ask about and this is me creeping on Instagram a little bit…

 

It’s about your home gym setup because it’s not really a home gym, it’s more like a living room with a bunch of barbells in it.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, lots of equipment. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

How did that come about? Tell us what was the timeline on that when you’re like, “Wait, I got to grab all this equipment. I just have to put it in my living room.”

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Man, yeah. It was the week that everything started shutting down. Our gym was, I think a lot of gyms were doing this, but they were bringing out equipment to people. It was basically the last day before it was “shut-down-time” for Austin, for Texas.

 

I was like, “OK, can I just take everything?” [laughs] My coach was like, “Yeah, of course, take what you need.” I took four or five trips over, and got what I needed as far as equipment goes.

 

I got everything. I got a Rogue Echo Bike. I got the rower up here, a 45-degree glute-ham thing, a trap bar, sandbag, plates, wall ball, kettlebells. You name it, I got it. At least, I tried. Got

David TaoDavid Tao

We’re recording this podcast a few weeks ahead of time. By the time this podcast releases, some of that equipment might be back in the gym…

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, small gym.

David TaoDavid Tao

…as Texas reopens a bit. I have to ask. During those four trips, what did you prioritize? What was the first thing you got and then what was the last thing you took?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

At first, I was like, “At least, I need a barbell and some plates.” That’d be good, getting some dumbbells because I knew I could do a lot with dumbbells and kettlebells. I made sure to get stuff like that. Then as the trip kept going, I was like, “Well, I could use a trap bar. OK, I’ll take that.”

 

I was like, “Well, better take a wall ball, too.” Then I was like, “Oh, I guess I should take a rower.” All their aerobics equipment came last. I was like, “I should probably get some of that stuff, too. I could use that for sure.”

 

Echo bike works pretty good in the apartment because it’s pretty quiet compared to Assault bikes. I was like, “All right, get the Echo bike in front of this Assault bike.” [laughs] That was what happened. It’s not fun taking up and down the stairs. Let’s put it that way. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

I was talking to Tim Paulson, another CrossFit Games athlete, one of the owners of CrossFit Ithaca in New York. He explained that when he was giving out equipment for his members to borrow, he was shocked. Of course, the weights went first, barbells, plates, kettlebells, dumbbells.

 

Kettlebells and dumbbells first because people can have those in their apartments and things like that. He said, “No one took any rowers.” It’s always interesting to me. I’ve talked to people and everyone’s like, “OK, I’ll take the fun stuff.” Everyone’s leaving the cardio equipment at the end or just not taking it.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah, I was actually surprised about how many rowers were still at the gym by the time I got my stuff. I was one of the last ones to get stuff because I wanted all the members to get their equipment whatever they needed first. I was like, “Oh man, there’s still five or six rowers left. That’s surprising.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I’m not shocked because if you’re doing home workouts for a period of a few months, kettlebells workouts, dumbbell workouts, that sounds great. Maybe a barbell and plates if I have space, but do I want to row for two months or do I want to be stuck inside with a rower, or a bike? Ah, those are going to be…

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Most people are like, “Assault bike? No, I’m not taking that.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

“No, I’ll leave that. We’ll get back to it later.” This will be a hypertrophy phase.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, right. [laughs] Everyone’s doing bodybuilding now.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

You’re somebody who’s done bodybuilding in the past. Are you training at home? You have a lot of equipment, you can do cardio and stuff. You’re a Games athlete, you have to be pretty well rounded. Are you focusing on anything in particular with these workouts?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

It definitely has been more like hypertrophy, because I’m limited on how much weight I can lift. I don’t have a squat rack. When I squat, it’s squatting from the ground, I have to clean it. Definitely, more like 12 to 15 reps, sometimes 20 reps, [laughs] which isn’t ideal.

 

It’s fine for CrossFit, but for me personally, the weightlifting, and the heavy lifting, is where I fall short. I’m like, “Man, this kind of sucks.” Everyone’s in their own positions where they don’t have certain things that they need to work on. It’s like whatever, just going to have to work around it for now. Then hit it hard, once we can get back into the gym.

