WATCH the full interview below or LISTEN to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
Guy: Whether you are an elite athlete, weekend warrior or even a coach potato, there’s much wisdom to be had here when it comes to fuelling your body daily for optimum performance. With so much conflicting advice out there when it comes to nutrition, who better person to ask than someone who walks their talk. Elite CrossFit athlete, Ruth Anderson Horrell shares her insights around nutrition daily and also during competition time. No matter what your goals are, it’s certainly worth a few minutes of your time… Enjoy.
“Never say, ‘can’t’… The word just makes me cringe and it is such a negative thought to ever think that you can’t do something. You may not be able to yet, or whatever it is, but if you decide you can’t, it’s like you’re already there.”― Ruth Anderson Horrell, Elite Crossfit Athlete
Ruth Anderson Horrell is a New Zealand representative CrossFit Athlete. She has represented the Australasia region at the World Reebok CrossFit Games in 2011, 2012 and 2013! Ruth competes for NZ as an Olympic Weightlifter. In 2012 she competed at the Oceania and Trans Tasman Champs. Ruth is a successful co-owner and coach at CrossFit Wild South and works as a Locum small animal veterinarian when she has time :)Currently she is training towards being Australia’s best female CrossFit athlete. She trains in Los Angeles under the instruction of Dusty Hyland for parts of the year.
Ruth Anderson Horrell Full Interview:
In This Episode:
How she walks the fine-line between optimum training and overtraining
Her recovery strategies
Her own exercise routines
What CrossFit Regional Games looked like 8 years ago!
The advice she would give her 20 year old self when starting CrossFit
Guy:Hey this Guy Lawrence from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to today’s health session. You’ll have to forgive me, it’s nearly 40 degrees Celsius in this room; it is hot. That’s okay, lets push on with the intro. Today’s guest is Ruth Anderson Horrel. She is an incredible athlete, as far as I’m concerned. She’s a Crossfit athlete, if you’re not familiar with her, and she’s been to the Crossfit world games three times. I can assure you now, that is a hell of an achievement. She has a wealth of experience when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and recovery, and I think the one intention was today, whether you’re into Crossfit or not, we really wanted to tap into Ruth’s experience, and wisdom, and hopefully get a few gems across to pick up for everyone, ’cause I think there’s certainly a theme that’s coming across in the podcast, and the way people approach their diet, whether they’re at the elite end of athleticism, or not.
Whether you just move daily and just trying to drop a bit of weight, there’s always some fantastic lessons to be learned from some of the best people that we can get hold of, that’s for sure. The other thing I’d encourage to do as well, is actually follow Ruth on Instagram, and then you’ll start to see what I mean by what her athletic abilities are, and what she is capable of.
Now, I haven’t asked for a review for a while, but I will. We had a fantastic review on iTunes come in the other day. I always ask for them because they obviously help with the rankings, but other people read them as well, and it’ll encourage them to listen to the podcast, so if you’re getting great befits from listening to my podcast every week when we push them out, then it takes two minutes if you could leave a review. The one we had just the other day says, “my favorite podcast by far,” with 5 stars, that was very generous, by [chinlo 00:01:47]. “Thank you, Guy and Stu for hours of learning. My favorite thing to do is listen to your podcast while going for a nice, long walk. I’ve listened to most of them twice or more. I never tire of your fantastic hosting, A-grade guests, [00:02:00] and the wonderful insights your podcasts bring.” I thought that was absolutely wonderful, so thank you for that, and hence why I gave you a shout out.
We read them all. Tell us how you listen to our podcast. I’d be fascinated to hear because we’re in, I think over 50 countries now, getting downloaded anyway, which is really cool. All right. I’m going to stop blabbering. Let’s go over to Ruth Anderson Horrel. Enjoy.
Hi, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart [Cooke 00:02:27]. Hi, Stu.
Guy:Good to see you. You’re looking well, mate.
Guy:Our lovely guest today is Ruth Anderson Horrel. Welcome, Ruth.
Guy:I just realized, did I pronounce your last name correct?
Ruth:Yeah, that’s good. Yeah.
Guy:Okay. I always get confused slightly on that. You’re not the first guest, either. I have no doubt they’ll be two parties listening in on this podcast today. That’s going to be one that’s going to know [inaudible 00:02:55] is, and who you are and Crossfit fanatics, and then I think a big portion of our listeners, as well. They will have heard of Crossfit, but are not going to have any idea. I think hopefully we can, between us all, please both parties today. That’s our intention, anyway, and tap into some of your experience over the years, which we’re excited about.
Just to start and get the ball rolling, as always on our podcasts, can you just mind sharing a little bit about what you do, including Crossfit and outside of Crossfit as well? I know there’s a lot more to you than just going to Crossfit every day and training your heart out, really, isn’t it?
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s a big part of it. It’s a pretty big goal for the last few years has been competing at the Crossfit games and doing well there. In the meantime, on the Crossfit journey, I ended up opening a Crossfit gym about 5 years ago also. That’s been steadily growing and keeping us busy. That’s been a whole new experience for me, just learning how to run [00:04:00] that business. I also run a website, ruthless.co.nz, where we sell Crossfit equipment and accessories and things. That’s normally a few hours of my day, as well. Then I’m a small animal veterinarian and I’ve been doing that for 2 days a week for the last … I’ve been fairly part time, actually with it, probably for the last 3-4 years, so that I can focus on my training. Yeah.
Guy:Many balls in the air.
Guy:Can you share with the listeners where you are, as well? It’s a part of the world that I really want to go to.
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. It would be a bit of a temperature drop for you guys. I’m in Invercargill, which is right on the south coast of the South Island in New Zealand. We were the southern-most affiliate. I haven’t actually done a check lately, but we’re pretty south as far as Crossfit gyms and population, generally, I guess.
Guy:Yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s the weather like there now. Is it all right? Not too cold?
Ruth:Well yeah, it’s our summer, but we’re sitting early 20s today. At most over the summer, we’ll hit 30 degrees probably only a few times. It’s not a huge variation.
Stu:Comfortable. That’s what I like, cool and comfortable, doesn’t keep you awake at nights like last night.
Ruth:No, definitely not. No, no. No trouble sleeping. The room’s always fairly cool.
Stu:Good. Good on you. For our audience that are not Crossfit savvy, and for anybody else who really doesn’t entirely understand what Crossfit is, I wondered if you could just explain? Give us your elevator pitch. What is Crossfit?
Ruth:As Greg Glassman always says, [00:06:00] “I’ll show you. Come and have a go.”
Guy:I’ve never been there, but you’ve explained it.
Ruth:It is a really tough question. It’s actually funny. We were sitting around at the Queenstown Crossfit Tour and there was a bunch of all these elite athletes at a table. The waiter came around and said, “So what is Crossfit?” Everyone looked at each other. It was like, “Who’s going to answer it?” You’ve got people that have literally based their life around it and still have trouble explaining well how it works.
It’s a strengthening conditioning program. It’s constantly varied, so people that train Crossfit style, every day they go into the gym, they’ll be able to try new things that there will be either a variation of movement, variation of weights, variation of complexity, and a variation of time that they’re going to work out. A huge range of energy systems get used because it scopes literally from workouts that can take seconds to workouts that can take probably around an hour or so. There’s a few that go a bit longer.
For me, it’s a sport. For most people, it’s a way of just maintaining health and fitness. For me, it’s become a sport and it creates a slightly different level, I guess, a different level of complexity in terms of movements and weights and everything else.
Ruth:It’s different. The movements are very much preparing people for everyday life. That’s probably the thing I love most about it. I’m training an older lady at the moment who’s preparing to walk one of the big, there’s [00:08:00] lots of beautiful walks in New Zealand, and she’s 65 and she’s preparing to walk a trek that’s about 60 kilometers with a pick. We know that we can get her ready for that.
Guy:What is the diversity of people that you train, then? I think with Crossfit, if you’re on the outside looking in, it’s very easy to say, “Oh, that’s an elitist thing,” because the guys are generally pro videos, the guys that are really good at it. You don’t see the other side of it.
Ruth:Yeah, for sure. In our gym, the oldest person is actually my dad and he’s about to turn 70, but there would be no reason we couldn’t have older people. That’s just as old as we currently go. In terms of the youngest, well, we’ve got Crossfit kids and teens at our gym, so those kids are learning body weight movements and things from age 6. There’s a pretty huge range there, and then of course you get that huge range in how much sport people have previously done and also just what they do in their everyday life. We have people that have relatively sedentary jobs and in our box we also have a lot of people that are laborers or mechanics, builders, gardeners, that do a lot of physical work. It’s important for them to either reverse some of those effects of some of the quite repetitive movements that they’re doing and address some of the mobility problems and things that may come from that, and also just so they can be stronger and reduce the chance of getting injured while they’re lifting heavy objects and things they do at work.
Guy:Yeah. I’d imagine you’ve seen quite a few transformations all the time, as well, with people coming in [00:10:00] and following the protocol all the way through and seeing how that impacts their lives.
Ruth:Yeah. It’s really cool when people that they haven’t done a lot of exercise before, they’re the most scared. They’re the most apprehensive at walking in the door, but in many ways, they’re the most exciting people to train because you’ve got a little bit of a blank canvas and you know you can really make a difference by coaching these people in movement and having a better way of life.
Guy:I’d just say anyone listening to this who hasn’t tried Crossfit, they should put it on their bucket list and at least walk into a box and try it once and see what all the fuss is about. I recommend you.
Ruth:Yeah, absolutely. I think …
Stu:I’m thinking about just common issues, Ruth, as well. If I’m new to Crossfit, I’m going in, what do you typically see from people that walk into your box, because we’ve experienced it ourselves, Guy and myself, and we were voracious when we started. We probably hit it a little bit too hard, personally. What are commonalities that you see with the newbies?
Ruth:Yeah, I guess that wanting to have the more advanced movements before having the basic elements.
Ruth:That’s cool. You’ve got to have a goal and a dream. I know when I first discovered Crossfit, there was much less on the internet about it than there is now, but I remember seeing videos of people doing … Girls were the biggest thing, not guys, of seeing women do things like muscle ups and lift weights over their heads and things like that. That was what inspired me to get started with it. I didn’t have a box to walk in the door of, but [00:12:00] that’s what inspired me to get started. You know that people need to have those dreams, but just not paying attention to the basic movements first before, “But can I get up and just hit it a go? I just want to jump in those rings and I just want to do this and that and swing around.” They’re just not quite grasping some of the complexity and the amount of elements that needs to be tied in.
That’s just the learning process. A lot of that is our job as coaches, to help people see, “Well, okay. Well, there’s some deficiencies here and here, and if we work on those parts, then we’re going to get this mastered.” Then I guess just not paying any attention to their own recovery or mobility. I’d probably put those 2 together. Just trying to get in the gym right when class starts and get straight into the workout and just not paying any attention to some of the things that they need to do to get their body well-prepped. We coach people into generally trying to come 15-20 minutes before class. We still run a warm-up, but we want people to work on their own specific things that they need to address.
I know for myself, I took way too long to start addressing my problems with my thoracic mobility, and basically because I just didn’t know any better and I didn’t have anyone to tell me any more than that. It ended up that I ended up having an injury when I was competing. I had slipped a disc at T-5, which is quite an unusual injury. That forced me to address it, but that’s neither something that you would want to happen to an athlete that’s coming into, for a strengthening conditioning program. They need to be aware of where those deficiencies are [00:14:00] and what they need to do to resolve them.
