Interview with CrossFit Elite Athlete Brandon Phillips

Brandon PhillipsBy Brad McLeod 12-24-2011. gets a great interview with top Crossfit athlete Brandon Phillips. He has been to the CrossFit Games 3 years running and is a beast athlete.

SGPT: Tell us about yourself.

Brandon Phillips: Brad, first I would like to say thank you for asking me for the interview.

My name is Brandon Phillips, I am currently the strength and conditioning coach at the Walker School and the head wrestling coach. I’ve been competing in CrossFit the past 3 years and been fortunate enough to qualify for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 CF games.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

Brandon Phillips: I grew up playing 3x sports in Dalton, GA: football, wrestling, and baseball. I was pretty good at all 3 and miss guys I grew up competing with. Went to Cumberland College in KY and wrestled for a bit, then returned back to GA and entered Kennesaw State University where I began to play rugby. After I graduated, found a job, and looked around for a new strength and conditioning program and found CrossFit.

Video of Brandon Phillips CrossFit

Brandon Phillips drinks Kill Cliff anti-inflammatory drink

SGPT: So your a wrestling coach now? Can you tell us more about that?

Brandon Phillips: Being a coach in high school is awesome. Coaching, teaching and opening yourself up to the young athletes and watching them grow, overcome adversity, work hard to attain there goals, and see a few become champions is what it’s all about. I encourage people to volunteer there time to coach young athletes.

SGPT: How did you get started with CrossFit competitions?

Brandon Phillips: I came across Crossfit while looking for new S&C programs for the wrestling team. I went to a local CF box (CF Addiction) in January of 2009. The owner told me about the regional qualifier coming up on Memorial Day. I just watched Every Second Counts and told myself I wanted to do that and since then it’s been a great ride!

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

Brandon Phillips: The last competition I attended individually was Integrity’s Revenge in Charleston, SC. I finished 1st about 12 points ahead of the next guy. Before that I was in the Survival of the Fittest in Woodstock, GA. Great comp and idea I finished 4th there. Just luck of the draw on the wods.

SGPT: How do you typically train?

Brandon Phillips: Since 2009 it’s changed a lot, but now I’ve got the program dialed in for me. Recovery for me is huge. During wrestling season I have less recovery due to the stress that coaching brings. So I don’t train as much, but focus on optimal training. Monday through Wednesday and Friday Saturday. I start with a strength portion focused on olympic lifting followed by a metcon or some kind of conditioning. Check out or for a detailed overview of my training.

SGPT: What about double unders? Give us a tip to help us with double unders.

Brandon Phillips: With double unders the toughest thing for me to understand was to relax and breathe. When I first encountered double unders I was horrible. So before every workout I began doing 50x, once they became pretty efficient I began doing 50x unbroken double unders. That helped tremendously now I do 100+ unbroken pretty easily and I use that in programming as a buy in to my AMRAP’s at least once a month or so.

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

Brandon Phillips: You know nutrition is always different with CF games athletes. I found the more fuel I put in my body the better I feel. I consume a lot of meat red meat, white meat, fish, bacon, etc. I try to have some kind of vegetable and fruit with every meal as well. But, I’m careful to not stress about what I eat-if I’m with my family or friends I’ll have some fried foods, desserts, or some candy. It’s no big deal and if I train the next day I usually hit a PR or do very well in my metcons.

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

Brandon Phillips: Yes, I take Perfect Blocks from Fortified Nutrition. Great product thats sugar free and tastes pretty good. I also, have a Kill Cliff anti-inflammatory drink every morning going to train or school. I also take beta alanine, glucosamine, and fish oils every day.

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

Brandon Phillips: I actually injured my lower back in late October early November and had to take about 5-6 weeks off and not squat, oly lift, or do a true metcon. I believe it was good for me though to take some time off. I just hit 300 Clean and Jerk (first since 2010 southeast regional) and snatch 245.

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

Brandon Phillips: For me I take my warmup pretty serious. I like to row at about 90% for 1000m then snatch semi heavy up to about 80%. This gets my heart rate sky high, fires my nervous system and gets that first wind out of me.

SGPT: What are you reading now?

Brandon Phillips: I am reading the book “Gates of Fire”. It’s about the battle of Thermopylae. You know from the movie 300. Great book talking about the upbringing of Spartan soldiers. Us crossfitters we think were tough, not compared to them. Spartans were ready for war by the time they were 15.

SGPT: Thanks for the interview Brandon.

Brandon Phillips: Thank you Brad, It’s always a pleasure to speak to you, its an honor knowing a true hero. Hope to see you soon. I love the ballistic jump ropes and look forward to testing myself with them this upcoming CF season.

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