David TaoDavid Tao

How are you feeling about your shape, your conditioning, your strength relative to roughly this time last year?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

[laughs] Well, last year wasn’t a good year for me either, so I feel like a [inaudible 6:35] luckily.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

It wasn’t a good year? You finished top 10 at the Games.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah, but I had a terrible year leading up to it. I was out for eight weeks in January with my back. My back was just messed up basically the whole year. Even three or four weeks leading up to the Games, I was out. There’s a lot of missing of training that I did last year as well.

 

Leading up to the Games, I was like, “Oh my gosh, just don’t embarrass yourself. [laughs] Don’t get cut on the first round, at least make it through the second cut.” I don’t know, I just surprised myself last year. Not the training that I wanted to do leading up to the Games.

 

I feel like I’m almost in the same boat as far as how much training I’ve done, [laughs] leading up to the Games. It’ll be interesting year, for sure.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about that. I actually had no idea that you were so unhappy with your training, and with your shape, going into the Games last year. You finished top 10, and the thing about the games last year was the first iteration of the competition under the new cuts. Half the field gets cut day one, and then every workout, it’s just a big cut.

 

The top 10 athletes who were left had a lot of eyeballs on them. You got a lot of camera time. I was doing commentary on pretty much the whole thing. We were streaming on barbend.com. Bethany Shadburne was there the whole competition. When did you realize that the Games might turn out better for you than you might have anticipated during the competition?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Honestly, it was event by event. One, we didn’t know the events, literally, up until an hour before we were warming up and going into it. After every cut, I was like, “I’m getting cut. I’m getting cut this round for sure.” My mindset was just like, “Oh my gosh, I just don’t feel like I’m in the shape I need to be.”

 

Two days before the Games started is when I touched a barbell. I haven’t touched a barbell three weeks before the game. I picked up 65 pounds for a snatch, and I was like, “OK, this is how it’s going to be.” [laughs] I think over the years, I’ve been able to compete at a high level. Even I was a gymnast growing up, and I’ve always just competed and I love competing.

 

That’s where I thrive as on the competition floor. I don’t know, just everything came to me. I was like, “All right, I can do this.” Things just worked out, but definitely leading up to it I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is not going to work.” Even after each event, I was like, “Definitely getting cut. Getting cut in this round for sure.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

Well, spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched the 2019 CrossFit Games, Bethany doesn’t get cut. She makes the top 10. She competes the whole way. Does very well.

 

Do you think that might have been a blessing in disguise for not being able to really do a lot of barbell work in the weeks, and even months, leading up to the games not being able to lift heavy? Maybe that was a forced D-load that left you well-rested. What do you think about that?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah. It’s funny because that happens pretty much every year. I’ve had a bad back since my gymnastics time, since I’ve been 12, so over a decade.

 

It never fails. Anytime I get ready, especially for a CrossFit competition, a major one, my back just happens to not do so hot. I have to take off a couple of days, or even weeks, before a competition. I think it’s because I try to do too much leading up to the Games.

 

It happens with competitions because of CrossFit, it’s about volume and how much you can handle especially doing three or four days of competing in a row. You’re like, “I need to do more.” Sometimes less is more, and that’s what I’ve [laughs] learned over the years. I’m not a spring chicken anymore and I’m getting older, especially like my training age, it’s just less is more.

 

My body’s trying to teach me a lesson like, “Hey, I think you should calm it down a little bit before competition and just relax. You got it, your body’s there.” [laughs] Yes, it’s a blessing in disguise.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Training age is such an interesting concept to me and it kind of sounds like pro science. Your observations are very valid, you have put a lot of stress on your body over the years. It takes a toll, right?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Right.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

People say training age and it means different things for different people, and different sports. Even at the CrossFit Games, you see people who are masterous athletes competing in the individual fields. Sam Briggs is a great example. I don’t know anyone who’s done more work than she has over the past 10 years.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, it’s amazing.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

To that concept, it certainly has an impact on how you train, knowledge of your body, your ability to recover. It’s true that we recover not as well as we get older or our recovery gets worse. How long do you want to be competitive in this sport, and what impact does that mindset or that outlook have on how you approach your training?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Well, like any athlete, we want to be able to do it for as long as we can. There’s a lot of factors that go into it. It’s your mindset, too. A lot of athletes say when you’re not happy being in the gym and training every single day…You’re going to have your bad days of course, but if it’s every single day that you’re unhappy, then it’s time to stop.

