Margaux Alvarez: The CrossFit Games, Wine, and Long Drive Competitions (Podcast)

Margaux Alvarez is a 7-time CrossFit Games athlete, long drive competitor, coach, and wine entrepreneur. She’s one of the most multi-talented personalities in fitness, and her future in CrossFit — and beyond — is something we had to learn more about. We sit down with Margaux to talk about training across multiple sports, strength training for golf long drive competitions, her future in athletics, balancing wine with recovery, and more. 

In this episode of the BarBend Podcast, host David Thomas Tao talks to Margaux Alvarez about:

  • Which sports Margaux is training for in 2020 (1:40)
  • Margaux’s new experiences in long drive competition (3:30)
  • Training for long drive (6:33)
  • Why the feeling of competition is so universal (8:20)
  • Margaux’s run as a CrossFit Games team competitor — and how she almost accidentally ended up on a team (9:18)
  • Will Margaux compete in CrossFit in 2020? (12:55)
  • Margaux’s turn as a sports color commentator (16:00)
  • What happened when Margaux said she wasn’t doing the CrossFit Open in 2019 (19:15)
  • Her experiences as a wine entrepreneur (22:49)
  • Balancing fitness and wine with recovery (25:36)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

I’m obviously honored to go back and compete as a legend. Being in the sport since 2011, it’s crazy. It’s been, what, nine years for me. Depending on where you picked up on your CrossFit journey, everyone has a different aspect, but it’s crazy to think nine years has gone by.

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 Margaux Alvarez, a multi-time CrossFit games athlete, wine entrepreneur, golf Long Drive competitor, and adventurer who’s made a name for herself across multiple sports communities.

 

Though Margo is probably best known for her CrossFit games appearances and time as a CrossFit seminar trainer, she’s been pulling double and even triple career duty for years.

 

In today’s episode, we chat about Margaux’s CrossFit competition future, training for Long Drive tournaments, and how she balances recovery while consuming the finer things in life including the wine her company produces.

 

Also, I do want to take a second to say we’re incredibly thankful that you listened 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. Now, let’s get to it.

 

Margaux Alvarez, thanks so much for joining us. The first question I got to ask, and it’s because I don’t really have the best grasp on it right now, which sports are you training for in 2020?

 

It’s CrossFit. It’s Long Drive competitions, American Ninja Warrior style competitions. I know that’s something you’ve mentioned a passion for in the past. What does your 2020 look like athletically? Let’s just start there.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 It’s tough. I would say D, all the above.

 

Obviously joking, but I still would train within the CrossFit methodology. After last year, in terms of team experience, I thought — I was planning on closing that door — there might be a possibility of doing a team this year. It would be more fun maybe not planning to actually compete in the games. Maybe do a sanction with some friends. We’ll see. That’s up in the air right now.

 

That’s something, I think, I’m obviously still training for. I love the community of CrossFit, and I love people coming together and doing fitness. I think being able to do fitness and sweat each day is something that’s important to me. The Long Drive, the golf is something I’m still focusing on.

 

I’m actually just training for something else I can’t really talk about right now. It’s an NDA. I know. I know. Hold your breath, but that will be hopefully released here relatively things like talk about that.

 

Yeah, just in overall training, I want to still lift and want to get some cardio in. After this, next few weeks, the focus will be a little bit of CrossFit training, but also move more into golf and focusing on a lot of rotational and individual life strength because it’s season for Long Drive starts in March.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

This is something I must have been living under a rock or maybe it’s just because I knew you for so long as a high level athlete and in one sport. The Long Drive competitions, how did you get into that? Do you have a golfing background or did you…

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

OK.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yeah. [laughs] I played golf since I was eight. From age 18, I focused on golf. I competed in high school, did the all-state competitions, everything all that, and on terms of that line. Obviously, I loved it. It was fun. After so many years, I took a little break. I wanted to go to school for it, but the university I went to didn’t have a program or a team.

 

I ended up putting that on the backburner. Then, I found out about Long Drive about two years ago. We were watching it on TV and I was like, “Man, that’s pretty cool.” It looks fun. I’m like, “I like golf.” I was like, “This is just one swing, one clubs in a way depending on the clubs you have.

