live. fate loves the fearless.

I Only Look Like This Because I Have Good Genetics…

I Only Look Like This Because I Have Good Genetics…
April 5, 2016 miranda

And other very dumb things that are commonly said about me and other athletes on the internet…

I only look like this because I have crazy genetics. It’s true. Ask Instagram and they will tell you. Actually, I lied. It’s not my genes, it’s the ENORMOUS amounts of steroids that I take. Yeah, I mean…they give them to all of the top athletes. Didn’t you hear?

Look, I want to set the record straight. (Which will never happen, but I can type up my 2 cents anyway).

As I am trying to find my way in the “I love to train, but I also have a life and want to hopefully inspire other regular people who are not trying to compete at the highest level necessarily” phase of my career, I think it’s important for me to share some just straight up truth. So, here we go:


Misconception #1 – I only look the way I have looked for the past 10 years because I have crazy genetics.

Truth I have no idea if I have good genetics or if I don’t. I would guess that there is SOMETHING in my genetic make up that allows me to get really lean with clean eating and training, maybe even more lean than most people. But, I come from a family with 4 brothers and a sister, none of whom look like what I look like. None of us have ever even really been athletes out of high school and recreational stuff. I am pretty sure I outweigh 2 of my brothers and I have other siblings who have struggled with being overweight. So, sorry. I did not come out of the womb like this.

Misconception #2 – Well, then it must be the steroids.

Truth I am never going to break this one, and I know that. But, I can tell you that it’s never happened. The people who have been in CrossFit for as long as I have could pretty clearly tell you how freaking scrawny I was when I started. And I didn’t just wake up one morning bigger, stronger, and leaner. It was super gradual, over the past 9 years. It became slightly accelerated when I started training with the NorCal crew only because I hit the point of “adapt or die” and my body was just doing what it needed to do to survive Jason’s madness every day.

Misconception #3 – You know what it takes to qualify for the CrossFit Games.

Truth I don’t mean to be condescending, but based on the conversations I have with people on a regular basis, I think it’s safe to say – you probably have NO idea what these people are doing day in and day out to be at that level. Unless you are married to, or actually train with, someone who has made it to the Games or has come close – again – you actually couldn’t comprehend it even if I explained it to you. This misunderstanding is exactly why misconception #1 and #2 even exist. Time and time again when I was constantly being bombarded with steroid accusations I openly invited those accusing me to come and train with me for a week and see if they still wanted to make that claim. Only caveat was that they had to participate – in everything.

Now more than ever before, becoming an actual qualifier to the CrossFit Games is a FULL TIME job. Not only are the hours that these people are putting in similar to a full time job, but it is physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausting. Again, I couldn’t help you to understand even if I tried. Just know it’s crazy and the dedication is something that should be admired just as much, if not more, than the outcome itself.

Misconception #4 – The more jacked you are – the fitter you are.

Truth For some of you this one is a no brainer, but I think it is still a HUGE misconception in the fitness community as a whole. This one has given me the most trouble since the beginning of this year’s Open. I look pretty similar to what I did at last year’s Games, so naturally people see (by looking at me physically) that I must be fully recovered and ready to crush. Guess what – I don’t train the way I used to, and how I look isn’t going to help me on the leaderboard.

I can not tell you the number of times I have gotten smoked by the most unassuming ladies in competitions. This might be one of those areas where genetics do play a little role. People adapt to training the same, but also different in a lot of ways. I like to think I trained my running A LOT….but I was still never a very good runner. The girls who smoked me in comps trained just as hard as I did, but their bodies just didn’t respond in quite as obvious a way. Either way – they completed more work, in less time than I did – and no one gave a shit about what we looked like while it happened.

Side note on this one – at the past two years of the Games while competing on Team NorCal, there was a huge worry from my teammates and coaches that I was TOO lean. When it comes to a 5 day competition, if you show up super lean…you are pretty screwed and will be completely depleted after one day. There was a lot of “babysitting Miranda” to make sure I ate enough.