Stu:Great. One of the take homes for me, from being a Crossfitter for a couple of years, was just the importance of my mobility and flexibility. That’s something that I do every day as well now. Just the realization that we really do need to get moving and stretch these muscles and open up the joints … Every day from sitting at a desk, I go over and I’ll go into a squat and just sit there for 5 minutes, roll my shoulders and just get, open myself up and just try and get in a few positions that ordinarily, most people would just never even conceive of wanting to try. It makes me feel so much more alive and open. Great lessons in there.
Ruth:I think range of motion has a huge impact just on our quality of life and when you see older people that just haven’t been able to maintain activity, just how quickly range of motion gets lost, and then strength goes with it. Yeah, that’s definitely … I’m still learning about range of motion and how things can be improved, really.
Guy:How long have you been involved in Crossfit, just out of curiosity, Ruth?
Ruth:I think about 8-1/2 years.
Guy:Right, and you’ve been in Invercargill that whole time? What made me think, is because you opened a box there 5 years ago. What were you doing before the box came?
Ruth:Yeah, we just started out. My brother-in-law was living down here at the time and he had been living in Melbourne. Someone had just showed it to him. I’m not even sure if he’d done a workout with these people. Some people just showed him the Crossfit.com website and he came back. He was taking me through some personal training. We were just doing some strengthening so I could [00:16:00] compete at a triathlon that I wanted to do. Yeah, we just decided to start following some workouts on Crossfit.com and things got wild pretty quickly. Within 4 months, I went out to the first-ever regionals, which was in …
Ruth:Yeah. Yeah. Is that eight years?
Guy:It’d be a while back, because I had a friend that competed in it.
Guy:Long time ago.
Ruth:Yeah, I went out to CFX there and that was just when you could roll up to regionals.
Ruth:[crosstalk 00:16:57] since you had no idea what. We didn’t even really know what all the movements of Crossfit were at that stage. I was like, “Oh, okay. Clean and jerk. All right.” The judge is out back with each person, showing them all the movements that they’re going to need to do, a bit like a level 1.
Stu:That’s a radical change from any training that you would have been doing at the time, as a triathlete, as well, to then suddenly go into these wild and wacky Olympic lifts and technical movements. Wow. How did that work out?
Ruth:I did miss one of the workouts at the competition because I couldn’t do a ring dip, but I think I had captain pull ups by then, had no idea what a butterfly pull up was at that stage. We actually had a sand dune run, so I did really well on that and I think there was another workout I did quite well in. It was okay, but I know I did miss on 1 of the workouts, not being able to do a ring dip. I just couldn’t believe that there were girls there that could do ring dips. I was like, “Oh, my goodness.” The rings was totally, was not even something that I had, wasn’t a piece of equipment that we even had. We were playing. We didn’t even have a kettlebell, actually. We were swinging a dumbbell.
Ruth:We did okay, probably as you would expect, but it really was an inspiring moment for me to realize the level that some of the athletes were at and that in some ways, I could see that I could be there.
Guy:That’s amazing, because Crossfit’s come such a long way. Like, when you look at the caliber of athlete today that you compete against, if anyone seemed again to walk into a regional games, it’s well and gone in Australia. Go and check it out for an hour. It’s phenomenal, the standard of athlete today. How many were competing at the time back then? Was it …
Ruth:I’m going to say there might have been about 30-40 women, and probably the same for the men.
Ruth:Yeah, so I imagine it was just advertised on the Crossfit.com website. Just clicked the link and registered, and all the sudden, I flew to Sydney and had a go.
Ruth:I’ve been really fortunate, to be able to grow with the sport, I guess.
Guy:You have, yeah, fully. Absolutely. Move on to the next question, when you’ve talked, because we’re still on the topic of training, how do you, I’m always curious to ask athletes this, walk the fine line between optimum training and over-training?
Ruth:Yeah. I’ve definitely crossed the line before, so I know what that feels like. I’ve had to be aware of how to modify. I had quite a big hand surgery this time last year and I have had a few injuries along the way, so I’ve had to be aware of how to be patient with those and modify things as needed. I know my body. Generally, if I’m over-doing [00:20:00] it, I generally wake up very early in the morning. I never have too much trouble getting to sleep, but I have a little bit of trouble staying asleep. That’s normally the warning sign for me, if I’m not able to maintain my regular sleep pattern. There’s normally something amiss, because generally that won’t happen. As soon as something like that, if I become aware of that, then I’ll normally start throwing in some more rest days, beyond what my regular rest days are.
Ruth:I guess it’s a difficult thing. I feel like you probably need to cross the line to know exactly where it is, in some ways. You probably need to make a couple of errors to work it out.
Guy:Along the way, you learn from it. Yeah. You intuitively get in-tuned in. Maybe you should explain to everyone listening to this, as well, what a typical day of training might look like for you. We know coming into the season of Crossfit … You’ll be competing for the regionals, Auckland regionals this year, Ruth?
Guy:Yeah. Some of the listeners might not know, you picked up an injury last year leading into the, was it the open or the regionals itself?
Ruth:Yeah, yeah, we were about 3 weeks out from the start of the open and my tendon on my thumb snapped. It was a little bit of, “Maybe I just don’t have the surgery and have a floppy thumb,” and then I decided I needed to get it done. That was a tricky decision because I’d obviously worked my butt off to come back and give it to Carson and go back to the Crossfit games and have a good shot. I felt like everything was falling well into place, so it was one of those stumbling blocks.
Guy:[00:22:00] Yeah, but a year comes around quickly. Here it is again, right?
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Sorry, what was your question again?
Guy:We were talking about the fine line of over-training and recovery.
Guy:Now we get into the season, just to give listeners an idea, what would your typical training day or week look like?
Ruth:At the moment, I’m generally doing 3 days on, 1 off. That varies a little bit throughout the year, but that’s currently what I’m sticking with. Today, for example, I’ve been in the gym and I’ve done a couple of hours of gymnastics training, working position, a very small amount of what I would consider conditioning, but for the most part, just working position and some of the movements that I find more challenging. I quite like to start my day with more technical elements like that, but I have a little bit of variation. Sometimes I will lift in the morning. Generally, I’ll try and get in at least an hour. It will depend on my coaching schedule, but at least an hour, possibly 2 before lunch and then in the afternoon, I will generally start an afternoon session with a good 90 minutes or so of lifting and then I’ll have a little break and then I’ll start having my conditioning.
[inaudible 00:23:25], so what people would commonly get if they go in for a class, and then I often end a session with some interval-style training. Yeah, that’s about it. It’s a bit broken up into little blocks, 60-90 minutes at a time, and give myself a bit of a break. The break might include getting in a personal training session with someone or getting some of my other business work done and then coming back to [00:24:00] training. I find it pretty hard to just hit a 3-hour block or something, of training. There has been times I’ve had to do it because of my schedule.
Guy:It’s a huge commitment, isn’t it?
Stu:3 days on, 1 day off, so that 1 day that is going to be really, really important for you to rest and recover. I’m interested in the strategies. Are there any? What does a Crossfit champ do on the recovery day to absolutely maximize that day for everything?
Ruth:I need to do a lot of mobility work, so I try and get in, it will be an hour, and I try and do more if I can. Some of that, for me, it needs to include a bit of activation-type work as well, just to get my shoulders moving as best as they can and glute activation and making sure my hips are as mobile as possible. For me, that’s been important. Number 1, I’ll be 32 this year. I guess in the life of Crossfit athletes, it’s creeping up there at the end of staying at world-level competition. It’s just something I just have to make sure I’m really on top of the mobility side.
I used to do a bit more of things like having a jog, like doing a long run in the bush and things like that. I don’t do that every … I consider that more of a workout now. I try and have my rest days as being a bit more rest days. It will depend on my state of mind, I guess, as to whether I want to throw in some skill work at the same time, as well. If there’s something that is just technically challenging and not going to be over-fatiguing, [00:26:00] I might do that, as well. If I just feel like I’ve been at the gym so much over those last few days and would prefer to have a break, then I won’t.
Guy:How many hours sleep do you get a night, Ruth, normally?
Ruth:My target’s 9.
Guy:There you are. Okay. Yeah. A good night’s sleep, right? I like it.
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I probably hit 8 most of the time and try to get another 30 minutes in the afternoon. I love getting an afternoon nap. It just makes training in the afternoon go better and just feel so good. That’s my favorite thing, but just, life doesn’t always allow it.
Stu:That recovery day is wildly different to anything that I thought you were going to say. I imagined that you were going to say, “I’m going to sleep in, have a coffee, go down to the local video store, get my favorite movie, sit back on the lounge with my dog, and just veg out.” I didn’t expect to hear that …
Ruth:I wish. I wish, but no, I’ve got to run the businesses and do all those other things, so I probably have a bit more catch-up and try to get on top of the world as much as I can, emails and all that kind of stuff, have a real tidy-up so that it allows me more time on the training days.
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I don’t … I’m not big on lying around too much. I like to get out of the house, mow my lawns, and I like to keep moving. Yeah. As you see, get in squat position and stuff while I’m weeding my garden.
Stu:I’ll write you a recovery program, Ruth, and see how that goes down for you: lots of movies and stuff like that. Guy touched on sleep there, as well, which obviously is critical for everybody, even more critical when you’re an elite athlete. Have you got any tips or tricks that have worked for you? Do you do anything in particular to get that solid sleep working for you?
Ruth:[00:28:00] Yeah. I don’t like bright light. I know I’ve stayed at some other people’s homes and I’ve found if their living rooms and things are really lit up, I find that quite buzzy. I just think they interfere.
Ruth:I try not to spend too much time watching TV or anything late at night. My room is really dark. I live right at the end of the street and there’s no street lights that affect my room. I’ve got proper blackout curtains and things. I typically don’t have any trouble. It’s cool, I should mention, but that’s just, that’s without air conditioning. It’s just the temperature is cool.
Stu:I could have done with that last night.
Ruth:It’s pretty good. I always take magnesium in the night time, and the amount will depend on if I’ve had a massive training day or have some with my dinner and some again just before I go to bed.
Stu:Any particular type of magnesium that works for you?
Ruth:I think it’s called diglycinate?
Ruth:Yeah. Is that right? It’s a powder drink that I make up. I find that fantastic.
Stu:Right. Got it.
Ruth:I just notice it, if I’ve missed it for a few days. I just feel like I’m missing it. It’s been a supplement I’ve taken for a long time.
Guy:I’m interested, as well. You’re going to be pretty switched on with the nutrition. I know we’re going to get into that topic a bit later, but in terms of recovery, have you ever deviated from the way you eat, and how did that go on and affected your recovery? Have there been any kind of correlations that you’ve seen at that end?
Ruth:Yeah. I’ve had things like I’ve trained, a workout’s taken way longer than I expected. [00:30:00] I’ve literally got 10 minutes and I need to run a class, so I’m having a shower and then starting class. I totally skip having any post-workout nutrition. I’ve generally been more sore for that the next day.
Ruth:I know that I need to get some carbohydrate and protein in after I train, and it does seem to be quite a difference if I haven’t got it in within 30 minutes of training. The next day’s always going to be tougher. Definitely just, life’s got in the way and I haven’t done things as I would have liked. I’ve known the difference for that.
Guy:Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, fantastic. Excellent. Now, do you have … I’m assuming you have coaches, as well, guiding you to the games. I’ve also noticed that you’ve gone to America for the last few times that you’ve competed prior to the games, as well.
Guy:Why do you go to America, first of all? Yeah, beforehand.
