Keep your gains even while under self-quarantine with these exercises.Read article
Margaux Alvarez has long been considered to be one of the toughest competitors in the CrossFit world. She’s competed in numerous competitions, usually placing in the Top 10. Alvarez, a LifeProof-sponsored athlete, will be competing in the upcoming Reebok CrossFit Games, for the fourth year in a row. Muscle & Fitness Hers caught up with the athlete to discuss her dedication to the sport, her training, and the person who has inspired her the most.
Muscle & Fitness Hers: You started doing CrossFit in 2011, what made you decide to take it up?
Margaux Alvarez: At the time I was really doing my own thing, participating in tough mudders and other obstacle course races. But some friends had told me about it and i thought, “Okay, I’ll check it out.” So I went to a class, and loved it. I loved the challenge of it.I’ve never done any barbell work, so it was challenging but I liked it because getting to see the progress I made. I was a personal trainer before and had done mini dumbbell work, so this was definitely very different and very intriguing to me.
What goals did you have when you first started out?
When I first started I just wanted to learn the movements; I wanted to understand how to do things I couldn’t do. Like I couldn’t really do pullups, or much of the barbell work so I really wanted to learn how to do that. And as time went on I wanted to help others reach their goal, and I eventually wanted to become a CrossFit coach, so that was a huge goal for me.
Once I became a coach, I attended the 2011 Southern California Regionals, and I saw athletes who competed. It was really inspiring and motivating to see people compete at that level, so that was my next goal. And then eventually after that my next goal became, “hey I want to compete in the CrossFit games one day.”
What is your training regimen like?
It varies day-to-day but I will usually spend about 6-8 hours in the gym. That’ll consist of some kind of aerobic warm-up, then some mobility or accessory movements to get my body ready for training. And then I’ll do 2-3 different lifts, like one of the technical lifts. That will be followed with two metaball conditioning workouts. And then I’ll usually finish the day with an accessory, like maybe some core work or legs, or midline. Anything to close up the day with movements so that I can hit everything I need to in terms of my training.
Sounds pretty intense, what is your diet like?
I eat pretty healthy and I know that, for the most part, I need to be eating enough carbohydrates to fuel my workout. For me I focus more on the numbers. I’m trying to eat 300+ grams of carbs a day, maybe 350 at the most. Those carbs are complex carbs so like brown rice or bread, not simple carbs. I also make sureI eat some sort of protein whether it be chicken, steak, fish, or pork, and that’ll be about 180 grams a day.
When it comes to junk food, I know that if I’m craving something, there’s probably a reason my body wants it. So maybe I’ll have cookies or ice cream or a PB&J depending on what my body is craving. But I won’t really restrict myself because I know I’m working out so much that I need to be able to fuel my body for training. So if I want a hamburger, I’ll have a hamburger.
Would you consider CrossFit to be a male-dominated sport, or do you think it’s pretty equal?
I wouldn’t say it’s a male-dominated sports. If you look at the games there are 40 women competing and then you have the 40 teams. I think when you get to the games, it’s all equal. Even in prior competitions it’s all equal between male and female.
What other sports do you enjoy?
I would say the sport that I love to play would be golf. I played it from ages 8-18, and I’ve played a little bit here and there since graduating high school.I grew up in Montana so I love being outdoors and playing golf definitely allows you to do that for 18 holes. I just love it because it’s very challenging mentally, I mean you’re hitting a small little ball around 4-5 miles of course and it’s kind of a you-against-you where you’re trying to see what you’re capable of, and staying focused mentally is a big part of it.
With the CrossFit Games coming up next week, how do you feel?
I feel excited, this is my fourth consecutive year competing and each time I’m always grateful to be returning. Obviously things always change, and more people compete, but I always look forward to it and I’m excited to be out there because I know it’s not an opportunity that many people may have, so I always make the most about that experience.
You’ve talked about how your sister Kerstin has always been an inspiration to you, can you elaborate more on that?
Of course. You know, she was 20 when she passed but she was very fiery individual. She was a little stubborn but she always did what she wanted to do. And she made sure that no matter what she did, she was having fun and enjoying the experience and so I always kind of looked at that and thought “hey she was right.” You don’t know if the next day or the next month is guaranteed so you want to make sure you enjoy each moment that you have, and she would do just that. And I would see how she lived life and that was really inspiring to me. Remembering how she lived life and how she would enjoy her moments in life, I kind of looked at that and thought that’s how she would go on and I would honor her by doing that. So I decided I would go through life making the most of it and not really having any regrets. It’s definitely important to remember the positive.
Do you have any advice for aspiring athletes?
For anyone I would tell them to focus on doing things one day at a time, whatever their goal is or whatever sport they want to pick up. Be patient and enjoy the journey, because whatever you want into get to, it takes a lot of time but all that time will be worth it in the end. But you have to be patient. Just remember to enjoy the journey. You end up putting so much of your time, really most of the year, just training, so enjoying the process is really a big part of it.
What are your goals for the future?
Well my immediate goal would of course be to win the CrossFit Games. And then after that I’d love to help my dad with the vineyards he’s built over the past few years. I’d love to help him make wine and get that off the ground, so that’s the next step after this. And then maybe eventually try to get back to golf and try to get on the LPGA tour.