The move I love to hate: Monster Jam driver Cynthia Gauthier's CrossFit-based workout
Cynthia Gauthier got her first taste of driving behind the wheel of a tractor on her family's farm in Canada. At 18, she saved up her money to buy a dirt bike and started racing on the weekends. She made her way into the Pro Women's Canadian National Series, before injuries to her shoulder and knee forced her to step down from the sport.
But not one to slow down, Gauthier quickly discovered Monster Jam in 2015, and she earned the Monster Jam Rising Star award in 2018. Driving her 12,000-pound truck "Monster Mutt Dalmatian" requires incredible strength in the core, back, shoulders and legs. And for that, Gauthier swears by regular CrossFit workouts.
She shared one of the full-body moves that she performed to get ready for the Monster Jam World Series last weekend in Orlando, Florida, where she won the High Jump.
What it is: The thruster
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and grab the bar slightly outside of your legs with a full grip. Rapidly extending your hips, shrug your shoulders and use the momentum, pulling high on the barbell. When the bar is in the air, quickly move your elbows around to the front rack to receive the barbell on your shoulders.
Once the bar is in the front rack, do a front squat with the bar, then drive out of the bottom of the squat quickly and in one fluid motion press (thrust!) the bar above your head using the power of your legs and the assist of the arms. Tip: Keep bar close to your body and watch out for your nose on the press!
When I do it: I do this move two to three times per week. The number of reps and weight vary; sometimes I go for a heavier weight with fewer reps, and other times, I do it with less weight but more reps.
Why I do it: This move works your hips, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists. It improves mobility, while simultaneously strengthening your core, back, shoulders and legs. Essentially, it works out your entire body.
Having these muscles in good shape helps with absorbing the impact that these 12,000-pound trucks unleash on me.
Why it's so killer: It's a full-body exercise that works your cardio and builds muscle. You can do it anywhere -- and with dumbbells, barbells or any heavy object that you can find.