This article was produced in partnership with cbdMD
Justin Medeiros began doing high-intensity strength and conditioning CrossFit workouts to become a stronger wrestler. But a week before wrestling practices were scheduled to start at Boise State in 2017, the school announced it would be cutting its intercollegiate program. That’s when the student-athlete decided to redirect his focus to CrossFit. Medeiros came up with a new goal: Make it to the CrossFit Games.
By 2020, Medeiros not only competed in the games, but the college student, who grew out his wrestling buzz cut into what’s become his signature curly mullet, finished third. Then, the next year, at age 21, Medeiros became the youngest man to win the CrossFit Games. What was it that helped him close the gap between runner-up and becoming the “Fittest Man on Earth? It all came down to developing a more focused recovery process that involves a good night’s sleep, stretching and foam rolling, plus regular use of cbdMD products, Medeiros says.
“One of the biggest things in Crossfit is: ‘Who’s best at recovering?’ ” Medeiros says. “We can all go in the gym and train hard, but who can recover and do it again the next day? That’s super big in my training. I’m always trying to find ways to recover optimally.”
CrossFit athletes, he says, will endure 15 workouts in three to four days of competition. Medeiros puts his body through the wringer during the Games, so, leading up to competition, he trains for that stress with six- to eight-hour training days, and a series of workouts that include track sessions and hill sprints, Olympic weightlifting sessions, and CrossFit-specific metcon (metabolic conditioning) workouts like wall balls and pullups.
After his sessions, Medeiros sets in motion a dedicated recovery routine to optimize his athletic performance. The recent kinesiology graduate doesn’t follow a strict meal plan (he tracks macros every few weeks to make sure he’s on a good eating plan), but his dinner is usually 8 ounces of ground bison, beef, or turkey, with sweet potatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. From there, it’s all about unwinding for the evening.
Medeiros, at the start of 2021, started incorporating CBD products, which he says has been a gamechanger and gives him an extra edge in the gym. Each night, he does a 30-minute stretching and foam rolling routine to relieve tight muscles, and he applies cbdMD’s Recover Pain Relief Cream around his triceps and forearms as well as his quads to soothe joint and muscle aches. (He also keeps the Recover cream in his gym bag to help relieve any aches that pop up in between training sessions, saying it provides on-the-spot relief. In the past, bumps and bruises were slowing him down and lasting for weeks at a time, he says).
Then, as he’s watching TV on the couch at night, Medeiros takes cbdMD’s CBD PM for Sleep, which has melatonin and calming herbs that help prepare him for an eight-hour night of sleep. For mental clarity, he takes a daily cbdMD tropical gummy that’s infused with Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extract.
“When I go into competition, I want to know I’m doing everything I possibly can to prepare myself for those moments on the competition floor,” Medeiros says. “Obviously, that means training hard—but I want to be confident in my recovery and that comes with using high-quality products that allow me to train harder in the gym and sleep better at night.”
On the days he’s not training, he likes to stay active and shoot hoops, play football, or Spikeball. Other new ways he’s optimizing his training in the New Year is by adding a sauna and cold plunge to his home gym.
As he trains for the 2022 CrossFit Games (Aug. 4-7), Medeiros says he’s his own competition.
“There’s lots of outside pressure,” he says. “But it’s nothing like the pressure I put on myself. I know what I’m capable of. I know what’s possible. When I set out on the competition floor, my goal is to beat myself from last year. If I were to compete against the 2021 Justin, I want the 2022 Justin to run circles around him.”
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