My Formula: Matt Rodwell

My Formula: Matt Rodwell

Nike trainer, Matt Rodwell, discusses his training routine, tips, and what aids his performance.

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“In my experience CrossFit differs from other programs because we set out to become uncommonly good at the uncommon. In a lot of ways, we are a jack of all trades and a master of none. It’s been spoken about a lot over the years but for me, what always stood out is that CrossFit prepares you for life instead of looking good. We focus on performance related goals and the aesthetics follow.

I come from a surfing background and got into CrossFit because I wanted to surf better. My competitive nature and the black and white style of winning and losing are what got me to regionals twice.

With the way competitive CrossFit is going, it’s hard to think of what people are going to be capable of in the next couple of years. You’re seeing people squat 500 lbs and run a mile in around five minutes or less. If that’s not functional I don’t know what is.

As for my personal training, my current training week is pretty aggressive. I’m training six days a week. Monday to Wednesday the intensity is high and I’m doing an AM and PM session. I do cardio to build up my aerobic base in the morning and strength + weakness work in the afternoons. Thursdays I swim and Friday is another double day – usually something long in the morning. Afternoons are more CrossFit specific. Weightlifting, weakness work and then some repeatable intervals. Saturdays I start at the track. If you can move your body around a track you’re going to be in great shape. I run between 3-5 km in intervals i.e.10 x 300 m sprint, rest 60 seconds or 10 x 400 m, rest 60 seconds. PM will be similar to Friday – strength followed by a metabolic conditioning session. Perhaps something more specific, especially as I get closer to a competition. Competition simulation is extremely important.

If you want to start weight training, I’d recommend a coach. If I could go back and start again the first thing I would’ve done is see a weightlifting coach and then a gymnastics coach.

I think it’s important to let the experts be the experts – you sharpen your learning curve tenfold and get help in the process. There are great coaches out there who aren’t going to charge you an arm and a leg – reach out for help.

If getting a coach isn’t an option then the internet is your friend. YouTube has thousands of tutorials. I think Oleksiy Torokhtiy has done a fantastic job with his tutorials. He is the 2012 105 kg Olympic Champion. Just remember to stay light and master the technique as it’s the best way to get longevity and avoid injuries.

I’d say the three essential lifestyle factors that enable me to train at the level I do is time, sleep and nutrition – It’s all about prioritizing. Allocate time in the day and apply yourself wholeheartedly to the task at hand.  

I was introduced to The Nue Co.’s Sleep Drops and they’ve been a game changer. Earlier in the year I was really struggling to sleep for the first time in my life. I think it was the stress of going for a spot at The CrossFit Game. I take 12 drops before bed and sleep like a baby. I also use Magnesium Ease for recovery right before bed. Apart from the odd crazy dream, I’m definitely less achy when I get up!

Then as soon as I get up, I take Nootro-Focus and Power Up. I love coffee and have always drank a lot of it but I find after three, the jitters nullify any benefits. Power Up slips in nicely. The focus supplement has helped massively too. We have so many distractions with social media and the internet that it’s nice to take two capsules before training and get the work done.

I’m sure any athlete will tell you that in order to have success you have to make sacrifices. If you don’t suffer and sacrifice, there’s never going to be any change and you’ll probably be a little disappointed at the outcome because it was easy. If it was easy everyone would do it.

Denzel Washington gave a great quote, “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship”. Every day I get in the gym and look at my program, figure out what I want to do the least, and do it first. There’s great joy in the suffering, and if you can find people to go on the ride with you there really is no FOMO or personal life sacrifice."

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