Kara Webb

PERSONAL STATS

  • Full name: Kara Webb
  • Nickname: She-Bear
  • Birthday: October 26, 1989
  • Weight: 72 kg
  • Height: 162 cm
  • From: Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
  • Current Residence: Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
  • Began CrossFit: 2008
  • Affiliate: CrossFit KOVA

BARBELL STATS

  • Front Squat: 155 kg
  • Clean & Jerk: 118 kg
  • Snatch: 100 kg
  • Deadlift: 165 kg

Biography


SIX-TIME CROSSFIT GAMES VETERAN


Kara Webb is a six-time CrossFit Games veteran who finished the 2017 CrossFit Games on the 2nd place on the podium, in the closest finish in the Games history.

With a steady growth and a continuous development, this is one athlete who looks like she’s got quite a few achievements still ahead of her. With a greater mental game than ever before, Kara doesn’t seem to loose her cool even when the pressure reaches the highest possible intensity, such as the moment a judge’s rep miscount needed to be deliberated.

What makes this athlete so strong and so determined? How does she tackle life’s challenges and get through them with a big smile on her face? Let’s take a closer look at Kara’s life and journey with sports.


THE TODDLER THAT WANTS TO SURMOUNT ALL


Ever since the earliest ages, Kara was a very active child. Her mother recalls Kara started walking when she was just 8 months old. As the months passed by, she grew into a toddler that wanted to go everywhere and climb onto and into everything.


DISCOVERING SWIMMING


As a natural consequence, Kara grew up as a sporty kid. She played all sorts of sports, out of which her sport of choice was swimming. She remembers waking up at 5 am every day to go for a swimming training, getting home for breakfast and heading fast to school, just to do it all over again in the afternoon, when classes had finished.

It’s probably because of this constant presence of movement in her life, combined with constantly trying new sports to play that she finds herself so comfortable and relaxed on the competition floor.


FALLING FOR CROSSFIT


When she was just 19, Kara had two great discoveries that were going to change her life. The first one was meeting Jason, a man that managed to steal her heart, obviously in a gym, between the stepper and the treadmill. The second one was discovering CrossFit, through her personal trainer at that time, Brian Bucholtz. And it was love at first squat.

Kara had a good grasp of what CrossFit implied from the beginning. The movements came naturally for her and so she realized she has a talent for this discipline pretty quickly. What followed was two years of fast progression that culminated in 2012 when Kara won the Pacific Regional. She then went on to Carson to finish 19th in her first year at the Games.

Later in 2012 she married Jason. Needless to say that the CrossFit community was there for them and the wedding cake was one glorious masterpiece inspired, of course, by CrossFit as well.


ROAR, ROAR, ROAR, NOBODY UNDERSTANDS YOU, SHE-BEAR


Known in her former affiliate, CrossFit Roar, as the She-Bear, Kara explains that the origin of this nickname comes from an episode of the Simpsons. All the box members close to her use that episode’s punchline to describe her grumpy mood when something isn’t working out for Kara: “Roar, roar, roar, nobody understands you, She-Bear”

However, the She-Bear managed the impressive achievement of finishing first in 2013 in the Pacific Regional once again, proving that she’s getting stronger and more ready to climb her way up on the Games leaderboard. And so she did, by finishing 12th that year at the Games.


WHEN THINGS HEAT UP...


The 2014 season came and Kara was feeling more ready than ever for the Games. Standing on top of the leaderboard, she was clearly the favourite to become the Fittest on Earth.

But as time unfolded Kara started showing some signs of weakness. During a handstand walk she realized it’s not going to be possible to do it. Her arm went numb because of a nerve that ceased. After that event she dropped from the first position to the third one. Eventually because of her health state she had to stop the Games. This was a devastating decision for Kara.

Who knew that 2015 will bring another rough season for Kara. With the sun shining brightly in Carson and the temperature outside reaching almost 30°C running didn’t come easy for lots of the athletes.

Murph was especially challenging for Kara. As she entered the stadium, finishing her second mile, it was obvious she wasn’t well. She ran unsteadily, head lolling, and she collapsed at the finish line. She was carried off out of the arena in a stretcher. It appeared that she had been suffering from severe heat stroke. She recovered enough to compete in the last two events of the day, but said she wasn’t back to her 100%. In a later disclosure, Kara admits she doesn’t recall at all the last mile. “I just didn't feel my body.”

Despite the heat exhaustion and the strains her body was going through, Kara still managed to finish 5th that year, which is an amazing performance given the circumstances.


2016 SPIRIT OF THE GAMES


2016 came with another great placing for Kara. After finishing first at the Pacific Regional yet again, she had another great performance and finished on the remarkable 7th position in the Games. And when all events were done and the awards were handed, Kara was called for accepting the Spirit of the Games award.

Besides athletic greatness, the Spirit of the Games award celebrates great character and values such as integrity, class, heart and determination. Year after year, this award goes to the most iconic and genuine personalities in CrossFit. So it made perfect sense that the person that would get the award would be Kara Webb.


“YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE RUBBISH FIRST BEFORE YOU GET TO THE GOOD STUFF”

But who knew that while she was accepting a trophy that was celebrating her authentic personality and incredible character, Kara was actually going through some truly rough times in the personal life.

Recently she confessed that 2016 had been the year of only “focusing on getting things done and training”. This lifestyle got Kara so wrapped up that she felt she was not true to herself. “I was not happy with my life.”

After taking some time to digest her feelings and what she needed to do in order to feel good again, Kara came to the conclusion that one of the biggest problems was actually her relationship. This ultimately lead to a marriage break up. In this hard process she lost some of her friends, and a few relationships, she had to face judgements and it all culminated with Kara deciding to leave her gym. Because of the stress and exhaustion, her health state and her training were affected.