Ruth:In our town, there wasn’t Crossfit. My first introduction to some high-class, quality coaches was when I met Dusty Holland at the gymnastics [cert 00:31:19] at the [Schwartz 00:31:23] Gym in Melbourne, about 4 years ago, I think. Met him and we became really good friends and I traveled out to him. I think I’ve had 6 trips out now to the states to spend good blocks of time with him. They also gave me an opportunity to train with some amazing athletes like [Sam Bricks 00:31:48] and Lindsay [Vellanzuella 00:31:51], [Tina Lee Brixton 00:31:52], some really, really amazing athletes out there. Initially, my gymnastics was my largest weakness [00:32:00] in my range of movements, so it seems like the perfect match. Dusty’s continued to program for me for a number of years now. We don’t chat as much as we would like to at the moment because we’re both really busy people, but he definitely helps guide me to making sure I’m working on some of the new movements that are coming into the sport and just continuing to develop my virtuosity in the more basic elements, as well.
I’ve also had a weightlifting coach here in Invercargill for a number of years, which has been fantastic, Joe [Stinsy 00:32:43]. He’s actually one of the New Zealand coaches now, as well. We traveled to Papua New Guinea and competed at the Oceaneas last year, did there as well.
Guy:Yeah, because I was going to ask, it requires so much discipline, what you’re doing leading up into the open and competing, so do you have a coach at every training session with you, or is a lot of it self disciplined, that you’re just literally just turning up and training, because it’s hard to ask. Some people, it’s hard to do a bit of exercising in a day, just to motivate themselves, let alone at that end.
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I have some days where it is totally no one else at the gym, so they’re probably the more challenging days. I find even just having someone else there, whoever it might be, is just useful. In recent months, I’ve actually been grabbing some of the guys and saying, “Hey, I’ve got to do these 6Ks or row sprints. Do you want to join me on it,” things like that and just fun.
Guy:Do you get any takers?
Ruth:Yeah, I do. Yeah. I choose things that I like, totally, and they will help. They’re like, “Yeah, yeah. Okay. Take you on at that.” I’ve also had a bit of [00:34:00] the athletes partnering up and taking me on at a workout. They’re doing it as a partner would, thing like that. We try and find ways, but for the most part, no, I don’t have a coach hanging with me in the gym each day. That definitely has its down sides, but some part of me likes being at the bottom of the earth and away from too much hype. Probably one of the harder things of training at Dog Town with Dusty was, cameras would be showing up every second day and different people wanting to take videos and pictures and just a lot more people, just a lot more going on.
In some ways, it gives me a little bit more focus. I do a lot of, what’s the word, visualizing, so even in my sessions this morning, which probably weren’t the type of things you would expect to see at a competition that were quite skill-based things, before the clock starts, I still am imagining I’m either on the games floor or I’m standing up there at regionals. I try and put myself in that mental space.
Stu:Do you use your visualization for stuff outside of Crossfit, as well, everyday life? I know that I always visualize the rock star car parking space when I’m out and about and I need to pull in somewhere, and 9 out of 10 times, I get it. It’s true.
Ruth:I have to think about that. I don’t know if I do as much.
Guy:You should try it. Stu recommends it. I do well at it because I’ve got a motorbike.
Ruth:I’m really good at parking anyway. No, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that. I might subconsciously do it.
Stu:I reckon [00:36:00] that there’s merit in that stuff. I do, just all of that stuff. I’m just really into, “I’m thinking it, I’m seeing it, and I’m going to make it happen.
Guy:Yeah. It’s interesting what you said, Ruth. It made me think of a podcast I listen to with [Dorian Yates 00:36:18]. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dorian Yates, but he was the bodybuilding world champion in the 90s. I think he won 7 titles and incredible. They used to call him The Shadow because he always used to stay out of the glitz and glamour of LA and the limelight. He had a little gym in Birmingham and nobody knew what he was up to. He said he used to use it to his advantage, so he would train, he would visualize going to all these great competitions where everyone else was seeing actually what they were doing and competing and judging themselves. He just stayed away from the whole thing and then would turn up when it was time for Mr. Universe and just blow them out of the water, you know?
Ruth:Sometimes, if you’re competing against another athlete and you’re actually, if you’re beating them by a lot, or say if you’re training with them and you’re beating them by a lot, you can think that you’re doing quite well and back off. Whereas if you’re visualizing someone that’s better than you or just beating you, then that’s, I see that as an advantage. I’m not going to lie. There’s definitely days when you’re all alone in the gym and you just think, “Gosh, this is a tough ask.”
Stu:It is tricky. I know that training on your own versus training with a crowd versus training with a crowd of elites, there is that impetus to absolutely excel and put on your best show. There are days when I go down and lift a few weights in the gym and I think, “Well, I’ve had enough. Nobody’s around. Nobody knows.”
Ruth:[00:38:00] I have probably ruined myself a little bit, training against some other athletes. I had a bit of a shoulder niggle, but I was still trying to do the workouts, because the other athletes were doing those, and they weren’t things I should have been doing, if I was just sticking to what was going to be good for me. I probably wouldn’t have done them. That’s probably one of the disadvantages, that you get a little bit hyped up in the moment and you want to do exactly what everyone else is doing, and that’s not always the right thing to do.
Stu:Yeah. Completely. Next time you’re in Sydney, you come train with me and I guarantee that won’t happen.
Ruth:I’d like to see that.
Stu:You’re wandering down the street in Invercargill and you bump into a 20-year-old version of yourself. Obviously, you’ve got 10 years of experience, all this wonderful knowledge that you’ve gleaned from everything that you’ve done. What advice would you give the 20-year-old version of yourself, if that person had just started Crossfit and wanted to be the best?
Ruth:This might just be the 20-year-old version of me, and not every other 20-year-old, but for me it would be spending more time mastering body weight movements with a fantastic coach that knows exactly how to do it, having a coach that was really well-versed in gymnastic movements. I think in gymnastics, there’s much more understanding, or in gymnastics coaching, there’s so much more understanding of the importance of getting correct range of motion. In my first year of Crossfit, I went down to the … We have a great gymnastics gym in this little [00:40:00] town. I went down there and this guy was … I wanted to do muscle ups and he was showing me how to walk across the parallel bars. I was just like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can do that.” I would quickly do it to be like, “Yeah, I can do that. I want to do this,” and just not understanding just exactly the movements that my body needed to be doing to do those elements well and the importance of them.
Because I didn’t have those correct, one of the regionals I went to, it was 2010, I came back with a bad sprain in my shoulder, which was probably from doing muscle ups, which was probably from not moving correctly. For me, in the sport, it would definitely be mastering some of those elements and also playing. Do other sport, as well. I probably stopped doing other team sports and things by the time I was 20, I think, and I think playing some other sports is really good for you.
Stu:It’s solid advice, and it works for you, as well, Guy. I know that Guy has really embraced Zumba, and that’s 1 of those things. He’s quit good at table tennis, too.
Guy:Yeah, I mastered it. Mastered it.
Stu:Follow the advice, Guy. Follow the advice. We’re not getting any younger.
Guy:I actually had a profound question and then you’ve just taken this right out of my head.
Stu:My mum told me once that, if you forget it, it’s either it’s a lie, or it’s not worth asking.
Guy:It’s not worth it, yeah. Is Crossfit season on for you now, Ruth?
Ruth:Like, do I have an off-season?
Ruth:[00:42:00] I guess my off-season this year was 3 months in a cast, so yes. No, I do a little bit. My program’s a little bit period-ized, I guess. The conditioning goes right down. I do more strength-based and technical-based movement and then I bring it back up. That works quite well because it’s not nice to get out and run in the middle of winter here. It probably just gives me a little bit of a mental break from doing lots of high-intensity stuff. I have that little bit. I think probably after the Crossfit games this year, I would probably look to take 1-2 months off, but yeah. This last year was a bit of a … It was a little bit different.
Stu:All over the place.
Guy:Just out of curiosity, how long is it until the open starts? Is that far away?
Ruth:It starts February 28.
Guy:Okay. 4-5 weeks?
Stu:yeah, about 5 weeks away.
Stu:I’d really like to delve in a little bit now, Ruth, just on nutrition.
Stu:Again, a big part of who you are. Without it, I don’t think you’d be able to do half of what you do, if you’re not eating the right way. What right now does your typical daily diet look like?
Ruth:I describe my diet as paleo. I guess the things that would be different from what people would consider paleo is that I’m okay with a bit of rice and I use a bit of Greek yogurt or kefir. For the most part, there’s a lot of vegetables and a good amount [00:44:00] of, I’m a big fan of lamb. We have awesome lamb in this country and seafoods, so plenty of that. I also am pretty in charge of my macro nutrients. I actually had a really great mentor, Brad Stark, who’s at Stark Training, which is out in Orange County. I’ve been working with him for a couple of years and he has just made the world of difference to the way that my body performs. He’s helped me work out, just in brief, is that I prefer to have quite a lot of fats with some proteins for the first part of the day and then we really delve into more carbohydrates with the protein towards the end of the day. It’s a little bit more calculated than that, but that’s probably for the most part, how it works.
If I have too much carbohydrate in the morning, I tend to crash out. I don’t do very well with fruit at all, so I don’t tend to eat it. I have a little bit of berries in smoothies and that’s as far as my fruit intake goes. I’m just not a real big fruit eater. It just doesn’t do well for me. I would literally, if I hit some fruit and then an hour later did a workout, I would be, my head would be spinning and I would just have this real crashing thing going on. Yeah, we played around a bit with that.
Guy:Can I add to that?
Ruth:I love fresh vegetables.
Guy:Yeah. Just for our listeners, what carbs would you generally eat, and what carbs would you generally avoid?
Ruth:Yeah. My carbohydrate is mostly [00:46:00] rice or sweet potato.
Ruth:I have a little bit of white [inaudible 00:46:04] every now and then. I’m not too worried about that. I have worked out that gluten is horrible for me. I’ll occasionally have some gluten-free wraps and some other grain-based products that aren’t full of gluten. I’m okay with those, but I actually still, I never feel like it would get the same good muscle recovery that I get from having sweet potato post-workout. I’m okay with them for a treat, but I don’t treat them as great post-workout carb.
Guy:Yeah. Have you ever counted the amount of grams of carbohydrate you eat in a day, just out of curiosity, or not?
Ruth:It’s only about 180.
Guy:That’s a good number.
Stu:Yeah, that is a good number.
Guy:Yeah, no. I only ask because obviously, your workload is massive, right?
Guy:A lot of people would be eating twice that amount of carbohydrates with 1/10 the amount of work you’re doing on a manageable, on a daily basis.
Ruth:Yeah. I know I’ve had some different nutritionists and things have a look at what I’m eating, and say, “No, that’s wrong. You need more carbohydrate.” I’ve just been there. We’ve tried it. It just doesn’t work.
Stu:That’s right. You’re your best judge, I think, of that just by how you feel and perform, based upon your feeling.
Guy:I remember when we, we actually showed you, a post of yours, Ruth. I don’t know if you remember a couple of years back, a dietitian came in there and just said, “You shouldn’t be pushing this content out to people because it’s just so wrong.”
Guy:There’s a great thread of conversation going on there and [00:48:00] it’s like, the proof’s in the pudding. You walk and you talk.
Ruth:That’s interesting. Things that people say, or that, “you’re not getting enough fiber.” I’m eating 7 cups of vegetables a day. I’ve never had a problem and felt like I needed more fiber. Just unusual things that you just realize, it’s almost textbook stuff, and it’s like, what’s the point in having this textbook knowledge? You’ve got to actually have a go at … You eat the paleo diet and see if you don’t have enough fiber, because I just, I’ve never had anyone that I’ve coached in my gym get on the paleo diet and come back and say, “Man, no. My body just hated me because it was not enough fiber in my diet.”
Ruth:Just not something that happens.
