Ryan, Author at Strongpoint CrossFit

Blog Archive

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Andres….. he would not stop talking about it…

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I was never really the athletic type. I danced in college and “worked out” a little but nothing like what I do now. Pull ups, chest to bars, DUBS (before Andres – burn!), running a 5K, and handstand pushups are the things I am most proud of.

What do you like best about the gym?

The support I get from people. It is really exciting/motivating when people cheer you on as you are struggling to finish a workout.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Handstand pushups J

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Wall-balls – they are stupid and not intended for short people.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

I love carbs and don’t want to get fat… Also, I want to be healthy and I love hanging out with my hubs and friends at the gym.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Not being confident enough and thinking I can’t do something. We are our worst enemy.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

During the open 17.5 workout I got 35 unbroken DUBS for the first time ever… I was so excited I wanted to cry; unfortunately, it was only on my second round. Andres had to yell at me to keep it together and I was able to finish the other rounds unbroken which made it that much sweeter J.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

My first ever CrossFit workout. It was a partner chipper and lucky for Andres he got paired up with me. He did like 80% of the work out and I still felt like I wanted to pass out and throw up the entire time.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I crave chicken wings and fries ALL THE TIME

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Kevin – “No, I am not going over there. I don’t want to be mommed!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to improve my endurance, I want to continue to get stronger so that I can Rx more workouts, and I would love to learn how to walk on my hands.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Be patient. It will take time before you understand the terminology and even more the actual movements.

Be proud of yourself. Joining CrossFit can be very intimidating and taking that first step is already an accomplishment on its own.

Enjoy the process!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Just do it. You won’t regret it.

Coach’s comments: I still remember sitting down with Cata and Andres for her intro.  I asked, “So what brings you into CrossFit?”  And she replied something along the lines of, “I don’t want to die.”  I pulled the thread a bit and figured out that she was concerned about becoming unhealthier as she grew older, being too sedentary, not eating right, etc.  I still think about that conversation just about every time I see her and it still makes me laugh.  Cata was pretty timid when she started out and did not exhibit a lot of confidence in her abilities.  Since that time, she has progressively learned new skills, gotten much stronger, and most importantly, developed a much greater sense of self-confidence than she had before she walked in.  Cata has been able to learn and execute pull ups, handstand pushups, toes to bar, double unders, and chest to bar pull ups in the last six months alone in addition to seeing very steady progress on her lifting.  This is largely a result of her dedication to completing much of the extra work outside of classes since the beginning of this year.  She participated in her first CrossFit Open in 2017 and is registered to compete in her first Rep Your Box in July.  It has been exciting to be a part of her fitness journey to date and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!

PS: The wall balls in the workout today were a total coincidence.
PPS: Or were they?

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Adam (Cele’s husband) was my deciding factor. I was doing the planet fitness style gym on my own when Adam joined. He was coming home and talking to me about all the things he did at the gym and I had no idea what he was talking about, but I saw he was excited about it and really liking it so I decided I would give it a try to see what it was all about. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I had always considered myself a “fit” individual as I grew up playing sports and had always done some kind of working out, but since starting I have this strength that I never knew that I had and have managed to lose 20 pounds! On top of just being a healthier individual I’ve recently been able to do movements like chest to bar, double unders, and ring dips which I could never do before.

What do you like best about the gym?

Aside from the great friendships that I have gained it pushes me harder than I have ever pushed myself. I also like the competitive aspect with those around me as well as myself. Who doesn’t like to win right?

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I really like anything with cleans or squatting.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Burpees and Snatches! Although, this is probably one of my best lifts but I struggle with it every time.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

There is just something about going to the gym and not having worry about what else is going on in my day. There is also this sense of wanting to be better and I know if I put my time in I will be.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

In all honesty it’s mostly laziness.  There is definitely the thoughts that a weight is too heavy or I’ve just learned how to do this movement so I will suck at it though.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Probably this recent open. I completed a lot of workouts RX that I didn’t think that I could. I pushed myself harder than I have ever pushed myself and it showed me that I am capable of so much more than I thought.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

This recent open, although I really impressed myself there was nothing easy about 17.5 as I had just accomplished double unders the week prior and I really thought I might fall over and die come round 5.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m a real adrenaline junkie, swimming with sharks and falling out of the sky doesn’t scare me, but lizards… Those scare me.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“These are you knees.”-Ryan as he points to his knees. Which I’m glad he does because otherwise I might forget.

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I just want to continue to improve in all aspects. I’d like to get bar muscle up at some point but I’m kind of scared of flying over the bar.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

It gets better. I wouldn’t say it gets easier but you get more comfortable with the movements and start to enjoy the pain because to be honest the first couple of months are the hardest.  It’s all about being in the growth mindset. It’s not that you can’t do it; it’s that you can’t do it yet.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

It’s best to just jump in before you can scare yourself out of it. It’s not as scary as it might look and you will gain more than just strength, you will gain a community of people who want you to succeed probably more than you want.