 

That’s one factor to play into it, but also, it’s how your body responds to the training too. I want to go as far as I can. On the other hand, I do want to have a family and kids too. There might be a period of time where I want to stop for a couple of years and if my body allows me to come back after that, then so be it.

 

My hope is to peak in the next couple of years, maybe at 30, 31, stop, have some kids and then try to jump back into it if my body says yes. So that’s kind of the plan, right now. Things change, who knows what it could be like in the next couple of years, but that’s my plan right now.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m going to get to the fun question early, I’m just going to completely go a different direction. The fun question is when I ask athletes what their predictions are for this year’s big competition. Whether I’m talking to a Strongman competitor, it’s the world’s strongest man. If I’m talking to Bethany Shadburne, it’s the CrossFit Games.

 

We don’t know exactly what the Games are going to look like this year. Maybe when this podcast is released a few weeks after recording, we’ll have a better idea. No one knows what it’s going to look like. It’s certainly not going to be in Madison, Wisconsin, maybe it’ll be at the ranch in Aromas, California. Whatever it is, who do you see on top of the women’s podium at this year’s Games?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

It could look very similar to last year, honestly. I see Kari Pearce definitely being up there, for sure. She had one mistake on the last day that kind of cost her a little bit, but she’s going to kill it for sure this year.

 

The only reason I say this, I think that it could be somewhat of the same set up as last year, as far as more endurance events and less strength events. Especially this year with maybe being out on the ranch, and more running, and stuff.

 

That’d be my prediction if we end up going out there, and that causes for some athletes to maybe do possibly a little bit better than others. At the same time, maybe those strength athletes that got cut early on have been really working on endurance. Maybe during this time, during the quarantine they’re able to do that even more than they were before.

 

It could look a little differently, but I assume that the top 10 could look similar to what it was like last year.

David TaoDavid Tao

As CrossFit is now an established older sport, in the earlier years it seemed like there was a lot of podium variation. Then as the sport goes on and on, those top athletes get a little bit more predictable because people aren’t coming out of the woodwork with a year of training under their belt, and getting fifth place.

 

It’s not really happening at this level anymore. If it did, I’d think it would be kind of cool. I’d think that’s kind of fun, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. [laughs] Who is your favorite athlete to compete against, and the flipside of that question is, do you see yourself having any rivals in this sport?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

[laughs] I really, really like competing with Jamie Greene and Kari Pearce. Overall, they’re really well-rounded athletes and really nice people too, outside the competition floor. Anytime I get to compete with them, I’m always happy to see them on the floor and competing with them or just in the warm-up area.

 

Rivalries? I don’t know. It’s not a rivalry, but me and Amanda for the last two years, have been back-to-back as far as placing goes. I got 16th and she got 15th, and this past year, it’s 7th and 8th.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Just to give readers context who might not know that Games athletes by first name, which Amanda?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Oh sorry, Amanda Barnhart, strong [inaudible 16:04] . [laughs] Get it, Amanda!

David TaoDavid Tao

 

She’s really strong. There’s really no other way to say it. During the clean ladder last year, now I know Tia won the clean ladder she finished, I think it was 260 pounds, but Amanda Barnhart made all the ways up until 250 pounds look like an empty barbell.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, and she can power clean stupid amounts. She power cleans more than my [inaudible 16:29] . [laughs] So there’s that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

It’s always fun training with someone like that because you’re like, “Yeah, I can hang with them on certain things.” Then you get to a strength portion and they’re power cleaning something, and you’re struggling with it.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

It’s funny how opposite of athletes we are. She’s really good at endurance, don’t get me wrong. She’s amazing at endurance, but she’s more well-known for her strength than endurance. I’m more well-known for my endurance than definitely strength, I don’t have that much strength.