Guy:Another question, because we did a talk the other week, a workshop in Wollongong, and the biggest hurdle we felt from talking to them is preparation. People love the idea of changing their diet, becoming more tuned-in, and being able to do it, but the reality is, more from what we see, is that people don’t prepare. Then they get caught up and they get all sorted and they don’t change their eating habits. Any tips? How do you do it?
Ruth:I’m a little bit of a, when I cook meat, I generally get the crockpot out. If I know I’m going to be home late, I’ll often have something already cooked in terms of the meat department, or I’ll cook a lot of bigger cuts of meat like roasts and things like that. There’s always some form of protein ready to go in the fridge.
Ruth:Then, I eat quite a lot of [00:50:00] salads like cabbage and kale and vegetables that don’t take very much to prepare. If I know I’m going to be, if I’m just crazy busy or grabbing something on the run, I’ll even buy just the pre-cut vegetables, the stuff that’s already sliced up and put in bags. I try not to do that. I try and just avoid plastic generally, but I think you’re better to do that than skipping the veggies all together. What else do I do?
Probably lunch is the time or mid-afternoon, where people fall down because they haven’t been prepared with lunch. I’m pretty fortunate because most of the time, I live a few blocks from the gym, so most of the days I come home and quickly prepare something. When I haven’t been enjoying that, I’ll either when I cook dinner, I will put enough aside for heat up leftovers the next day, or I will, as I’m preparing my breakfast, I will quickly prepare some lunch at the same time. I feel like, if you’ve got some kind of protein that works for you, whether it’s boiled eggs or whatever it might be, if it’s ready to go and you’ve always got a steady supply of just something ready in the fridge, then I think it just takes away your temptation. I don’t really get those temptations, but I’m just thinking about the athletes that I coach.
Stu:Yeah, it’s just easier, isn’t it?
Ruth:The temptation of … Yeah, it’s got to be easy. What you’re trying to do, you need to make it easier than going through the McDonald’s drive-through or whatever is your temptation.
Stu:Yes. Definitely. Does your nutrition change at all during competition, or is you just ramp it up even a bit more? Do you do anything any differently?
Ruth:[00:52:00] I do probably a bit more shakes then. If there’s a lot of workouts throughout the day, it’s hard for me to have as much vegetables as I would like, because I just can’t digest that quickly. I’ll just do more shakes.
Ruth:Yeah, that’s generally the main difference. Probably it works out, a bit more calories because there’s a few more post-workout meals.
Guy:We might be biased, but we love encouraging the shakes and things.
Guy:It’s true, though. It’s true.
Stu:From a supplemental perspective, then, what supplements do you use? What and why? Obviously, you’re putting your body through heavy load, day after day after day. What are your favorites?
Ruth:Fish oil’s been here for a long time. I always take some of that. The turmeric capsules, I’ve been on. I’ve been on for a shorter while, been on those, just to help with my healing of my wrist surgery. I have a few amino acids that I take, and that’s based on the supplement protocol that Stark Training has guided me …
Guy:That’s individualize for you?
Ruth:Yeah. yeah, so it’s things like glycine and tuarine, things that are quite good to calm me down after I’ve trained and try and bring everything back to normal as quickly as possible.
Guy:Interesting, yeah. Magnesium as well, you were saying earlier.
Ruth:Magnesium, yeah. That’s about it. I haven’t got a cabinet full of supplements. I’m pretty big on vegetables as the answer.
Stu:That’s [00:54:00] right. Real food. Yeah.
Ruth:[crosstalk 00:54:07] The vegan protein, at the moment.
Guy:Okay, yeah. It’s interesting. We have conversations with people and they may never have heard of 180 before, and they’re like, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t take supplements.” I’m like, “Well, you’re our perfect customer, then.”
Guy:We don’t look at it as a supplement at all.
Ruth:Yeah, it’s totally how I feel. I just consider it another form of real food.
Guy:Yeah, fantastic. That’s great advice. What foods do you go out of your way to avoid?
Ruth:Anything with gluten. Cheese is bad; it just work well with me at all. Generally, a little bit of dairy, I seem to cope with, but I definitely wouldn’t go and buy a milkshake or have a large amount. As I said, yogurt seems to be okay. When I’m getting a bit more savvy with things like … I used to be like, If I order the chicken salad, for example, you think you’re going to get chicken and salad, but then you get this big sticky, weird oily sauce that they put on it and it’s really sweet or whatever. I’m getting a bit more savvy with just asking whether there’s a dressing and if there is, either having it left to the side so I can decide whether it’s safe enough to eat. If it’s going to be an olive oil dressing, that’s probably okay with me. Probably the biggest thing is keeping it gluten free because I had some pretty wild reactions to … I went to a wedding and had a cake a few months back and just had a terrible reaction to that. Just becoming a [00:56:00] bit more aware of …
Stu:That’s it. That’s really the main thing, as well, just being aware of that kind of stuff just switches on a light bulb when you are out and about, like you said. If you’re going to order a salad, I would guess there’s going to be a dressing there. Who knows what’s in that dressing. It may suit some people. It may not, but just be aware of it. We chatted, too, with [Chad McKay 00:56:28] a while back and talking to him about nutrition and stuff like that. He told us that after the regionals were over and he’d done the best that he could do, he has this cheat meal. I think it was a whole pizza and a whole tub of ice cream, something like that. That’s just my off switch. I’m done, I’m dusted, smash this meal down and get on. Do you have anything like that? Do you go nuts to zone out of everything with a cheat meal, or are you just clean all year round?
Ruth:I get this question a lot, and I always feel like I’m a little bit boring. I’m not really big on big desserts and things. I know after the Crossfit games, I’ve done some big donuts and things. I probably did it more for the novelty of it than the pure enjoyment. It literally felt like I was just eating solid sugar. I just found it a bit too much. Do you know cassava crisps?
Ruth:yeah, I put those in my mouth and it’s like they dissolve on my tongue and then I have to have another one. They’re probably something that … If someone had some of those, I’m like, “Oh, no, don’t bring those near me,” because it’s literally like I have one and then just [00:58:00] immediately want to have another one. That’s probably the one food I can think of that I know is not good for me, but my body still wants to eat it.
Stu:It’s funny. It’s hardwired somewhere in there, isn’t it. I don’t get to New Zealand very often, but I used to live there. We lived there for 5 years and I stumbled upon … This was pre-my healthy days and pre-180, and stuff like that. I stumbled upon this chocolate chip cookie by a brand called Cookie Time, and they were huge. They’re huge. Every now and again, when I do end up in the country, I’ll head over to a New World and I just head for the Cookie Time aisle. [crosstalk 00:58:52] these things, and it’s like something is programming. Something is guiding me around. I’m on automatic pilot and I get this Cookie Time thing. I only need the one.
Guy:I need to get that shot in Instagram for everyone.
Stu:Cookie Time, it’s like the biggest chocolate chip cookie you could ever have.
Ruth:Yeah, they’re like this big.
Stu:Oh, they’re huge.
Ruth:At least. People are like, you buy them. You can get them heated and stuff, as well, so all the chocolate’s all gooey and things, as well.
Stu:Yeah, I had a friend who used to put them in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Now, to me, probably I know that having the gluten and the sugar and stuff, that within a very short time, I’m going to feel very unwell from having it, so I just don’t have the same urge for it. If you showed up to my gym and you had some gluten free, very similar paleo-style cookies, I’d probably be pretty tempted because I know that I wasn’t going to be …
Stu:Got it. We’ll work on something for our recipe section on [01:00:00] the website. I reckon we’ve got a good base there already. We’ll see what we can do for you.
Ruth:Okay, sounds good.
Guy:That’s going to be awesome. Now, Ruth, I see the time’s getting on. We have a couple of wrap-up questions. We’ve actually asked one, which is “What did you eat?” Yeah, we’ve asked that.
Guy:What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Ruth:My dad always says to me, “Never say, ‘can’t.’” Whenever I have someone in my gym now that tells me that they can’t, it makes me cringe. The word just makes me cringe and it is such a negative thought to ever think that you can’t do something. You may not be able to yet, or whatever it is, but if you decide you can’t, it’s like …
Guy:You’re already there.
Ruth:You’re already there.
Stu:That’s right. You’ve already switched off. No, that’s good advice. Wise words.
Stu:That’s what we could say.
Guy:For anyone listening to this, if they want to get a bit more of Ruth Anderson Horrell, where is the best place to go?
Ruth:I’m pretty consistent on Instagram, ruthlessnz, and I have a Facebook page, Ruth Anderson Horrell. That’s pretty much it.
Guy:You’ve got a website, too?
Ruth:Yeah, they can pop onto the website, ruthless.co.nz.
Guy:Awesome. We’ll link to the show notes, anyway, when this goes out and that was awesome. I have no doubt everyone listening to this today, Ruth, thoroughly enjoyed that. Ruth, thanks for coming on and thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.
This week we welcome commonwealth gold medalist and Australian Ironwoman Rebecca Creedy to the show. The elite athlete shares with us how she transformed her diet, including lowering her carbs and eating more wholefoods. Along with this came a massive positive effect on her episodes of hypoglycemia which now seems to be a thing of the past.
We also go deep into her training regimes, pre and post workout nutrition and what she does to to stay on top of her game.
Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of Health Sessions. Our lovely guest today is Ironwoman Rebecca Creedy. Now, Rebecca has got an amazing resume when it comes to being an athlete, including winning the gold medal in swimming in the Commonwealth Games. She’s also competed and won medals at the World Championships. All that was by the age of 21. And she’s gone on and won an IronWoman series in 2012 and it was awesome to have her on the podcast today as she shares her journey with us.
She …We first met Rebecca about a year ago. She approached us, because she found us on the internet when she looking for a natural supplement, of all things, and discovered 180 and has been a avid user ever since, which I’m proud to say.
She … In her own words she was “looking to clean up the diet.” She suffered from hypoglycemia and it was affecting her races. So, she really started to delve deeper into the world of nutrition and recovery and see how she could improve it and has gone on and had a fantastic series, which is a Nutri-Grain Kellogg’s IronWoman Series, which just ended last weekend.
So, she shares with us all the things she’s learned and it’s just; yeah; fantastic to have her on and I have no doubt you’ll get a lot out of this podcast today, especially if you’re competing as a high-end athlete as well, because she really doesn’t rely on the carbohydrates as much and the goos and the gels, which is of course, renowned within the; especially in the endurance fields of athleticism. And it’s something which we agree with too, you know, but…
So, there’re gems of information all the way through this and I have no doubt you will enjoy.
As always, if you are listening to this through iTunes, we’d love you to leave a little review. It takes two minutes. Can be a little bit complicated, but it really helps us with our rankings and know that you are enjoying the podcast too. If you want to see this in video and leave a comment as well, just come over to our blog, which is 180nutrition.com.au.
And, yeah, that’s it. Enjoy the show and I’m sure to catch you soon. Cheers.
Guy Lawrence: All right, let’s do it. Hi, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cooke as always. Hello Stuart.
Stuart Cooke: Hey.
Guy Lawrence: And our lovely guest today is Rebecca Creedy. Rebecca welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on.
Rebecca Creedy: Hey guys. Thanks for having me.