Kara often mentions the wise words she got from her mother “Listen to your gut instinct”. Guided by these words, Kara started cleaning up the broken pieces of her life, went through with the divorce, moved to a new house and came back to training, but this time with a stronger, more introspective and constructive mindset.


TICK-TICK-TICK BOOM

The 2017 season came. And in Madison we all witnessed a new an improved Kara Webb. The laser sharp focused and unstoppable Aussie that looked more determined than ever to sit on top of the podium.

The weekend was unfolding greatly for Kara, as she was flying through the events one after another. Until the second to last event of the Games. During the “2223 intervals”, Kara’s judge made an inaccurate rep count and she finished the event 4 reps short. After an excruciating few minutes, the head referee eventually decided to make a six second time adjustment, which pushed her down to 4th in that specific event's standings, behind Kristin Holte.


“THE CHAMPION IS NOT THE ONE ON THE FIRST PLACE, BUT THE ONE THAT COMES THROUGH THE FINAL HOUR”

The final event of the 2017 CrossFit Games for the individual women was by far the most tensed event in the Games. Kara remembers being calm and collected most of the time during the Games. The only time she really lost herself was right before the last event. This one was the real test of mental strength.

In those moments, thoughts were running through Kara’s mind with the speed of light. Kara recalls looking for an anchor, some thought to bring her back to herself. And only one phrase popped in her head: “The champion is not the one on the first place, but the one that comes through in the final hour”. This was the phrase that managed to help Kara get it together in the last event.

The battle for the Fittest Woman on Earth was tight until the very final moment. Everybody was waiting with their hearts on their sleeves. When the final standings came out the results were amazing: Kara would finish behind Tia by just two points, losing her the title of Fittest Woman on Earth.

“In my eyes my greatest achievements this year had nothing to do with my placing, this was just a cool reflexion of the hard work”, says Kara reflecting on her achievements in 2017. What we see in front of us is a mature athlete that went through a process of real self growth and development.

She remembers feeling genuinely happy for Tia. Part of her growth included also being able to celebrate other people’s success.


AND THEN THERE WAS CROSSFIT KOVA

Another great achievement Kara managed to reach is opening her own box. In November 2017 the doors opened to Kara’s own affiliate in Brisbane, Australia. Her description of the place shows how much love was invested in making the space the best possible ever for training: “The goal was to provide a space that feels as comfortable as going home to your parents house. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is equal.”


LET’S ALL RAISE A SHOEY FOR KARA!

CrossFit Invitationals came soon after, and they were hosted in Australia this time. Everybody wanted to see the two Fittest Women on Earth compete together in the same team. And indeed it was a real treat for the eyes. Kara and Tia looked unstoppable together.

Their joined efforts resulted in Team Australia taking the victory for 2017 and doing the traditional Aussie shoey to celebrate - drinking champagne from their shoes.


LEARNINGS FROM KARA

Kara talks openly about her rough period and she highlights how important self reflexion is on a daily basis. There are so many excuses we can make to avoid it, the biggest one being lack of time. But you need self reflexion. You need to program it in your life. Have a conversation with yourself every now and then. Be honest. Look at what you need to be better at. And most of all, listen to your gut instinct!


KARA’S APPROACH TO HEALTH AND FITNESS

“My health philosophy can be described as holistic and forever evolving. Health is not something that you can attain and not maintain, health is achieved through good daily choices. Nutrition, physical activity, social interaction, mental wellbeing and personal development are all key areas of focus and should never be neglected if one wishes to maintain a good health status and thrive in life.”

When it comes to her approach to training, “as a competitive athlete my sessions can be quite intense and tend to be focusing on things that I am not very good at. As a general rule I train once per day for approximately one or two hours, which includes an extensive warm up, stretches and cooling down at the end of the session. My program will vary day-to-day so that I get a good balance of strength training and metabolic conditioning in, in varying time domains.”

Although she works to have a balance of exercises, her favourite still tends to be lifting.


KARA’S DIET DURING DAY ONE

For a competitive athlete, diet is key in terms of energy and recovery. Here is Kara’s diet during the course of one day:

Upon waking

Apple cider vinegar in warm water

Vital Greens in water

1 cup of bone broth

1 cup of black tea

1/2 cup of oats cooked in water, with cinnamon and vanilla

After training in the morning: Progenex protein shake and breakfast, which is approximately 1 1/2 cups of cooked vegetables and 2 eggs.

Lunch: vegetables and leftover meat from dinner the night before. The meat is always varied and the vegetables are usually roast kumera, pumpkin, beetroot etc. Starchy vegetables are the ones Kara prefers, because they provide the body with more energy for training.

After training in the afternoon (Kara trains twice during the competition season): Progenex protein shake.

Dinner: usually roast vegetables with green vegetables in the pan. Kara’s favourite greens are bok choy, asparagus, broccolini and brussels sprouts, chopped and cooked in the fry pan in a little bit of ghee.

Snacks: only when needed, some blueberries with a little bit of high quality yoghurt.


WORLD RECORD:


Kara set a new world record in pistol squats in February 2017. She completed forty-two pistol squats in sixty seconds. The previous record was twenty.

Games

Year Place
2017 2nd place at The CrossFit Games
2016 7th place at The CrossFit Games
2015 5th place at The CrossFit Games
2014 31st place at The CrossFit Games
2013 12th place at The CrossFit Games
2012 19th place at The CrossFit Games

WOD times

  • Fran: 2:33
  • Pullups: 62
  • 5k: 20:10
  • 500m: 1:38