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Podcast 134: Christian Harris Talks Coming Back Strong at Next Year's CrossFit Games

August 3, 2021

On this week’s episode, Christian Harris, one of the most recognizable names in CrossFit, shares how sport is so much more than just your individual performance—it comes down to the team you build.

By Will Ahmed

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Christian Harris sat down with our resident expert Mike Lombardi at the CrossFit Games to discuss coaching, culture building, and leadership. Christian talks candidly about his team’s removal from the Games this year after one member tested positive for a banned substance, and says his squad, Move Fast Lift Heavy, will come back stronger next year.

He also shares his philosophies on balancing performance, work, and family, and why keeping a regimented schedule is one of the most important keys to success.


Christian Harris CrossFit Podcast Quotes and Highlights

3:53 – Getting Into CrossFit. “As soon as I finished [my first CrossFit] workout, I was dead on the floor, sprawled out and I’m like, ‘I need this.’ When I tell you I was hooked, pretty much the next day I looked up CrossFit level one training seminars. I booked one in Brooklyn, got my level one, started working at the gym and that’s how quickly I got hooked onto it.”

4:41 – Making the Most of an Injury. Christian explains how being sidelined with a torn pec led him to opening his own CrossFit facility. “When you have a significant injury like that, obviously you’re not training much. So you have a lot of downtime. And I kind of used that downtime to look into opening a facility.”

7:00 – Balancing Business, Performance & Family. “It’s always something that I’m continually working on and always trying to evolve with. In the beginning it was not a great skill set of mine. I’d say over the last two years, I’ve definitely done a better job at managing that kind of stuff. And it all comes down to a schedule and maximizing the amount of time that you allocate towards these things.”

8:27 – Sticking to the Schedule. Christian discusses the importance of this, and why he won’t extend his workout if he can’t fit everything in during his two-hour window.

9:23 – Strain. Christian says he regularly puts up 16 strains by 2 pm in the afternoon, when he’s done with working out and training for the day. “Sometimes it’ll only go up a little bit more [after I’m home.] Or if I did another workout or if I’m running around with the kids, it can easily go up to 17, 18, 19.”

10:15 – Structure. He notes that keeping a regimented structure is one of the keys to his success. “I was never really structured, but I was always willing to put in the work. When I started to really feel like I was running on fumes is when I said ‘Something needs to change.’”

11:18 – CrossFit Games Ban. Christian talks about his team, Move Fast Lift Heavy, being barred from the CrossFit Games this year after one of their team members tested positive for a banned substance. “We are coming back next year. You heard it here first,” Christian says.

15:53 – Building a Winning Culture. “It’s people that are willing to work hard and that really like each other. It’s hard to want to work next to somebody if you don’t really vibe well with them.”

17:09 – Coaching Philosophy. “I want [my athletes] to learn a little something each class, have some fun, and get fit. I try to do something every class that [allows them] to execute those three things.”

23:20 – Power vs. Endurance. Christian thinks of himself as a mix between a power athlete and an endurance athlete. “In the beginning, I would say I favored more towards power. But now, I’ve put in so much work from an aerobic standpoint that I really enjoy it. And because of it, my power numbers are definitely not as great as they once were. I think age has a little bit to do with it as well.”

23:53 – Keeping Heart Rate Variability Up. “For me, a lot of it has to do with sleep. I have to make sure [I sleep.] I just don’t sleep enough.”

26:40 – Fitness and Mental Well Being. “[Fitness] allows me to have a more clear head,” Christian says. “It really allows me to be in a better mood and it keeps me more even-keeled. I’m definitely a little bit more high strung when I don’t get a workout in.”

28:17 – Creative Inspiration. Christian shares how he draws creative inspiration from a variety of outlets. “Inspiration that can come to me at any point,” he says, adding that he found himself inspired by small things such as the front used in a recent Kanye West production.

31:03 – Christian’s Top 3 Kanye West Albums. He’s a big fan of Kanye West and shares his three favorite Kanye albums: Life of Pablo, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Late Registration.

Connect with Christian on Instagram and at his website.


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Will Ahmed

Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. WHOOP members include professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, fitness enthusiasts, military personnel, frontline workers and a broad range of people looking to improve their performance. WHOOP has raised more than $400 million from top investors and is valued at $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone wearables company in the world. Ahmed has recruited an active advisory board that consists of some of the world’s most notable cardiologists, technologists, marketers, and designers. Ahmed was recently named to the 2021 Sports Business Journal 40 under 40 list as well as 2020 Fortune 40 Under 40 Healthcare list and previously named to Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Ahmed founded WHOOP as a student at Harvard, where he captained the Men’s Varsity Squash Team and graduated with an A.B. in government.