 

One thing I need to focus on. I was like, “You know what? I’m a lot stronger than I was years ago, so let me get back into it or start practicing.” Obviously, the swing is different than a traditional swing. There’s a lot of focus and power. You need to get a lot more loft. You want to get behind the ball to launch it so you can hit it as far as you can. Plus, you need to hit it within a certain grid.

 

That was like last year my first experience with it. I didn’t do as many competitions as I wanted to, but it was a cool experience and I am looking forward to doing more this year.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Like anything in athletics, there comes a point where if you’re at that elite level in your training for it, it’s frustrating. CrossFit can be frustrating. Golf can be frustrating. At least this way, you don’t have to worry about working on your short game. You can just let it rip.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yeah. It’s fine because people are like, “Oh, drive the show, pat, and go.” I was like, “Yeah, but this isn’t the same score.” There’s a full golf where you’re playing 18 holes or 72 holes for a tournament, but now you’re focusing on just the Long Drive. A lot of accuracy comes in and the rules up until this year, it used to be eight balls within three minutes.

 

Now, they’ve changed it to six balls in that three minutes. It’s two less balls, two less chances to essentially get on the grid. Accuracy, timing, precision, all that, still play the part.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s interesting that there’s…I wasn’t aware there was that time component. This is a total like, someone who doesn’t know anyone asking these questions. I should have done more research, but there’s this time component. Obviously, you’re going for these big powerful swings for max distance loft.

 

It almost reminds me of doing a certain number of heavy reps, or a certain number of max attempts in a timeframe. Do you think your experience with that in the fitness realm helped you here?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yeah, it did a little bit. On the not so much helping side, was the aspect of go as fast as possible, as many reps as possible. When I first started practicing, hitting those eight balls in three minutes, I would crush it in a minute and a half, two minutes. I was like “Man, I have a whole extra minute.”

 

Pacing myself and knowing I have so much time, or I’m going to want more like three balls a minute. You have to plan it a little bit better. Now when they changed the rules where it’s six balls in three minutes, you can again plan for it. It’s very similar to a max attempt, or sub-max attempt like snatch or clean and jerk.

 

It’s crazy because the harder you swing, it’s a little harder to control the club depending on the shaft, and the club you have, and the club face.

 

You need to be very exact in timeframe because, by the time the club face hits the ball, and it’s a little closed or a little open, it gets to start out great, but then you get it off the grid and doesn’t count. It’s like you almost waste that snatch, catching it, almost standing up with it, and then you lose it.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

[laughs] If you don’t mind me asking, what is your current Long Drive PR? Do you have a certain yardage in mind that you need to hit this year to hit a certain level of competition?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yes. My longest drive is 339 yards, that’s my PR, my longest drive. I really want to be more consistent at the 350. This past year Chloe Garner won the World Long Drive, and she hit 341. The girl who had won it the previous year Phillis Meti, she hit 340.

 

It’s not necessarily the longest drive, it’s the longest drive at that competition. While I would love to be more consistent at 350, I’d love to eventually hit a 375. I believe Phillis Meti, she’s been doing this for a good number of years. Her longest drive I think is 413 yards.

 

When you hit the ball, you get back wherever it lands, but then you get the balancing role. The longest one out there for a female, as far as I know, is her, which is 413. It’d be cool the competitors means like, “Oh yeah. Can I do that? Let me see how far I can hit it.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 

It’s like hitting a lift in the gym is not the same as hitting it in competition. It’s the same for this sport.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Exactly, totally. My first competition that I did, it was March last year in Yucca Valley, California. I thought everyone could go and compete, but found out when I got there it was just the men’s division.

 

I went up there and hit with the other men. It was a cool experience. My nerves and the adrenaline, as soon as I hit that buzzer, I was in competition across it. I was like, “Oh my God.” This adrenaline was powering through my body. I shank two of the balls right away.

 

I only got one ball on the grid, but you only need one ball. I hit 329 in Yucca Valley. My heart was racing, I was so jittery. I was like, “All right, I need to practice more of this competition.” Like you said, how you do it in practice and the range at home, so different than hitting the grid at competition.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Well, I never thought I would say this, but I guess the BarBend Podcast is now a golf podcast and we’re talking about Long Drive competitions.

 

That’s super interesting, and thank you for sharing that. It’s fascinating. The shared experiences of being on the competition floor, there are those commonalities across different sports.

