Iceland's Annie Thorisdottir may be a two-time CrossFit Games champion, but her competitive spirit still rages as strong as ever.
The 32-year-old missed the 2020 Games to welcome daughter Freyja into the world and returned the very next year to take an impressive third place. It was the fastest postpartum comeback in CrossFit history.
Last October, "Island Annie" finished a close second at the Rogue Invitational in Austin, TX, making a dramatic statement that showed the twice fittest woman on the planet is still in great shape.
Thor's Daughter talks about her notoriously intense workouts, how being a mom has impacted her training, how she approaches fitness and nutrition, and what her latest challenge looks like; Taking part in the 2022 CrossFit Games of leading team CrossFit Reykjavík makes her more motivated than ever.
With a background in gymnastics and athletics, do you think that was an advantage when you started CrossFit?
I believe the benefit is being body aware and already comfortable with a decent volume of training as well as basic gymnastics skills. However, when I got into CrossFit, I had to learn how to move external objects. Lifting weights wasn't something I was used to, nor was trying to make my run smooth. If you watch a gymnast run, it's pretty stiff.
Do you think people focus too much on weight instead of form?
I think it used to be a little more like that, but now people are listening more, or maybe the coaches are just a little more educated or used to working with people since the sport has grown. It's a matter of patience and belief in the process. One of the most common pieces of advice I give people is to learn to move well first, and then you can do a high intensity with lighter weights, and then the weights will catch up.
You recently posted a really challenging 20 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout. How often do you do this and are you a fan of EMOMs?
We've also been doing 40-minute EMOMs once a week for a few weeks. This 20 minute workout should somehow end this cycle. It was definitely a REAL one. I really enjoy them because you know you can finish the work if you've already done it for 20 minutes, so of course you can do another five minutes and then another five minutes but your head is telling you that's still too much is to do. You have to grow on it and convince yourself that you can do it. It's those moments of inner struggle that make you stronger.
When it comes to tracking your load and recovery, what are some of the key types of information you look at on your whoop?
I really like using it to track my sleep, it keeps me accountable and helps me go to bed earlier which I really need. I monitor load and recovery, but don't let it affect my training that day unless the reading is very low in the red. I'll also see how I'm feeling because (being very low in the red) is usually an indicator that I'm getting sick. Otherwise (if the reading shows I'm able to push myself more) I'll just change my training to make me feel a little stronger during that session...then make sure a rest day comes along. The Whoop is a great way to see if I'm exaggerating. Menstrual cycle tracking is also very useful as it helps me monitor how I need to fill up, especially during my period.
Courtesy of Annie Thorisdottir
How do you deal with nutrition in everyday life?
I make sure to eat enough carbs during exercise and eat protein right after each workout. The week before my period I add extra amino acids during exercise and the carbs are even more important at this time because we can't store carbs like we can at other times in our cycle. Otherwise my intake stays the same most of the time and then I'm only more strict as I approach competition season. I use something called RP Strength to track my diet and the supplements I use are all from Transparent Labs, but I think it's very important to make sure your food is always well sourced and clean.
How do you fit recovery time into your week?
I do an "active" recovery day each week where I do about an hour of zone 2 heart rate training along with mobility training and a sauna. Then I take one “full” rest day a week, and on that day I play a lot with my kid!
For recovery on training days, sleep and energy are high on the list. Otherwise I do mobility or scraping with muscle scrapers. I use Sidekick every night and then I take CBD MD, CBD Softgels 50mg twice a day.
Do you think everyone should consider incorporating CrossFit-style routines into their workouts?
I think everyone should lift weights, and I believe high-intensity interval training is one of the best forms of exercise.
It's clear you love group training! What are the benefits of training with others?
You get the thrust and the drive. I like having others around me. I enjoy going to the gym and working out with other like-minded people. We can have fun and then push each other and do better when it's GO time.
You've said you feel more motivated than you've felt in years. Why do you think that is?
I feel like I've found a different motivation and drive than before. After my daughter was born I just wanted to see if I could come to myself and then I wanted to compete. "need" or pressure, just wanting to be measured and hopefully show other moms that what they want to do after giving birth is their choice. w I do it for my family too and I want to be a good role model for my daughter. It's also new for me to be on a team this season. I have even more people who depend on me and at the same time even more great training partners.
I felt very good after the past year, finally feeling like I was in full control of my body again. After attending the Rogue Invitationals in October, I knew I wanted to move on. I had thought about competing as a team for years but never made it, so this year I decided to give it a shot and try to make it work. It did and it definitely makes me grow even more as a person and as an athlete. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone a bit again and I believe that after this year I will have learned and grown so much to become the best athlete I have ever been.