We talked with Jessica Sanki in April, 2020.
Jessica Sankis Stats When We Talked with Her 💪
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi ????. My name is Jessica SANKI, and I am 38 (????) years old. I am from Paris and I am currently living in Paris, France. ❤️
I am currently a CrossFit Trainer, working at Reebok CrossFit Louvre (we have two locations in Paris). I also work 1/1 with clients in General Physical Preparedness, Strength & Conditioning on demand.
I used to have a different job before coaching (I had different positions at Servair, Air France’s Catering company: I went from Quality Manager, to Environment Manager, then Business Operator and lastly Project Manager)
At these times, I was already a coach as my second job. I am now coaching full time since April 2019.
I am actually single and have no children.
My major accomplishments are:
Making the switch to do the job I love. Being a CrossFit Trainer makes me so proud because I really love the fact that I can have an impact in people’s lives in a good way. This makes me happy.
I am currently the first woman (and the only one at the moment) to be a Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) in France. I worked a lot to get this and I am very proud.
As a CrossFit Athlete:
I feel very proud to be part of the CrossFit community since the beginning in France (in 2012).
I never trained as a professional because I always worked full time but I was attracted by the competitive aspect of CrossFit and I am very proud to have been able to compete in big competitions such as CrossFit Games Regionals (Team in 2013, 2014 and 2016), Wodapalooza 2017, CrossFit FrenchThrowdown (8 times individual finalist), and lastly the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2019.
I’ll be competing at the 2020 CrossFit Games if they are not cancelled because of the pandemic of Corona.
I have been training for almost eight years now and the two major things that made me start training are:
- the community and camaraderie you find around CrossFit and
- the thrive to be a better parson all the time » mindset that it brings to me. There’s always room for improvement, this is what keeps me motivated most the time.
My background is gymnastics that I practiced for 12 years when I was younger, at a competitive level.
When I can have some quality time at home I really love learning new things and read books on personal development.
I am lucky enough to work with several brands: they provide me clothes, equipment and nutrition/supplements so they really make my life better with all those products/equipment. I think both my results as a competitive athlete and my communication on social media helped me to get these partnerships (Reebok, Northern Spirit, Nocco, Foodspring, Whoop).
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
Since I am not a professional athlete, even if I train seriously and I love competing, I’ll listen to my body first and above all.
If I don’t feel like training because I feel my body is not rested enough, I’ll change my training to something easier or something I like better. My Whoop strap helps me a lot with this on a daily basis.
Basically, I train six days per week. And sometimes, if my schedule permits it, I’ll do two sessions on the same day.
In the mornings, I work with my 1/1 clients between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. so I’ll usually have my first training session between 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. I then usually coach CrossFit classes from 12 p.m. to 1:30pm.
I try to have a little nap between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. if I can.
If I don’t have any other clients in the afternoon, coaches meeting or some other work to do I’ll do a second workout between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Then from 6 p.m. to 9 or 10 p.m., I coach CrossFit classes. I usually get back home between 10 and 11 p.m.
My programming is from Brute Strength Training and is specific for competitive CrossFit athletes. But I think any program can give you results if you have good coaches and a good will.
Regarding my body shape, I don’t really care about my weight because we don’t have any weight classes in CrossFit. My priority is to feel good when I am training, that means no injuries and enough energy throughout the session and along the day.
I make sure I eat some quality food, following CrossFit recommendations « Eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruits, little starch and no sugar »
I am currently training at CrossFit Louvre 3. This is very convenient because this is my workplace as well. I train alone most of the time because my programme is specific, but I try to jump in a class as often as I can to keep some fun workouts to share with the community.
I love spending a lot of time doing mobility before training and having a quiet moment writing done all my stuff to do on a whiteboard. This helps me to focus on the task of the day.
I usually don’t take any supplement during training but I sometimes have some BCAAs (NOCCO). Just after training I like to take a Whey Protein (Foodspring).
My fitness bag is always full, I try to make it lighter but I always end up taking everything with me: Jump rope, grips, lifting belt, knee sleeves, tape, headband.
I don’t have a specific cardio regimen but I try to dedicate one session a week for a « long cardio workout », around 40 min of endurance work on ergs (rower, skierg, bike erg, assault bike).
My favorite exercices are the ones we call « chest to bar pull-up », this movement demand a lot of back strength and coordination.
I wear a Garmin watch that I use when I run outside, and on a daily basis I am wearing a Whoop strap to monitor my heart rate, my sleep and my recovery. I log all my scores/workouts in my training app (Brute Strength).
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I love journaling and meditating because they help me focus on my goals and stay positive. Every evening before going to bed I like planning the upcoming day so there’s no space for improvisation.
Training became a habit so I don’t really think about it. It’s in my daily routine.
