The 2010 CrossFit Games
The ultimate proving grounds of the world’s fittest athletes.
July 16-18, 2010 • Carson, CA
The Home Depot Center Sports Complex
Select a 2010 CrossFit Games event
United States Qualifiers
Talking with Julie Foucher
Getting to know the 'silent beast'
Julie Foucher finished 5th overall in the 2010 CrossFit Games and thereby earned the last pre-qualified spot for the 2011 Games. Julie managed two exceptional feats in the 2010 Games: (1) she rose through the competition and finished amongst the fittest women in the world, and (2) she did it without drawing nearly any attention to herself. Referred to by some Games fans as the 'silent beast,' Julie came, wrecked most of the competition, and left without a trace.
We tracked Julie down and asked her a few questions about her life as a college student and elite competitor. We know we're going to see more of her in 2011, so we figure it's about time to get to know her better.
But first we have one crucial piece of business. Let's get her name right. It's not "Fow-cher," it's pronounced "Fou-shé.” Surprised us too.
Now you’re ready to go.
We hear you’re a college student at the University of Michigan. What are you studying?
Now I am finishing up my senior year in biomedical engineering at UM, and I will be attending medical school next year.
Did you grow up in Michigan or are you just going to school there?
I grew up in Northville, MI, about a half hour from Ann Arbor, so I have been in Michigan my entire life.
Is your CF box on campus? What's it called?
My CF box is HyperFit USA about 10 minutes from campus in Ann Arbor (owned by Doug Chapman). I’m so lucky to have a CF box close by with such amazing coaches and members that push each other to be better every single day.
What’s it like training at CrossFit HyperFit? Do you get individual sessions with Doug Chapman or do you attend classes?
Training at HyperFit USA is fantastic. Doug has created a great community…Going to the gym is always one of the highlights of my day. I typically do classes and then some extra work on my own or sometimes with someone else who is training for competition.
Is CrossFit gaining momentum among University of Michigan students?
Since I’ve started, I’ve tried to spread the word about CrossFit to other students because I think a lot of them would love it as much as I do if they knew it existed. I’ve gotten a couple of my friends to try it, but for the most part I’m pretty sure they just think I’m crazy. My sister, who also goes to UM, actually joined HyperFit USA recently, and it has been really cool to see her improving and having fun with CrossFit too. There are quite a few UM undergrad and graduate students at HyperFit USA, but the majority are members of the Ann Arbor community. I think it is a big commitment for students to make financially and time-wise, so only those who are really serious about improving their fitness end up joining.
In general, though, I do think CrossFit is gaining momentum with students. As I’ve been on the medical school interview trail the past few months it somehow always comes up in conversation and there is usually at least one other student who knows of or does CrossFit. It’s kind of funny because we will start talking about it and then all of the other interviewees in the room will start listening and asking us about it.
How do you balance training for CrossFit, academics, and outside life? Are you involved in activities outside of CrossFit? Do you go out on weekends?
That is a really good question. A major reason why I do CrossFit is because it brings balance to my life as a student. The first two years of college, my academic endeavors were my only priority, and working out often fell to the wayside. Since making CrossFit training a priority also, I have actually found that my passion for my academic work has increased.. I really value my friendships and I try to spend as much time with my friends as I can. Outside of CrossFit, I have been involved in volunteering, research, and some student groups on campus. I have also worked as a study group leader and most recently a teaching aide. Although the time I devote to CrossFit does limit the time I spend on these other important aspects of my life, the balance that CrossFit brings to the entirety of my life makes everything I do so much more rewarding.
Does your knowledge of CrossFit affect your outlook on the medical profession? Is what you’re learning in the classroom ever at odds with what you’re learning in the gym?
I think my knowledge of CrossFit definitely affects my outlook on the medical profession. Being involved with and learning more about CrossFit has made me much more passionate about preventative care, and I hope to integrate CrossFit closely into my medical education and practice. Thus far, I have not had a situation where what I am learning in the gym is at odds with my classroom learning.
With all that you’re doing we’re guessing you don’t sleep. How many hours do you get per night, on average?
I also try to make sleep a priority, but some days this falls lower on my list than others. I’d say I probably average 6-7 hours of sleep per night.
How long have you been involved with CrossFit? What was your athletic background?
I was a gymnast growing up, and I did gymnastics and track and field in high school. Athletics had always been a huge part of my life, so I had a hard time giving them up when I came to college. I did a few triathlons the first two years of college, but I was never cut out to be a strictly endurance athlete, and something was still missing. When I found out about CrossFit about a year and a half ago, I couldn’t believe that something like this existed. It was exactly what I had been looking for, and I was immediately hooked on the intensity and camaraderie. I didn’t even realize how much I had missed the competitive atmosphere until I started competing in events last year, but it has been amazing to be in that environment again.
Do you plan to compete in the 2011 Games?
Yes, I definitely plan to compete in 2011.
Has your training been affected by the structure and demands of the Games?
I don't think my training has been affected too much by the structure of last year’s Games because we are supposed to be training to be ready for anything anyway, right? My coach, Doug Chapman, writes all of my programming, so I suppose you'd have to ask him.
Are you doing new things, targeting particular weaknesses, or shifting emphasis?
Max effort lifts are something I know I need to improve on, so we’ve been incorporating a lot of strength the past few months.
What will you do to get ramped up for the 2011 Games?
I am still not sure whether or not the top 5 are pre-qualified like last year, but I don't think it would affect my training one way or another. I plan to compete in the qualifying events regardless because I think the experience I gained from those events last year was really beneficial going into the Games
Sponsorship has been a huge theme this year with Games competitors. Are you currently involved with any sponsorship relationships?
At this point in time, I have two sponsorship deals pending. There are a lot of exciting opportunities opening up as CrossFit expands, and I feel very lucky to be a part of spreading its mission.
Last question on the Games, how do you feel about the 2011 Universal Sectional?
I don't know too much about the details of the 2011 Universal Sectional at this point, but it will definitely be a big change from last year. There are always going to be pros and cons whatever format is chosen for the competition, and I think that the early years of CrossFit are the best times to figure out exactly what format works best. In the end, we are all going to be doing CrossFit no matter what the format of the competition, and I think that the people who deserve to continue on to Regionals will have that opportunity.