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Sam Dancer has been a competitive athlete his entire life and even had the opportunity to compete collegiately in football and track and field. With that competitive drive Sam finally found his way into the crazed sport of CrossFit. Sam Dancer may be new to the sport of CrossFit, but he has drive and determination to compete with the big dogs! We sat down with Sam to find out more about this young athlete and his aspirations.
Q: I know that you’ve competed in a lot of different sports throughout your life, but what sparked your interest in CrossFit?
SD: One reason that it sparked my interest is, the CrossFit "craze" and how high of a level the CrossFit athletes perform at. People are becoming more knowledgeable about overall fitness, realizing that a one-dimensional approach can be limiting. For example, just because a guy or girl lifts weights and maybe looks really buff, it doesn't necessarily mean they are all that strong, big muscles aren't always powerful muscles. It also doesn't mean that he or she is particularly athletic and could compete in a competition that requires strength, agility, mobility, and endurance.
Q: How long have you been CrossFitting?
SD: I'm new to CrossFit, the opens this coming year in March will mark my one-year CrossFit anniversary. I'm looking forward to learning more about CrossFit and becoming more involved in the community.
Q: Now you’re prepping for the 2013 CrossFit Open… what type of training regimen have you been implementing to help get you ready?
SD: For the past few months I have been working on getting strong. Starting December 15th I will be rowing three times a week; swimming twice a week; meeting with my gymnastics coach once a week; squat, press, clean and snatch twice a week and following optimum performance training's strength and conditioning programing. Sounds like a lot, but very little of my days are comprised of training. I take rest and recovery very seriously.
Q: Is there a certain bodyweight or physique you are trying to obtain through training?
SD: During my off-season, no. It's get as big and strong as possible, maybe even as heavy as 225-230lbs. Leading up to the opens I will lose up to 30lbs and will be competing around 195lbs. I like running lean when it comes to competing.
Q: Do you have a certain nutrition program that you follow?
SD: I eat paleo, 100% of the time. The only thing that changes will be my micronutrient ratio. I tend to be most effective, efficient and lean when I'm eating high fat, moderate protein, and very little carbs. I use a lot of bcaa's and HMB. I eat “real” fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit. I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition because food quality is important, I’m careful about where my meats and fats come from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible. I eat a lot, especially when my training volume is high.
Q: Why do you believe that paleo is important to your fitness goals? And do you ever allow yourself treats/cheat meals?
SD: Call it what you want. Paleo, caveman, or ancestral eating, this way is the way we were intended to eat. Eating clean real food has allowed my body to continue to function. There was a lot of damage done to my body playing college football and throwing, I need to take every natural nutritional advantage I can to take care of myself. Maybe after a competition you might see me cheat, but I typically don't cheat. I enjoy the way I eat.
Q: Who has been your inspiration or motivation along this process?
SD: Jesus, he keeps me balanced and functioning.
Q: What do you think it takes in order to be a successful CrossFit athlete?
If you have grand expectations of where you would like to be in this sport, you have to develop your tools, the use and awareness of your instrument, and your skills. I don't necessarily think you have to focus how many grams of protein and what type of conditioning programs you are doing. What you need to focus on is the development of character, which speaks to your ability to follow through and start to string together day after day of efficient action on a very basic level. If you are working without the strength of character and the ability to follow through then all the complex talk about programming and nutrition will be of little value to you.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience thus far in the sport?
SD: Getting to compete with Rich Froning and Dan Bailey at the Arnold in the opens last year. They are amazing athletes and seeing them perform made me realize where I will be if I continue to work hard and have fun.
Q: I know you just opened up your own box (gym) QTown CrossFit. What made you decide that you wanted to do this?
SD: After missing the north central regional last year by a few spots I realized that it wasn't my time and that God had a different plan for me. That plan was to help other people realize their greater potential. I refuse to allow others and myself to be gratified by mediocrity when I know we can do excellent things. We are all capable of not letting good be good enough. There are way too many physical contingencies out there and to think that you can be perfect at all of them is insane, so there is no reason to ever think that you have reached your full potential. I love helping people seek and find their greater self.
Q: What are your ultimate goals and how do you think HMB will help you achieve them?
SD: My ultimate goals with the sport are to make it to the games. My ultimate goals with my business are to continue to grow as a coach so I can offer more to my clients. My ultimate goal as a man is to further my relationship with Christ and trust that everything else will fall in place. HMB as a product will help me recover and stay healthy, allowing me to do what I love, coach and compete. Being a part of Team HMB will help me get to where I need to be so I can spread awareness for what I believe in and what HMB & CrossFit have to offer.
Q: What are some fun facts that most people don’t know about Sam?
SD: I love to longboard, play disc golf and I was an art major. All of those really throw people off. I also don't like listening to crazy music when I workout which really bothers some people at my gym, they always joke that they will fall asleep if they keep listening to my music. Bob Marley, Donavon Frankenreiter, and Pepper are my favorite Pandora stations and I got this new thing for female British singers so Corinne Bailey Rae is a station as well that's getting some use. Weird I know, but on game day it is a different music selection, various rap artists and dub step.
Thanks for your time today Sam, we are truly happy to have you as a part of Team HMB and look forward to seeing what the future holds for you!