CrossFit® Champion Will Powell May Be the Fittest Farmer on Earth!
By Rhonda Price
Garden of Life® brand ambassador Will Powell won Reebok®’s “Fittest Man on Earth” CrossFit Games last year and has been vigorously training for another title run this summer. After leaving various voice messages at his home in Greensboro, North Carolina, we figured he must be busy throwing tires, doing snatches or timing pull-ups. Instead, the “Fittest Man on Earth” was absorbed in tending to the earth in his urban garden, and the only things he was pulling up were weeds!
With the annual CrossFit Games looming in July, Powell is looking forward to facing new competitors by moving up to the 55-59 age division. However, it was clear during our conversation that he was more excited about squash than squats.
“Right now, I have some dwarf kale, collards, purple cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant and Swiss chard,” he said, as he proudly surveyed his neat rows of seedlings. “My blackberry and blueberry bushes are leafing out, and I also have a few muscadine grape vines. Soon, I’m going to put in some cherry tomatoes and spaghetti squash.” Powell grows a bounty of organic fruits and vegetables for himself and his wife, Terry, and also has plenty to share with clients and friends at his personal training studio. On weekends, he often heads to his organic farm in South Carolina, a 340-acre spread owned by his family for more than a century.
“Our farmhouse was built with a grant from the King of England, and the bricks were brought from there as well,” Powell explained. “I work on it with my father, and the land has lots of timber as well as pasture for livestock. My father also grows sugar cane, and people line up every year to buy it as soon as it comes off the cooker.”
When he was a young boy, Powell recalled that his family and everyone they knew farmed organically and sustainably. Some farmers were impoverished with limited resources, so they utilized everything they had and did not let anything go to waste, including the chance to scoop up the best animal waste whenever a circus or carnival would roll into town.
Nowadays, Powell prefers to build his soil up with compost that includes alpaca dung, leaves, garden waste and wood chips that he uses for mulch. Rather than spraying chemicals or pesticides, he relies on rotted fish slurry to keep pests at bay. And when he’s not busy planting, composting or renovating the farmhouse, he devises workouts he can do without any gym equipment.
“I can keep up with CrossFit training on the farm by lifting boulders, swimming and riding my mountain bike” he said. “When that gets old, I start whacking away at things with an axe.” Heading into the CrossFit Games, Powell acknowledges growing his own food may give him a nutritional edge along with Garden of Life supplements he takes every day. He keeps his joints flexible with Wobenzym® N and Minami Nutrition® fish oil and drinks two shakes a day with Goatein or RAW Organic Meal.
“I’ve been an athlete since I was nine so I know that keeping flexible is the key to doing difficult movements,” he said. “Thankfully, Garden of Life’s supplements help keep me going!”
Learn more about Will Powell by visiting his Brand Ambassador page.