Stories from our Fortitude Family: Karin Bauer and How She Challenged Herself At Her First Functional Fitness Competition

by Fortitude Bali

October 14, 2019

Here at Fortitude, our daily mission of making every day your personal best has always included encouraging our members to get out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. So when we heard that one of our regulars at the box Karin Bauer competed for the Jakarta WOD Off this year, we were thrilled and decided to have a quick chat with her to find out how she geared herself up towards this competition.

So Karin, tell us, what made you decide to compete?  

Originally, I was meant to compete last year. But having only started CrossFit in 2017, I didn’t feel I was fully prepared to go just yet. But even though I felt I wasn’t 100% prepared this year, Coach Craig really gave me the confidence to just try it out and have fun with it. And while I initially wanted to compete for the scaled category, the decision to do RX (the prescribed workout) was definitely an eye-opening experience. Despite the fact that I couldn’t do all the movements, it was a great way to test myself and where I was at with my skills. It was tough but a great learning curve!

Did you work on any preparation before the competition?

Well, I tried! But unfortunately, I was traveling in Europe 3 weeks before the competition which made it quite difficult to retain my training and diet. But as soon as I got back I did my best to get enough sleep, eat clean meals and snacks in between with fruits and protein shakes because CrossFit workouts are a lot harder on the body and you will need that level of fuel to be at your prime.

You’ve mentioned the importance of fuelling, could you share your thoughts on how you do this for training and for competition?

Sure. I’ve started tracking my food, purely to make sure I’m fueling my body and eating ENOUGH to support my training. So to me that’s eating enough protein throughout the day with every meal, if it ever gets to the evening and I’m short I’ll probably have a last minute protein shake to try and make up for it. Leading up to the competition I tried to keep a routine with my food as that’s what my body responds well too.

Was it nerve-wracking to be competing amongst other skilled athletes?

I think I was more excited than nervous in the beginning and then the nerves did start to kick in a little bit when they did the briefing for the workouts but overall I realized after the first challenge that I should just enjoy myself and do my best instead of worrying too much about winning.

What would your advice be to anyone who’s never competed before and is keen on giving it a go?

Invest in good coaches. The great thing about this investment is you get to see where you need improvement and you also get to set goals on where you aim to go with your fitness journey. When I first started CrossFit, there was a lot I didn’t know I could work on by myself but since I’ve worked closely with the team of coaches at Fortitude Bali: Yunus, Nick, and Craig – I see a lot of improvement in my technique and continue to surprise myself with my abilities.

What about to all the women out there who are afraid to try CrossFit? What would you advise them?

I can see the intimidation for joining CrossFit, I’ve heard way too many times where they say “oh I’m not fit enough to do CrossFit” or “let me get fit first and then I’ll try” and that’s absolute nonsense. The beauty about CrossFit is that everything can be scaled to your level which is amazing. My advice to anyone who wants to join is either start with a metabolic conditioning class (if they have a fear of using barbells) or do a PT session that focuses on learning the new movements/ giving them scaling options if they do come up. Another thing, I notice a lot of women worry about bulking up. I hear this all the time from my clients where they say “I want to lose fat in my arms and tone them but I don’t want them to get bulky”. To this day, I still struggle to teach them that in order to get a “toned” look they are after they do need to train their upper body and lift some actual weight. The female CrossFit athletes that do look “bulky” to people, look that way because they make it their life goal to get strong and dedicate so much time into it. So unless you’re planning to train and eat like a CrossFit athelete, you will never end up being bulky.

That’s awesome to hear! Will you be competing again anytime soon?

Yes! I’ll be joining the group category for the YOUC 1000 Battle of the Fittest and I’m definitely going back to next year’s WOD Off too.

We can’t wait to see your progress! To follow Karin’s journey, follow her on Instagram. 

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About Fortitude Bali

Fortitude Bali is a premium Strength & Conditioning gym located in Seminyak focussed on helping you achieve your overall fitness goals.