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Moe Kelsey Interview: Part 2 by Moe Kelsey - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos

January 12, 2010

Video Article

Firefighter Moe Kelsey finished third at the 2009 CrossFit Games and was near the top for the standings throughout the event. In Part 2 of this video, Kelsey reflects on his experiences at the Games.

The atmosphere in the Stadium was electric throughout the weekend, and Kelsey said the “awe-inspiring” setting was one of the reasons athletes were able to rise to new heights despite the large number of WODs. Kelsey was also clear that the CrossFit Games require mental toughness, not just physical capacity.

“You can get someone to a point physically that of course they can do it—but mentally can they do it?”

As for training, Kelsey reveals that he doesn’t follow a set pattern of days on and off but rather just listens to his body. As a firefighter and new father, Kelsey is well aware that his schedule is usually up in the air, so he just strives to be consistent overall, even if he had to miss a week of training when his daughter was born on Halloween.

As for the future, Kelsey is toying with the idea of going Zone or Paleo for a block of training, but his current diet got him to third place at the CrossFit Games, so he must be doing something right.

6min 27sec

Additional reading: The Sweet 16 by Mike Warkentin, published July 22, 2009.

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7 Comments on “Moe Kelsey Interview: Part 2”


wrote …

So that's two out of the three top Crossfit athletes who don't eat according to any strict or predetermined diet. Moe, eating whatever his coworkers whip up and Miko, who says he eats mostly paleo but also eats pasta... It kind of makes me wonder if it's really beneficial to be weighing and measuring caveman food or if that time would be better spent training.


wrote …

thats exactly what i was going to comment. did hackenbrook say he weighed and measured? i know ive listened to interviews where khalipa says that he doesn't. does that aussie guy zone? they should go through all the competitors and do some statistical analysis for diet. i know they did age, weight and height and like which event was the greatest predictor of who won, but i think we could get more in depth than that if we truly want to be finding the best practices for achieving optimal fitness.


wrote …

Nicholas and Ben, I understand where you are coming from in regards to your comments. However, I have found the best way for me to get the best performance and recovery is to zone. Just think about where they, Miko and Moe, potentially could be if they were more strict. I also zone for the long term health benefits as well.


wrote …

Nicholas, do you really believe that there is no optimal macronutrient ratio to increase performance or can I eat 90% protein and 10% carbs and get the same results as eating 30/30/40 p/c/f? If you do, you believe in the CF zone at least which is acknowledging that there is a precise ratio out there for each individual to improve your health and performance.


Zach Miller wrote …


It seems like many accounts detail their performance gains once they start zoneing OR eating paleo, and that is because you would be hard pressed to find something wrong with either diet. However, just like these elite athletes know how far they can push their bodies and what they are capable of, they know what their bodies are hungry for. Some days you are going to be hungry for more protein or carbohydrates than usual, and when you are 5-10% bodyfat and putting up elite times, why should you ignore what your body is telling you, all for the sake of adhering to the zone? Likewise, some days you are going to be hungry for pasta- if you are an athlete of Mikko or Moe's caliber, you can trust your body rather than the qualitative confines of the paleo diet. My point is, if you have an 8 min Fran time, stick to your diet, whether that be zone/paleo/whatever. However, if you're dialed in and know your body like these guys do, go with your gut.


wrote …

Agreed Zach, that's what I was getting at. I'm sure none of these guys are eating twinkies but if you have been training for a long time and you have a solid foundation and understanding of nutrition I think you are better off following the demands of your body. If Zone works for you, like Patrick and many other Crossfitters, then by all means stick to it. I'm just automatically skeptical of any diet plan that is also a business selling prepackaged snacks.


wrote …

I had a pretty good idea that of the 6 comments posted on this video so far most, if not all, would dive right into Moe's eating habits.

It seems that this issue is so contentious yet it matters relatively little to the top athletes. That is not to say it doesn't matter to them or shouldn't to the community at large, as much as it points out that there is no definitive answer and perhaps the questions we are asking are backwards.

In the case of The Zone specifically we try to force our preconceived CrossFit notions of training optimization into the broader diet which focuses on hormone/insulin optimization. The end result of eating in The Zone may be that you become a better CrossFitter, but that isn't the goal of the diet.

I've never considered myself a strict Paleo person, although I do incorporate the concepts in Zone proportions, so I can't speak to the broader concepts or goals of the diet. However, I'm going to guess that the creator did not have a sub 2 minute Fran time in mind when designing it (and yes, I realize that the last statement is probably inflammatory as in, "No one 'designed' the Paleo way of eating.")

Instead of looking for nutritional commonality among these fantastic athletes to settle some seemingly irrelevant argument between tribes we should focus on their intangible qualities of work ethic and mental acuity as it relates to amazing performances. That's what I took away from this small Journal entry and certainly got from the hour long Mikko documentary.

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