8 Questions With Nobull CrossFit Athlete Brooke Ence

The creators of the upcoming “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League” movies — both slated to come out in 2017 — selected a woman with real-life superpowers for supporting roles in the films.

Brooke Ence, the ridiculously ripped Nobull-sponsored CrossFit athlete, spent significant time away from the box in 2016 to shoot her parts as Amazon warrior Penthesilea for both movies. But for 2017, training is her priority, and she has some lofty goals for herself: to win the California regional competition and dominate at the CrossFit Games in August.

Ence spoke with Footwear News about the shoes she trains in, her workout playlist, and gave insight on what it was like to shoot a pair of what should be box-office smashes.

What does your lifting footwear range look like?
BE: If I’m squatting or snatching or clean-and-jerking at pretty maximal loads, I’ll throw on my [Nobull] Lifters, but I’ll also wear my Trainers. I can do all of those lifts in my Trainers. I wear the Basic Trainers, too, but I wear them as casual shoes — I love them because they’re super comfortable, and they’re really cute.

What makes Nobull footwear different from others you’ve trained in?
BE: [The Trainer is] the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn when it comes to training. I can wear them while I’m coaching, I can throw them on to do any errands throughout the day, and I can train in them. It’s really a great all-around shoe. They’re super clean, and I haven’t found another tennis shoe that I feel I can perform the best in while still being very comfortable.

Nobull Brooke Ence Trainer CrossFit
Brooke Ence in the Nobull Ence Trainer.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nobull.

Why is Nobull the brand for you to be aligned with?
BE: They’re fully aware that a trainer is a trainer, and they’re not going to come out with every season [saying], “This is the best shoe; now this is the best shoe.” There’s not a ton you can change about a shoe, [and] once you have a good shoe you could make little changes to improve what you already have, but they’re never going to say, “This shoe is going to give you first place, this shoe is going to take you to the top.” With marketing for a lot of companies, that’s what they’re telling you. When the [Skechers] Shape-Ups came out I was like, ‘Jeez, if I only would have known I never needed to squat again, I could just wear these shoes and my life would be so much easier.’ We used to joke about that — like I wish I would have found these a long time ago because wearing these shoes you’ll get the best-looking butt around.

Nobull Brooke Ence CrossFit
Brooke Ence in a lifestyle shot for Nobull.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nobull.

Signature shoes are popular with sports such as basketball, but you’ve already had two with Nobull. Is CrossFit big enough for its top athletes to have their own shoes?
BE: Absolutely. This sport is growing rapidly and internationally — it’s growing so fast in other countries. I’ve been all over the world this year, and it’s amazing how much I get noticed in Amsterdam, in Paris, in London, in Italy. We were in Rome inside the Vatican and one of the guards there does CrossFit and he got a picture with me and Mat Frasier.

What allows this sport to continue to grow and the reason it will never slow down is that it’s the most relatable athletic sport around. I can’t go to an NFL football game and watch players play and know exactly what they’re thinking or feeling. With CrossFit, if you’ve put yourself through training, you have felt exactly what we have felt, come to the same decisions in the middle of a workout that we’ve come to.

Nobull Brooke Ence Trainer CrossFit
Nobull Ence Trainer.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nobull.

What is your favorite lift?
BE: There’s so many — there’s literally five, and I love them so much. I love clean-and-jerking, and I love a good power clean.

What are some of your favorite boxes to train in throughout the country?
BE: I’m from Utah originally, and always go to CrossFit Dixie, there’s Ute CrossFit in Salt Lake City, I’m connected with a gym in Dubai — CrossFit Alioth, when I was in London I went to CrossFit Shapesmiths, and in Boston there’s a CrossFit gym called The Swamp.

What’s on your workout playlist?
BE: I’m really into electronic dance music — I like me some Dillon Francis, The Chainsmokers. There is a song called “Bass Cannon” from Flux Pavilion, that’s a really good one, “Parliament Funk” by Knife Party, and there’s a new song that I like a lot called “Savage” by [Whethan], Flux Pavilion and Max. And I follow a couple playlists on Spotify; one is called “Stuck in Goo” by Marston Sawyers — that’s my husband, and there’s one called “Swangin’ Dat Jib” from Tommy Marquez — that’s one of my training partners.

What details can you share about your experiences filming “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League?”
BE: We filmed “Wonder Woman” in March and April, just the parts that I was in, and it comes out in June. We filmed “Justice League” in August, and that comes out next fall. I was the Amazon warrior Penthesilea in each, the same in both movies.

[CrossFit] is all about put up or shut up: You earn your spot, you work hard, and it’s not something you can take time off of. We train, we eat, we sleep, and we’re around tons of motivating and like-minded people. When I went to film the movies, I was with a bunch of people that are paid to pretend they’re someone else, which was cool, [and] it was beyond crazy to see that big of a scale of filming a movie.

When I came home, I didn’t know if I would do something like that ever again. I realized what kind of a future and career I want, and it didn’t seem to align. I came face to face with so much stuff that I never thought it was, and I got home and I saw a lot of marketing for the movie and I realized that maybe that if the right thing came about it is something that I need to do because if not me than who, and people need someone who is real and genuine to look up to and to listen to. I want to be someone who is important and a huge influence to young women, boys, older women, and about having healthy lifestyles, self-image and being positive. 

Nobull Brooke Ence Trainer CrossFit
Brooke Ence with a signed pair of her first Nobull signature shoe at Whatever it Takes in London.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nobull.

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