Athlete Spotlight; Sarabeth Phillips

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, exclusive coaching, npgl, NY rhinos, usaw, crossfit open

Athlete Spotlight; Sarabeth Phillips

15th place in the World during the Open is no easy task.

Sarabeth Phillips currently holds that spot going into the fifth and final week of the Open, after five long years of fighting to be on top.

Marching into the 2015 Games season, the five-time CrossFit Regional athlete and USAW American Open Champion Sarabeth, knew she needed something ‘different’ when it came to her training and programming for her sixth CrossFit Open this year.

Hungry to qualify for the CrossFit Games, after having been around the sport since 2008, she didn’t know exactly what that ‘something different’ entailed until she met OPEX Coach Mike Lee last summer at the NPGL Vegas Combine.

Mike saw the natural athlete Sarabeth was from the get-go, and after talking extensively about her as an athlete, and he goals, Sarabeth said she immediately felt Mike could help her reach her goals.

“And not only help me reach my goals but surpass them and do even more,” Sarabeth said.

She began training with Mike as an Exclusive Coaching client not long after, and this week, she currently sits in 15th place in the World on the CrossFit Games Leaderboard, on the tails of Open Workout 15.4.

“(Since working with Mike) my training, lifestyle and mindset have changed so much in just this short time! I honestly feel like a completely different athlete. He’s helping me become the athlete that I know I’m capable of being. Everything is dialed in and we are continuing to work on that,” Sarabeth said.

Her performance on Open Workout 15.4 speaks for itself alone: a score of 166 reps (into her round of 27 handstand pushups).

“If there was a workout with my name it, this might be it! 166. Super fun. When it was announced I literally screamed and I never get excited about Open workouts usually,” Sarabeth said.

As a former gymnast of 10 years, it’s no wonder she was excited—however, Sarabeth said she also credits Coach Mike’s specific work with her on her metabolic engine. Since she is an ICU nurse and often works the night shift, she said that greatly impacts her work capacity. Nonetheless, Coach Mike’s individualized design programming has helped her work around that.

“As an athlete, night shift is extremely detrimental in all aspects. I was sick throughout the Open and I was not where I needed to be metabolically. So I knew something big had to change.  When I started working with Mike and OPEX, I trusted him fully to tackle all my weaknesses. I dove in head first and let my hard work speak for itself. Aside from training, we have been making sure my work schedule stays the same, my nutrition is on point and I stay feeling great,” Sarabeth said.

While there is one more week left of the Open, Sarabeth confidently says this year has been her best Open to date.

“This year’s Open was the first time I’ve ever felt extremely prepared and ready to take on whatever was thrown my way,” Sarabeth said.

Her advice for other athletes, with high hopes of continuing to improve?

“A coach can make or break you as an athlete, but you have to buy in to what they are doing and trust them 100% each and every day. Lots of things don’t make sense to me at the time but the bigger picture (CrossFit Games) is what I’m focused on and I know Mike has the best plan for me in place. OPEX has changed my life so much and I’m grateful to be working within the system,” Sarabeth said.

Look out for Sarabeth on the Leaderboard in the final week of the Open, as well as her presence in the sport of weightlifting.

“I want to be a National Champion weightlifter, qualify for the Pan Am team for USA and have a chance at the Olympic Trials,” she said.

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Function 3/26/15

A. Close-grip bench – 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 – rest 90 seconds
B. Bent barbell row – 8, 8, 8, 8 – rest 90 seconds
C. Weighted chinups – 3RM in 5 sets
D. Powell raise – 3×8/arm – rest 60 seconds
E1. Farmers walk – 3x100ft – no rest
E2. GH hip extension – 3×12-20 – bodyweight – rest 60 seconds

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Being 3/26/15



A. SC thruster build to a tough single in 8mins
B. PC TnG 3, 2, 1; rest 2mins
3 sets tough
1 rope climb 15′ legless
5 burpee box jump 20″
AD 20sec tough
rest walk 2-4mins
1 set amrap ring dips
10mins Z1 AD

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Will 3/26/15

Rest Day

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She 3/26/15

GDS prep – Come into the gym and prep for an open workout, do all general, dynamic and specific rep. Once warm and ready to go, shut it down and go home.
Fitness Assessments for New Clients