 

It’s interesting to hear what you’ve taken from your experience in CrossFit competition. Which is significant, you’ve competed, is it seven games total? Do I have that?

Well, I never thought I would say this, but I guess the BarBend Podcast is now a golf podcast and we’re talking about Long Drive competitions.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Yes. Seven games, six individuals, and one team.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about team competition last year. I remember hearing in early 2019. This was about a year ago. Maybe it was a little less than a year ago, it was probably February-March, 2019.

 

You had no plans to compete at the CrossFit games in 2019, and then the game is rolled around, summer rolls around, we see you qualifying with Invictus X. We get the games roll around, we see you on the competition floor. What changed your mind, and is that something we might potentially see again?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 It’s funny. In my mind last year, my last individual competition was the Rogue Invitational. That was an amazing experience, had a blast being able to be on the competition floor. It was like, “All right, this is my closing of that mindset.”

 

If that rolls around opportunity came around, and an opportunity literally came up that Monday after the competition…

David TaoDavid Tao

 

The day after basically.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

The day after, literally that Monday. I can’t remember, was it the 18th, 19th, 20th around there. In my mind, I was like, “All right, cool opportunity arose.” The focus was to go to San Diego because we’re hoping we were getting into a few restaurants down there. We were going to be doing more business there with the wine.

 

I talked to CJ, “Hey, I’ll be in the area if you need help, whether it’s pushing the other athletes for training, or maybe I can drop and do some classes, get some training done.” The opportunity arose to possibly be a teammate. I was like, “OK, well, keep me posted on if it’s really going to happen and who the team would be.”

 

It ended up coming up to me myself, Kristi Eramo, Sam Dancer, and Holden. I was like, “All right, this should be cool.” I think it was that weekend that Friday. Thursday, Friday we got a short training session with all four of us and it was pretty much just to get on the one.

 

Sam and Holden had some experience before being previous team. Competing with Kristi at individual, I know her heart and her dedication, who she is as an athlete and the capacity she has. We’re just all four of us coming together to be in one place. That was good.

 

Then the next weekend, we went to Minnesota and did the Granite Games and got the qualifying spot to Granite Games.

 

It was what I was planning and what actually happened for my summer completely changed, but I was grateful for the opportunity.

David TaoDavid Tao

No good deed goes unpunished. You call CJ Martin up, you’re like, “Hey, I’ll be in the area if you want me to help out a little bit,” and then two weeks later, you’re on a plane, you’re heading to Minnesota, and you’re not even two weeks later. It’s like going back to the CrossFit Games.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Obviously, it’s tough because as a competitor, and I could probably speak…I can’t speak for everyone. With our team, it’s you push yourself to be the best version. Our team, you think it’ll be easier, but it’s not because you don’t want to be the weakest link.

 

At some point you will be the weakest link because not everything’s going to favor you. But you’re all understanding like, one workout, you might hold the team, the other workout that you might be weakest link. It’s been out of the understanding and working with them. Being able to communicate with CJ and be with a team, being able to communicate with them was an amazing experience. The energy was just so good and so positive.

 

Obviously, great athletes are important, but being around great people with a good heart and a good soul is even more important. That’s what’s going to carry you through all the physical aspects.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

In 2020, we talked at length longer than I ever thought I talked on a BarBend podcast about Long Drive competition, but it was super fascinating. Glad we did it.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Training for that, are there any…You mentioned you might do some [inaudible 12:43] this year. Are there any on your radar? What is in the realm of possibility for a 2020 CrossFit season to you? Not that we’re going to necessarily hold you to it.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

If I do anything, it would probably be the West Coast Classic with the team that I’m talking with. I don’t know, it’s not 100 percent so I’m [inaudible 13:04] , all right, it’s not going to happen. It would be probably the one and only one that I’m doing. I will do the Rogue Invitational this year, but I’m doing as a legend. Being invited for that was an amazing experience.

 

Even though the individual experience is different than it will be in terms of individual competition as you’re vying for a spot this summer in Madison. I’m obviously honored to go back and compete as a legend being in the sport since 2011. It’s crazy, it’s been nine years for me. Depending on where you picked up on your CrossFit journey, everyone has different aspects.

