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Kari Pearce: 2020 Fittest Woman in the United States Talks About her Fitness Regime, Diet and Success Story

Kari Pearce is a professional athlete and personal trainer. Kari is a six times CrossFit Games athlete and holds over 18 years of experience as an elite gymnast. She is 2020 Fittest Woman in the United States. She also stood 2nd in Cross Fit games in USA in 2019 and third in 2017.

Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up Kari Pearce an exceptionally talented CrossFit Games athlete and winner of 2020 Fittest Woman in the United States, here she talks about her fitness routine, her diet, her hair care, skin care and her success story.

Namita Nayyar:

You were born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and later moved to New York City. You began your athletic career as a gymnast at the age of three and did it for eighteen years. You were on the Varsity Gymnastics team at the University of Michigan where your team won 4 Big Ten Championships. You earned your degree in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology. You later started competing as a CrossFit athlete and excelled. This propelled your CrossFit athlete career to the height where you have been at the top of the world at CrossFit Games. Tell us more about your journey of hard work, tenacity, and endurance?

Kari Pearce:

Wow that is a great summary! It has been quite the journey but I could not have asked for a better one if I tried. Obviously I have my parents to thank for putting me in gymnastics at such a young age. They also tried to put me in other sports but I just kept wanting to go to gymnastics. I loved it and did it for 18 years, finishing at the University of Michigan as you mentioned.

From 8 years old, I told my parents, that was my goal and where I wanted to go to school. When I set my mind to something, I do everything I can to make it reality. This was true for gymnastics and then again for CrossFit. I set my eyes on the podium at the CrossFit Games and achieved that goal in 2020. It was filled with many hours of grinding when nobody was watching, but as I look back on it, I am so proud of what I was able to do and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Namita Nayyar:

You are a six times CrossFit Games athlete and four-time Fittest American Female. Elaborate more about this amazing and inspiring journey of competing as a CrossFit athlete?

Kari Pearce:

You are right that it was an amazing journey. If you would have told me all of my accomplishments when I started CrossFit

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, I definitely would have laughed and not believed you. The first year I went to the CrossFit Games (2015), I felt like I did not belong. I saw all of these incredible athletes that I was watching on ESPN the year prior. I finished 21st that year out of 40 athletes. Most people would say the 21st fittest woman in the world is amazing but I looked at it as the bottom half which motivated me to attack the next year of training.

In 2016, I finished in 5th place in the world, won the most improved award, and was the Fittest Woman in America! After this, I was addicted to the sport and wanted to see how good I could get. I set my eyes on the podium. It took a little longer than I had planned because I got 10th in 2017, 6th in 2018, 5th in 2019, and then finally 3rd in 2020! I was the Fittest American Female in my final three years of competition and could not be prouder of that accomplishment since nobody else can say they have done that!

Namita Nayyar:

You are a world-leading CrossFit athlete, media personality, personal trainer, influencer, and entrepreneur. How do you manage such a remarkable multi-dimensional lifestyle?

Kari Pearce:

I really enjoy what I do which is why I have been able to do so many different things. Everything came naturally which was also amazing. I feel honored that I have been able to make a positive impact on so many people through my social media outlets. Also I really enjoy staying busy and being involved in so many different things keeps me pushing and enjoying life!

Many people ask me how I do it all, especially when I was a professional athlete and helping run my business. Yes it was crazy but I loved the change of pace from focusing on myself and training to helping other people become better, healthier versions of themselves. The community we have been able to form is so incredible and motivated me to keep coming out with programs that are going to help our members.

Namita Nayyar:

What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you may wish to share?

Kari Pearce:

I like including a wide variety of movements in my workout routine. It looks a bit different now than it did when I was competing but I still get after it. Currently most of my training takes place in my garage. I love dumbbell and bodyweight workouts. Though sometimes I throw in other things.

I am currently doing a 100 a day burpee challenge, which I have been doing since December 1st! I am going to see how long I can do it. In addition to that, I like to include squat variations, lunges, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, shoulder presses, chest presses, many different row variations, a wide variety of core exercises, handstand work, and pull ups. A lot of these movements can be found in my PHIIT, PHIIT Strength, SuperPHIIT, any of the PowerAbs programs I have, PowerGlutes, my pull up program, and my handstand program.

I really enjoy doing a mix of strength training to build muscle and HIIT training. I just like the way it makes me feel. Plus there is something about getting your heart rate up and how accomplished you feel afterwards. The gymnast in me loves to include additional ab work, (PowerAbs of course) along with handstands and pull ups!

Namita Nayyar:

Do you take a special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?

Kari Pearce:

Yes I do but it is because I have found foods that I really enjoy and can eat multiple times a day and never gets sick of them. These foods include eggs, stir fry vegetables (I really like the big Costco bag), bell peppers, riced cauliflower, salsa, spinach, chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, salmon, oatmeal (lots and lots of it), all types of berries, sweet potatoes, quinoa, apples, bananas, peanut butter, almond butter, walnuts, and avocado.