Coach’s comments: Celestina started with us in the late spring of 2015 and seemed very content to just show up to a few classes a week for that first 18 months.  If I had to mark it with a specific date, I would point to the Fall Festivus Games in October of 2016 where Cele and her teammate, Anna, finished on the podium at their first novice competition.  That seemed to flip a switch in her because during the last six months, she has rededicated herself to training completing much of the extra daily work and cleaning up her diet.  Oddly enough, she has put 30 pounds on her deadlift and back squat, 20 on her snatch, and 15 on her clean all while losing weight and body fat.  She completed her first CrossFit Open this year and was able to do four of the five workouts as prescribed all while helping her team finish first in our intramural competition.  As she mentioned, Cele has been picking up more complex gymnastics movements and improving her work capacity along the way.  And, oh by the way, she is a full-time teacher and is also pursuing her Master’s in Education at the University of North Florida.  Cele has a great attitude, is very coachable, and has become a real ambassador for the program.  We look forward to continuing to help her along her path to excellence (and getting that first bar muscle up) in the coming year!

 

What made you decide to start CrossFit?
I have been working out most of my life and had seen CrossFit competitions on ESPN, but it never actually occurred to me to seek out and join a box.  Until, while visiting my brother in Atlanta he informed me we were going to go workout and on the way he started talking about his CrossFit gym and by then we had arrived, so I marched into the gallows expecting the worst only to emerge a CrossFit believer!

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
My #1 goal is to stay health and in shape.  When I started I could barely manage (10) pull-ups, could only overhead squat a PVC pipe, and in general felt like I had never actually worked out before in my life, or at least completed a real workout.  At the open I snatched 135# (take that PVC pipe), can finish Nancy unbroken, and at last count did (14) rounds where (10) pull-ups where required per round and I did them all unbroken.

What do you like best about the gym?
I am very type “A” individual and I find it very difficult sometimes to shut down my mind and relax.  However, every-time I step into the box my mind clears and my only concern is how I am going to manage to score a PR and/or survive the WOD.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
I really like “Nancy” because of the overhead squats, or I’m all in on anything with ropes, wall balls, box overs, or rowers.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
Anything with double unders!  At this point, it is embarrassing that I have not been able to figure out how to string together a series of double unders.  If I cannot master or semi-master this movement by next year’s open, then my penalty will be no craft beer for (3) months.

What motivates you to show up day after day?
The stress relief, comradery, and the hint of a competitive environment, which motivates me to get after it…

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
My only negative thoughts are my concerns about injuring myself by going to heavy on some of the WODs I.E. especially deadlifts!

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
The first day I started…  It was a brisk February morning and following the WOD I felt like I was coughing up blood.  There was no blood, but the memory of the intensity of the workout has engrained a fond, yet painful memory into my brain.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Other than Ryan hurting my feelings and Liz hogging up a 30 square meter area during open gym there have been no least favorite moments.  As a side note it is impossible for a non-family member to actually hurt my feelings…

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
I am trying to master a majority of the English dialects and can currently do a typical English, English Cockney, Irish, Scottish, Indian, Australian and am working on South African and Canadian.  I find this skill comes in handy when telling jokes…

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
“It’s going to be epic”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
I want to win this spring’s Festivus “Masters Division” competition (I love this year’s WODs), squat 300 lbs., clean 210 lbs. and string together on average 25 dubs.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
Jump in and attend on a regular basis, so that you can see and feel your progress and your friends and family can physically see your progress.  Additionally, you are going to be in pain for at least (4) months, so suck it up, as it will go away soon enough.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
We all know that your current workout is not motivating, probably not effective and most certainly boring at best.  CrossFit will change all of that if you are willing to jump in and stay at it on a regular basis.

Coach’s Comments: “Langry” just hit his two-year mark with us at Strongpoint and came to us in the winter of 2015 with a very solid fitness base.  He did, however, have very little exposure to Olympic lifting and many of the intermediate weightlifting movements that we do in CrossFit.  He has aggressively worked on his weaknesses resulting in steady, consistent improvement.  Lang participated in the Spring Festivus Games in 2016 finishing third in the masters division of his first competition.  He went on to finish first in the 50-54 age group at the Spartan Super in Palm Coast in December of that year.  Most recently Lang competed in his first CrossFit Open where he nearly cracked the top 200 in the region for his division.  Lang has volunteered as a judge for two of our competitions and also referred in his wife, Christine, who has become an awesome member as well.  We have enjoyed working with Lang to date and look forward to seeing him continue to grow in the future! 