 

It’s crazy to think nine years has gone by but again not having any focusing on going to the games 2020. If I go there, my mind it’s actually to go there in a different format. I wouldn’t be competing. It’d be in a different role.

David TaoDavid Tao

One role I’ve seen you play more and more is that of a broadcaster. I know at the Arnold…

 

I was going to bring it up, of course I had to. At the Arnold Santa Monica Strongman Competition. We’re recording this, and this might not come out for a bit. We’re recording this in January, 2020. Wow, I still didn’t see that. It was just a couple weeks ago, not even a couple weeks ago, you were a guest color commentator at the Arnold Strongman Santa Monica.

 

From CrossFit Games competitor to Long Drive competitor to strongman color commentator, how did that come about? What was that like?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

I’m comfortable in front of the camera, and I love being able to talk to people, I love meeting new people.

 

I’ve done a little bit of broadcasting in the past. It’s been very minimal, maybe like a special guest at regionals. I think last year 2018 and possibly 2017, I did a little bit of play by play with Chase Ingram and Bill Grundler at the regional events in California.

 

I enjoyed that. Obviously, it was a very small segment, but I’ve always had an interest in possibly expanding it. I’ve been in talks, and doing the commentary was rogue. Had Josh there as well and then Sean Woodland. [inaudible 15:06] Sean Woodland, which is amazing to see how he does it so it gives me an inspiration of what I want to work towards.

 

It was incredible to be there not only doing some of the commentary but also the backstage and interviewing some of the athletes. I knew a little bit about strongman but then going into that weekend, researching and learning more being actually see them compete. I’ve seen him a little bit at previous years at the Arnold in Columbus. It was a whole different aspect, but it was amazing and I loved it, I really loved it.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

We cover a lot of strongman news analysis training tips at BarBend and we’ve had multiple strongman athletes on the podcast. What if anything sticks out in your mind surprised you most about that competition and about the sport as you were researching it for this broadcasting role?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

It’s tough to pinpoint to one thing but there was a lot of the history of what they’ve done. I noticed a lot of the athletes that we’re looking at, they had a good amount of years experience at such a young age. Whether that was on a small scale competition, strong men, some of them did power lifting before.

 

Being able to see the different backgrounds that they had coming into the sport was a build upon. Whether they were known locally or country wise, to see them come from all different backgrounds and compete on a stage and the feats of strength that they did was incredible. Watching them deadlift, a 735 pounds, which is one of the events, max reps in 60 seconds.

 

They made it look like a hot knife through butter. I wouldn’t be able to pick that up. Be able to research them and see their background and where they’re at where they were and where they’re at now, It’s like, man they put in a lot of hard work.

 

You said earlier in terms of different sports, you can transfer that skill set but also you see the different sports that you might look at in terms of competitors and athletes. It doesn’t matter work, time, dedication, and sacrifice that goes into it. Props to them and props anyone out there that is focusing and doing that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Are there any other, I’ll just say sports in general, I was going to say strength sports, but any other sports in general, that you’d be interested in doing some broadcasting or media work on that maybe you haven’t had a chance to?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

That’s a great question. I’ve done a little bit of CrossFit. That was my first experience in term of strongman. I love to do more of that. It was my first time and so learning a lot and I want to improve when I want to be able to go out there and do a great job, not just for myself, and being able to perform and execute well, but also make sure I give justice to the athletes and energy out there on the competition floor.

 

It’s like, they’re putting all the hard work behind, and now they’re showcasing it, and that’s a small piece just like you see like an iceberg.

 

In terms of other sports, I’m always open to anything else. I would definitely need to know a little bit more about it. Golf would be cool because I have the experience and background a little bit. Maybe that’s the next level jump that I do in the future. We’ll see.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

When we see you calling Monday Night Football with Tony Romo, in three years, I’m calling you right now. It seems like these opportunities present themselves to you and you just kind of stepped through the door.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Definitely, and it’s funny that you say that because, obviously, I’m a Cowboys fan mainly by default. My husband’s a Cowboys fan but we watch a good amount of football together. That would be great but I for sure would need to make sure I’m up to the plate ready to go and especially next to Tony Romo, holy crap. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

He set a new standard for sports color commentary.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

You never know.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I do a lot of weightlifting color commentary and listening to Tony Romo do football color commentary has made me better at calling weightlifting. That’s how good he is and how precise he is.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

It’s amazing and there’s so many details that you might not think about. For an individual that’s actually been in that sport, or gone to the game or multiple games or whatever, in terms of that position, you’re able to give an insight that maybe other people haven’t, which again, allows you like you said you become a better commentator or more insightful to how you do your reporting or your commentating.