Guy Lawrence: I thought I’d kick off, Rebecca, you know, well, I was looking a your resume on Wikipedia this morning and it’s insanely impressive, but I thought you’d do a better job in sharing with the listeners a little bit about what you’ve achieved in your swimming accolades over the years and to our listeners; a better job than me anyway.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Yeah. Look, I come from a swimming background. I represented Australia at two Commonwealth Games, a World Championships, two Pan Pacific championships. Won Commonwealth Games gold medals; Commonwealth Games records. It was a pretty amazing part of my life. Yeah, I made my first Australian swim team at the age of 14. So yeah, 14 to 21; yeah, yep, swimming was my life. So, I was around back in the days with Ian Thorpe and amazing people like that. So, I got to spend a pretty big part of my life learning off some fairly amazing athletes and characters. So, yeah …
Guy Lawrence: What got you into swimming? Were you always like a water baby or did you…
Rebecca Creedy: I’ve always was. I’ve always loved it. I actually didn’t grow up near the beach. so I was, I grew up in Redcliffe which has a beach, but not a lot of people swim there. I grew up as a pool swimmer and I used to beg Mum and Dad to take me swimming every day. So, I got introduced to swimming younger than most and really excelled and loved every minute of it.
Guy Lawrence: There you go.
Stuart Cooke: Awesome. So, tell us, Commonwealth gold medalist to Ironwoman, how did that come about?
Rebecca Creedy: Look it was, it; to be honest it even shocks me when I sit here and talk about it. When I was swimming I used to watch the Ironman series on television and think, “Wow. That’s such an amazing sport. It looks like so much fun.” You know, it never really crossed my mind that one day I would be up there taking out medals in that arena as well. But I finished swimming at the age of 21 and I just lost that drive to really seek what it takes to succeed in swimming and moved overseas and lived the party lifestyle that I missed out on.
Guy Lawrence: I say yeah, yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: So, I got that in for a good XXunintelligibleXX [:04:48.7] two years and one XXtechnical glitchXX[:04:50.8] and, “What am I doing? This isn’t where I want to be.” So, I moved back home and decided to get fit again and XXunintelligible surf lifesaving??XX [[:04:59.2]. Yeah, it was quite amazing that just, I took to the ski really quickly and picked up the ski paddling really quickly and the board paddling was a lot harder and skills it takes to catch waves and that took a little bit longer, but it kind of all comes together in 12 months and next thing I knew I was trialing for the Nutri-Grain IronWoman series. So…
Stuart Cooke: That’s awesome.
Guy Lawrence: Can you explain exactly for our listeners, because I know people, especially back in the UK or whatever, the listeners won’t have a clue what an Ironman/IronWoman series is?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: Can you just explain the concept of it all to us?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. So, the Ironman series, it’s all based around surf lifesaving and we paddle boards and skis and also swim. So, it’s kind of like a triathlon of sorts. It’s a three-legged race that lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and we do those three disciplines in a race in varying orders and it’s a lot of fun. We go out in big surf and get to battle the elements and it definitely is character-building.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. So, there’s three disciplines, because I’ve never, I’m trying to think so you’d be; there’s a ski, right? Which is the; like a big kayak, would you say?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, it’s like a kayak and we go out through the surf and the waves, so it’s a little bit, a little bit harder than sitting in a kayak. A kayak easy in still water …
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: So, trying to master sitting in the ski when there’s six-foot waves can be a little bit tricky. But to be honest, I really enjoy it and the ski is probably my favorite leg,
Guy Lawrence: Right. And then there’s the swim obviously.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, the swim obviously came quite naturally to me.
Guy Lawrence: And what’s the other leg? I actually don’t know.
Rebecca Creedy: It’s wood paddling. So, the boards, you see those on the beaches now. It’s based all around the fact that we paddle boards to save lives and yet, it’s a very similar board to what you’ll see on the beach with the lifesavers. So, it’s a little bit more slimline and designed to go a bit faster, but, yeah, we paddle the boards and trying to get that out through the waves as well, can be a little bit treacherous.
Guy Lawrence: I’m assuming that it’s very strategic, right, because you’re; what’s the word I’m looking for? But the elements are going to change the dynamic of each and every race.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: At, you know, what point would they say, “Sorry you’re not racing today, it’s too big like.” How big does it get out there?
Rebecca Creedy: It does get pretty crazy. Last year in Margaret River for the first two rounds of the Nutri-Grain series, they actually took out the ski leg of the women’s race because it was too big. We were a little bit disappointed in that because the girls believed we were capable of dealing with it. But unfortunately it was an executive decision that had to be made. The waves; it was probably about 7 foot and even bigger in some of the sets that were coming through. But, yeah, it was a little disappointing that we had to make that decision. But they generally either cancel the race before they do things like that. So, yeah, so, it all depends on I guess the level of skill of the people racing. So…
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s huge. Because me and Stuart both in our XXtrans?? rideXX [:08:20.7] you know and XXgo hit the elements a bitXX. But I can really, after doing that, I would be terrified. I can really appreciate what you put yourself through, honestly, like, waves are scary I think.
Rebecca Creedy: They certainly are. I still get scared out there. I’m a late bloomer so I only started this sport at the age of 23, 24; so for me, some of the skills I really have to think about what I’m doing out there and sometimes I have to overcome my fears just to kind of put the foot on the line and really get myself in the game. But, you know, once you take that first leap of faith, it; all of a sudden you have this confidence in yourself, you know, “Yeah, yeah. I can do this. This is fine.” But, yeah, it’s taking that first step and really having belief and confidence in your skills.
Guy Lawrence: No doubt.
Stuart Cooke: No doubt.
Stuart Cooke: You’re looking shocked, Guy. I’m just picturing you doing your run, swim, run down at Coogee Beach in your Speedos … that’s enough for us. But I see it down there, because I; Guy and myself are in the surf club and I do water safety for the nippers down there as well on a Sunday and you see these little kids who; I do the under 9’s, and we take them out in, you know, in sizable surf for their age and height and some of them just shine and just take to it and some of them are less so and quite scared. But they build that confidence at that early age and I think it just sets you up fantastically, especially for a country like Australia where we spend a lot of time in the water. It’s almost vital and it’s fantastic.
Guy Lawrence: It’s amazing.
Rebecca Creedy: I think, I think it’s a great sport for confidence. You know it’s not always about the fastest person winning and it is a skill-based work, you know, XXtechnical glitchXX [:10:06.9] public, I stay away from rips and things like that, but when it comes down to racing in surf lifesaving we use things like that to be able to the battle the elements and you know the fastest way out and easiest way out in big surf is straight out through the rip. It’s using things like that and that knowledge that you gain and understanding how the ocean works, it really does set you up for life. And I think if the general public understood a little bit more about the surf, it would make the whole; everyone a lot safer, but it takes years; it’s taken me years. I’ve been doing this sport for seven years now and I really feel that this year’s the first time I’ve really started to shine and really, I guess, set myself up for a even better series and a chance to take out the series next year.
Guy Lawrence: Because the series has just finished, right; which is the Nutri-Grain Kellogg’s?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman series, we did six rounds, So, we had two starting off over in Margaret River. Then we did two just here on Surfer’s Paradise and more local beaches and then we did two down in Newcastle and that was just last weekend. So, that was; it was an amazing series. I stayed consistent. Yeah, I got some fantastic results and I walked away really happy with how my season panned out.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fantastic and you came in second overall, right? That’s phenomenal. If I’m not mistaken, amazing.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, second overall. I got on the top podium once this series, which was amazing, especially with such fantastic competitors. Liz Pluimers took out nearly every race, but managed to stop her taking the clean sweep.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. It’s awesome to watch, too, because we used to have the final down in Coogee, and I know if you remember that, Guy, so we used to go down there.
Guy Lawrence: I do. Yeah, I’ve been down there.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I remember, you didn’t wave back when I was there. But, it’s really a great spectator sport and I love the fact that you don’t really; you don’t really know who’s won until right at the very last moment because anything can happen in the surf. You can pick up a wave on the ski or the board and everything changes, so so much fun to watch.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Yeah. Look, you know, people talk a lot about luck and things like that, but you can get a little bit unlucky, but usually find the people that do well can regulate, they just have the skills, they know where to put themselves, they know how to catch that wave that’s going to be coming through and things like that. So, it’s quite amazing. I love it. It’s frustrating sometimes. I got one race this year that I probably should have won and it didn’t quite happen, but it’s moments like that you kind of kick yourself and go, “Oh, those bloody waves.”
Guy Lawrence: Yeah.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: But, we always like racing the waves. It’s a nice little rest in between …
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I bet.
Rebecca Creedy: … the next leg. So, yeah.
Guy Lawrence: So, what is your typical training day look like to prepare for an event like this?
Rebecca Creedy: Oh, it gets hectic. This off season I did the Coolangatta Gold, which is actually a five-hour race.
Guy Lawrence: Oh my.
Rebecca Creedy: So, it consists of the 20 kilometer ski paddle, 2K run, then a 4K swim and then a 7K board paddle and then another 7 1/2 K run at the end. So, to train for that this year, that really took it to the next level for me; a lot of, basically training three times a day. Trying to get your swim in every morning, board and skis in the afternoon and then a run on top of that. The one thing I had to drop this year was my gym program. I just; it’s basically something that I’m very; I’m a very strong athlete anyway, I’m very muscle-y, so it’s not something I really have to focus on too much. So, for me it was probably the first thing I decided to drop this year. At 31, it can be quite hard to recover in between sessions and I may have an idea of everything I want to achieve that week, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way and you have to take that rest your body needs.
Guy Lawrence: Because you’re training at skills as well as fitness, right? It’s not like a runner, for instance, they’ll just go and run and expand their run and improve their time and things like that. Like there’s so many variables to what you’re doing …
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: … and to stay on top of that as well.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, it is. Like sometimes when there’s big surf on the; the most beneficial thing you can do is go out and go for a surf. It’s learning how to read the surf and get out quickly through the surf is just as important and how to catch that wave all the way to the beach. You know, if I can’t hold a wave in my ski then, to be honest, all the training I did on the lake isn’t going to help me.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: So, yeah, those little skills can be just as important as the speed-based and endurance training that we do. So, yeah, it can be tricky sometimes and I’m very fortunate I’ve got a great coach behind me, who’s also my partner, that teaches me some amazing skills and has passed on all his knowledge to me. So, yeah, I’m very lucky in that way.
Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.
Stuart Cooke: So, what about motivation? Where do you go, I mean, you even mentioned those longer legs where you’ve got 20K, you know, paddles and skis and 7K; I’m guessing that’s soft sand run as well, is it?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, well luckily it was low tide.
sc. Right. Okay. Excellent.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, but no it’s still, it’s still really hard and I’m not a natural runner, I’m a real water baby. So, for me that run leg was pretty tricky. I did a lot of running in the off season, which I don’t really enjoy, but I guess it’s just getting the most out of yourself that’s, you know, we all have days where I don’t want to get out bed and don’t necessarily want to go and do the swimming, but I’m 31 and I do these things for me now and I don’t feel like I have to do it for someone else. So, I just love the thought of being the best I can be. And I find that’s what motivates me the most is being proud of myself and the things I’ve achieved and, yeah, I guess I like being that person that people consider the tough competitor and the one that’s hard to mentally break and that as well, so that keeps me driven as well.
Guy Lawrence: What time is your first training session?
Rebecca Creedy: Five o’clock in the pool, XXunintelligible so 4:30 get up most days?XX [:16:48.3] As I’ve gotten older, though, I must admit I don’t really enjoy getting up early. So, I’m fortunate enough I do XXmix it up? 0:17:01.000XX at times and if I’m not feeling motivated to swim at that time I’ll swap it around and I’ll do a lighter session or I’ll go swimming in the afternoon and do a board session in the morning. And that’s really important for me at my age, because I do this sport because I love it and I don’t want to take that away. And forcing myself to do things I’m not enjoying I don’t believe gets the most out of my training and yet it’s definitely going to shorten my career if I’m just pushing and pushing and pushing. So, I think the number one key is to enjoy what you do and to just make it work for you, which is what I’ve really, really taken on board this year.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, amazing.
