Kari Pearce has used TRX training tools for years, first as a gymnast, and now as one of the world’s top CrossFit athletes. This summer, TRX is chronicling Kari’s journey to the CrossFit Games with a weekly series about her training program.
When you travel, you have to remember to pack toiletries and a phone charger. When Kari Pearce travels, she has to pack all the standard necessities, plus workout gear, a cooler full of meals, and her TRX Suspension Trainer™. As a professional athlete, she never gets a complete break during competition season.
The final weeks before Pearce’s third appearance at the CrossFit Games are prime prep time, so she’ll stay home as much as possible to train. But after the Games—and, hopefully, her first trip to the podium—Pearce is embarking on a well-earned vacation. She’ll take ten days off to be a tourist...before bouncing between the U.S., Europe, and Dubai through the fall for both competition and leisure. Factor in a visit to see her family, now based in Mexico City, and it’s obvious that Pearce has to plan for plenty of training time on the road.
So how does an elite athlete train consistently when away from home? For Pearce, it starts with the packing list. “I always have my foam roller with me. Especially when you get off a plane, you need to roll out, get loosened up. My coach makes me do ice baths when I’m on the road, so I’ll do some ice baths and some hot baths with Epsom salts,” Pearce says. As for procuring that ice? “It’s so much easier when you’re on the road because you can go to different floors in the hotel and raid the ice machines.”
While most gyms now have a TRX Suspension Trainer™, Pearce prefers to pack hers just in case. (She uses it for both workouts and recovery stretching.) In fact, she often keeps her TRX Suspension Trainer™ with her in her backpack. “Probably 70 percent of the time, I carry it with me around New York City. When I have a little break, I go to Central Park and hook it up on the pull-up bars,” she says.
Even on the road, Pearce continues weight training, so the standard cardio machines in hotel fitness centers don’t meet her needs. Instead, she looks for nearby gyms with a range of barbells and equipment. When it comes to finding a local CrossFit box on the road, Pearce won’t hesitate to ask for recommendations.
“Sometimes before I travel, I’ll ask somebody I know who’s in the area. Now that I’ve been in CrossFit a little bit longer, I know some of the major gyms.” Alternatively, she’ll ask for suggestions on social media, and someone will usually message and invite her to visit their studio. “I’ve met a lot of cool people that way,” Pearce says.
The hardest part of keeping up with her routine on the road? Scheduling. “Usually, I’m spoiled and I have a key to the gym. I can go whenever I want,” she says. But, even with the logistical hurdles to training at a different gym, Pearce won’t pass up the chance to meet and work out with new people while she travels.
“Sometimes they learn from me, sometimes I learn from them. I just love meeting people and getting out there.”