Meet Peter Foster, a competitive functional athlete, and Topical Edge ambassador. From the time Peter was young, sports were part of his life, thanks to his father who played in the NHL. Peter followed in his father’s footsteps pursuing hockey, beginning with youth hockey, then to Junior A and finally earned a Division I scholarship to play at the United States Air Force Academy where he was part of the first Academy team to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
During a five-year service in the Air Force Peter wasn’t able to pursue hockey and so used cross fit to help fill the competitive void. Since his first CrossFit Open he’s worked his way up to the top of the sport and is currently ranked among the top 0.01% in the world.
With so much knowledge and experience in cross fit, we asked Peter for some insight on how he is able to get the most out of his training time and the best ways he’s found to incorporate Topical Edge into his program.
Do you have a favorite workout or training routine that you feel best maximizes your time?
Peter: My “go-to” movements to master in the sport of cross fit are the Olympic lifts (i.e the snatch and clean, and jerk). Beside these movements being tested in the sport regularly, I believe they also have the greatest carryover for a lot of the other movements we do in cross fit. Training these lifts obviously gets you stronger. They also train and improve overall explosion, dial in aggressive hip extension, which carries over to a multitude of other gymnastic and mono-structural movements, improve upper and lower body mobility, especially under load, and improve midline and posterior chain strength and stability.
Is there a key piece in your training that you feel other athletes often overlook?
Peter: Many people picture cross fit as purely High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), but to be successful in the sport you must be able to move continuously at a sub-maximal pace over a variety of time domains. People in the sport refer to this as “pacing” workouts. A continuous effort to build one’s aerobic capacity is a secret weapon in the sport. Building this capacity will allow for the body to more efficiently utilize oxygen and fight lactic acid build up. Many people think of this type of training as low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, which could be a heart rate controlled bike ride or run. While I use these in training I also do “regular” cross fit style workouts with longer durations (35-60 minutes) with a controlled heart rate (150-155 BPM). Sometimes I will also mix HIIT and LISS style trainings to improve my aerobic capacity.
How have you incorporated Topical Edge into your daily routine to get the most out of your workouts?
Peter: On a typical day I will have two, 1.5 to 2-hour training sessions with 3 to 4 hours between sessions. With this schedule, recovery between and after sessions is paramount. Typically, 20 minutes before any session I will use Topical Edge on my quads/hamstrings. Most of the time I use Topical Edge on my lower body, but there are occasions when I have a lot of overhead work where I will use it on my shoulders/traps. Whether it’s purely a lifting session or a high-intensity cardio session, Topical Edge just keeps me feeling fresh and able to push past my limits.
Between sessions nutrition is critical and I aim to focus on getting lots of quick absorbing carbs and proteins so I can restore my glycogen stores before the next session. I may or may not put some more Topical Edge on before my PM session depending on how I feel, but I almost always put some on after to help recover faster for the next day. I rarely take a total rest day, rather I fill rest days with light cardio and usually some of the following: tons of mobility, regular chiropractic care, Gua Sha, my Compex muscle stimulation unit, active release massages, a consistent supplement and vitamin regimen and obviously eat tons of food. Recovery for an athlete is paramount and I believe that one should do something for recovery for at least 2 hours for every hour of training...maybe more!
For me training is life, and certainly Cross fit as sport and cross fit just for fitness are two completely different animals. I think Topical Edge can be used to benefit athletes on both ends of the spectrum.