The athletic risk manager Stephanie Legrand juggles her hectic banking life with an ambitious, but non-competitive, love for sport. Find out what makes this 38-year old time-crunched banker look like a full-time athlete in our exclusive Explosive Mode interview. If she appears familiar, it might be because she is one of the featured models in the Shredded 2018 book. She will also be featured in the new Fit Businessman book scheduled for a late 2018 release.
Do you have a regular job?
Yes, and it's very busy, about fifty hours per week. I work in a bank as a risk manager.
Do you train during your lunch break?
Now you have a lot of flexibility and it's really a trend for employers to offer the possibility. In my job I can for instance start at 10 and arrange my schedule as I wish. As I'm a manager I don't have any minimum requirement for working hours. But I do of course work more than 40 hours. Anyway, sometimes I train in the morning, around lunch or in the evening, depending on my meetings. The day before I look at my schedule at the office and then I plan the training time for the following day. It's like a routine before I leave work.
Do you plan rest days?
No, sometimes I have too much work so it is anyway impossible to train. Usually Sunday becomes a rest day, but it's not planned. I'm also getting older and I have several injuries so I realize I need to rest more.
Are your work-outs always Crossfit related?
Yes, but I'm also an instructor for the Les Mills concept called Grit, which is high-intesity intervall training. I teach every Thursday in Factory 4. The choreografy changes every quarter, and I have to train of course train along when giving my class. It's different from Crossfit, but it's really bodyweight cardio with different moves. I also run a bit during the summer.
How would a typical running session look like?
I like for instance EMOM (every minute on the minute) 20 minutes of 200m. Last week I did 800's with one minute rest, 400's with 40 seconds rest, 200's with 30 seconds rest and finishing off with 100m.
How long do your training sessions usually last?
On an average, one and a half hour.
Do you ever twice a day?
No, it would be difficult with my job. I try to include one WOD. When you train alone you don't push yourself a 100 percent.
Do you have any other coaches than the Crossfit coaches?
I also have some individual sessions with Fletch. These are mostly to work on technique and to re-enforce and strengthen muscles due to past injuries.
Do you compete?
How do you keep yourself motivated if you do not compete?
You can compete against yourself. Even getting older, I'm fitter than what I was in my twenties.
Do you plan your nutrition in the same way as your training, in other words planning one day ahead?
I eat so much it's crazy. Basically, I don't have a fixed schedule. I just pay attention to consume sufficient protein, so 100-120 grams. I like vegetables. I need a lot of carbs. Otherwise I feel weak. Perhaps it's something in my mind.
Do you use prepared meals?
In my previous I job I was eating salads from Happ. Also, Superfoods. I eat a lot of chicken. Now I'm very lucky as the canteen at my job is fantastic. You can have salmon with rice and vegetables for 5 euros. I'm very lucky in that sense.
Do you use any sport supplements?
Yes. Because even if you eat a lot of chicken, it's difficult to reach 120 grams of protein. I have protein bars. It's difficult for me to have shakes as I like to enjoy eating. For me it's impossible to eat without pleasure. Mainly protein bars. Nuts.
What do you do if you come home late and you don't have the time and energy to cook? Do you order pizza?
Pizza and burgers I save for the weekend. Along with beers. Except for PR's (Personal Bests). One PR justifies a beer. It's important to congratulate yourself. Usually I cook on Sunday. I often work until 9 or 10 in the evening. Besides the pre-cooked chicken, I buy a vegan-type ready-to-eat vegetable blend from Delhaize. I also use Rawdish.
Is there something you try to avoid food wise?
No. I try to eat healthy foods. I read the labels to avoid additives. I eat fat, I eat chocholate. I spend a lot of time actually to read labels. It's crazy what you have in some products. There is sugar in things you could not imagine.
What would be a typical breakfast for you? Or do you skip it?
Are you crazy? Even when I train at seven I need a breakfast. I like to have mainly carbs, like bread or organic biscuits before training. Then afterwards perhaps a protein bar. If I don't train in the morning, I'll have vegan cereal or organic cereal without too much sugar. Or whole-grain bread with cheese.
Do you add milk to your cereal?
Yes. I use dairy products. I like cheese as well.
What is the best way to recover?
How much do you sleep?
Not enough. We try to train and eat appropriately, but sleeping is my weakness. During the week I sleep on an average 6 to 6 and a half hours. I think I would need one hour more. During the weekend I try to recuperate by sleeping eight hours and not using an alarm clock. I know it is not very good either because you are breaking the sleeping pattern. Sleeping is important and that is something I really need to work on.
What are your favorite explosive lower-body and upper-body exercises?
I love push presses for the upper-body. For the lower-body; plyo lunges. I love it. I used to love really high box jumps, but I got injured once and had to get stiches. I like thrusters as it's such a complete movement. The full body works and it's good cardio exercise.
What would you be the best advice you could give to someone, such as a colleague at your work place, who would like to live healthier?
In my new job I'm lucky as my boss also works out. In my previous job it seemed strange that I was so passionate about training. It's especially not easy when you are a more muscular woman in the financial sector. I already heard remarks about my legs being too big. It is really difficult to start. You really need to find a routine. Find something you love and give it your all. Sometimes in my classes, girls come to me and they ask what they could do for their butt or their arms. I tell them always to find what they love. If you force yourself to run or to do Crossfit without liking it, it will be even more difficult. Crossfit, for instance, is not for everbody. It is not because of the strength part as all workouts can be scaled. It's about a mindset to perform with intesity. But you just need to find something where you move. It can be biking, swimming, dancing, running. There are so many possibilities. As humans we need to move. I can't believe that anybody would not enjoy movement. We are not meant to spend 10 hours a day crunched up next to a computer. At some point we need to release the pressure, breathe out and move. Finding something you love is really the best advice I can give.
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