• A shorter version of this article appeared in NZME publications and the Herald online on June 6, 2020.

Kiwi CrossFit Star’s 5 Motivation Tips

By Rachel Grunwell

Rachel is a weekly wellness columnist

The world knows her as CrossFit star Jamie Greene – one of the fittest women on earth. But she’s now Jamie Simmonds after marrying in Queenstown recently.

I caught up with the 28-year-old, based at CrossFit Yas in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. She shares her training secrets, motivation tips, and goals.

Jamie is a former gymnast and rugby player. Muscle-bound and beautiful, she’s 163cm tall and 61kg. She burst onto the CrossFit global scene in 2016. This was when she won the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Open and placed 3rd at the CrossFit Games on Team Crossfit YAS. She has since competed as an individual at the Crossfit Games for the last 3 years, placing 3rd last year. 

She wants to compete for the next 3-4 years in international competitions.

“I want to see what I can challenge my mind and body to do”.

She hopes to compete in NZ too one day.

“Later on, I hope to come back to NZ and build a fitness/ training sort of thing for kids/ adults to do alongside sports. A sort of supplement fitness and nutrition programme to help the rest of their life or sports career.”

Jamie trains 1-3 times daily. In season, it’s 4-5 hours daily. Training is 5 days weekly with one active recovery day and one rest day.

She credits her Kiwi background for her success.

”My background and amount of sports I did growing up helps a lot, but I also think how I was brought up helps a lot. The mental side of CrossFit is huge as everyone is fit and everyone is strong. So it’s who can pull it together on the day with a bit of pressure. I think my parents helped me with this – finding the balance of embracing nerves and enjoying the pressure. They threw me into a lot of stressful situations as a young kid haha every race or competition you can think of.”

5 Top Motivation Tips 

1. Ask what will your future self want? Think how you will feel in the future with the work you put in now.

2. Ask what would your past self think? I always think back to a 10-year-old Jamie and think would she be happy with how she’s turned out. So work a little bit harder for the kid who wants to change the world.

3. Find your own personal why. Once you’ve worked this out you can always fall back on this when motivation isn’t quite there.

4. Build habits. If you always finish your sessions or you always get your workouts done (even if it’s raining) then your brain will know this as the only way. Trick the system and make it something you do without thinking.

5. When you feel like giving up… I know if you push a little harder at that point you’re going to be finished a little early ha ha.. But also I know the feeling at the end of a workout when you know you could have pushed harder… it’s the worst feeling ever. I want to make sure I gave my all every time I’m supposed to. Show up or pay for it later. ..

Mark McDermotts photos (@fitness.shots

3 Top Nutrition Tips for Powering Your Performance

1. Listen to your body! If you’re hungry, eat! Eat something filling and nutritious and think of it as fuelling your body. Don’t fill it with sugar and processed crap. 

2. Keep it Simple- and don’t train hungry.

3. Eat as many colours as you can… all the veggies (and on the odd occasion all the colourful lollies haha ).

4 Top Tips to Get You to the Next Level of Fitness

1. Find something you enjoy doing- if you hate it you won’t stick to it. To get better at anything you need time and doing it often… so find something you want to do all the time.

2. Fuel yourself for the activity or exercise you are doing.

3. Get an assault bike haha no but sometimes it’s the most simple way to increase your fitness.

4. Find a coach or someone who can help you plan out a road to reach your fitness goal as it’s not always about working harder sometimes you just need to be a little smarter.

ps I asked Jamie about her fave lollies as I read somewhere that she loved them – which I noted made her awesomely “human!” Here was her response:

“All lollies! I do love a good old dairy mix or pick n mix from New World haha. Yeah, I’ve always had a love for lollies and why change it now (haha). I obviously limit how many lollies I eat while training etc but it is a soft spot! (haha). 

Article by Rachel Grunwell: Weekly wellness columnist for a series of newspapers for NZME, plus the Herald online.

Rachel is a wellness journalist, coach + yoga teacher, and author of Balance: Food, Health and Happiness 

Connect with Rachel via inspiredhealth.co.nz  Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/rachelgrunwell/