Guy Lawrence: It’s amazing.
Stuart Cooke: You’ve certainly got the right environment, I think, backdrop, to enjoy what you do. I mean, the beach up there is just pristine, so beautiful.
Rebecca Creedy: It really is. It’s a great lifestyle and that’s what I tell people. I’m avoiding the real world because, to be honest, it’s not a bad lifestyle I have here. It’s doing something I love every day. It just drives you, definitely.
Guy Lawrence: It’s magical, yeah. Magical. So, what do you; what do you use for recovery? Like, what tactics do you do, because obviously recovery is a big component of your training as well, you know.
Rebecca Creedy: Absolutely. I think, you know, I’m not 16 anymore and I can definitely feel that. It does get hard. And for me, being able to read my body is super important and understand what it needs. Fueling it in the right way. Putting what it needs into it. When you’re younger, you know, you have a tendency to eat just whatever you want and otherwise I’ve been quite fortunate. I’ve never had to really worry about my weight. So, I’d finish a training session and I’d chomp down on a chocolate bar or something. Whereas, as I’ve gotten older I’ve really listened to how my body responds to things and it’s been really important in my recovery this year and probably the last two years, I’ve noticed the changes. I guess fueling it with the right sources and things that my body, I guess, responds to in the way that it can back up the next session. So, yeah, that’s been really important and I guess 180 Nutrition has been a massive part of that. Something I seeked out from you guys and …
Guy Lawrence: Yep. I mean that’s how we first met, right? Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: Absolutely. A little Facebook message saying I found your product and I think it’s great and I’d love to get on board. And, yeah, I went from the typical; the typical brands you use that are over-processed and artificially flavored things that I just found weren’t doing what I needed and when I found this natural product I was really happy and I’ve been stoked with how it’s really assisted me in my recovery.
Guy Lawrence: Now that’s good to hear. We appreciate it.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: You look like you are going to say something, Stu.
Stuart Cooke: Well, yeah. I was just; I noticed that your diet has changed quite radically from what we’ve seen and heard over the last 12 months. Have you had any other kind of “aha” moments that you’ve taken on board where your kind of old-style eating versus your new style? And I’m thinking, kind of, you know, carbohydrate-loading versus more kind of natural nutrient-dense foods to help you in your training and competitions.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Look I’ve always; I’ve never really been a massive fan of carbs. I really don’t like the way they feel, like they make me feel. I’ve; it’s something I’ve spoken to a few people about and they don’t necessarily believe you need them to race on as well. So, for me I’ve always tried to, I guess, balance that quite well in my diet, but I guess it’s finding you guys and your product and I guess reading and understanding a little bit more about the clean eating philosophy and things like that it’s made it a lot easier for me to make that decision to steer away from a lot more, simply because most carbohydrates are really processed, contain a lot of artificial preservatives and things like that. So, it’s really helped me, I guess, develop my thinking toward products like that. So, yes.
Guy Lawrence: I think as well, what we found over the years with athletes, that they generally eat, like you say, carbs, but they don’t carry any other nutrients. They sort of; it’s almost like they’re pure glucose, you know and there’s no actual vitamins, minerals and fiber and everything else that the body needs to help recover as well, you know, to get up and do it all over again.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Absolutely.
Guy Lawrence: I think it’s a good message.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Well, that’s something to really think about. Every meal I make I try and think about all those vitamins and minerals my body needs. In the past I’ve had problems with things like low vitamin B, low iron and I’m also; I do have hypoglycemia. So, for me I know when I’m not putting the right things in my body, because I can go training and within 20 minutes into the session I’ll be having a hypo. So, for me, that’s; and as I’ve gotten older I noticed my episodes happening more and more often, so that was a real turning point as well, But being able to eat properly so those things don’t happen, because when it’s inhibiting my training that’s really, really negative.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. And have you been noticed improvements with that since you’ve been eating more whole foods and things like that?
Rebecca Creedy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Like, I can’t actually remember the last time I had one. I did get to a XXstage?XX [:22:49.3] point where I had to keep gels and all sorts of things in my bag just because I never knew when I was going to have one. And it’s a horrible feeling. You just start shaking and you just feel like you’ve got nothing in you because you probably don’t. So, for me, every meal I make like, even when I make a salad, I don’t use lettuce, I use spinach leaves. I just think about little things like that. It’s how can I get the most out of this meal and to put the best things into my body as possible.
Guy Lawrence: When we do the seminars Stu, you always mention that, right?
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. We call it super charging your plate. So like you just said, if you, if you’re going to make a salad, how can you super charge it? And so you’ve gone for the most nutrient kind of dense, kind of leaf and then we’d look at putting it in some, well let’s add some nuts, and seeds and olive oil and get some quality proteins and you know, more of the natural fats as well. And that kind of mindset on every meal that you prepare can really set you up for really enhanced health moving forward, because you just get more nutrients into your body, which is a fantastic thing.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Absolutely. And that’s what I love about, I guess, the 180 Nutrition supplement, as well, is I can integrate it into my diet in more ways than one. I don’t just have to have it as a shake. I love making my porridges in the morning and I throw that in there and it gives it that extra flavor. I add some berries to give me my antioxidants. I have my yogurt. Just little things like that, that it all just kind of works together and it’s really easy to throw something together with it to make a meal instead of just a supplement.
Guy Lawrence: It takes time though, right? It doesn’t happen overnight? You can’t just go, “right” and switch in and expect results. It’s a lifestyle.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Absolutely and that’s why I don’t like using the word “diet,” because I’ve never really been one to diet and it’s just; I do what I need to do to make my body feel good.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: And that’s like they say, “It’s a lifestyle.” and it can be hard sometimes. When I’m traveling a lot and overseas and you’re trying to look for a quick meal, it can be really tough and sometimes I do revert back to my old habits and I do notice it.
Guy Lawrence: And there good reminders, right?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I had a nice wake-up call one Monday morning after the Nutri-Grain series when I had a bit of a shindig on the last night and XXunintelligibleXX [:25.22.5] things like that any more. So …
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Tell me about it.
Rebecca Creedy: You know, as you grow up you’re kind of better at making those kinds of decisions and choices and, yeah, you realize that there are other options out there and especially the way supermarkets are these days. It’s really becoming an accepted way to eat and it makes it a lot easier ducking down to the supermarket to pick up the ingredients you need that five years ago you wouldn’t have seen on the shelves.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, exactly.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. So …
Stuart Cooke: So, what about, thinking about food on your race days, how do you structure your food? What do you prepare and eat on those kind of critical days?
Rebecca Creedy: You know, look, it’s dependent on what’s available. I love having a cooked meal before a race, if I can. I’m a big mushroom eater. So, for me a nice big plate of spinach with some mushrooms on top and a couple of poached eggs is fantastic for me. I love some sweet potato pancakes in there too. They’re always good and a great form of carbs.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: But you know sometimes, especially when you’re racing away, it’s not always that easy. We need to be down on the beach quite early so, without that available I love getting a nice natural muesli and adding my 180 Nutrition protein to it. And then I mix it in with some natural yogurt, plain natural yogurt, as low-sugar as possible and I just like to sweeten that up with some berries. And I really find that that really gives me the kick I need to kind of carry on, carry on through the day, because most of the time, you know, I’m down on the beach at 7 o’clock in the morning and don’t really get my next meal until about lunchtime. So, yeah, it can be tough when you’re racing sometimes to get something into your system that’s going to last that kind of period.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I find the whole thing fascinating. I think the message is getting out there to more and more with athletes, because we get a lot more inquires from endurance athletes especially as well. And because we’ve got Sami Inkinen coming on the podcast next week and he’s a tri-athlete. But him and his wife rowed from California to Hawaii and …
Rebecca Creedy: Really?
Guy Lawrence: And physically rowed and it took them 44 days and they were rowing; what was it Stu? Fourteen to eighteen hours a day. And they did it all on whole foods with no gels or anything and the message was just to, you know, avoid sugar and actually XXunintelligibleXX[:28:04.0] …
Stuart Cooke: XXunintelligibleXX [:28:04.2] I think to highlight the importance of real food. And I think the message is kind of clear that no one diet suits everyone. We’re all so radically different and you know, what works for me won’t work for Guy and may work for you. We just got to find that sweet spot and you know what it is, because you feel fantastic, your sleep’s good, your energy’s good and you know, your health just feels great. So, it’s really important just to keep trying and testing and I think our bodies change over time as well. What we ate in our teens doesn’t work in our 20s to our 30s and 40s, so on. So, you just got to find what works for you, I think.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Look, I completely agree and it’s something that as I’ve gotten older I love reading and researching about what people are talking about and I don’t know if you guys watched Catalyst last night. They actually had a big thing about carbohydrates and the guy that actually originated making gels and he was the first one to stand there and say, “I was completely wrong.”
Guy Lawrence: Oh wow!
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, and it’s really amazing. So, if you can get on and look that up, I only saw part of it. I want to go and finish watching it, actually, and it talks about carbohydrates and how our body uses them and how we shouldn’t be relying on them as much. And it was really amazing to hear researchers that were actually the, I guess, the first stepping stone in that process of thought, standing there and saying, “No, I totally disagree with what I wrote ten years ago.” So, that’s quite an amazing thing to see people like that in their fields.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. It’s exciting. You know, new science is springing up every single day and we’re finding out things that we just didn’t have access to years ago and it’s, it’s certainly now we’ve got a whole barrage of information that can help us in the right direction.
Rebecca Creedy: I’m a science-based person and I just love reading about it. For me; anything I find, something I want to try, I want to go read the science on that first and …
Stuart Cooke: Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: And the ABC have done a fantastic job. You know, they’re always bringing out great messages around nutrition and making people sort of think twice about what they’re doing.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. No, and it’s good to see someone going out and doing the science instead of standing there and saying, you know, people are so quick to say “Paleo’s wrong.” But why? Not many people looking for the reason why it is. So…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: And I think, as well, when you’re an athlete like yourself that is putting so much demands on your body, it really then highlights how powerful nutrition is, because, you know like you said yourself, the more actuate your nutrition is, the more you can continue to recover quicker, feel better and do it all over again. You know, if you’re sitting on a chair all day doing nothing, you can get away with a lot more, but it just shows you the effects of nutrition, I think, when you get to that level, you know what can happen.
Rebecca Creedy: I can even feel it some days. When I’ll get up and do my 4:30 set, I’ll be up at 4:30 doing my 5 o’clock session and I’ll come home, I’ll have a sleep, I’ll eat, obviously, have a sleep. And some days I honestly can’t even think of training until 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I can actually feel the time, it’s about 2:30, 3 o’clock, my body finally starts to say, “Okay, your ready to do another session now.” So, every now and then I’ll try and do a 2 o’clock session and I just go, “no.” My body’s not ready to get back into it yet and it’s seems like that, you know, you need to listen to and learn those responses and when your body’s saying “yes” and “no” and things like that.
Stuart Cooke: Always. Absolutely right.
Guy Lawrence: So … go on Stu.
Stuart Cooke: Well, Guy, I was just going to jump in and just ask about winding down and relaxing.. So, you’re so fast-paced and you’ve got this manic training schedule and competition schedule. What do you do to wind down? How do you relax?