Misconception #5 – You have to train like a Games athlete to be “fit” and to look good. More is better.

Truth There are 3 things you need to see amazing results from training (CrossFit or otherwise), and it’s not steroids, or more volume, or amazing genetics. Here it is…

  1. You need intensity. You need to GO HARD in your workouts. And you need to stop thinking that 45 min EMOMs and Chippers are the key to the goods. You need to take off the weight vest, and stop adding weight until you start seeing times that would rival Regional level athletes. Until then – go faster.
  2. You need to eat better. I didn’t say less. For many of you (women especially) it might even be more. One thing you can bet is that Games athletes eat to perform. You should do the same thing. You need to weigh and measure your food and have some sort of tracking system that works for you. Use that information to tell you whether or not you are on the right track, then keep making tweaks until you get it right.
  3. This one is the most important…and you’re not going to like it…. YOU NEED TO BE CONSISTENT WITH 1 AND 2 FOR A LONG ASS TIME if you ever want results that actually stick. I am no scientist, but it is my belief that you can change how your body responds to training and nutrition if you keep reprogramming it over and over again for years.

The only proof I have of any of that is my own personal experience and what I have seen over and over again.

Pre- CrossFit I wanted to a do an NPC “Fitness Competition” with the bikini and the whole 9 yards. The only thing that made me somewhat reluctant is that I didn’t think it was “genetically possible” for me to get lean enough to compete. True story. When I did finally compete it was REALLY hard for me to lean down.

Why? I was 21 years old and have these crazy genes right? Not until I added intensity into my training through CrossFit and was consistent with eating clean in the right proportions with very little deviation for a few years did I find that I didn’t really fluctuate and I could stay pretty lean year round.

Even now, because I am not training as much, I have had to re-configure what I am eating to work with my less active life. But, even after 8 months of WAY less volume, I look pretty similar. I personally don’t think I am as lean, but it’s not far off.

BE CONSISTENT. Get after it. Have fun.

  • You’re the best!! Everyone should appreciate this post and understand the truth behind you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Keith DuVall

    Would you ever do a NPC competition now? It would be interesting to see how you would stack up against the athletes in those competitions who have prepped and you with your regular training schedule.

    • Steven

      Even if she did the NPC competitions, the judging is so subjective, regardless of the judges following “guidelines”. There is so much politics involved in that domain of fitness that you wouldn’t get a clear answer to the question. To us, Miranda might seem to have dominated the show, but each judge may see it differently. It’s unlike crossfit competitions where your placement is based on your performance. I used to compete in fitness competitions and did well, usually placing in the top 5. But I can tell you there were times that I didn’t deserve that 3rd place finish but because I knew people, I got some favoritism. That domain (I have a hard time calling it a sport… it’s more of an art) creates a lot of insecurities and your body is in a constant state of fluctuation. Having a ripped, stage ready body, is usually when you feel like crap and not at your best. You’re depleted, dehydrated, and in no way in any condition to do even the “easiest” of the benchmark wods that we use as a measurement. Miranda on the other hand, would be almost as lean as those girls, if not leaner, and would still be able to kick ass in the hardest of benchmarks. She can maintain that condition year round. I doubt the same can be said for the girls on stage fighting for an award based on physical aesthetics. Sorry for the rant :p

  • Manny

    Great article. Would love the opportunity to train with you for a day, but sure I would be left in a pool of carnage long before you were done. Keep motivating and inspiring.

  • Marco

    Hey I am a huge fan and I was wondering if you could tell me if there is any specific program I could follow for my meals? Can you email that to me please

  • Courtney

    Great read! Thanks for sharing… W all of the steroid talk going on, it’s refreshing to read something like this. Train hard & be dedicated. Simple.

  • Vanesa

    Awesome blog! Thank you ❤️❤️

  • Lauren

    Awesome post! Spot on!

  • Nelson

    You rock Miranda!!! Thanks for sharing the knowledge !!!