David TaoDavid Tao

To change track a little bit here. Your relationship with the CrossFit community is one that’s definitely multifaceted as an entrepreneur, as an athlete, as a broadcaster, as a team athlete as well.

 

In early 2019, this certainly got a lot of press. It’s certainly something we covered on BarBend. You wrote a letter to a lot of your followers about why you weren’t doing the Opener, why you were changing your competition approach to CrossFit.

 

It’s something that I know there are certain things you can’t necessarily talk about. I do want to ask what was the reception like from the general community after you wrote about not doing the Open in 2019?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

A lot of people were supportive. My biggest message was to share people like what journey I was on, where I’m going, where I’m focusing more time and my attention.

 

I was spending less time in the gym, less time going to compete. So my focus was to give back to community another facet, which is coaching. I love coaching because, for me, it’s an ability to help others with their fitness goals or life goals in general.

 

Majority of people in the community were very supportive and understanding and, obviously, my point was just to say, “Hey, this is my path, this is my journey. This is what I’m doing. Do whatever’s best for you because we’re all on our own path.” Sometimes they intermix, sometimes they are parallel to another, other times they may not even cross. It was obviously amazing to have the support.

 

The community has been, for me, the biggest thing and that was one of the things that drew me in to CrossFit. Yes, we have the physical, emotional you versus you component, when you’re working out or competing, or whatever it is in the gym, throwing down the other people in the class, but the community of support and camaraderie from everyone was something that drew me in, I was like, “Man, like, I’d never had this before.”

 

Going to the gym, having my headphones in, and just focusing on my workout, I still love that from time to time, but the community was just uplifting. It’s like man, no matter what you’re doing whether you’re [inaudible 20:57] it, or you’re scaling it, or you’re not even doing any low, people are there supporting you.

 

That was, by far, the most thing that pulled me in, and it was amazing to have that support as I was changing directions in my career in life.

David TaoDavid Tao

We see that a lot when it comes to say that everyone’s been the newbie in a CrossFit class, struggling through that workout, or everyone’s gone for that PR in front of their fellow CrossFitters and in front of the class and everyone’s supporting them. We think of that…I’ve often thought of that, I should say.

 

It’s almost like a trickle down, like the elite athletes, the people who finish the workout first are supporting the people still struggling through and finishing a little later in class.

 

But it goes the other direction, I think. I think that your example illustrates it going the other direction. People who might not be CrossFit Games level athletes, who might be just working out to get a little bit fitter, sending that support back up to the elite athletes.

 

I can’t think of too many examples of that but yours is certainly one that definitely comes to mind so I appreciate you sharing that.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Well, thank you. That means a lot and you think of the competition, the level of athletes out there and, obviously, it’s an amazing feats of strength or amazing things to watch and be a part of, but it’s like all of us, in terms of the competition, we wouldn’t be here without the community.

 

We wouldn’t be where we’re at without the support, whether that’s a close-knit community of your friends and family or the community of your gym, or the community of your hometown, your country, continent whatever it might be. I think the biggest thing is giving back to other people that have given to you, you see, like that kind of full circle of karma.

 

I think it’s really important. It’s something that I’ve always instilled, way before CrossFit, in just life in general, and so to be able to see and be a part of something that’s obviously a bigger momentum or bigger movement than other people might see…It’s really cool. I’m obviously very grateful for it.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I know, right?

Of your many talents, and occupations, and hustles, we’ll call them hustles, because that’s what everyone does on podcast, right…

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

I know, right?

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Everyone talks about the hustle. What…

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

The side hustle.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

The side hustle that becomes your day…maybe the side hustle that becomes your day job. An example of that might be the wine industry, which is something that…I think you’re unique among high-level CrossFit athletes when it comes to very much being active in the wine scene. Is there a special term for like a wine entrepreneur? Is there a special term for that?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yeah, they have like the winemaker. I would say small business owner, because obviously, there’s the winemaking which is a big part of it. You have the behind-the-scenes, crushing the grapes, distilling them, pressing them, doing all the bottling, racking, all that, which is a big part of it.

