| Athlete Profile – Harry Pettit

Author / John

Harry Pettit

S&C Coach: Stephen Orr
Gym: CrossFit Queenstown
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Team: New Zealand Olympic Team
Level: Professional


Athlete Background

Athlete Background

Athlete Age: 19 years old

Body Height: 5′ 9″ / 175cm

Body Weight: 165lbs / 75kg

Harry has been skiing since he was 2 years old, and entered into competitive freestyle skiing at the age of 11.  He’s a 19 year old athlete with no fear of hurting himself, a pre-requisite for success in his sport.  Freestyle skiing is an “extreme” sport where competitors have only two runs to lay down their best tricks over 50, 60, 70ft jumps.  As support the extreme nature of this sport, Harry has had multiple arthroscopic surgeries on both knees and broken just about every bone in his body during the course of his career.  Recently experiencing extensive shoulder damage with torn tendons & ligaments.  Last year, he received 40 facial stitches when he “ate one of his skis on a bad landing”.

Harry is a perfect example of an elite level athlete in his competitive arena that we would consider untrained. Up until 15 weeks ago, he had never stepped foot into a true strength and conditioning facility. Leading up to that point, had been training with strength and conditioning coaches who were helping him rehab from his extensive list of injuries, but never train for performance.

Now, Harry is training with Steve Orr from CrossFit Queenstown. Steve has been to two of our seminars, and is in regular contact via private consulting. Prior to training with Steve, Harry was ranked 18th in the world in his sport. Since then his rankings have risen significantly, and he now sits in the to 10 as he prepares for the 2014 Olympics in Russia..

Training Details

Training Details

System: CrossFit Football Amateur Template

Days per Week: 6

General Specific Work: Power Athlete Conditioning Template, Ski Training, Trampoline Acrobatics

Training Statistics

Training Benchmarks

Training Cycle: 15 weeks

Squat: 50kg – 90kg, +40kg

Deadlift: 60kg – 120kg, +60kg

Press: 20kg – 35kg, +15kg

Bench: n/a *

Power Clean: 40kg – 70kg, +30kg

*Due to the significant amount of shoulder trauma Harry has undergone, his medical team has requested that he not load the vertical press.

Notable Accomplishments

Awards / Accomplishments

The first Kiwi to land a Switch Triple Cork 1440

Qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia

Athlete Testimonial

Athlete Testimonial

Since training with Steve I have given him full control over what we do in the gym. Everything he has made me do or put me under has helped me 110% on the hill. Even doing squats and having the right technique and driving up with force helps me greatly. I’ll be honest and I didn’t think it would because it was not the stuff I saw other Ski/Snowboard athletes do but after doing his/your program for the last 8 weeks I can feel it hugely. My ‘rip’ off the take off on my tricks is so much more powerful and strong. I am not breaking at the hips on landing and can take the 80ft landings as if I never left the ground. I can jump higher than I could before and land in a solid position when doing backflips on the ground.

By training with Steve and utilizing the Power Athlete program I have become a much stronger individual walking into competition.  I used to suffer from a fair bit of nerves, mainly due to not trusting myself or my strength and skill. I now have full confidence in my body and my decision making ability.  My body now can handle the immense pressure I place it under due to the training.  During a competition, I only have 2 runs to lay down my best tricks over 50, 60, 70ft jumps.  This would usually take a big toll on my strength.  Historically, by the last jump I was too spent to set my tricks and guarantee I could make my full rotations, which is usually a double cork 1260. Now it’s a piece of piss.  I drive off the take off as if I was in a squat and just wait there for landing because I have confidence the work I have done under the Power Athlete program will allow more air time and help me land.

The contracts I have with my sponsors, stipulate I must maintain my physical shape and form. While visiting my biggest sponsors, Rip Curl and Volkl, they were both impressed which how much bigger and more solid I am.

Since Day 1, Steve has given full credit to Power Athlete and the program your team has made.  I want to thank the Power Athlete team for the help and program that I have been training under.  I believe this is the best program I could be doing for my profession. The confidence I have in Steve and his methods have pushed my overall health and skiing to new limits; I do not believe I could reached this level on my own.

Before starting with Steve, my goal was just to make the top 10 at the Olympics. Now my only goal is to bring home the Gold.

Oh, and I hate dead bugs!

Coach's Corner

Coach’s Breakdown

Tell us about your approach with Harry.

Harry started with me in late July at the request of his coaches and Medical practitioners. This was mid ski season and Harry started off very light due to never having lifted weights before and the rigorous demands of the ski season, he was skiing hard between 4-6 hours a day. First I had to teach him the lifts then we had to correct some postural and mobility issues.

What modifications do you have to make for your athlete?

We discovered very quickly with Harry’s ski training, trampolining and acrobatics training that his gains were going to be slow, we dropped any sort of heavy conditioning until the end of the season.

Also per the request of Harry’s medical team, we don’t bench press. I’m still waiting on a valid reason, don’t get me started on this one, but he is as much their athlete as he is mine. So we compromise.

What are some of the biggest challenges?

One of the first issues we faced (and I feel we have overcome) is the general attitude and culture in the sport. When Harry first walked into the gym he had his cap on, sunglasses on, DC shoes lace less and pants hanging down round his arse. He was all “hey bro” and that shit. The difference now is night and day, he comes in the gym ready to go and is focused on what he is about to do.

Then I was away in the UK for a short while traveling and attending my second CrossFit Football Seminar. Harry’s program pretty much derailed whilst I was away, with the influence of other strength and conditioning coaches advising him to squat on bosu balls etc. Upon my return Harry and I had a chat, he got Johns speech on “Application” and it lit a fire under his ass, we reset and with renewed commitment Harry attacked the program and has been consistently training, bar 1 week out from a major concussion and seen great improvements in his spring training camp

The final challenge is his sponsorship. Harry has a number of sponsorship contracts that have commitments like sponsor photo shoots and other events, which means being away a week at a time.

Athlete Media

About the Coach

Photos / Videos
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About the Coach

About the Coach

Steve Orr

I am an Ex-Royal Marines Commando originally from Scotland now living and operating a box in Queenstown, New Zealand. If I’m not coaching, I actively compete in boxing and BJJ. I was first introduced to Power Athlete over a year ago and found that it helped put all the pieces of the strength and conditioning puzzle together for me. I have been coaching competitive athletes from all sports and backgrounds for almost 9 years now. After attending CrossFit Football seminars, I strongly believe in the blue print and template the guys at Power Athlete have laid out. I currently use it with all of the athletes I train in one form or another from those involved recreational sports and weekend warriors to professional athletes including most recently Harry Pettit whom will be competing in the 2014 winter Olympics is Sachi.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Jake Crandall on December 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Great read. Great programming for any athlete. Good luck Harry!!!

  2. Craig on December 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Good luck in the Olympics Harry. We’ll be watching from San Antonio, Texas.

  3. Chelsey LFL on January 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Good luck at the Olympics Harry! I’ll have to tune in and keep an eye out for you in the Freestyle Skiing heats. Love the Athlete profile!

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