Moe Kelsey's Training

August 24, 2009 9:52 PM

Posted in Competitors »
15 Comments » on this entry

Games09MoeSledge.jpgMoe Kelsey (3rd overall) describes his training.

Working out has always been a fundamental part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents have always been active and I attribute my wide range of athletic experiences to them and their example of dedication. I tagged along with my dad in the weight room for the first time when I was 13 and was hooked. By the time I was 15, I was lifting four to six days a week year round and eating like a horse.

I was a pretty skinny, weak and clumsy kid and all the hard work did not pay off until my Junior year of high school sports. I learned strength training and power lifting in high school and was into bodybuilding for several years. My dad introduced me to triathlons several years ago. For my first triathlon, I was built like a bodybuilder and weighed 240 pounds. Since then, I have come further and further away from trying to look fit and work toward actually being fit.

Sevan Matossian made a short video of Moe from the Games ... [wmv] [mov]

I was exposed to CrossFit a little over two years ago through some of my colleagues in the Kirkland Fire Department. Like a lot of folks, I didn't think you could be in shape by performing such short workouts. I couldn't have been more mistaken. At the time I only peppered an occasional WOD into my routines to mix it up. After my Department sent a group of us to a Level 1 Cert., I was sold. For seventeen months now, I have hit the gym four to six days a week with as much intensity as possible. I am always ready to push myself harder than the last time. CrossFit has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.

After the Regional qualifier, I began taking my training even more seriously, amping up my workouts as much as possible. When I work at the Fire Department, like Mikko, I tried to do around 1/2 hour to one hour of swimming, running, cycling, or rowing in the morning, but sometimes a WOD. In the evenings, I would do some type of heavy lift (squat, clean, dead, bench, etc.), then a WOD. I work every third day and sometimes more.

As the Regional qualifiers were posted, I was doing one or more of them per day or one of the more challenging WODs from the main site, depending on how my body felt. I was trying to get in as much volume as possible without over training. I also made up my own WODs, often a triplet or chipper that included running, tire flips or overhead squats, (three of my favorites). Like Tanya, I rarely did three on, one off. Sometimes I did three on, one off, five or six on, two off. It all depends on what is going on at home, how much I have been working, and how my body is holding up.

In the past, I had a tendency to over train, so I tried to do a better job of listening to my body. When I felt beat up, I would lighten the load, volume or duration, even taking an extra day or two off to recuperate. If I had worked a lot, I would take my son, Torin, to the park and run laps around the playground, do push ups, pull ups, sit ups and hand stand push ups on and around the equipment while we play. Sometimes I would run with him in the jog stroller. I was trying to train with as much intensity as possible to be ready. I took three full days off prior to the Games and had a massage, my body definitely needed the rest.

My diet has consistently been about the same for several years. I don't subscribe to any particular diet, but try to eat a clean and balanced diet. I used to take several supplements, but now I try to eat as many whole foods as I can, only taking supplements when time is an issue. I eat about five times per day on average, but can eat as many as eight meals a day when I am awake for longer periods of time at work. I haven't counted calories in a long time, but I would estimate that I take in about 4,000+/- calories daily.

As for the Games themselves, my wife and I had an incredible time. Since I hadn't gone before, I really wasn't sure what I was getting into. Someone had told me we were going to do 3 WODs the first day and 2 the second. They were wrong. I would have to say the Games were the most physically and mentally challenging two days of my life. I was really impressed with how organized and smooth everything went. As for the competitors, everyone we met was very kind, helpful and supportive. I actually had quite a bit of last minute coaching prior to a couple of the WODs from other athletes.

I am currently training for a triathlon in September, but then its time to focus on next years Games. I can't wait!

15 comments on this entry.

1. John Spear wrote...

August 25, 2009 4:14 AM

Being in attendance at the Games, Moe's 3rd place performance was one of the most impressive for me to watch. Here was this big guy who nobody had heard of, who didn't "look" like the typical CF firebreather but there he was at the end of every event still hanging with the leaders. Awesome!

2. Adam Rogers wrote...

August 25, 2009 5:12 AM

Video links seem to be broken?

3. Dan Morgan wrote...

August 25, 2009 5:43 AM

Yeah the links are broken.

Moe, if you read this, I'd be interested to know how you train for triathlons. Do you use the Crossfit Endurance stuff, or do you do your own programming, more LSD? More tempo work?
I'd be very grateful if you could give us some insight, cheers.

4. Mike Warkentin wrote...

August 25, 2009 6:52 AM

Thanks for reading! We hope to have the links up and running ASAP. Apologies for the delay.

Mike Warkentin
CrossFit Journal

5. Jake The Ant wrote...

August 25, 2009 10:22 AM

Hey Moe,
Nice article thanks for the information about yourself. Thanks for being honest about your diet as well.

Best of luck to you in the future!

6. Tommy Hackenbruck wrote...

August 25, 2009 10:53 AM

What up Big Moe?

Great hanging out with you at the games, and at the Northwest Regional. I must say I wasn't suprised by your performance at all after seeing you at the regional qualifier. You are a strong dude and you have the endurance and mental toughness to back it up. Hit me up sometime, I'd like to talk about possibly being a fireman down the road, not quite yet though. I also think we need to get our heads together and figure out how to catch that Mikko guy ;-) Good luck in your triathalon, keep up the good work.


7. Raphael wrote...

August 25, 2009 12:37 PM

You know what's truly awesome about this? That all the Top guys are actually here, staying in touch with the community, answering questions and all. This is awesome, something that happens rarely in other sports I think :)

Thanks for all your time and insights into your training!

8. Travis Braddock wrote...

August 25, 2009 9:57 PM

Nice Job Moe, Thanks for sharing.

9. Steve Suyama wrote...

August 25, 2009 11:03 PM

Congratulations Moe! I look forward to watching you next year at the games.

10. Jerome Perryman wrote...

August 25, 2009 11:22 PM

Yo! Big Moe... Great to see you again at the Games and more importantly to see you do so well.... especially for a BIG guy! Love it!! I'll be busting my ass to make it again next year to compete with you and Tommy.... amongst others, but, much respect for the North West!!!

11. Sarah Dunsmore wrote...

August 26, 2009 7:05 AM

Mo! So great to meet you and your wife at the Games. You were wonderful to spend time with that weekend. Nice performance buddy-- right through to the end. Congrats!

12. Jeff Leonard wrote...

August 26, 2009 7:09 AM

Great job at the games, great meeting you and seeing a big man do well. Looking forward to catching up with you next year. Good luck with your Triathalon and your training.


13. Jason Khalipa wrote...

August 26, 2009 9:10 AM

Awesome performance Mo!!!! I hope your training goes well for your Triathalon and eventually the Crossfit Games!

14. Moe replied to comment from Dan Morgan...

September 8, 2009 10:02 PM

Dan, sorry I got back so late. As far as training for triathlon, I do my own programming. I havn't tried the endurance site yet but intend to. I just try to get in milage and time. I try to swim, bike and run at least twice a week. Some endurance, some intervals, some workouts similar to the 9/1 WOD. A brick here and there. Similar to my Games training, I just try to mix it up and keep it interesting.


September 8, 2009 10:07 PM

If you ever do decide to test and become a firefighter, I would love to walk you through the process. As I said, you would be perfect for the job. I look forward to coming to your box the next time I come to bend. Real strong work at the games, you're one tough dude. I hope everything is going well for you and your family.