 

The other aspect of it is you being able to sell, and market, and advertising, brand your company, your message. When I first got into it, I love the parallel between any fitness and winemaking. You see wine, and it takes a process. You can’t just crush the stem, bottle everything and have it ready to go the end of the year. Some varietals and wines are quicker than the others, others take a longer process.

 

It takes a while anywhere from 12 to 18 months to barrel, and then you got to let it sit in the bottles and then, eventually, drink and enjoy it, it might be a year and a half to two years. Crap, even maybe five years later.

 

You think of fitness, too. Like, “OK, I’m going to snatch 200 pounds.” You don’t just walk in there and load 200 pounds on. You have a process of it. I think those two mirror each other really well. Being able to see that process and say, “Hey, I have the whole background of it, but then also have the sales and marketing.”

 

I went on a little bit of a tangent there, but it’s a whole two pieces or two phases to the card, where it’s a lot about the business, but also the passion behind it and all the intricacies that go into it.

David TaoDavid Tao

The stereotype of CrossFitters maybe from the outside, is that they’re super Type A, they’re super intense. They workout all the time. They watch everything they eat. They don’t consume alcohol. That’s clearly not the case for every CrossFitter.

 

For some people, I think there’s a weird juxtaposition between someone who’s so into fitness and known for being so elite in sports, but also making, selling, marketing and most likely enjoying wine.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Definitely.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Where is that balance? How is that balance developed for you? Being a high-level athlete, alcohol isn’t necessarily conducive at a high volume to performance. It can impact recovery. How do you personally balance that? How have you learned to find that balance?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

You think of playing around, everyone has a different balance level, but my whole philosophy is, you work hard wind down. You work hard in the gym, career, life, whatever it is, family. At the end of the day, you enjoy a glass or a bottle, depending on type of day it was, to relax and unwind.

 

I found along the way, like a glass to two glasses is something that I enjoy. I feel good. I don’t feel tired the next day. I can get up to train. If I start to have three or four glasses, that’s when I feel a little tired. If it’s my rest day the next day, then I might indulge in a little extra glass or two.

 

In terms of balancing the work and balancing the training in terms of the gym, then also everything I needed to do with the business…I know myself, I know my body. When I tell people like, “Hey, you know your body best. Go off of what’s best for you.”

 

Obviously, people talk about the health benefits of wine. That’s not necessarily for promoting or going out there and say, “Hey, you know, you should drink this or you should drink that.” Something brings like the polyphenols that you find in the grape skins, they’ve shown to have promoting health benefits as red wine. White wine is obviously a little different.

 

Whether you drink wine or don’t drink wine for personal, religious or whatever you want. No forcing, but it’s like, “Hey, just find something you like, to allow yourself to relax at the end of the day. Enjoy the process.”

 

For me, that was a glass or two of wine. To be able to share that with people, it’s like, “Hey, this is what works best for me. Find what works best for you. Do you like wine? Cool, let’s make a toast and cheers to that.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 

As your athletic career is evolved, I’m sure your approach to recovery has also evolved. Are you training at the same volume you were a couple years ago? How does your volume of training now compare, on a weekly basis, to what it was maybe like 2016?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yeah, it’s definitely different. Leading up until this past year, I was training probably six to seven, maybe eight hours a day in gym. Obviously, would take breaks or I would split up into two sessions, or just do it all straight through.

 

The level and the volume of competition was a lot higher last year from 2018 and 2019. It started to be a little bit less, I was focusing more on the business. Still hitting the gym, probably getting maybe three to four hours in the gym, which is still good amount of hours.

 

This past year has been a little bit less. Traveling more, doing more events, maybe one to two hours, maybe three depending on what I had.

 

Most recently, I’ve been being more consistent with classes at a local gym here, which has been great, because I love the community. I get a workout in lifting, or whatever it might be, then I might stay after and do an extra workout, or some accessory work.

 

Right now, it’s probably two to three hours, which might be more than my old class. But it allows me to connect with the community, get in some extra work.

