Introducing Liam Hogan – CrossFit Regional & Nasty Lifestyle Athlete Age: 25
Occupation: Gym manager and CrossFit level 1 coach Proudest moment: “Introducing my little boy to the world.”
Favorite quote: “Quote which I have tattooed on me to help with early mornings:
Every morning we have two choices; continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.’
Hi Liam. So, first things first, how’s training going?
Really well. I have changed the way I do things since recovering last year from injury (more on that later). I have added in a rehab, mobilising session every four days and then a total rest day every eight days. This keeps me injury free and mentally rested.
Definitely the best place to be. Before we discuss the injury, let’s talk about your training background. When did you start CrossFit and how did you find it?
From the age of nine, I was into football and began a scholarship at 16 where I went professional with Southampton. It was pretty good, only going to school three days a week so that we could train - I used to love the fitness tests. At 18, I found I was falling out of love with it and wanted to find a sport where the hard work pays off. I just wanted a complete change so I left for Australia and went to live there with a friend. He was the one that introduced me to CrossFit.
Did you fall in love with CrossFit then and there, not ever looking back?
(laughs) No. I was very sceptical of CrossFit at first. It went against everything that I had been taught and believed in. As a personal trainer for three years at the time, I was strict on form and movements. Learning things like kipping, was a lot to get my head around. Looking back now, I didn’t understand the methodology and it took me about a year to get used to it all and fully enjoy it.
I’ve now been doing CrossFit for 6 years and feel I have really found the right balance.
You went to 2014 European Regionals, qualifying 23rd in the UK in the Open. What was your training prep like for the lead up to the Regionals?
After trialing CrossFit in the gym I worked in (Fitness First) and my garage, I began to get more and more into it and started to research the other athletes like Josh Bridges, Rich Froning and Dan Bailey. I would look at what times they got in certain workouts and try and beat them so I would have a training diary with their times and my times in. I would work a lot on my engine and it paid off in The Open, which is what I feel you really need: A good engine.
After qualifying, I found I was really busy at work, working 5.30am ‘til 9.30pm and would only be able to fit in 60-30 minutes of training a day, which was usually in my lunch break. The lead up to The Regionals was a lot of late nights, with a newborn son and busy work schedule.
Wow. So you had a full plate. Whatwas it like competing at The Regionals?
Awesome! I was nervous in the first event as it was 1 rep max hang snatch
and strength and Olympic lifting wasn’t my forte. Seeing the likes of Jakob Magnusson warming up didn’t ease my nerves, but once that event wasover I felt I was in
my element. Event five was 10 rounds of legless rope climb and 200m sprint, which I won throughout the whole European region.
I couldn’t believe how great it was going. In-between workouts I would see all these athletes sleeping and camping out and I would be entertaining my six month old boy. I felt that really helped as it gave me such a mental break from the day.
Going into the final workout I was sitting 10th and absolutely couldn’t believe it.
The last workout (event 7) was 64 pull ups and 8 overhead squats at 90kg. This had to be the most embarrassing moment of my training life. I was the last person in my heat and I didn’t even finish it within the time cap. After that event, I finished 22nd.
Since then, I have repeated that workout nearly every month and am now doing it with 115kg overhead squats.
What happened after regionals?
I really wanted to build my strength and work on other weaknesses. Then, due to not working on mobility enough, and an imbalance in my hips, I pulled my back out in a clean. I have since been spending time rehabbing and am lucky with the amount of well qualified knowledge and help I am surrounded with, as well as the research I'm doing myself.
Last year, during a qualifying workout, I was doing snatch in my garage and as I dropped the bar, it rebounded onto my foot, breaking my foot. Since then I have been doing a lot of work to get myself back to full health.
How do you feel training has been going this year?
Really well. As I said before, now that I have a better understanding of training and the importance of mobility, I take the time to do ROMWODs and heaps of mobility. I go by feel with workouts and how my body feels on the day, taking time out from individual competitions and just having fun with some team competitions.
Do you feel ready for 2017 Open?
Absolutely. I am feeling my strongest and have seen some real improvements, but then saying that so does every athlete every year. I am looking forward to next year.
It sounds like you have a lot on with a two year old son, family, work and training. How do you fit it all in?
I am really lucky that I work in a gym and have a really supportive girlfriend who encourages me. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it’s cold and I don’t want to go out to a dark and cold garage, but having that support, as well as my drive and hunger to do well, keeps me focused.
I train two-to-three times a day, always focusing my first session on any weaknesses I would like to work on. I will do this session mid-morning, after starting work at 5.30am. Then I train in the afternoon and once again at home in my garage, when my little boy has gone to bed.
Lastly, nutrition. How you do you fuel your training?
I used to be really strict, only eating paleo and what is natural from the earth. Looking back, it got to the point of being unsociable and actually feel it hindered my recovery and performance. Since having my little boy, I have relaxed a lot more and whilst still eating as natural as possible, I don’t stress over food or refuse to eat something just because I don’t know whether it’s organic or not. I now live by the 80/20 rule (eating really clean 80% of the time and 20% relaxing).
Thanks for your time Liam. Best of luck with 2017 Open and happy training!
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