Alex Anderson Talks Joining Nobull After Nike and the 2017 CrossFit Games

Outfitting four of the most electrifying CrossFit athletes has helped Nobull earn trust with people interested in the sport. And in May, the fitness-focused brand further bolstered its position in CrossFit by signing rising star Alex Anderson.

After Anderson’s endorsement deal with athletic giant Nike expired, the 27-year-old from Knoxville, Ten., elected to join Nobull’s star-studded roster that already included Brooke Ence, Brooke Wells, Sam Dancer and Jared Stevens.

For the first time training in sneakers without Swoosh branding, Anderson secured a spot in the August’s 2017 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisc. With the Games approaching, Anderson spoke with Footwear News about how he became a Nobull athlete, his favorite sneakers from the brand and his “healthy-ish” diet leading up to the Games.

After your time with Nike came to an end, why did you decide to join the Nobull athlete team?
I had seen Nobull for a long time and really admired their products and athletes. Once I got the chance to test out some of the products I immediately fell in love. I decided to join the Nobull team because I think they have the best products on the market, they make top of the line stuff that looks awesome, and I want to be with the best products, period.

What is the dynamic like with everyone at Nobull compared to the relationships you had at Nike?
Nobull is amazing to work with. They respect you as an athlete, and they listen to all the advice you give them regarding products and how to potentially improve them to cater to athletes. With Nobull being a smaller company with fewer athletes, it definitely makes me feel a little more special, for sure. And it gives me more access to talking with them whenever I need to in an intimate capacity.

Alex Anderson Nobull Fire Camo Trainer
Alex Anderson in the Nobull “Fire Camo” Trainer.
CREDIT: Nobull

How did you get involved with Nobull?
My agent is the one who set it all up, but I’m good friends with all of their athletes: Brooke Wells, Jared Stevens and Sam Dancer. I’ve been talking with them about Nobull products for a long time and they’ve spoken so highly about Nobull ever since they’ve been with the brand and they’ve always loved their shoes and gear, so it peaked my interest.

What are your thoughts on Nobull’s overall footwear range?
The Trainers are fantastic. They do an incredible job not only in the CrossFit gym but really with anything, whether it be a lifestyle shoe or just kicking around town with or training in the gym. They’re awesome for everything. The SuperFabric they use for the upper is amazing; it’s breathable but it’s tough at the same time, and does a great job with all kinds of motion and any activity you might be doing.

I use the Lifters as well. Their Lifters are very unique because they’re made with the best materials in the world and are handcrafted to perfection. Because of the handcrafted leather and a wood heel, it’s more of an old school type of style lifter. Other lifters are using more synthetic materials ad going lighter, but the Nobull lifter is a little bit heavier and is made with top of the line products.

You mentioned the Nobull Trainer also has lifestyle appeal. Is this a shoe you wear outside of the gym as well?
I wear that Trainer shoe every day, everywhere for everything. Luckily, I have many different color options, so I’m not wearing the same exact shoe everywhere. I don’t have much style, personally, but I do the best I can with the different color options. They go great with jeans, they go great with khaki shorts, which is dressing up for me.

What’s your favorite colorway?
I like black, all the way. The pure black trainers are my favorite, for sure. ($159.99 via nobullproject.com)

Alex Anderson Nobull Army Heather Trainer
Alex Anderson in the Nobull “Army Heather” Trainer.
CREDIT: Nobull

Because you have to wear Reebok during the CrossFit Games, do you train in Reebok shoes before competing to get a feel for them?
No, I’ll train in Nobull all the way leading up to the Games. This will be my third year in the Games and the past two years I didn’t have much trouble just throwing on the Reeboks and competing just fine with them. I’ve just never had a super hard time transitioning.

What is your training schedule like leading up to the 2017 CrossFit Games?
I’ll train two to three times a day, typically three times. And my volume intensity stays pretty similar throughout the year. CrossFit’s a unique sport because there really is no major offseason, especially for an athlete like myself, because I compete in maybe five or six major competitions throughout the year, with the CrossFit Games being one of them. The volume will stay the same, but the workouts will change a little bit. Leading up to the games the workouts get more fun because we do a lot more workouts with odd objects like heavy yoke and heavy sandbags, heavy D-balls — more strongman elements like that. And I get to go outside and swim more on the lake or river, more run workouts and biking. I diversify my workouts more, which is fun for me.

What’s your diet like leading up to the CrossFit Games?
I do not have a super strict diet like a lot of people do. I eat pretty decent, I don’t have any crazy paleo, Zone [Diet] or whatever else people are doing. I just have a normal, healthy-ish diet. For breakfast I eat eggs, spinach and sausage and oatmeal. For lunch, it’s always up in the air; I’ll eat leftovers sometimes, or maybe I’ll have a few protein shakes from training or a peanut butter sandwich — I love peanut butter sandwiches, I’ve been eating those my whole life. Maybe a few protein or granola bars. For dinner, usually it’s steak and potatoes, steak and sweet potatoes, chicken, some burgers. Nothing crazy, nothing super healthy, but it gets the job done for me.

Is there one lift you think you’ll own in August’s competition?
That lift is what I won last year, it’s a squat clean. It’s my best lift. At the Games they had a speed clean ladder and I was able to win the event, which was my first CrossFit Games event win. If it came up again, I feel confident I’d win it again.

What will it take to podium in August?
First things first, I need to be perfectly healthy going into the Games; it’s a long week, it’s a lot of volume, there’s a lot of workouts. You’re going to get beat up, you’re going to get worn down, but if you can stay healthy throughout the week, that’s priority No. 1. And then if the programming lines up the right way, there’s no reason I shouldn’t feel confident that I’d get top three.

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