Preparing for the Open with Rachael Stull

Getting to know Rachael.. 


Hey Guys! My name is Rachael Stull and I am a member of WarriorZ CrossFit in Elk Grove, California. I have been competing in CrossFit for three years now and have become more involved with the sport of Olympic weightlifting a year ago. My passion for both sports has grown and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best athletes and coaches in the business. Being a part of WarriorZ, both Charlie and Micha Zamora have connected me with the resources that have helped me grow as an athlete at a more rapid pace than I thought was possible.

Charlie has played a huge part as my main coach, investing the time and energy into programming my workouts every day.  During my preparation for the 2016 Open, we needed to increase strength while maintaining my metabolic capacity, and the solution was adding The Barbell WOD programming to my training arsenal. The Barbell WOD provided a spotlight focus on my Olympic weightlifting while still allowing me to recover enough to complete my daily Metcons.  The strength that I gained as a result of the programming has had a huge impact on increasing my 1RM's in the Olympic lifts and building CrossFit-specific strength in barbell cycling.

How has the Barbell WOD helped your preparation?

Charlie programs my conditioning for me on a day to day basis. He knows exactly what I need and if we need to go by how my body is feeling, we do. While our conditioning is constantly varied, our strength must be structured. That is what The Barbell WOD has given me. Everyday I wake up around 5:30am - 6am to get my conditioning done and then around 2:30pm I come back into the gym to focus on strength work. One way that the Barbell WOD has helped me to prepare for the Open is by building my posterior chain and core. This for me was huge, a lot of movements in CrossFit involve your core and had me gassed out way quicker than I should have been. Over time with being consistent in both my conditioning and strength work, I have not only hit PR’s in my lifts but I have been shortening the time required to get my workouts finished.

How are you preparing mentally for the Open?

For the most part, I have to do my conditioning alone each day and that gets especially hard when it’s early in the morning and no one else is really around. But for how much I love to do this stuff, that passion fuels my fire everyday. I love the process as well as seeing the progress that goes into each PR.  On the mornings when all I want to do is cry because when I would rather sleep in my nice warm bed... I ask myself, “Why did you work that hard yesterday to give up on it this morning?".  As much as I do train by myself, there is some relief in knowing that I get to train with my best friend and training partner Micha in the afternoons. She has been a huge part of my journey and I don't know where I’d be without her. Her support and the extra push that she provides each day has been an integral part of building me into the athlete that I am today.

Any recovery secrets that you are using to prepare for competition? 

I make sure to fuel my body with the right foods that work for myself. Lately I have dialed in my nutrition even more and have felt better than ever! Besides the nutrition aspect, stretching makes a huge different and I encourage everyone after their workouts everyday to do it. I use to not do it much at all especially when I was first getting serious because I was more focused on doing everything else that I believed would make me better, but stretching is crucial to my recovery and for preventing injury. Then at least one day a week I am getting tissue work done, want to know how lucky I am? She's only one block away from the gym! Her name is Kristen and she is amazing! With stretching and getting tissue work done it has been crucial for my lack of mobility and has helped me become more flexible to handle the loads we put on ourselves. With these things being said, these all are just the main and few details that help prepare me in getting ready for the Open and competition.

I just make sure that everyday I am having fun while training. We laugh, crank up the music and try something new every week or maybe even everyday. Continuing to stay humble and as long as I am growing that’s all I care about.


Continue to follow Rachael's progress here on Instagram @stullcandy

Looking for an awesome place to train?  Check out Warrior Z CrossFit in Elk Grove, California!


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