 

It’s cool to see how two almost different athletes can place right next to each other, the last two years. I thought that was interesting.

David TaoDavid Tao

Yeah, you mentioned that you’re more known for the endurance events, and you really do excel at them. Your results speak for themselves. Interestingly enough, you have a bodybuilding background, you’ve posted on Instagram before you have some show muscles, not necessarily the go muscles you really want for lifting heavy.

 

Most people who come from a bodybuilding background or a powerlifting background, another strength sport that involves strength in a hypertrophy aspect. When we move to CrossFit, their weakness is the endurance.

 

It seems like that’s the opposite for you, and you’re the first high-level CrossFit Games athlete I’ve talked to who had a background in something like bodybuilding, yet your go-to is the endurance aspects of the sport. Why do you think that is?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Honestly, it’s just my background going back to gymnastics. It was because of my back so when I got done with gymnastics, I couldn’t really do anything for about a year. I tried long-distance running. That seemed to be the only time that something didn’t hurt my back so like, “Well, guess I’ll just do long-distance running.”

 

I got into half marathons and 10Ks. Even in high school, I did the one and two-mile for track and cross country. My body just started adapting to more of like the slow-twitch and endurance. Even when I was just training myself, when I was younger, I just always did thousands of reps of everything. I never did any interval training, or speed work. It just always went back to my back, and it just couldn’t handle it.

 

Even I tried in track, doing the 100-meter dash because people were like, “Oh, you’re short and stout. You’d be really good at sprinting.” Then I tried it, and my back was just like, “Nope, can’t do it.” I just got used to all the long endurance stuff.

 

Even in bodybuilding, I did so many reps. I never went super heavy on anything because of my back. I never put a barbell on my back, nothing. When I went into CrossFit, I was like, “What? I got to put a barbell on my back while I do squat. What is this?”

 

I didn’t even know what a cleaning jerk was, or snatch, the Olympic weightlifting had no idea what I was doing. That was all very new to me. I just remember even before doing bodybuilding stuff, I would just go into the gym, and do 300 burpees for time. Just stupid stuff that I knew that my back could handle it that time. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

If I can do 300 burpees for time right now, I wouldn’t have a back. I would just be a spineless puddle on the floor. 300 burpees at a time, was that a real workout you did?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah, I just was really into burpees for a little bit. That’s why I don’t mind burpees when it comes to CrossFit. Some stuff that people just hate for CrossFit, like the Assault bike. I love the Assault bike, and burpees. I don’t mind doing them because I did so much of it. I would do 500 burpees per time. Just stupid dumb stuff.

 

People are always looking in the gym like, “What are you doing?” [laughs] “You are not even touching the weight.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 

One of my go-tos is when I travel, if I get to a hotel, I’ll just drop everything, and do 100 burpees. Just to get some movement in, and shake off the fatigue from the plane or something. Anything above 150 burpees, I’ve always thought, I don’t need to do that. If you do 100 burpees for a time, you feel pretty spent after.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Sure, yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I’m never working out with you on the road without access to something heavy. You sound terrible.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Yeah, my dad would explain that, too. There is four of us kids growing up, but we were just very hyper kids. At night, my dad’s like, “All right, feet underneath the couch, thousand sit ups, let’s go,” and [inaudible 21:03] just stupid stuff like that. I just grew up with endurance, a lot of numbers, and all that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Does your dad do CrossFit?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

He’s done a couple of CrossFit ask workouts, but he’s more of a Gold’s Fit dude. He’s getting there. He did Body Pump for a long time. I don’t know if most people know about Body Pump from Gold’s Gym. It’s basically total conditioning. He uses a barbell a little bit, but not really.

 

He has really bad knees, so I don’t think he’d never actually do CrossFit. He would be good at it if he actually could do it.

David TaoDavid Tao

We have very different up-bringing, I’m just going to put it that way. One thing that I know you’re very popular for, and we’ve actually gotten a few inquiries from readers before about this. When I say that, we get asked all the time, that’s normally a crutch.

