Force Feeds: Elisabeth Akinwale

Alright boys and girls, new month, new athlete. For July we have a very special interview for you all: Elisabeth Akinwale. The Outlaw Way athlete and first sponsored CrossFit athlete from MuscleDriverUSA gets it done in many ways and she is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Not only is she a force to be reckoned with in the CrossFit Games, but she is becoming a top national level lifter in the 75 kilogram weight class. Every chance I get, I love to pick her brain because she has a lot to offer the strength sports world. Check out out how she is rising to the top of not one, but two sports in July’s Force Feed Interview.

1.Thanks for chatting with us. Can you tell me a little bit about your sport/background? What did you do first? How many sports have you participated in? How did you get to where you are now? 

Growing up, I was a gymnast from the age of 4.  I started competing in about the 2nd grade, and trained year round in a club program.  My gymnastics career ended during freshman year of college.  Following that I joined a local gym to rehab a knee injury and that’s when I started weight training.  I followed a fairly typical bodybuilding type training regiment, with body part splits, cardio sessions, etc.  Over the years I have sought out a competitive outlet through fitness competitions, road races and triathlons.  In late 2010 I found CrossFit and began competing in March of 2011.  During this time I was introduced to Olympic-style weightlifting.  In the summer of 2011 I competed in my first weightlifting meet.

I currently train primarily as a CrossFit athlete and secondarily as a weightlifter.   Weightlifting is one of the foundations of my CrossFit training, so there is a great deal of crossover.  I didn’t intend to become a competitive athlete again at this stage of my life and as a mother, but I’ve found that once an athlete, always an athlete.

 
2. How important do you believe food/nutrition is to being a better athlete? Any philosophies or models you follow?
 

A diet that’s geared towards your performance goals is an integral part of being a better athlete.  It’s as important as training and rest.  My diet is centered around lots of meat and green vegetables along with healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado, and carbs to fuel me.  I try to stay away from processed foods and most importantly just get enough calories everyday to sustain my training.

 
3. What recovery techniques do you use if any? What have you found works best and what have you found useless/less effective?

I consider my diet to be a big help to the recovery process.  I try to eat well and make sure I’m well hydrated.  I usually have one active rest day and one complete rest day each week.  For active rest I’ve found swimming to be very restorative and seems to relax my muscles and reduce joint pain. Getting enough sleep is absolutely key to recovery.

 
4. Walk us through a day in your life: what do you eat? When and how long do you train?

I eat breakfast before training in the late morning.  Typically 3-4 eggs, spinach, avocado and beef, sausage or bacon.  I may have a pre-workout protein/carb shake or mid workout shake.  I usually workout for about 3 hours.  Following training I will eat some sweet potatoes and a lunch of meat and vegetables, basically as much as I can eat.  My late afternoons are spent with my son.  Dinner is also typically as much meat and vegetables as I can eat.

 
5. What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you in regards to training and getting stronger? Anything you would like pass on to someone trying to get where you are?

The best advice I’ve been given is to stay the course.  Getting stronger is a long term process and I often see people who get frustrated with a lack of results before they’ve even committed enough time to make progress.  You have to be committed in and outside the gym.  At times training is the easy part, and the dedication to constant body maintenance, eating, and resting can be the most difficult.

6. What is the most impressive feat of strength you have accomplished to date?

My snatch and clean & jerk are things that I’m proud of at 89/109kg, after just a couple years lifting and training only part time.  I also have a 425lb deadlift, again, a movement I don’t really train for other than within the CrossFit context.

Elisabeth is going for the grand daddy of them all, the title of Fittest Woman on Earth at the 2013 CrossFit Games in Carson, CA on July 26-28. Be sure to check out CrossFit HQ’s main site for live streams and updates. I know she will do The Outlaw Way and MDUSA proud, so show her as much support as possible between now and then.

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