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Important Recovery and Training Tips for Crossfitters from Games™ Athlete Dakota Rager

Hey Dakota, when did you start CrossFit and how did you get into it?

I started CrossFit™ in January of 2013. I was home on leave from the military in December of 2012 and my father had taped some of the 2012 CrossFit Games™ on television. He showed it to me while I was home because it seemed like something I might enjoy. Ashley, my wife, and I returned to Virginia and happened upon a local CrossFit™ affiliate that was about to open. They were offering a discounted price for the first month, so we both decided to try it. We have been doing it ever since.

Do you remember the first WOD you ever did? What was it?

The first workout I ever did was 5 rounds for time: 400 meter run and 15 burpees.

What is your current goal for next year’s CrossFit season?

I try not to get too caught up in things like measurable goals as far as the season goes. Last year was the first year I decided to relax and go with whatever came at me. It was my first time ever making it to the Games™, so I figure this must have been a better method for me mentally.


How do you deal with stress during competitions? Do you have any tips that will help other Crossfitters stay calm and focused in the same circumstances?

Lucky for me I am not a person who gets very nervous or puts much stress on myself during competition.

I always try to remind myself that there are people in the world with real problems, so if the thing that I am most worried about is working out I must be doing all right.

I know either way – win or lose – I am still going to go home and sit on my couch with my wife and watch Netflix.

What are your favourite and least favourite exercises?

My least favorite exercise is probably wallballs with a 30lb ball. My favorite exercise, without a doubt, is sled pushes. There is something about the fact that sled pushes take no skill or technique, and they still test your willingness to go no matter what.

I always tell people “you can’t fail a sled push, it’s all about how much you are willing to suffer.”


What Event did you find the most challenging at The CrossFit Games™?

The Cyclocross event was by far the most challenging for me this year. I probably haven’t been on a bicycle since I was twelve years old until then.

And which did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the “Madison Triplet”. I enjoy working outside in the fresh air and the chance to do something odd like that was nice.

If you could program one event for the 2018 CrossFit Games™ to suit your own skills and strengths, what would it be and why?

Anything with muscle-ups under fatigue is great for me, and I really enjoy burpees, so maybe 50 Burpee muscle-ups for time.


Can you tell us how you use Myobuddy?

I use the MyoBuddy Massager Pro for a warm up especially on days when I’m extra sore or even if it is cold in the gym. I also like to use it after training and even right before bed on those days when I know that I did something that day that I am going to feel tomorrow.

Why is it so effective for recovery?

The MyoBuddy is great for recovery for a few reasons. One reason is it is convenience and easy to use. I have had other things in the past that might have worked well, but they were such a pain to use that I found myself never using them.  Another reason it is so effective is because of the different settings that the MyoBuddy has. There are a lot of products on the market that claim to be powerful, but when you go to use it you can barely feel them working.

The MyoBuddy has three settings and the first one is gentle if you are really sore or just trying to slightly stimulate an injured area without causing any extra damage or inflammation. The second setting is a firm, but not overly harsh, mixture that is great for everyday warm up and cool down use. Finally the third setting has some power behind it and can be used if you want to do some real tissue work.

How often do you use it?

I use the MyoBuddy every day and most of the time twice a day, especially during the wintertime. This makes warm ups easy prior to working out, and it soothes my muscles after a workout.

Why is the heat feature so useful?

The heat feature works wonders in aiding in warming my muscles up before beginning working out, and it also helps to stimulate the blood flow ever more than vibration would alone, plus it has the added bonus of feeling great. When I get to the gym in the morning, my muscles are usually cold and stiff; the heated feature makes my muscles less stiff, which makes starting my workouts easier.

What 3 other recovery tips would you recommend for everyday Crossfitters?

1. Spend more time stretching and perfecting your movement patterns. I always say “there are two types of people in CrossFit, those that get injured once and learn the lesson they should have and those that continue to get injured again and again and then blame something else when they didn’t take the time make sure they were moving well.

You should spend at least ten minutes stretching for every hour you spend working out.


2. Invest a little time into your feet and ankles. Stiff feet and ankles can lead to a number of other problems in the future.


3. The third and most important is also the hardest for many. Never let your fitness routine take precedence over your health! So many people start doing CrossFit or even just working out in general just to try to remain healthy and stay in shape but somewhere we lose sight of that and become too obsessed with things like numbers on a bar. An unscheduled day off every once in a while isn’t the end of the world.

What common mistakes do you see Crossfitters making that should be avoided?

Trying to do too much too quickly. I see it constantly, and it almost always ends in an injury. I know when you first start it is easy to get caught up in wanting to be better but it takes time, don’t try to rush things, take the time to learn it correctly. If you ever hear someone say something like “well at least you got it and that’s all that counts.” You should have the sense to disagree with them.

How do you enjoy spending your free time outside of CrossFit™?

I am a complete homebody. I love to read and sit on the couch with my wife just watching Netflix.

What one book would you recommend that everyone should read?

“The Last Lecture”- Randy Pausch

Thanks for your time Dakota.

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23rd place finisher at The Games™ Mekenzie Riley also uses the MyoBuddy to assist her recovery:

Mekenzie RileySource: Mekenzie Riley
Mekenzie Riley in action

“I love using my Myobuddy Massager when I’m at home relaxing. I get the benefits of a deep tissue massage every night when I’m on the couch watching TV. It relieves my soreness and it feels every bit as amazing as they say it does!”


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