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Cole Sager Chasing the Audacious

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HOW DO YOU COMPARE TO THE FITTEST ATHLETES IN CROSSFIT?

HEALTH & PERFORMANCE 2 IMPORTANT FACTORS YOU MAY BE IGNORING

7 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SUMMER FITNESS

#LIVETHEBOXLIFE

crossfit &

bodybuilding the best of both worlds the ‘new’ crossfit games for better or worse, 2019 is the year of change Correcting the hamstring/quad imbalance


BECAUSE THE LIFESTYLE DOESN’T END WHEN YOU LEAVE THE BOX... Cover photo By Nick Brimmer Photography

WHAT’S INSIDE... July/August 2019

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FEATURED WOD: JUICY Test your pacing skills with this two part workout.

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DO YOU HAVE A MUSCLE IMBALANCE? Most people do. Here’s what you can do about this common but risky issue.

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HOW DO YOU COMPARE (2019) Use this infographic to see how you stack up against the fittest men and women in CrossFit

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CROSSFIT BODYBUILDING? Can incorporating aspects of the bodybuilding world help you reach your goals?

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GEAR GUIDE Check out this issue’s featured products.

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ATHLETE PROFILE: COLE SAGER How his athleticism and faith have paved the way to six CrossFit Games appearances.

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TWO ‘OTHER’ FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR HEALTH & PERFORMANCE Sleep and diet are important, but managing these two other factors is just as important.

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YOU DON’T KNOW SWOT What a personal SWOT analysis can teach you about achieving your goals.

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THE ‘NEW’ CROSSFIT GAMES The 411 on all the changes happening to the CrossFit Games.

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ACHIEVING YOUR NUTRITION GOALS Creating a supportive environment is key. Here are 6 ways to do just that.

COLE SAGER “I didn’t want to stand on the sidelines and hope to one day get my chance. I wanted to fight for my chance. Hopefully, I inspire people to get off the sidelines and fight for their chance.”

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CROSSFIT & BODYBUILDING LET THE GAMES BEGIN Incorporating elements from the bodybuilding world may be just what your training needs. 2

JULY/AUGUST 2019

2019 has been the year of change for the CrossFit Games. What’s different and are these changes for the better?

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hey say actions speak louder than words, and in the case of Cole Sager, his actions in the gym, and on and off the competition floor speak volumes. Sager, 29, grew up in the small town of Burlington, WA, with a population of about 5,000 in 1990. A loving family and a wholesome upbringing contributed to the small-town principles and values Sager is known for, including a strong work ethic and caring for one’s neighbor. Though Sager enjoyed growing up in his hometown, he considers himself a dreamer and set big aspirations for himself striving to play in the NFL. While playing college football at the University of Washington, a friend suggested he reconsider his pursuit of playing professional football and instead check out a sport called CrossFit. “My senior year of college football, a good friend of mine told me to give up my dream of playing football in the NFL and start doing CrossFit. I audibly laughed out loud,” says Sager. As it turns out, CrossFit was more than pull-ups and push-ups as Sager initially thought.

He sent me a video of Dan Bailey and Rich Froning talking about their faith, how much they wanted to impact the community and make a difference in a positive way, and I thought to myself, ‘If there’s a community out there with leaders who want to do that…I want to be part of that community!’ And that’s what got me into CrossFit. I started watching old archived CrossFit Games footage and was like ‘Okay, this is pretty sweet. I’ll definitely give this a try.’ Sager went on to graduate from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. While working as a loan processor at a mortgage company, he qualified for the North West Regionals in 2013, four months after starting CrossFit. Today, he is a few weeks away from competing on CrossFit’s biggest stage at the CrossFit Games for the 6th year in a row. We had the opportunity to chat with Cole and his wife of five years, Genasee, about the platform his athleticism and dedication have earned him through CrossFit and how both he and his wife plan on using this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

