Annie Kunz is an Olympic heptathlete and a member of the OMORPHO Crew.
As an Olympic heptathlete, Annie Kunz regularly incorporates resistance training to tackle her sport’s seven track and field events. Wearing OMORPHO Gravity Sportswear, in particular, helps her get the most out of her workout programs without over-training or risking injury.
Growing up in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Kunz was a naturally gifted athlete who refused to choose between track and field and soccer. Throughout both high school and college, she found a way to do both before making a full-time transition to the heptathlon. Since then, she’s represented the U.S. at the Thorpe Cup and World Championships and was the top American heptathlete at the 2021 Olympics.
Below, Kunz shares her story, how she trains and how the MicroLoad technology of OMORPHO gear helps her work out more efficiently.
You come from a sports family. When did you notice that athletics could be more than just a hobby?
I’m the baby of my very sports-driven family. My dad played for the Raiders, and my dad's cousin played for the Bears. My dad and grandpa were state champions in hurdles when they were in high school. My sister took third in the state. So, I’ve been in athletics from a young age.
Since I was already quite tall as a kid, my mom put me in the 50-yard dash at one of my sibling’s track meets. They knew that there was something there and that I would be an athlete. I started playing soccer when I was three years old. I've pretty much been playing sports since I came out of the womb.
Did you ever see your dad play?
I didn't. I wish. My dad is my role model because he's competed at an elite level. I definitely lean on him for advice. I'm super grateful to have that.
How did you find a way to do both track and field and soccer in high school and college?
Well, being a Kunz means I’m very stubborn. I didn't want to give up either one. In high school, kids are pressured to pick one sport. I started both at a very young age, and I loved them. In Colorado, track and soccer are in the same season. I had the support of my high school to do both and make the scheduling work.
Throughout my career, I’ve had amazing coaches that stood behind me no matter what. When I’d go on recruiting trips for college, I’d say that I wanted to do both track and soccer. The school that supported me the most was Texas A&M. They were a Sweet 16 team pretty consistently and had won the Triple Double when I was getting recruited. It was the best of both worlds, and I was grateful to find a home there.
How did you train and practice for both given your schedule with school, as well?
Since soccer is a team sport, I always prioritized it more in high school because I didn't want to let my team down. I basically practiced soccer and showed up for track meets. My sister was my track coach, so she would help me get some reps here and there. I didn't really start training for track and field until college, which sounds a little crazy. Soccer was my primary sport, even through college. I had to make time for track. I coasted on talent for a long time. I would alternate between training and practicing for each sport as much as possible, but I never really had an off-season. It was a balancing act, and I made it work in any way I could.
What are some training tools you have now that you wish you had back then?
I wish I had OMORPHO back then, so I could just throw it on and not have to add more volume into my already strenuous programming between both sports. I would have loved to wear my OMORPHO gear and do some javelin and shot put to get more out of my workouts. Anything that could have helped me utilize my training time better, or get more out of it, would have been amazing then.
How did you decide to focus on track and field in the end?
For my whole life, soccer was my priority. When I was going into my senior year, my soccer coaches sat me down and suggested I focus on soccer and then switch to track. It ended up working out well. We went to the final four for the first time in school history.
Then, I transitioned into track. It was the first time in my life that all my eggs were in the track and field basket. It took off for me, and I found a love for the sport that I didn't realize was fully there. I got a little bit burnt out with soccer. With track, I just smiled every day. My ceiling was still so high because I had never taken the time to dive into track and field and see what my potential was.
When I qualified for the Olympic trials, I broke the school record. I didn't expect that I would ever qualify, and then I finished eighth. It opened my eyes, and I thought I would always regret it if I didn't see what else I could do in the sport. From there, I got recruited by my now-coach, Kris Mack, at the Elite Athlete Training Center where I train. I’ve been here for the last five years training full-time for track and field. It's taken off, and I'm just really grateful.
What helps you stay on top of your fitness, and how do you train smarter?
It’s been such a learning curve to figure it out and do all the little things. Whether it's recovery or prehab exercises, I’m always taking care of my body, my nutrition and my supplement routines. I'm very, very regimented, so I feel like a well-oiled machine and not like I'm breaking down every day. As I get older, and through getting injured, I realized that I was running myself down too much. I used to think that more was always better. The heptathlon is so taxing; training smarter and focusing on quality over quantity is better.
Of course, OMORPHO is a big part of my training now, including when I’m dealing with injuries. It helps me get more out of my workouts and burn more calories. It helps me create more power out of my jumps. I can throw my weighted OMORPHO gear on for every little thing. I don't have to change anything. It’s the OMORPHO effect. I think about it like this. When you get to the Olympics or any high level of competition, everyone is talented and strong mentally. Winning comes down to having a little edge. In track and field, it comes down to milliseconds. I can put on OMORPHO gear when I’m training, and that way, I don’t have to sacrifice my form for equipment. It helps with every centimeter and millisecond.
I like that OMORPHO Gravity Sportswear and the G-Vest+ move with you. At first, it feels a bit heavier, but then once you start working out, you don’t feel it. Other weighted vests are bulky and huge. They affect your balance. With OMORPHO, you train with it, take it off and feel the benefit immediately. It’s really special.
What made you want to join the OMORPHO Crew?
OMORPHO is just so innovative. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was perfect timing for me, and also, it looks cool. I feel like I’m a superhero when I wear it. People always ask me about it at the gym. I really love the OMORPHO G-Crop because it helps me stay cool, and I also love the G-Tight because the weight is distributed across so many different muscles in my legs, and my legs are my livelihood. I’m super grateful that OMORPHO believes in me so much because I’ve really struggled to find that as a heptathlete.
What do you do to stay positive and motivated?
I struggle with trying to stay positive because it's not reality. You're not always going to feel positively about what you're doing, and it's not always sunshine, daisies, unicorns and rainbows. I focus on accepting what’s happening in the moment. I work with my mental coach on mindfulness and being present. I think that's really carried me through. That's what got me through the Olympic trials and the Olympics. I also stay focused on my goals. They keep me structured and motivated to go win medals.
Subscribe to the OMORPHO newsletter for more Crew stories like this, including with football players Alexander Mattison and Britain Covey.