There may be some more but that covers most of the foods that I keep in my house. I know many people call me crazy but I am fine with that. My diet definitely focuses on whole, unprocessed foods because that is what makes me feel my best. Plus since I have been incorporating those for a long time, it is also what my body craves now. Do not get me wrong, I still enjoy going out to a nice restaurant (Mexican food is my favorite and I usually get steak fajitas) and enjoying it but try to keep it healthy at home.

Full Interview is Continued on Next Page

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied, or hosted in part or full anywhere without express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2022 Women Fitness

Namita Nayyar:

You have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Share with us your hair care and skincare routine.

Kari Pearce:

First of all, thank you so much! I was blessed with a nice headful of hair. I hated having so much when I was younger but appreciate it now that I am older. My hair is naturally wavy but I often straighten it to keep it more manageable especially for when I am working out. I only wash my hair twice a week. The shampoo and conditioner that I currently use are by Hair Food. It is made with Avocado and Argan Oil. Then I put on Aveda Universal Styling Creme which is made to improve moisture and shine in coarse hair. Depending on the day, I will style it from there!

As far as my skin goes, I wash it with Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser twice a day. In the morning, I apply Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and at night I will apply Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Pressed Serum. I then spray on Garnier Soothing Facial Mist. I also make sure to apply sunscreen to my face in the mid-morning before I go outside. Currently have Sun Bum Face 50. I live in Las Vegas so the sun is intense. I want to make sure to protect my face whenever I can!

Namita Nayyar:

You go to different countries and cities and competed in CrossFit Games including Dubai, France, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, California, and Wisconsin. You also traveled for your professional career and as a personal fitness trainer. For a professional athlete and trainer to adjust to new countries with their own cultures, it must be difficult, in the new foreign land, what advice can you give to fellow CrossFit athletes and fitness trainers in a similar situation?

Kari Pearce:

I feel so lucky that I have been able to travel all around and see different countries and cultures. Obviously there were places I was a little hesitant to go because I did not speak the primary language or they had cultures that I was unfamiliar with. However, I still would have taken every single trip that I did again because I have had so many amazing experiences. In order to grow, we have to go outside of our comfort zone sometimes.

Plus I believe life is about opportunities and you always learn so much from traveling. I will admit that I was fortunate in that no matter where I traveled; there was someone who would help me out with anything I needed. That is one thing I really appreciated about the CrossFit community. I always felt like I had a home away from home. So what I am trying to say is, even if you are hesitant on traveling to a foreign land, you should do it especially if it is related to something you are passionate about. I know you won’t regret it!

Namita Nayyar:

In the years 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020 you won the Fittest American Woman title, you have been in the Top 10 Fittest in the World 5 Years in a row and currently hold the 3rd Fittest Woman on Earth title. Elaborate more about these exceptional achievements and how they are a motivator in your CrossFit athletic career?

Kari Pearce:

I always get excited when I can read about my accomplishments. To be honest, I am still in awe of what I have been able to achieve. After becoming the Fittest American Woman in 2016, it motivated me to continue to train hard the following year and see if I could repeat it. I was the second Fittest American Woman in 2017.

This fired me up to work as hard as I could in the off season. My goal was to come back to the CrossFit Games and become the Fittest Woman in America once again in 2018, which I was able to do! Then I won that title once again the following 2 years so 4 years total! It was a lot of work but totally worth it! I always think that when you start seeing results, it motivates you to keep pushing and giving your best no matter what it is!

Namita Nayyar:

You hold the New York State bench press record at 240lb. You have been two times Crossfit Invitational Team Member for the USA and won “Most Improved” at the CrossFit Games in 2016. Tell us a memorable moment in the CrossFit Games competitions you took part in and how these win in your career has been a turning point to reach greater heights in your CrossFit Games career?

Kari Pearce:

I remember accomplishing all of these amazing escalades like it was yesterday. Winning Murph, Mary, and Atlanta at the CrossFit Games are all things that stick out in my career as well. It is so tough to win an event at the CrossFit Games due to the incredibly talented athletes you compete against so every win is a huge accomplishment. The feeling these moments give you cannot be put into words but they definitely help fuel the fire to keep you going and wanting more!

Namita Nayyar:

On your website powerabs. shop, you provide online programs like PowerAbs, PHIIT, Low Impact PHIIT, Super PHIIT, PHIIT Strength PowerGlutes, Summer Power Arms, and PowerAbs for Moms, Extreme PowerAbs, and many others. Tell us more about this endeavor of yours?

Kari Pearce:

I am not only passionate about my own fitness but also being able to share this love for fitness with other people. My parents met at a gym so I was basically born into it!

When the opportunity came to create a 10 minute abs program, I had to jump on it. Once we brought PowerAbs out in the world, people quickly took to it! The things that really attracted people were that it was only 10 minutes, completely equipment free, and could be done anywhere, even when traveling! I feel so lucky that I get the opportunity to help make others healthier. It has been incredible building a line of 10 minute programs for a variety of body parts in addition to abs including PowerGlutes, PowerLegs, and Summer PowerArms. This means there is no excuse not for people to get in a great workout.