Rebecca Creedy: I’m not very good at relaxing. I actually work in the surf club upstairs, so I actually work as a bartender and waitress, which can also make it even harder to wind down sometimes.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: You know, at work I have to be very happy and personable and things like that and sometimes I get home and it’s like all I want to do is just sit in a corner and not talk to anyone for an hour.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: So, it’s definitely important that I get my “me time” and actually, I actually find training helps that. The one thing about being a swimmer is you get to spend a lot of time by yourself. And, yeah, so spending that time on the black line [:32:59.3] and thinking about me and it can sometimes be a great way to chill out and I actually; if I don’t exercise I find I go a little bit nuts.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. I can completely appreciate that, especially with the swimming aspect, because we do a fair bit of ocean swimming and when you get out there into the rhythm, it’s almost mediation. You know, you’re going through the motions of stroking and turning and you can swim for an hour or so and just process thoughts and just kind of you know, de-stress that way. That’s kind of what we do too, definitely get out there and just immerse yourself in some way where you’re not constantly thinking about other stuff. It’s great to kind of switch off the mind, it you can.
Rebecca Creedy: I’m a real nature lover. I have a degree in environmental science, so for me just getting out and being with nature, whether it’s going for a walk in the bush or something like that. I love taking my dog out and just getting away from it. And, yeah, you know, being on the ocean and being out there and feeling nature and it does relax you and it kind of takes away all the pressures and strains. It doesn’t expect anything from you. So, yeah, that’s probably my biggest cure.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I like it. I like it.
Guy Lawrence: I want to touch on, quickly on sleep before we move on. How many hours a night do you sleep, Rebecca, normally?
Rebecca Creedy: Um …
Guy Lawrence: Or day and night or …
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah look, I probably don’t get as much as I should. I’m not; I’ve never been a good sleeper. I go through phases where I sleep really well and then other phases where I don’t. I have trouble switching off, is my biggest problem. So, I find when I’m not training I actually sleep about four or five hours a night sometimes. But when I’m training I try to get at least six hours, seven hours is usually the main, like six to seven hours is probably standard. And then if I can get an hour or two during the day that’s brilliant, but I don’t like to rely on daytime sleeps because I used to sleep a lot during the day when I was pool swimmer and I find it’s just a bad habit.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: It’s nice to use it as recovery and things like that, but when I have to work a lot of the time during the day and I have to start sleeping regularly, I find it really throws out my body clock. I find it harder to sleep at night and I really like to just try and stick to a pattern. So, for me I try to be in bed by 10 o’clock at the latest. You know, it just gets hard with life. I get home from training at 6:30 at night and then I have to make dinner and I have to clean up and then I like to have my wind-down time and things like that. So, it can get quite hectic, but as I said, you know, the hardest part in the morning is getting up and once you’re in that water and …
Guy Lawrence: It’s all worth it.
Rebecca Creedy: And, yeah it is and it’s just you and your thoughts and you working against yourself and pushing yourself to the next level and it’s; it’s amazing what your body can do and work off. I don’t believe I feel sleep-deprived most of the time.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: I get my weekend to catch up and then I’m ready to go again.
Stuart Cooke: Again, it’s finding what works for you and again, sleep is such a hot topic. You know my sleep is all over the place too and I’m constantly trying to find what works for me and you just got to dial into these little nuances that just assist you in get in that extra quality, I guess.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, because my other problem is, is that I find when I start sleeping in I’ll have a sleep in morning one morning and then it throws me off for the next night and I can’t get to sleep at night and things like that. I think sometimes I think I’m not getting enough sleep, but I think I also don’t necessarily work as efficiently when I have to much sleep either. So, it’s finding the balance and taking what you need when you need.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: Exactly.
Stuart Cooke: What we’re going to do as well, just; we want to just back track a little bit into nutrition and we generally ask every guest this question as well. What did you eat yesterday and just blitz through maybe just breakfast to evening meal, just because people …
Guy Lawrence: Are curious.
Stuart Cooke: … want to eat; people are curious, they want to eat like and IronWoman. Absolutely.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah. Look I guess for breakfast I had; I basically try to eat the same thing as often as possible in the mornings, as I can. Especially being an athlete it’s really important that my body knows what it’s; I like to do it as a racing thing particularly every day before an Iron session, I’ll eat the same thing that I’m going to eat probably on race day. So …
Guy Lawrence: Right
Rebecca Creedy: I have my muesli, my natural muesli, followed with two scoops of the chocolate protein powder …
Stuart Cooke: Yep, yep.
Rebecca Creedy: … a plain all natural yogurt and some frozen berries mixed through that as well and I find that’s a great, a great meal, especially at the moment when I’m having a lot of wake up training, because it really ties over my hunger as well. And yesterday I had to work all day so, yeah, it’s great for when I’m at work because I can’t necessarily just grab a snack if I want to.
And then for the evening meal, I love a good steak so, for me it was a nice big piece of steak …
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, yeah.
Rebecca Creedy: … and again, just a natural salad. So, I have heaps of spinach leaves, tomato, capsicum, snow peas, cucumbers. I do like my cheese, so I like to put a bit of feta in there and then just a balsamic and olive oil dressing. So, for me that really hits the spot. For my boyfriend, though, he insists that he has to have garlic bread with it. That keeps him happy. That keeps me happy.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, that’s what it’s all about, that’s what it’s all about.
Rebecca Creedy: It can be hard to balance meals sometimes when you’ve got someone isn’t so concerned about their nutrition.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly. Keep the home a happy one is what I say.
Guy Lawrence: Exactly.
Rebecca Creedy: Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: So, we’ve got one more question that we always ask on the show as well and this can be related to anything. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Rebecca Creedy: Keeping yourself happy, I think. Putting yourself first. Yeah. Without you being happy, you know, a lot of what you do is a waste of time and I particularity find that with training. If I’m not happy my results show it. As I said again, I’m not happy when I wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning every day of the week. So for me, if I feel like I need I call, I think they call it these days a “mental health day.” I give myself a mental health day regularly. Some days I just have a day off training and I go do something that I wouldn’t have time to do otherwise and I go do shopping and I go to my favorite shop, which is Lululemon and I go there and I buy myself something nice and it makes me feel better and then the next day I’m ready to attack what I’m doing and do it properly and do it at a better, I guess, at a better effort level than I would have if I hadn’t a taken that time. So, I think it’s just knowing when to step back and reassess and I guess mentally build yourself up and get ready to do what you need to do.
Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.
Stuart Cooke: I like it. I completely agree with that and I’m going to take the rest of the day off Guy.
Guy Lawrence: Are you going to go clothes shopping, Stu?
Stuart Cooke: I am. I’m going to get something from Lululemon.
Rebecca Creedy: I know, it’s really sad when your favorite shop’s like a sport shop, isn’t it?
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, what does that tell you.
Rebecca Creedy: I don’t know, but it’s good. I can wear them into the gym and then I can wear them out of the gym.
Guy Lawrence: Exactly.
Stuart Cooke: They do make some good clothes. I’ll give you that.
Guy Lawrence: So, what does the future hold for you, Rebecca? What’s coming up? Do you know?
Rebecca Creedy: Yes. This week, as I said, has been a bit of a wind-down for me. It’s coming towards, I guess, the series has ended, but we’ve still got; we’ve got State Team coming up on Australia Day actually, down in Sydney at Manly Beach. So, I’m looking forward to that. We’ll have three days of competition at three different carnivals. So, that will be a little bit intense. But, mainly that’s a fun competition. It takes off a little bit of the pressure, I guess, not having, you know, the 15 girls for the series fighting it out. It’s all about getting there and racing, having a good time, making mistakes and catching up with people you don’t get to see very often. Then we go on to state titles, for Queensland state titles. And that will be, I think it’s in February and then I finish off the year in April with the Australian titles, which is; it’s all about the club racing for those two and I’m a member of BMD Northcliffe and they’ve been the Australian champion club, I think, for ten years now. So, I’m looking forward to racing for them in some team events and again taking our team to the next level and taking out that title again. So …
Stuart Cooke: I think they’re probably looking forward to you racing for them as well, aren’t they?
Rebecca Creedy: Oh yeah. Yeah, no, we’ve got some great girls in our club. You know, we all love racing as much as each other, so it’s great to be part of a team that all have similar goals and that want to go out there and do the best for the club and also for themselves. So, yeah, it will definitely be an interesting off season I’m sure.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic.
Guy Lawrence: Awesome. And go on, Stu, are you going to speak?
Stuart Cooke: Well, I was just going to literally; you know, for people who want to find more about you, where would they go? What would be the best place to a bit more of Rebecca Creedy?
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, look there’s been, we’ve got the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronWoman website now, which has, it’s got a profile in there of me and also some personal questions that I’ve answered as well. And so, that’s one thing. But I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and I’m pretty easy to find, because I’m the only Rebecca Creedy really in the world, which is quite convenient. But, yeah, I have the same name for all of them, which is Bec Creedy, so that’s beccreedy and that’s my user name for all three accounts.
Guy Lawrence: We’ll put some links there, because I know you update your Facebook page on a regular basis with all your swims and skis.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, we’re getting right into it. So, no, I think people definitely appreciate seeing pictures and things like that, so I try to stay on top of that some and even get a little bit of insight into my personal life as well.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly. Fantastic. Sounds great.
Guy Lawrence: That was phenomenal. Thanks so much for coming on the show and I have not doubt everyone going to get a lot out of that, when they listen to that. Awesome.
Rebecca Creedy: Thank you.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah and we hope to see you in Manly then, in Sydney, in our neck of the woods.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, yeah. I’ll have to drop you a line and let you know and we’ll catch up for a XXunintelligibleXX [:44:37.3].
Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.
Stuart Cooke: Let’s do that. We’ll see if we can get Guy in his Coogee Club Speedos.
Rebecca Creedy: Actually, I’m going to be in Bondi, too. I think I’m staying in Bondi the Monday after Australia Day.
Stuart Cooke: OK.
Guy Lawrence: OK. Good.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, I’m not going back till Tuesday, so …
Stuart Cooke: Right next door.
Rebecca Creedy: Yeah, well Courtney [:44:55.9] and I are coming and having a girls’ weekend. So, staying for an extra night or two.
Stuart Cooke: We might gate-crash you for a cup of coffee.
Rebecca Creedy: Sounds good. Sounds good.
Stuart Cooke: Okay. That is brilliant. Again, thank you so much for your time, really appreciate it. Its been awesome.
Guy Lawrence: Awesome.
Rebecca Creedy: Awesome. Thanks so much guys. I really appreciate it.
Stu: Some people freak out when they enter a new decade in their lives, and 40 seems to be a catalyst for many a mid-life crisis. When I turned 40 I joined CrossFit and decided to become fitter and stronger than ever before (mid-life crisis I hear you say). This is where we met Ewan, he seemed to be doing things that defied logic so we asked him to share his secrets.
Over to Ewan…
Ewan: The BIG four zero, for some, is a time to hang up the boots and find a hobby that isn’t quite so demanding on the old joints. For others it’s a time to make a new start and change some bad habits you’ve picked up over the years.
Where did my journey begin?
My fitness journey started almost 30 years ago. I was packed off to boarding school where it was either rugby or running. I had the hand to eye coordination of a fish, so, by default I became a runner. The school gymnasium wasn’t discovered until I turned 15 and was only used during French lessons! I stuck with my love for running until my mid 20′s when I discovered wakeboarding. If you have never tried wakeboarding then you’re missing out. It has similar skills required for surfing with a much faster learning curve. Fast forward 8 years and a move from the UK to Australia had me searching for a new sport. A nagging mate, a global gym membership, one workout later and I had found this thing called CrossFit.
I’m willing to bet that these days, most readers have heard of CrossFit. Either if you love or hate it, you can’t deny that CrossFit has now reached the masses. Hell, your mum has probably heard of it and even possibly tried it.
