It’s like “Fran on steroids, and you haven’t even lifted a weight.”
That’s how Mike Savitch describes bobsledding.
The co-owner of CrossFit Praxis in Washington, D.C., spent seven years on the Virgin Islands bobsled team and competed in the Olympics until his 2002 retirement. The former college baseball player was the brakeman on the team—the last guy in who stops the sled at the end.
“Gotta be as fast as possible ’cause the other guys with you get the sled going pretty good. The last thing you want to do is be slower than the sled’s moving and hold it back,” Savitch explains. “You gotta really be able to run with it and keep it going a little bit faster before you jump in. Then you’re in and it’s, ‘Hold on tight for a terrible ride.’”
The sled travels at about 80 to 90 miles per hour, he says.
Bobsled training involved sprinting, plyometrics and the Olympic lifts, so after Savitch retired and got bored of his lifting regimen, CrossFit was the perfect prescription.
“CrossFit was adapting everything from the Olympic lifts to the cardiovascular aspect to strength and endurance, and I was like, ‘Sweet. I’m sold.’”
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Additional reading: Ones to Watch by Hilary Achauer, published Feb. 22, 2012.