This Dog's CrossFit Skills Might Honestly Be Better Than Yours
Watch her crush burpees like it's NBD.
Forget 'fetch' and 'play dead;' one dog in San Jose can hold her own at the gym. Known to her 46K Instagram followers as Tesla the Mini Aussie, she regularly participates in workouts with her owner—outside, at home, and even at the CrossFit box. (Related: This English Bulldog Working Out with His Owner Is All the Fitness Motivation You Need)
Tesla's mom Timi Kosztin found a box that agreed to let Tesla join in a warm-up, and the class LOVED having her as a guest star. "They were laughing so hard like 'these are some of the best burpees we've ever done,'" Kosztin recalls. "They were floored." Instead of a push-up, Tesla carries out a roll at the bottom of each burpee, which the class struggled to copy, says Kosztin: "Turns out, people are not good at learning to roll over."
In some of Tesla's other posts, she's crushed moves like box jumps, wall handstands, and "parkour" where she jumps onto and off a person. Sometimes she's just a helpful workout partner, perching on her mom's back to add resistance to her push-ups. (Related: Puppy Pilates Might Be the Cutest Workout Trend You've Ever Seen)
Tesla's talented, but she's also worked hard to get to this far. Her training isn't a BTS secret–Kosztin creates instructional "#teslatutorial" posts to help anyone who's wondering how to build up to the tricks. She uses clicker training, which involves pairing the sound of a clicker with a reward. "It's just a matter of learning how to break down a trick into small steps," she says. "Once people see the steps broken down, they are actually shocked at how easy it is to train your dog."
For example, when Tesla first started learning a handstand, Kosztin would reward her for stepping backward. Then she'd get rewarded for stepping backward onto a book, then two books and so on. Eventually, the pile of books becomes too high to step backward on, and she started to hike her hips up and step back into a handstand. (Related: Science Says Petting Your Cat or Dog Can Relieve Stress In Mere Minutes)
At this point, Tesla's working toward a freestanding handstand, which is a lot harder than the supported version because of the required core strength (for humans and dogs alike). Gotta love a floofy IG star who's up for a challenge.