Fit at 40
Being fit when life is supposedly supposed to begin will mean different things to different people. If your New Year resolution didn’t include a checkbox for getting back into the gym or going for a run with the dog then the good news is that you don’t need an excuse to start. There isn’t a big bang moment when you go from being unfit to fit; it is a journey and an adventure. My training today looks very different to my training in my twenties. Back then it would be a case of turn up at the gym, lift some weights, rest, repeat and finally shower. The age of the internet has made everybody experts and the knowledge available has enabled me to give mother nature the middle finger and continue to improve. Gone are the days of getting changed and being good to go, a few life lessons later and I recognise the importance of nutrition, a thorough warm up and rest. Lots of rest.
Food, glorious food
My wife loves to remind me that in my teens and 20’s my diet consisted of pasta and cheap sausages. Thankfully both have now been replaced with zucchini noodles and steak (I know, very hipster). For me personally, I would describe my diet as primal, I love dairy too much to give it up for the paleo diet. Breakfast will consist of bacon, eggs and half an avocado, lunch and supper will be some seasonal veggies and fish/meat. I’ve switched from eating quantity to quality; meat purchased these days has to be grass fed. You really can taste the difference. Any snacks will be a handful of almonds and a 180 shake.
Having a family with three kids has to be about compromise, we do have bread in the house and I’ll occasionally make a baconator, as much bacon, egg and avocado as I can fit in two slices of bread. Guilt levels on a baconator day = Zero. My four nutrition tips for a healthy lifestyle are:
Whatever you do make it sustainable. If you have a bad day, don’t give up, simply recognise the trigger and get back on the wagon
Drink a minimum of 2l of water a day
Avoid sugar and sweeteners
Eat real food. Stick to the outer isle of the supermarket and select what is in season
To supplement or not to supplement
Recovery has been one of my main battles since I hit 40. I can’t always do multiple training sessions in a day unless I have my nutrition dialled in. For me this means supplementing my meals. Over the years I have tried most supplements out there and now have a small list of what works for me:
Fish oil: The benefits of fish oil are amazing, google “benefits of fish oil’ and you’ll get over 8 million links to click through. For me I choose to use it for its anti-inflammatory properties. Forget your generic supermarket brand where you can get 400 for $20. Instead choose a good quality fish oil
Glutamine: Glutamine is found in over 60% of skeletal muscles and is one of the amino acids that make up protein. I take about 5-10g a day. Again this is taken for recovery
Greens: I take a product called Green Fusion from bulk nutrients, It’s a combination of Barley, Wheatgrass and Spirulina and taken instead of a multi vitamin
ZMA: Zinc, Magnesium and B6. I first tried this 10+ years ago and gave up on it as a gimmick. I decided to give it another try 18m ago (around the time our twin girls came along and sleepless nights started). I do find I sleep much better when taking ZMA. Or rather I don’t sleep as well when I run out.
180 Nutrition Superfood: The versatility of this is amazing. I use it with almost everything, from a humble protein shake to a scoop in my sweet potato & cinnamon mash. I typically have a large bag of coconut and a small bag of chocolate on the go.
Coffee: My drug of choice. Nuff said!
There isn’t a magic pill when it comes to supplementation, you’ll typically only notice any difference when you stop taking them. If I had to pick one it would have to be fish oil (Sorry Guy & Stu, you came in a close 3rd after coffee).
A daily routine
My day typically starts at around 5am, I’ll make some breakfast before jumping on the pedal bike and heading to coach at one of the two CrossFit boxes I work at. Taking the class through the warm-up is a great way for me to grease the groove and flush out the body of any kinks. After class I’ll head into the CBD where I work for a large international bank where I’ll spend most of my day sat on my bum. At the end of the day it’s back to the box to lift heavy things and move fast. I’ll either focus on a weakness or join in the class. After class it will be back on the bicycle to see the family. I’m a lightweight when it comes to burning the candle at both ends and will typically have lights out between 8:30 and 9pm.
The old saying ‘Routine is the enemy’ is true when it comes to exercise. Change now if your exercise routine is like watching the movie Groudhog Day. Your routine stops as soon as you pull on that t-shirt and training shoes. If your New Year resolution was to start running then mix it up with some sprint sessions or some hill runs. Embrace the change and challenge yourself. My tips for getting and staying fit are:
It’s never too late to start, even if that start feels like you have been run over by a truck, good for you for starting!
Set yourself short and long term goals. Write them down, stick them on your wardrobe door, tell your partner & friends, make yourself accountable. Start the short term goals with ‘This week I will’ and surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends
Record your progress, You’ll be amazed when that run round the block which took you 10min three months ago can now be smashed out in under 5. It doesn’t matter if you use pen and paper, a Fitbit or an online tool. It is a powerful motivator being able to see your results
You are never too old to start, be open to change and have fun saying yes to new challenges.
The video above is 02:14 long. Use your time wisely ;)
Paul de Gelder is one inspirational guy! From rebel, drug dealer and strip club worker to adventurer, soldier, fitness enthusiast, Navy diver, shark attack survivor, top motivational speaker with a best selling book and mentor to schoolkids across Australia, Paul de Gelder is an exceptional person to say the least.
In this episode we talk about:-
Paul’s rebel childhood to joining the forces
That almost fatal morning when he was attacked by a Bull Shark in Sydney Harbour
How the incident has changed his life for the better
Ever wondered if we can live without carbohydrates? It certainly gets a lot of stick in the press…
In this episode of The Health Sessions I catch up with Shane Richards of Holistic Foundations who chats to us about life without carbs. Shane runs a thriving community/gym with a fantastic approach around health & well-being. Shane is one of the most passionate guys I know and it is a pleasure to have him on the podcast.
You get to meet a lot of people when working in a gym environment. Your die-hards for instance who train to excess, rain, hail or shine trying to figure out different ways they can isolate their biceps to get the perfect guns (flexed arms). But most people I find here at the Uni (where I work) are there to shake off those stubborn pounds of extra body fat! They do mention their health sometimes, but it’s a distant 2nd compared to shape and size.
I have noticed over the years that the majority of people don’t physically change regardless of how hard they are working! I always here moans and groans that ‘I’m buggered if can lose weight’, and ‘This exercise malarky is a load of b@$%^*&^s’!
But here’s the secret, they are missing the two magic ingredients to shred fat fast:
Magic Ingredient No. 1: Progressive Exercise Training
I always hear ‘But I never have enough time…’ and when they finally get their butt to the gym they spend hours making up for lost time. This is uneffective and definitely not progressive. One of the most time effective styles of training I’ve seen is with the use of a kettlebell and once you have the fundamental kettlebell exercise honed ‘the kettlebell swing’, you will see results in no time!
A variation & a change up to traditional ways of training
Cuts out boredom
Develops core strength
Creates total body symmetry
Don’t get carried away with this, just keep it simple. With every training session ask yourself if you can do a little bit more than the last session, this makes it progressive. What’s really cool with this is that when you are fully swinging you will be able to knock out a session in under 15 minutes!
KettleBell Swing Prescription
Ideally keep your kettlebell session to every 3rd day, i.e. Monday, Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday etc.
The first thing you do is warm up a little, skip for 5 minutes (or whatever will make you sweat).
If you have never swung a kettlebell before, start off with the appropriate weight:
Male: 12kg KettleBell
Female: 8kg KettleBell
REMEMBER: Technique first! Get this right before raising the intensity.
Once you have your technique correct, your goal is 100 consecutive kettlebell swings. In the beginning you’ll find this difficult if not impossible. Let’s say you run out of puff after 25 swings, take a 1 minute rest and start swinging again. This time you only complete 17 full kettlebell swings, take 1 minute rest. Now you are buggered and can only do 10 kettlebell swings. You have done 3 sets at a total of 52 kettlebell swings.
End your session here and only do 3 sets, this will ensure you don’t overdo it in your early kettlebell experience. When the next session comes around go for it again. Even if you only do one more total swing than the last session, it is now a progressive exercise which is all that matters. You will soon be able to complete the 100 kettlebell swings in two sets, and eventually one set!
Once you have achieved this, go up a weight. If you were swinging an 8kg kettlebell, move to 12kg. If you were swinging a 12kg kettlebell, move to 16kg, and so on, and so on…
Make no mistake though, once you have the technique down, you will be making it progressive by making the session more intense, not longer. This is no picnic! Are you ready for the challenge?
Magic Ingredient No. 2: An unprocessed diet
I’m going to keep this one short as we will be blogging a lot more about this in the future. But I believe that up to 80% of your body composition comes from the food we eat. Just think about that for a moment… 80%….’cause that’s actually good news for you! Why? Believe it or not, no matter how hectic our life is, with a little organisation you can control what you put in your mouth. If you don’t apply this I guarantee you will be on struggle street.
Along with the kettlebell swings, be disciplined with the food you put in your mouth 24 hrs a day and that excess body fat will fall off.
So what do I eat?
Apply the KISS principle. You have to ‘keep it simple’. The first thing you do is keep it as NATURAL as possible. I can’t stress this enough!
I follow a natural high fat, moderate protein & low carb regime. I eat mainly from the list below. Since I’ve been doing this I can now see my abs.
Unprocessed meats, avoid corn fed and eat grass fed
Ocean fish. (I’m eating lots of flathead cooked in coconut oil & butter)
Non caged eggs and some dairy. (Definitely not flavoured!)
No grains or bread & as little starch & gluten as possible!! (This a must)
The only fruit i’m eating are berries and strawberries.
And NO SUGAR!
If you can be as creative as possible with the above, along with the kettlebell swings, your excess body fat will fall off. I dare you to try it for 1 month & see what happens. But if you do, you must be 100% committed. Have the mindset of an athlete training for the Olympics and you have 1 month to go. So no half measures!
Nutrition is a monster topic and I’ve kept this section simplistic I know. In saying that, with the amount of books out there on the topic, I can I highly recommend one which I have reviewed here.
With the right mindset and applied knowledge, you will be amazed at what you can achieve in no time at all!
If you want to improve your kettlebell skills, I can highly recommend the boys over at Australian Institute of KettleBells. They run national courses across the country. I’ve done one and they are fantastic!
I was at the annual Fitness & Health Expo in Sydney recently, and the first thing that stood out to me was the amount of protein powders competing with each other claiming to be the best protein powders in Australia.
What was even more fascinating was the amount of money these companies were spending to try and out compete each other.
Make no doubt about it, the protein powder industry is big business here in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a great article on the event saying -
“If Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was still alive he’d be wondering if he got into the right industry, because in 2011, protein shakes, powder and bars are quite the money earner, not to mention totally legal.
Everybody wants protein, but do people know why we even need protein? The quick science of why your muscles need protein is because during a training session, muscle fibres tear under stressful loads, or weights. Protein fixes those tears, which allows the muscle to repair and build.”
But the first question I feel one should ask themselves is, not which one is the best protein powder, but do these heavily hyped and marketed protein powders actually work?
The fitness industry seems to tout oversized chiseled muscles and deeply tanned skin.
Whatever happened to health?
The SMH goes onto say – “So be careful when asking that mega-man that resembles a kyphotic Marvel comic villain about protein requirements…he may have used something a bit naughtier than protein to get that look.
Regardless of my sentiments, the industry will continue to grow as people covet bulging biceps and perfectly toned abs shown on glossy pages next to the 2.5kgs tubs of protein powder.
Just do a little bit of research to understand what your body needs, and what chemicals you are putting into it. And remember, a glass of milk, a chicken breast sandwich, and Tassie salmon on veggies still work just fine.”
So if you are wondering which is the best protein powder in Australia to buy, do your research and think twice before you make a purchase.
This is the very reason why 180 Natural Protein SuperFood was created. Being able to improve your health and nutrition from a real food resource at your convenience.