Interview by Yeimilyn Lorenzo Photography By Nick Brimmer Photography

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Having come from a small town, what does it mean to you to have the ability to touch so many lives through CrossFit? CS: My mom and my family were always so supportive and kept pushing me along. I want to be a voice of hope and encouragement. I want to challenge myself in a way that will prove it’s possible to grow and develop into something bigger by chasing your dreams, by chasing something audacious. I want people to realize that in developing themselves, they have the opportunity to change a life. We all know that quote, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ That quote has spoken to me since I was a kid. I wanted to be that change. I didn’t want to stand on the sidelines and hope to one day get my chance. I wanted to fight for my chance. Hopefully, I inspire people to get off the sidelines and fight for their chance. It’s easy to overlook the work that was done prior to starting CrossFit. There were years and years of training and developing myself and growing as an athlete and trying different sports, failing and struggling and trying to overcome anything and everything that athletics can throw at you. As a kid, I tried just about anything you can think of from snowboarding, skateboarding, basketball, football, baseball, soccer…every sport and different modality. I learned how to control my body in different environments, and I think that body awareness helped me excel. I was also a workhorse. I loved to train with the football team and then get another session in the afternoon. Training two-adays was not an uncommon thing for me. I loved training and I worked my hardest even at practice to get my shot. That instilled the principle of hard work and not to mention the foundation for work capacity, which is what CrossFit is all about, being able to do a lot of work in a short period of time. You’re incredibly open about your Christian faith. What impact has your faith had on your career as an athlete? CS: That’s my number one core value. It’s why I do what I do. I 100% got into the sport because I want to spread God’s love. I think it’s powerful and at the end of the day when I say I want to inspire hope and confidence, what I mean is that I want to inspire faith in people. I want my faith to speak so loudly that people question, ‘What’s different about him?’ I look to share the message of the gospel of my faith. If people aren’t receptive 6

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to that, then I hope I can just help them live a better life so they can experience all the good things God has put on this Earth. It’s my responsibility to share what I can, given the opportunities I’ve been given. You’re coached by Ben Bergeron. How did that relationship start, and what’s it like working remotely with your coach? CS: Working with Ben has been amazing. My agent Matt O’Keefe was good friends with Ben, and in May 2015 I visited for a weekend and little did I know it was kind of a recruiting trip. During the trip, we both experienced a pretty special moment. Ben was talking about the ‘circle of control’ and what that meant. I was so interested in what he had to say and respected his position as a coach that I was making eye contact, fixed and focused on what he was saying and what he was teaching us. I thought to myself, ‘This is the kind of individual I want to be coached by.’ On the flip side, he tells a story of a young kid looking back at him so focused on what he had to teach that he thought to himself, ‘That’s the type of athlete that I want to work with.’ So, we kept in touch, I competed at the Games, and after the Games that October, he called and said, ‘I would love to be your coach.’ It was cool to have him call and say ‘Hey, I respect you as an athlete. I would love to be able to work with you.’ And that’s when our relationship started. We’ve been working together since. It’s almost been four years now and it has just been a wonderful ride. I think the best part about it is over the four years we have grown from coach and athlete to friends. He is also my mentor, and I believe we’re going to be lifelong friends. His family feels like family. His gym culture and community feel like my community. It just feels very special to be a part of everything he’s doing. It’s fun getting to go on that journey together.

“I want to challenge myself in a way that will prove that it’s possible to grow and develop into something bigger by chasing your dreams, by chasing something audacious.”

This August you will make your 6th Individual appearance at the CrossFit Games. What’s training been like this season? CS: Our training now is specialized because we’re training for the specifics of the Games. We incorporate endurance activities like swimming, biking, and running. We do heavy lifts and chippers, and we go through past CrossFit Games events and build off that…what have we seen, what do we want to be prepared for, what are some FACEBOOK.COM/BOXLIFEMAGAZINE


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Free Preview: Inside the Cole Sager Issue  

He's one of the fiercest, most humble competitors you'll find at the CrossFit Games. In this issue, get to know the 6x CrossFit Games athlet...

Free Preview: Inside the Cole Sager Issue  

He's one of the fiercest, most humble competitors you'll find at the CrossFit Games. In this issue, get to know the 6x CrossFit Games athlet...

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