Rory Hanlin CrossFit Elite Athlete Profile Interview

rory hanlin crossfitSGPT: Tell us about yourself.

Rory Hanlin: I’m a soldier, father, competitor

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

Rory Hanlin: I was a three and four sport athlete in high school. In college I was a competitive judo player and did physical training in my college’s ROTC program. I have always participated in sports and athletics.

SGPT: How did you get started with CrossFit competitions?

Rory Hanlin: I tried “Linda” in 2005 as a test to prepare for Ranger school and realized I wasn’t in the great shape that I thought I was. After some time in training for the Army, I started Crossfitting again in late 2006. I went back and forth during deployments and dwell time. Then In 2009 I had enough time in the states to participate in the CF games so I decided to compete. I’ve been solely Crossfitting since then.

SGPT: Can you tell us about some of your recent competitions and placings?

Rory Hanlin: Unfortunately due to a deployment this year I have not competed very ‘recently.’

Garage Games Feb 2012 13th place, Carolina Fitness Challenge Dec 2010 2nd Place, South Georgia Throwdown Oct 2010 2nd Place

Its difficult to prepare for competitions with the kind of schedule that I have. I try to compete in as many regional competitions as possible because I miss many due to deployments, schools and training.

SGPT: How do you typically train?

Rory Hanlin: I take a very methodical and deliberate approach to training. Training is planned weeks/months in advance and executed each day with room to make tweaks based on how I am feeling that day. My training for years was based around the OPT Big Dawgs Blog run by James Fitzgerald. My programming currently is greatly influenced by James’s expertise and advice.

I also train with a partner. The benefits are numerous, especially when the training partner has the same goals as you do. I have been lucky enough to train with AJ Moore and Nate Schrader, both national games level athletes, as well as numerous other regional competitors. The camaraderie is just awesome. We train and compete together but we also spend a lot of time with each other and our respective families outside of the gym. We push each others limits and create an environment of healthy competition and mutual support. We are definitely a team, especially now that its official since I recently joined team 2 Pood with both AJ and Nate. I am extremely excited to see what we can accomplish in the future.

SGPT: What about diet – how do you eat and fuel yourself on
competition days?

Rory Hanlin: I employ a strict Paleo diet to support my training when I am at home. When deployed I try to eat the best that I can. I eat generally low carb and get as much protein in as possible. That is really the best that I can do given the circumstances. Recently I have been taking in more carbohydrates to support higher volumes of training now that I am at home.


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With regard to competition days, I like to wake early in the morning and take a big breakfast with plenty of fat to support the days events. Throughout the day I will consistently intake carbohydrates in the form of sweet potatoes or fruit. After each event I will take in liquid protein and carbs. In the afternoon I eat lean protean and continue to fuel my events with carbs. The evening will be a lean protein and vegetables with some sweet potato to prep for the next day.

SGPT: Do you take any protein supplements or post
recovery workout drinks?

Rory Hanlin: When I am home I take in a clean whey protein and a simple carbohydrate powder. I’ll take fish oil and a greens supplement in the AM. In the PM I’ll take another fish oil supplement and magnesium before bed. I am partial to supplements developed by James Fitzgerald as I know and trust him to keep his products clean.

Deployment is another thing entirely. In order to maximize my performance in a compromised state I rely heavily on supplements. I take in caffeinated drinks throughout the day to maintain energy and help with fatigue. I’ve had a lot of success with the Kill Cliff to help optimize training, recovery and energy levels.

SGPT: Have you had any injuries in the past and how did you deal with them in training?

Rory Hanlin: The most important concept when dealing with acute injuries is to continue to train around the injury to reduce atrophy and maintain fitness levels. Think outside the box while training as safely as possible.

When dealing with chronic injuries, you have to critically evaluate the impact that it has on your training and how that will subsequently affect your performance. Chronic injuries need systemic changes in programming/training in order for your body to heal properly.

SGPT: Do you have any pre-competition or hard workout warmup or mental drills you perform?

Rory Hanlin: Before each event positive self talk and mental rehearsal is absolutely key. I literally talk to myself and tell myself exactly what I have to do. AJ and Nate laugh at me for it but it helps sharpen my focus and gets me into the zone. Also I visualize exactly what I plan to do before the event at least three or four times.

SGPT: What are you reading now?

Rory Hanlin: “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris

“Manufacturing Consent” by Noam Chompsky

“Dance with Dragons” George R.R. Martin

SGPT: Thanks for the interview Rory.

Rory Hanlin: No problem It was a lot of fun. Keep up the grinder!

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Rory Hanlin

CrossFit Elite Athlete Profile Interview