Master Class by SHAWN RAMIREZ

CrossFit Masters champion SHAWN RAMIREZ uses the perfect balance of intense training, diet, and recovery.

In a sport where the average athlete age of 24, two-time CrossFit Games Masters (40-44) champion Shawn Ramirez has conquered the most grueling fitness tests without ever being sidelined by injury. The Kill Cliff–sponsored athlete trains five days a week: two to three days to improve strength, speed, and flexibility; a day for gymnastics; a weightlifting day with cleans, jerks, snatches or squats; and a conditioning day with sled pushes, rowing, or running. His rest days are anything but.

Ramirez swims a mile, does a 10K row, or rides an Assault AirBike. “Always giving your body something different keeps training fun,” Ramirez says. “A bored body equals no results.” A father to three sons, Ramirez’s main motivation to three-peat at the 2016 CrossFit Games is to set an example. “I need to win for my third son,” Ramirez says. “In 2014, my oldest trained with me, and last year my second one did. Now, my youngest is running by my side.” For Ramirez, staying game requires listening to his body. He does track work instead of running on hard surfaces, and for box jumps he steps down instead of jumping off. “You can’t listen when the body talks, you have to listen to when it whispers.” Ramirez follows a classic clean diet: six meals daily with carbs, protein, and fat. Breakfast is an oatmeal, berries, almond milk, whey protein, and spirulina smoothie. Can you handle a day in his shoes? Try his customized WOD at right.

MUSCLE UPS with years of muscle-ups, Ramirez developed the shoulder strength and stability to hold himself horizontally on the rings.

BOX JUMP After Ramirez nails a box jump, he doesn’t jump down to the floor but takes the safer route and steps down.