Sometimes of course I feel a lack of motivation so I try to add some fun in my workouts, doing movements or workouts I am good at. I also forget the numbers and the results, I just focus on getting the job done without pressure on how good I perform.
To get results in the gym, no matter what sport you are doing, you have to commit to the basics and be relentless. Everyday you can become 1% better.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At the moment, I have been in quarantine for one month because of the pandemic and we have one more month to come… This is a very hard situation. I have to work a lot on my mindset and my “why” regarding to my personal goals.
I have many projects for the next few years as I will probably end soon my competitive “career”.
My biggest challenge is to open my own gym in the next few years. This will be a big investment, especially in Paris. I also work on developing a few smaller projects as developing personal coaching and consulting services for example.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I put my recovery as a priority. The more I age and the more I understand the importance of all the recovery processes: eat / sleep / meditate / self care…. all the stuff most people forget in the rush of everyday life.
I make a priority to get enough sleep (minimum of eight hrs per night). And I have a lot of room to improve on working consistently on mobility and movement care (I use ROMWOD, GOWOD apps). I also have a massage gun but I don’t use it as often as I should.
The only supplements I use on a daily basis to help “recovery” are Omegas 3 in the morning and Magnesium before going to bed. I take Foodspring.
I am lucky enough to never encountered significant injuries during my CrossFit career 🙂 that’s maybe a sign that I train smart and my programming is good (or maybe that I don’t push hard enough ????).
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I don’t follow a specific diet, I would say I try to eat whole food and quality food. I am on a macro counting diet. Depending on my training but I try to stay around 2000 calories per day.
I track Macros and I try to respect a 40/30/30 ratio (carbs/proteins/fats) and I sometimes adjust regarding to my training sessions when I am in competition season.
When I go out with friends, I never restrict myself and I enjoy my time with them. I always end up being the one that eat the most. ????
As I said I am not a professional athlete so I don’t have to be that strict on my nutrition. I often eat sweets (chocolate and ice cream are my biggest weaknesses).
I usually log all my meals in MyFitnessPal (free version) and my activity level is monitored both by my Garmin watch and my Whoop Strap.
Luckily my sponsor Foodspring has “healthy” options for cooking pizza dough, protein brownies, cookies and chocolate spread so I can feel less guilty when I am craving for sugar. Really love working with that brand because they offer so many quality products. Many of them are organic and vegan.
I don’t put pressure on myself regarding nutrition, but yes when competitions are coming and I know that I will be on the field soon, I take my nutrition more seriously and I am more consistent to lean out a little bit before the competition.
I used to drink four to five cups of coffee per day, I am now trying to take only one in the morning.
I don’t drink alcohol except 2 to 3 times/year.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
The CrossFit methodology is a real inspiration since eight years now. Not only as a strength and conditioning program, but also as a lifestyle. How it can impact people on a good way, what it brought to be mentally as well.
The will to thrive for perfection everyday, trying to get a better person everyday, this is a good motivation and a good process to grow not only as an athlete but as a human as well.
I love to listen to the Justin Su’a and Ben Bergeron (chasing excellence) podcasts. This helps me to reframe everyday and to focus on what’s important and on what I can control. I really love that mindset and I try to apply it everyday.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you want to improve yourself, don’t try to look like somebody else. Set up your goal high, this is yours so no one has to judge it, and work for it everyday.
Don’t wait for someone to do the things you love. The only recipe that is working is hard work, be relentless.
My only recommendation for people who would like to get into CrossFit would be: Take your time to master the basics, mechanics. Don’t rush for the “sexy” stuff too fast (heavy weights, advanced gymnastics movements…) you see on YouTube or Instagram.
This is in my opinion what most people do wrong in gyms, I always see clients who “want” to be able to do butterfly pull-up or walk on their hands after 30 minutes of practice… this takes yearsssssss so my best advice would be patience and hard work.
Outside the gym, my best advice would be to focus on yourself (this might seem selfish) and don’t waste your time over things you cannot control. Focus on what’s best for you and everything’s gonna be all right.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I do take 1/1 clients at the moment. I always meet my clients for a coffee or an unconventional appointment to have a small talk and define goals and motivations.
I work with different profiles of people and I have very good relationships with them, this is what make the results. Trust and commitment from both sides.
Some of my clients goals are general physical preparedness for everyday life, some of them want to improve their weightlifting, some of them wanted to be prepared to get in special forces, weight loss after pregnancy.
Results will come with the commitment they put into the program and the good life habits they learn to build.
I don’t have Internet clients at the moment but with the quarantine I started to coach some private and public online sessions. This is quite different and very funny.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can follow my Instagram account @sse_jay
My professional website is under construction and will be live shortly.