 

Most people don’t mean that, but something we actually have been asked about is, “Hey, can you talk to Bethany Shadburne about all her accessory work?”

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s interesting because in the CrossFit space, it’s a really cool, and it’s really sexy to post your big lifts. It’s really cool to post a new world record Fran time, or something. A lot of what you post isn’t what a lot of people would consider the super glamorous stuff. It’s not all these PRs. It’s like, “Here’s a cool variation on single leg RDLs.”

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

[inaudible 22:26] [laughs] The list goes on.

David TaoDavid Tao

Ultimately, the first time I ever started following you on Instagram, this is years ago. I was, “OK, cool. I wonder what she’s going to post the cool stuff.” Over time, I began to realize, “Well, this is useful to me because this can help me at my own training, or my own accessory work.”

 

Why do you focus so much on posting your accessory work on Instagram? The other question is, are these movements coming from your own mind, or are they coming from your coach?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

I got into personal training in 16, 17. I just started doing that right out of high school. I ended up taking a cheer-point class, which was I don’t know if most people know about that, but it’s like a foam rolling class basically, but deep tissue. After that, I was like, this is interesting. I really like this stuff a lot.

 

I started doing a lot more of that stuff with my clients for personal training and being injured a lot throughout the year I knew that that was going to be really important for me to upkeep throughout especially if I wanted to do high-level competitions and competing for a long time.

 

Yeah, I did it before I started posting on Instagram. I’ve always been a huge advocate of stretching and foam rolling and accessory work and stuff.

 

It’s definitely more of the boring stuff for sure, but [laughs] it definitely gets the job done and I think more people need more of it, compared to going into the gym and not warming up correctly. That’s how most CrossFitters get hurt is they’re going to the gym and start lifting heavyweights.

 

On the other hand, [laughs] I don’t have any sexy heavy lists. That’s stuff. Then, CrossFit workouts too, they get there. I’ll post some of those, but it gets boring to watch.

 

I feel like people could use this stuff more as a general like public as a whole compared to doing stupid quads like 500 burpees for a time like I used to do [laughs] or other things like that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

You should just start posting sections of a 500 burpees workout, like 60 seconds at a time. Just fill up your feed with that. No, I would not recommend that. Please don’t do that. I’m sure your sponsors and your agent would be like, “No, what are you doing?”

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

To that point, do you think you warm up more or for longer than most CrossFit athletes? How long does your normal warm-up take? Do you think that’s generally standard for athletes at your level in this sport?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Probably not. I’ve always been told that I need to slow down, on the whole, [laughs] warm-ups, and stuff. Then, answering your other question too, I get most of my work and activation stuff from my coaches, but I definitely think of things on my own, too. It’s kind of like a mixture.

 

I’ve been through so many doctors and prehab people that I pick and choose the things that I liked from them, and that helped me get better. I’ve had so many people helped me out as far as accessory work and prehab stuff.

 

What was the other question? I’m so sorry.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Oh, no, no, no worries. Do you think you warm up for longer than other folks?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Yeah, I definitely slow down on the whole warm-up. It takes a little bit too much out of my training because then I end up training for four or five hours compared to two or three hours. Sometimes that helps me with my mindset.

 

Sometimes you go into the gym and you’re like, “Man, I’m tired,” or “I really don’t want to be here.” Everyone feels that way every once in a while and getting a longer warm-up and for me, helps me like mentally prepare for all the training I’m about to do.

 

I always think about, like in CrossFit, you’re literally using everything every time that you go into the gym, especially for training like two or three hours a day. For me, mentally, I’m like, I need to warm up everything and make sure everything feels OK because I get chinks all the time.

 

If I don’t do my shoulder activation stuff before I hit snatches or anything overhead up, there goes my neck. Like my neck kind of messed up or like little things. For me, it’s important that I get a good warm-up in because my body is like, “I hate you if you don’t warm up correctly.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

What are some areas that you think athletes tend to neglect as far as prehab and accessory movements most in the CrossFit space?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Definitely a lot of the shoulders stuff and glute activation. I’m not perfect at it and I’m still working on it, but a lot of athletes tend to use the wrong muscles when it comes to any short overhead movements or like getting your core activated when we’re lifting.