The PHIIT Programs just require a pair of dumbbells, or level 1 of PHIIT and Low Impact PHIIT are equipment free. We now have 22 programs and over 200,000 people around the world doing these programs. Seeing all of the amazing before and after pictures from the 30 day programs keeps me wanting to help others reach their health and fitness goals. Our Facebook group community is full of motivational and inspirational people that also makes me want to be better. I would say that is a win for all of us!

Namita Nayyar:

You have today’s enviable Instagram following of 494K and how these professional achievements have acted as a motivator to further your professional career as a fitness trainer and also as a catalyst to achieve spectacular heights in Crossfit training and also as an athlete?

Kari Pearce:

Obviously it is incredible reaching your goals for yourself because you know the hard work that goes into it, but there is also something about being able to tell your fans on social media about an amazing accomplishment. It is similar to fans at a competition. Doing well is so incredible but means so much more when you have others to celebrate with!

I feel so lucky that I have been able to help share my knowledge with others on social media as well. I love health and fitness and am lucky I am able to share that love and passion with others. Many people have started doing my PowerAbs and PHIIT programs that told me they didn’t enjoy working out until doing these 10 minute programs. Hearing things like that just bring me so much joy. Without my social following and connecting with so many amazing people, none of that would be possible. You can say I am super thankful for it!

Namita Nayyar:

Advice and motivational words to the inspiring and budding CrossFit athlete girls, who all are your fans and shall like to know from you for their climb to the ladder of success in the field of CrossFit Games competitions?

Kari Pearce:

Have fun! When I was training and competing, I absolutely loved the process. I got to push the limits and see where I could take my body. This is one reason I believe I was so successful not only in my CrossFit career but also as a gymnast and have now transferred over to my business, PowerAbs and PHIIT. Another thing I want to remind young girls who want to compete in CrossFit is to be patient. Do not rush into advanced gymnastics movements until you can first do them strictly.

Also do not be in a rush to put a ton of weight on your bar when you are lifting until you master the technique. There are so many different and fun things to do in CrossFit so you won’t be great at all of them from day 1 but that is one reason I loved the sport. There is always something to work on and get better at. However there will also be things you are great at, so try and be the best you possibly can in those. Enjoy the process and remember to have fun every day!

Namita Nayyar:

Modeling involves doing bold photo-shoots. How you are so body confident and advise your compatriots?

Kari Pearce:

To be honest, I have not always been so confident in my body. When I was a gymnast, I had a coach that told me he could tell I had an ice cream sundae. Being a teenage girl, this messed with my head and relationship with food for a little bit. Luckily I had amazing and supportive parents who got me back on track.

Getting into CrossFit was definitely a great thing for me and my body image. As a gymnast, I was always one of the more muscular (if not the most muscular) girls on the team. After I finished college and was done with my gymnastics career, I thought I wanted to be skinny. After starting CrossFit, I realized that I wanted to be strong and muscular. Now I am so proud of my body and what I have been able to do with it. This is not only true for how I look but also what I have been able to do performance wise.

With all of this being said, the piece that I would love for others to take away is that, you should be proud of your body! Do not let anyone else tell you how you should look. If you are comfortable in your own skin, that is what matters. There is only one of you, embrace it and love yourself!

Namita Nayyar:

How do you train your abs? One secret to your toned body.

Kari Pearce:

I train my abs by doing a variety of bodyweight movements which is why I created PowerAbs! From my gymnastics background, there are many different movements that I include which are different from what you see most people doing. I wanted to share this knowledge with others and figured what better way to do it than creating an abs program that’s only 10 minutes a day so there is now excuse no to get it done.

One secret to my toned body is consistency and knowing the little things add up. Working out makes me feel great so I make sure I am consistent with my fitness. I also know that the little things add up so even if I only have 5 minutes, then I like to take a little walk or get in a little stretching rather than saying, I cannot do as long as I want so I am going to skip it. Consistency is key and the little things add up!

Namita Nayyar:

Five foods you absolutely love and five you keep to a minimum.

Kari Pearce:

Five foods I absolutely love are oatmeal (this is actually probably the food I am most known for because I eat it up to 4 times a day), eggs, bell peppers (red are my favorite), salmon, and blueberries (really almost all berries and fruit but since I could only choose one, blueberries was it). I do not really think about certain foods that I keep to a minimum. However if I have to pick five then I would say pasta (I think part of this is that I ate a lot as a kid), hot dogs, French fries, soda, and white bread.

Namita Nayyar:

Five athletic leisure brands you love to wear.

Kari Pearce:

Five athletic leisure brands I love to wear are NOBULL, Lululemon, Born Primitive, Nike, and Gymshark.

Kari Pearce Social Media Presence

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/karipearcecrossfit/

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied, or hosted in part or full anywhere without express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2022 Women Fitness

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