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Three years ago, I wanted to lose baby weight from my second child and was looking for something other than a typical gym. I felt very bored having done that for so long. My cousin told me about great results he had from CrossFit so I decided to give it a try.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Initially, I lost 30lbs (all baby weight) which was my main goal. However, I started to see there was so much more to accomplish, I quickly began setting goals and challenging myself to my first competition, podiumed my second competition (Festivus at Strongpoint), then my first Rx workout, and one accomplishment lead to another.  I enjoyed setting the bar a little higher each time to see what I could do.

What do you like best about the gym?

I enjoy the healthy intra-competition that exists among the members. It makes it fun and challenging for myself.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything with OHS and T2B.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Deadlifts, running, and burpees.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Everyone needs a healthy outlet and I have found that CrossFit is my therapy. I no longer (on most days) find that CrossFit is a chore for me. Rather, it has become a lifestyle for me. It is something my husband and I do together and that also keeps us motivated. It helps us keep up with two growing boys! We want to get our boys involved and turn it into a family thing in the near future!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I will sometimes underestimate my ability.  We all struggle with confidence from time to time and while I know that I am capable of much more, it can at times get to me and hold me back.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

I would say so far, hitting my 200lb back squat. I have struggled turning these chicken legs into powerful tree trunks and while I have more work to do, I am proud to have finally hit two-hundo! It’s like finally being allowed to play with the big kids on the playground, big step!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Last week when I hurt my ankle 16 reps into the first open workout of 2017. I was super pissed!

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I had terrible handwriting as a child and my teacher would write “needs improvement on handwriting” every year in elementary school. Not much has changed since then either. lol

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Don’t be a d-bag!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I am really looking forward to doing my first individual Rx competition by the end of the year. I look forward to pushing myself to compete in a higher level and getting out of my comfort zone.  I have a lot of lifting goals set and cannot wait to see what I accomplish in year 3 of my journey.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Focus on your goals and try your best. You can’t compare yourself to the best athlete in the gym, they have worked really hard to get there but one day, you can too if that is what you want.  As with most things in life, you get out what you put in!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

You are capable of more than you think, give it a try before you say “I can’t”.

Coach’s Comments: Christina joined Strongpoint in the summer of 2015 and came to us with a solid fitness base developed from her first year of CrossFit in St. Augustine.  “CMig,” as she has affectionately become known, has made great progress during that time due in no small party to her strong work ethic, positive attitude and competitiveness.  She routinely sets and achieves goals and, in fact, led a goal setting seminar at Strongpoint in January in order to help our members get on track for 2017.  Her steady improvement has helped her creep up the leader board over the past year-plus.  Christina has participated in the last two CrossFit Opens with Strongpoint and is serving as a team captain in our intramural competition this year.  She also competed on a team of three with Whitney Beisiegel and Liz Gard at the Bacon Beatdown in 2016.  Additionally, she referred in her husband, DJ, who has become an awesome member as well.  CMig has become a mainstay in our morning classes and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!   

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

After running track and cross-country at UNF, I was tired of still fitting into my girlfriends clothes and having the muscular strength of a house cat. I then got tired of doing bicep curls and skipping leg day at LA Fitness. That’s when a cousin of mine introduced me to CrossFit and I’ve enjoyed it since Day 1.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Numerous. Most noticeably in flexibility, which has been my weakest point since joining CrossFit, along with increased strength and stamina

What do you like best about the gym?

Hands down all the members of the gym!! Obviously it’s always fun to compete against one another and joke with each other constantly, but more importantly I’ve learned how much of a family Strong Point truly is. Any time I’ve reached out for advice from workouts to life questions, or found myself in difficult situations, many of the members did anything they could to offer their assistance or advice.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Running…duh! And cleans of any variation

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything that goes over my head and involves a squat. Overhead squats, snatches, etc. Oh and burpees. I HATE burpees

What motivates you to show up day after day?

The harder I workout the more often I can eat a chicken tender sub from Publix

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Sometimes I like to be lazy

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Every PR is just exciting and thrilling as the last. And anytime I learn a new movement

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Dropping a barbell on my foot. I couldn’t fit my foot into any of my shoes for a week

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

In 1st grade, I had a 2 or 3 month stretch where I refused to acknowledge my name. You either called me Batman or I wouldn’t respond

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“You look like a fat puppy trying to get on the couch” Ryan Miller when I was learning ring MU’s

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I have many strength numbers I’d like to hit this year and want to compete more often. And I want to finally figure out snatches once and for all.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Start slow and learn the movements. Everyone (including me) wants to just jump to the big weights and numbers but be humble, learn the movements thoroughly, and work up from there. Strength and stamina will come.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Give it a fair try. It’s easy to fail at a movement and get frustrated and think this isn’t for you. You’re going to be insanely sore and probably have trouble walking for a week, let alone trying to roll out of bed the next morning, but keep showing up and you will see awesome results!