    I hope meet you some day in Norcal Cabo.

  • Trac

    Thanks for putting this piece together Miranda!

  • Marcela

    Loved it!!! Thank you!!! ???

  • James

    Great read! I like how you worded your training with you team as “adapt or die”. The gym I go to is less competitive and I feel like it’s holding me back because lack of coaching towards competing. Should I look into changing gyms to one that is more like minded? I am struggling with the idea of leaving the people and coach I started with.

    • John II

      I can completely understand what you are saying. I know someone that trains at a box, and enjoy the box and the people, but feel like the competition piece is missing. As a former athlete I have learned when you are trying to be at your best, you have to be around people who have that similar drive. If you want to compete, be around those that compete, those that compete at a high level, be in environment that will make you better, train with those that will beat you and let you know, I got you bro! Push each other, etc. If you are around status status quo, then that what you we be. You are, what you associate with. The guy I am talking about envy those that train at a box that have this competitive environment while at his box its just a workout place to get a good sweat. My advice, leave and get better.

  • Ryan

    Respect, I enjoy your articles, thanks for sharing.

  • Katherine

    Love this! Though I certainly don’t have your strength, I am lean/have visible abs and am constantly told how ‘lucky I am to be thin’ or ‘what good genes I must have’. No. I bust ass every day, eat well, and take care of myself. It’s not my genes lifting hard, pushing in met cons or running 30-40 miles a week. It’s me.

  • Erika Snyder

    Hit the nail on the head, Miranda. Took my 4 years to find intensity and a great way to eat for me that didn’t allow me to feel guilty when I binged on ice cream. It’s an awesome balance to discover. Great perspective.

  • Real. Thank you.

  • Mirna Scott

    Your My hero! Thanks for the information!!

  • Erika HC

    Me encanto ☺️ ! Think u for all recommendations ? !

  • Erika HC

    Me encanto ☺️ ! Thank u for all recommendations ? !

  • Julia

    Awesome! And honest about things we might not always want to hear. Love the blog and cant wait to read more:)

  • Kiersty Sims

    Great article – really appreciated it. Thanks 🙂

  • Claire

    So much love for you right now!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • S. Woda

    Hi Miranda . I am fan of Yours and All you write here is very real , but i have one question. How to recover from 2 or 3 trainings a day and still have progress??? i train 6 times a week heavy , eating clean sometimes cheating but recovery is not very good. There was a “time” when recovery was better as well as progress but when i am off my “supplements” i see big difference in recovery. It is slow. what is your idea for that? all the best.

    • Miranda Oldroyd

      Recovery is the most important part of training. What I find the biggest issue new athletes have is they jump into a ton of volume really quickly. When I first started training with the NorCal crew, I had been doing CF already for over 3 years, and even still I had to slowly ramp up to being able to train with Jason every day. If I would have jumped right into every day, I would have crashed and burned. You need food and sleep.

      • S. Woda

        So , do You think I should come down with volume or have less trainings than 6 a week? i want train!!! and have a progress :))

  • Nat

    Thanxs for your words. You are even more inspiring that u think. You are part of L1 staff and I know what that is bc I am too! Loads of stress! And add … work out, recovery for ur injury… But some months ago I was thinking on a roll model and I choose you. With someone to think about my fitness goals were easier and inspiring! People loves to gossip about whatever… It hurts even we don’t want.. But finally focusing on ur own shit is the way to succeed

  • Rob Lee

    Love it! Def sharing this! Thank you!

  • Kim Hamilton

    You have been an inspiration to me since I started CrossFit in 2008. Thank you for always keeping it real and showing the true sides of CrossFit. Your an amazing role model in this community. Thank you!

  • David Johnson

    Such an inspirational young lady who truly loves her sport! 🙂

  • Phil

    If you ever come to the UK, I’d do 1000 burpees to get to train with you!