 

In CrossFit when we’re doing wads like it happens, your form is going to go when you’re doing X amount of reps like 50 reps or 30 reps at a time. It happens all the time and making sure that those muscle groups are warmed up and ready to go is important so you don’t get injured or you’re hurt for a long time.

David TaoDavid Tao

That makes sense. What do you think are some common misconceptions when it comes to the life of a CrossFit Games athlete? You’re a multi-time Games competitor. You’re a top 10 Games competitor.

 

You’re one of the, literally, among the fittest people in the world. I think that your social media gives insight into a part of the training that we don’t often see from top-level athletes, which is cool. What other misconceptions or stereotypes do you think folks have about elite athletes or athletes at your level?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

Just in general with Instagram and social media, things always look happy and perfect, but I think as athletes, we definitely have more bad days than good days, [laughs] where we’re either [inaudible 28:46] , especially before a competition.

 

Leading up to it, I’m crying in the gym. There’s a lot of suffering that goes on, [laughs] and we don’t always show that on social media. There’s definitely a whole lot of that going on more than anything.

 

A lot of athletes too…it’s not just about working out and then sitting the rest of the day. We’re constantly doing things and trying to make ourselves better. There’s a lot of prehab and rehab that we’re doing. I still coach on the side. I’m coaching either before I work out or after or both.

 

It’s a lot throughout the day, but I think the biggest thing is there’s a lot of hard days and a lot of training that goes in to being able to go out on the competition floor and do our best. [laughs]

 

There’s a lot of days where we’re all crying and thinking that we’re not good enough. Especially nowadays, especially during the quarantine, I think a lot of athletes are like, “Crap.” This blows how much training we’re not getting in or the things that we can’t do so we don’t feel like we’re ready to go as far as competing at the Games.

 

Once again, it’ll be an interesting year. As athletes we’re just like, “Man! Not good enough. I’m not ready. I’m not ready.”

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s certainly easy to have impostor syndrome with anything at a high level. A lot of us listening in can relate to that.

 

On that positive note, I will say I’m excited for the rest of this year for you. I’m excited to watch how the Games season unfolds. In general and also for you, where is the best place for people to follow along with your training, you’re legitimately, and I absolutely mean this, useful accessory work, and what’s going on with you and the CrossFit Games season calendar?

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Thank you for that. Mostly on Instagram. I’m there all the time with BethanyCF. That’s an easy username. You’ll find me there. I try to get back with everyone, too. That’s always my goal on the DMs and stuff. If you have questions, always go through the DMs, and hopefully I’ll get back with you. I’m sorry if I don’t.

David TaoDavid Tao

Also, before I forget, what’s up with the Crocs? I see you working out in Crocs all the time.

 

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

[laughs] They’re just comfy. I’ve always worn them. I remember one of my girlfriends that I’ve known for like 20 years, she was like, “Bethany, did you know you were wearing Crocs at, like, 12 or 13?” I was like, “What? Really?” Because I remember there was a period that I wasn’t wearing them. She was like, “Look at this picture! You’ve got Crocs on.”

 

I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” I don’t know. They’re just really comfortable. They’re real ugly. I know that. [laughs] They’re instant mood changer for me. I just put them on. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m ready to go.” They’re good pre-workout shoes and post-workout. You take your shoes off, slide them into the Crocs. It’s like walking on clouds.

 

There isn’t anything crazy about it. I just think they’re really comfortable. I know they’re real ugly, but I like them. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That is the best piece of advice that we’ve ever heard on the BarBend podcast. That’s a secret from the mind of Bethany Shadburne.

 Wear Crocs before and after a workout. Enhance your recovery. Feel like a champ. Bethany, never change a thing about the Crocs. Appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much for your time.

Bethany ShadburneBethany Shadburne

 

Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.

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