Ken Cutrer, Crossfit Master Athlete and prominent Fort Worth Attorney, is legend in South Central. Cutrer, who is also known as “The Godfather,” started Crossfit with his law partner, MMA fighter Max Effort. The two began working off the main site about eight years ago. We spoke with Cutrer about training for the CrossFit Games.
|Ken Cutrer at the Rower|
When Cutrer first started Crossfit he would pick and choose WODS that were less likely to induce Effort’s more provocative antics. But in 2007 he decided to follow the Main Site workouts and stuck with them, regardless of how demanding and grueling they were or how embarrassing Effort’s behavior became. “That’s when I started to see big improvements. In my athletic performance, I mean” says Cutrer. “Effort was definitely a distraction, but I was too exhausted to get upset about it.” It wasn’t long before his times became competitive with times other Crossfitters were posting online. “We didn’t know how old people were back then. I would wait for Chris Speeler to post and then see if I could beat him.”
|Ken Cutrer of CrossFit EST in Richland Hills, TX|
Cutrer competed in the Crossfit games for the first time in 2008.
He has continued to follow main-site WODS, but also spends a lot of time honing skills, attending clinics and workshops, getting stronger and experimenting with different approaches to programming. “In 2008 I focused on Olympic lifting following Greg Evertt and have done CrossFit Football since 2009. I learned a lot from that.” Cutrer follows a Paleo-type diet that he describes as heavy on olive oil and rum. While this may sound unorthodox, his performance gains have been unbelievable. He has made it to regionals every year since 2009 and placed 8thin the Games Masters Division in 2011.
In addition to practicing law, Cutrer now runs his own box, CrossFit EST with his partner Chris Lofland. The two have coached one of Crossfit South Central’s most competitive female athletes, Candice Ruiz. Ruiz hopes to be Masters Athlete someday, although frankly she really cannot imagine being that old. Ruiz placed 17that the Games in 2010 and will be returning again this year.
Cutrer recommends young athletes follow Rudy Neilson’s programming at Outlaw Crossfit and do two WODs a day leading up to the Games. Cutrer also recommends lots of volume while keeping a close eye on rests and athlete fatigue. “I think Xfitters are hard charging type A competitors. There’s a different between can I or should I?” said Cutrer, eyeing Effort. “What are you going to get out of it? Come back another day.”
As a Master, Cutrer acknowledges needing to back off some. “It takes a little longer to recover” now that he’s 47, says Cutrer. “If you’re injured or hurting, work on something else. Rests are important. It can be hard to get the message across. A lot of endurance athletes have this problem. They come in with the attitude that more is best and they need to change that. There is a better way to train. I’ve watched people who were marathoners dial back mileage and still go out and get a PR with nowhere near the wear and tear they would have had before.” Cutrer advises Masters athletes, and in fact anyone headed to the Games, to remember how complex it is to organize and pull off an event like this, especially with the sport evolving and growing so rapidly. “I heard some people were unhappy with having Masters out in a parking lot last year, but I wasn’t. We (Masters) need to be our own separate thing.”
Cutrer has been preparing for the games by following a 3 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off alternating workout schedule. Cutrer says that since both strength and speed are important in competition, he is devoting time to each. Cutrer says he did not stress too much about his performance in the Open. His goal was to make the top 20 to qualify for the Games, not necessarily place at the head of the Leaderboard. “I was just interested in qualifying” says Cutrer “1st or 17th doesn’t matter at this stage”. Cutrer is, in many ways, the ideal Crossfit Masters Athlete: fast and strong with lots of experience and a defense attorney’s sweeping sense of strategy. It will be a huge advantage to Cutrer to have seen it all before. He knows the Game and what to expect.