  • John

    Can’t decide what’s sexier…

    Your dedication or honesty 🙂

  • Love your post and your honestly. My son is a cross fitter and my husband started at 68 cross fitting. Of course they are trying to get me to try it. and truthfully I know it would help me but I think my fears of it causing me to hurt more keeps me away from it. I was walking but heading for knee surgery soon. I do a stretching routine that really helps me. Our son has his garage fits up for cross fit workouts and most times because of his schelude he works out at 10 at night after he gets home from his schooling. He works full time, has a wife, three children and goes to massage therapy school. He is more motivated to coach and do cross fit then anything he has ever been in. Because the good I have seen it do for him makes me want to try it. Right now I am sitting in a room in a nursing home watching my mother die. Of course we all will die but I want to be able to live, really live, move good and I do believe cross fit can help me do that. So when I get home I am going to have my son draw me up a WOD. I hurt daily from age related issues, I am 69 so why not hurt from something that will help keep me algal. Great post,

    • Miranda Oldroyd

      Reading this made me really happy. You don’t have to compete. You just have to keep MOVING.

  • Larue

    Your a great inspiration. I have followed you since I started CrossFit 6 years ago. Only recently have I become serious about competing. I really appreciate this perspective. Thank you for the heart and soul you put into this!

  • Leslie

    This was a great article! Thanks for sharing! You are an amazing athlete and I appreciate your honesty and hard work! Keep at it!

  • Lori Tetreault

    Thanks that was a great read!

  • Sharyn

    Awesome article. Thank you for taking the time to write it – and being the strong female role model that so many women need. It’s motivational and empowering.

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  • RaShane

    This is an unbelievable article. Thank You!

  • Adam

    Another great post. Keep them rolling Miranda!

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  • Allen R

    Thanks for the info. Can you clarify 1 and 2 for me? When I do a workout like Fran for example, it takes me a long time around 7 minutes. A 95# thruster doesn’t feel heavy (I’m guessing a max would be 170), so you’re saying I need to find out the fast times for a workout and just use the lightest weight to compete with those times? A lot of times I see workouts that I don’t know what the purpose of the workout is, such as a lung burning sprint vs a moderate and heavy workout. It would be good to see weight percentages of the lift and recommended times. I think if you can rep the weight, wether it is light or heavier you will see some results, although they will be different workouts for differing strength backgrounds.

    Do you use the zone diet? What is your macro percentages? How often do you have a bad meal?
    Thank you.

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  • Joe

    Hey just stumbled upon this. Great read. I have tremendous respect for you CrossFit athletes and I can imagine it must be really frustrating sometimes. I am nowhere near the shape that you’re in but I sometimes get the “must be nice to be young with a good metabolism” rant from friends or co-workers. I usually just smirk and snap back “Naw dude, I just eat like a supermodel. Tic Tacs, cocaine and celery sticks.”

  • Luis U.

    Thank you Miranda for speaking the truth, cheers all the way from Venezuela (=

  • Brittani

    Loved this article!! Keep them coming! This was a great read, love the real about it!

  • George

    Outstanding Miranda!

    One of the best articles I’ve come across written by a CrossFit athlete and coach.

    I look forward to reading future blog posts.

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  • Noel

    GREAT article! I hate when people act like genetics are the end-all be-all and that effort and consistency are irrelevant. Drives me nuts! This article hits home on all of the usual misconceptions. Great read 🙂 I am currently expecting and living vicariously through other people’s posts. I can’t wait to get back in the gym and back to putting in some real effort to see those tangible results. You’re an inspirational athlete and I hope some day I can be dedicated enough to consider myself any sort of athlete. Haters always gonna hate- keep leaving it on the gym floor!

  • Ashley

    Love love loved this! I just stared “following” you and am so Inspired. I was on the regional team this year and people wondered how I did so well, because I’m older, have a kid as a single parent, and don’t train as much as the other girls— “how?” Was your #1 & 2 points…. I work my ass off the hour I was at the gym and kept it clean food-wise at home. Everyone wants to know what I take- I don’t take anything, it’s hard work.
    Great article.