 

Obviously, as things change throughout the year, then my training time will change.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

How has your approach to recovery changed, and what are some of the mechanisms or tactics, call it whatever, that you have started to prioritize when it comes to your recovery?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Recovery, I’ve noticed the biggest thing that affects me is sleep or lack of sleep. When I was training a lot, full time, a lot of it was I needed to make sure I’m getting eight to nine, maybe nine and half hours of sleep. That’s what I found best for me.

 

Making a priority for sleep was really important. Recovery, making sure I’m also eating enough food. Everyone has different nutrition plans, but making sure that I’m being able to not only recover while my body relaxed, but also re-hydrate or refuel for the next day of training.

 

A lot of people now are becoming more aware of it. Back in the early days of CrossFit, it wasn’t so much as an importance where it is now. I think a lot more people are aware of it within the CrossFit realm.

 

Once you step out of a gym and you step out into the CrossFit community, you see people that don’t make an effort on it or aren’t as focused on it. That’s a whole other topic and tangent we can go on. But I would say the biggest thing that I’m focused on is sleep and then just making sure I’m refueling for myself.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

You’re in the Legends division at the Rogue Invitational, so you’re allowed to say “In the old days.”

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Exactly, in the old days. That’s so funny.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Once you’re a legend, you can refer to it. You could say, “Back in my day…”

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Exactly. “Back in the grassroots.”

David TaoDavid Tao

 

“You kids don’t get it these days.”

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Exactly.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I say “You kids don’t get it.” But a lot of competitors in the CrossFit space right now. You have teenagers who are competing in the open division and having a lot of success with it so…

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Yes, definitely, 100 percent. It’s funny you say that because we were just talking about this today at class. There are a lot of younger athletes coming up. Maybe they started at a CrossFit gym or box when they were like 9, 10, 11.

 

Now they’re getting to the point where can’t enter the team division, but they were CrossFitting for four to five years. Their form’s impeccable. Their body and mobility, they might not be having any issues where they’ve been sitting for 10, 20 years on a desk working on a computer.

 

They haven’t got to that, so they don’t have those issues. I think, as we go along, we’ll see younger and younger individuals that have great capacity, and are really strong. We’ll see how things evolve, but I think that’s where we’re going.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I will also say that looking back at my younger self, not that I ever hit anywhere near the level in any sport that you’re existing at but, recovery is a super power when you’re younger. It’s something you take for granted.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Oh, 100 percent. Definitely. It’s spot on. You have it as you’re younger. Not that you don’t have it as you’re older, but you have to make it a priority. But when you’re younger, I think that your body can bounce back from lack of sleep, or you’re not eating enough.

 

I remember, right before I found CrossFit as a [inaudible 31:11] , some nights I would get four hours of sleep, and I’d be up at 4:30 to do the five o’clock class before I got cleaned up and got ready to go to my marketing job. I was like, “Man, four hours of sleep? No way. There’s no way I could do that. Not now.”

David TaoDavid Tao

As we age, we learn a lot. We try to balance the increase in knowledge, with maybe the decrease in natural recovery ability. It’s always a fun fight though.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Exactly.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I say fun fight. It’s a fight. Certainly.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

I 100 percent agree. As we get older, you realize what’s a priority or what you want to put more time to your detours, which is really important. But you have to go through that to get that experience.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

That’s certainly something that you’ve been on a journey of discovering, bouncing both. Your business self, and your athletic self, and sometimes the two cross paths. So that’s very cool to see.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Margaux, thank you so much for taking the time join us. Where are the best places for people to keep up to date with what you’re doing both inside the fitness community, and even beyond that?

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

I would say the best place would be Instagram, which is my @321gaux handle. We also have @thegoatwine on Instagram. We also have the G.O.A.T. Wine website, which is thegoatwine.com.

 

Something that we’ve been focusing more on now in terms of fitness coaching is our YouTube channel, we started January 2nd. Started doing fitness videos, and fitness workout for those who maybe too timid to go to the gym, or don’t have enough time, they’re traveling, which essentially gives a platform for them to get their fitness in.

 

Those would be the best places. Website, Instagram, and then YouTube.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Awesome. Well, Margaux, thank you so much for joining us and I’m really excited.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

 

Of course.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I’m really excited to hear some of the developments for you later this year, including a few you clearly can’t talk about now. We’re waiting with baited breath. We’ll have to circle back up and see how those turn out. So best of luck in those endeavors.

Margaux AlvarezMargaux Alvarez

Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Thank you.

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