Meet the CrossFit Balance Regionals Team - DANIELLE DIONNE - Balance Gym
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Meet theCrossFitBalanceRegionalsTeam–DANIELLEDIONNE

Meet theCrossFitBalanceRegionalsTeam–DANIELLEDIONNE

How long have you been doing CrossFit? What are your favorite things about the sport?  

I’ve been competing in CrossFit since 2009.

How many times have you competed in the CrossFit Regionals in the past?

I competed at the Games in 2009 just at the sport’s infancy, as an Individual competitor from 2010-2014, and member of CrossFit Balance team 2015 and 2016.

What are your goals for this year’s Regionals?

My goals this year- longevity!  There are no short cuts to being healthy and training includes exploring mobility, pre-hab exercises; and being competitive involves being injury free!  We all experience bumps in the road, but over the past two years these bumps have made me evaluate my goals and how I spend my time in between workouts.  I’ve prioritized more “non-sexy” movements in my training aside from met cons and have been exploring activation work for warm-ups, scaling back in my volume, and trying to listen to my body and let that dictate my daily WODs as opposed to a rigid program.  I still want to be progressive in training and competing, but moving forward this means not having a sense of urgency of where I end up in rankings and at competitions and being more patient with progress.  My goal is to be healthy and improve for next year’s Open 2018 on the team or improve as a Master’s athletes!  This year at Regionals I will be supporting our team as both a coach and alternate in the case one of our girls on the roster has an injury.

What are you most looking forward to for Regionals? What are you most nervous about?

In terms of anticipating Regionals, there will be no surprises in the workouts. We will have know these and will have time to run through these  for nearly three weeks. However, the key to our success will be performing of course on game day and being flexible with adjusting as we need to. A key will be communication. What I’m excited and nervous is to see these athletes do this! I don’t think our team gives each other credit of the cohesiveness they have with one another, however they do when I take a step back and observe them in training! All the time they spend training together with the substance of the workouts aside is preparing them for game day to communicate, adjust, and bring on their “A” as a “team” versus bettering themselves with their strengths and weaknesses to be the best competitors.  They are all well rounded accomplished athletes, so this will be exciting to see their efforts as a team!

How has your training been going so far? What does a typical day/week of training look like?

On a typical day, I spend a couple of hours focusing on mobilizing, activation work, followed by the training for the day (this varies but may involve some gymnastics skill work focus, barbell (strength or oly), and some metabolic work, followed by some mid-line or scap work. Some days I may do another session or divide out the session and do the conditioning work as a separate session.  Generally, I aim to do 2 workouts of strictly aerobic intervals (running, assault bike, or rowing) on the side of the training program. I also spice up with joining the class workout at TC or Glover depending on my schedule, mindset, or just the workout. Usually when I have a lot going on for the day and can’t commit as much time in training, I’ll opt for a class, which is efficient! It’s important to have intensity and sometimes this is compromised with longer sessions based on the mental aspect (lots of stuff you want to do) and also perhaps based on my work schedule and sleep the night before. I always see a lot of social media motivational posts about fighting through and grinding through, but I think it’s a sort of balance when it comes to being productive in your training and wise with when to draw the line between “sucking it up for a session just to check off” and “quality of workout.”  Part of training is recovery and we all go to a different beat!

How is training as part of the team different than training on your own?

Prior to the Open we all did the same workouts up to 4 days a week, but I refocused on following a different training program geared towards Master’s Competitors and we train at the same space, but slightly different volume and of course scaling. On the weekends, we have 3 sessions scheduled. A lot of these involve team workouts, partner, a lot of varieties with training stimulus, skill work: worm, synchro, incorporating higher level gymnastics work. Typically during the week, many of the team athletes devote more time to strength work as well, but the weekends are typically more met con and endurance work I would say generally.

How has your nutrition changed leading up to Regionals?

I have done several months dialing in with the Renaissance Periodization Diet back in the fall and leading into the WODapalooza Qualifiers and had a lot of success in feeling energized in my workouts that I was striving for.  I was a bit more laid back with my approach as to not rigidly adhering to measuring all my macros as I did, but did embrace aspects of those months to incorporate regularly including:

*Less fat in my diet- prior to RP I had a lot more in my diet- I reduced this and stick with it by using egg whites (I had been consistently eating 3 whole eggs daily prior to measuring). I’m also only eating pre-portioned bags of nuts to keep from snacking (you can get these from Trader Joe’s!)

*Sticking with some of my go to meals (I eat Chixs everyday – my go-to is the kiddy bowl with veggies).

*Smaller protein portions- I had been eating like the hulk with protein before of about 30-40 grams a serving for each meal. Now I’m eating more like 20 grams, but spread out over more meals.

How do you balance training in CrossFit with everything else in your life?

For me CrossFit is a lifestyle, hobby, sport, and since 2009 has been my livelihood. I’ve met my boyfriend through the sport and he has become my training partner, teammate, and co-worker. So I would be a hypocrite for saying that I strike a balance outside of CrossFit for doing things outside the realm. So many of my friendships and social festivities revolve around the community!

What’s something you wish more people knew about CrossFit, competing in CrossFit, etc.?

I want people to understand that CrossFit is about bettering yourself and becoming the best version of yourself. Competitions can take on a lot of meanings to everyone: it can be accountability for future progress and a testing ground, it can be the social aspect, it can be about putting yourself out there and being part of the energy on whatever level! Regardless at whatever level, there is a sort of camaraderie and respect for one another’s efforts and I haven’t seen this sort of sportsmanship in an individual sport.