Pip Speaks: What It Takes To Be A CrossFit Pro Athlete

What does it take to be a top CrossFit pro? For Pip Malone it takes 6 training sessions and over 30 hours in the gym each week, along with a disciplined nutrition plan.

Pip (Philippa) Malone is a Team NutriForce Sports sponsored CrossFit athlete.

Philippa “Pip” Malone, a native of Sydney, Australia, was born in August of 1989 and has become a top-level CrossFit athlete thanks to her extraordinary mental fortitude and physical conditioning. Her recent 3rd place finish in CrossFit’s Australia Regionals qualifies her for a 2nd consecutive Reebok CrossFit Games event. Pip is motivated now more than ever to push her body to its limit so she can stand on the podium with the best of the best one day.

Many readers may find themselves wondering, “What does it take to be an elite CrossFit athlete?” Some may just be wondering how to get started in CrossFit at recreational level. Pip has put herself through the paces trying to excel as a CrossFit athlete, so read on as we take a look at the daily routine of Pip and her recommendations for taking the plunge into the world of CrossFit.

The daily life and training of a CrossFit Games athlete

On the surface many people probably assume Pip’s whole life is dedicated to just CrossFit, but she is a multifaceted individual and manages to keep herself busy with several endeavors. Outside of competition, Pip finds herself in class, studying to finish her degree in Criminology and partaking in media commitments, such as her regular appearances in Women’s Health and Inside Sport magazines. Pip also operates her own home gym and coaches upcoming athletes.

She has her plate full, but when she finds some free time you can usually catch Pip riding the waves or doing other activities in the water like canoeing and kayaking.

While that’s most of what keeps Pip busy outside of her training, her daily routine is still based heavily around preparing for competition. “I train 6 days a week, approximately 4 hours per day, not including stretching, mobility, and some running I do outside of those hours. I also still get in my kayak when I can and surf,” says Pip.

Pip Malone, CrossFit athlete

She follows the strength and conditioning program provided by Give’m Cold Steel. Pip advises, “A lot of my gymnastics background has helped my overall work capacity. CrossFit is all about strength, power and endurance.” Given her amazing strength-to-bodyweight ratio (weighing around 63kg), she can overhead squat more than 1.5 times her bodyweight.

They always say that strength is in the numbers, and Pip’s best lifts certainly prove she is as strong as they come:

  • Snatch - 82kgs / 181lbs
  • Clean - 98kgs / 216lbs
  • Jerk - 105kgs / 230lbs
  • Clean and jerk / 98kgs / 216lbs
  • Back squat - 120kgs / 265lbs
  • Deadlift - 160kgs / 353lbs

Diet and supplementation

Pip believes in the mantra of eating for performance and recovery. She notes that the toll of 30+ hours of training per week can make it tough for her to eat enough so she tries not to be overly strict just so she can take in enough nourishment.

“I'm not a huge eater. I struggle getting the right amount of food in when my volume of training is at its peak.”

As for specific food choices, Pip quips, “I generally stick to meat, vegetables, rice, oats, occasionally fruit. I drink a daily cup of coffee.... and I have chocolate probably more than I should.”

Supplementation also plays a big role in Malone’s daily routine, “On a daily basis I take NutriForce Sports OmegaFort omega-3 fatty acids. During and post-workout I use NutriForce Sports Natural Aminos for BCAAs, and depending on where I am or what I'm doing that day I'll have a protein shake after as well, especially if I’m coaching after I train.”

Since her schedule can be hectic at times and she travels rather frequently, Pip advises to keep NutriForce Sports NutriWhey protein handy since it’s an easy way to get quality, tasty protein in on-the-go.

She continues, “Occasionally I’ll take NutriForce Sports Pre-WOD if I'm feeling like I can’t pump myself up enough. When I'm travelling I take NutriForce Sports WODPak which includes a high-quality vitamin D supplement. I don't take these all the time because I spend a lot of time in the sun.”

Pip Malone, CrossFit athlete

Driven from the start

One of the most overlooked aspects of any top-level athlete is the mentality that it takes to truly stand out from the rest of the crowd. In this regard, Pip certainly possesses the mindset of a champion. You will not find a more determined, driven individual in the sport of CrossFit, and she is ready to do whatever it takes physically and mentally to reach her dreams.

As a child, Pip was a champion gymnast and canoe slalom competitor. She was brought into the world of professional athletics at a young age and has been exposed to environments of pressure, but she flourished nevertheless. It’s her athletic upbringing that has molded who she is today and cultivated her mental prowess.

Moreover, Pip is always looking for ways to challenge herself physically. She thrives on hard work and embraces the agony of all the training she does. She loves the feeling of proving herself and all the non-believers wrong with what she can do. She remarks, “I know all the work I’ve put in, not only in CrossFit, but my whole life, has set me up for whatever is waiting for me this coming Fall in New York.”

What should you do to get into CrossFit?

It’s actually sort of a coincidence that Pip found her way into the CrossFit world by chance. She had been training at a gym for quite some time and one day was approached by a fellow CrossFit athlete who took her to his affiliate; from then she was hooked on CrossFit.

Malone’s best advice to those who are young and looking to get involved with CrossFit is simple, “Find a good affiliate with good coaching. It makes all the difference. you will spend your time learning and growing rather than guessing and getting injured.” Pip implores, “You can set a goal and dream of something for a long time and it could never happen, but when it actually happens it's a shock and you all you can think is, ‘What happens now?’ You have to get out there, embrace it and give it your everything. That’s what happens.”

If you find yourself new to CrossFit, there really is no better way to get started then to find a nearby CrossFit gym and learn from an experienced coach.