Coach’s Comments: Kosta started out with us at the end of 2015 and came to us with a very well-developed engine from years of track and cross country, but very little exposure to the weightlifting and gymnastics aspects of CrossFit.  He has really immersed himself in those areas since joining and not only improved there, but has really been able to maintain much of his running capacity as well.  In the last few months alone, Kosta completed his first bar muscle up, first ring muscle up, and has set personal records on a wide variety of lifts including squatting over 300 and deadlifting dangerously close to 400 pounds!  Of note, none of this has come easily to him.  He has put in extensive work over the last year-plus with Strongpoint routinely completing our extra accessory training during Open Gym periods.  He dipped his feet into competition three times in 2016, twice at the Festivus Games and the third during the CrossFit Open.  His performance between the spring and fall Festivus competitions was certainly indicative of his development after he finished in the bottom five of his division in the spring and then in the top five in the fall!  And he did all of this while wrapping up his MBA at the University of North Florida in December of last year.  Kosta has a great attitude, asks intelligent questions about training, and is an absolute workhorse in the gym.  It has been a pleasure to work with him thus far and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow in the future!

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I got tired of doing the same routine everyday at a regular gym. I wanted something different and wanted to tone up. My boyfriend recommended CrossFit and thought that this something I could be interested in doing since he used to do it. Before I tried Strongpoint, I looked up videos online and see what I was getting myself into.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I’ve seen better performance in my running. I’ve accomplished my first pull up and picked up heavy weights! #gainz

What do you like best about the gym?

The community and the positivity of everyone. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything that has running involved, pull ups and squats

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Overhead squats, snatches, and handstand push up (if you know me, I hate being flipped upside down)

What motivates you to show up day after day?

The progress I’ve been making and the changes to my body. And plus I LOVE FOOD!!!!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Looking at the weight and realizing how much I’m about to lift. It really intimidates me to see all those weights and knowing that I have to pick it up.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

My very FIRST competition!!!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Ehhhh I don’t really have one… Except when Ryan is grumpy =P

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m a Pastor’s daughter

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Just do whatever you want” -Ryan

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I really want to be able to do chest to bar, double unders and maybe ever a muscle up?!?!

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Don’t be scared or intimidated by anyone else. Everyone starts somewhere and you can only get better!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Try coming to bring a friend day. It’s a great introduction to what goes on J

Coach’s comments: Karis started with us in the summer of 2014.  She had very little prior exposure to many of the barbell and body weight movements that we do in CrossFit and seemed pretty intimidated by it all her first couple of months.  Karis completed her first half marathon in the fall of 2015 (Subaru Distance Classic).  She decided to do her first CrossFit competition, the Festivus Games, in the spring of 2016 and her focus, intensity, and performance immediately improved.  We saw steady gains in her lifts all year and she was able to complete many workouts as prescribed by the end of the year.  And she did it all while finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of North Florida and working!  Above all, Karis has a great attitude, is very teachable, and is always very friendly and welcoming to new members.  We’ve enjoyed seeing her abilities and confidence improve and we look forward to working with her in 2017!

I find it very ironic that I’m answering these and my quads are soaked in Tiger Balm. 

What made you decide to start CrossFit? I was living in Italy and a couple friends were really into it.  I was already teaching multiple classes at our base gym and doing my own thing in between them, so when I got the chance, I would join them.  It was difficult because of the language barrier (although many CrossFit terms are universal), but it broke up my usual routine.  When we moved back to the States, I was finding after not having a typical gym for about 5 years, that most of them were either small studios which were a lot of money for a time slot or big box places where everyone threw their music in and didn’t talk to anyone.  I knew I had to drink the Kool-Aid and come to the dark side.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?  You could say that the past couple of years, I didn’t push myself as hard as I could in the weight room.  It was mostly aesthetics over function and teaching up to 20 classes a week between SPIN and Group X, I was completely exhausted, so I was only mustering what I could.  Coming into Strongpoint, I was back to doing lifts I hadn’t done since college and beating even those numbers.  Rest, good coaching and listening to my body has been a tremendous help.

What do you like best about the gym?  The 9am’ers, making sure we’re pushing Liz to her max potential, listening to Mike and Connie talk about their hippy days and of course, Jason’s hair.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?  Deadlifts all day every day.  Diane and Donny have been two of my favorites even though they both made me want to puke.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? Ring Dips and Toes to Bar.

What motivates you to show up day after day?  My college coach said something to me that I’ve kept in the back of my head since I was 18.  It definitely wasn’t something insightful, but it fueled my fire and even more than 20 years later, I’ll pull it out when I need it.  I do quite a number of things to prove people wrong.  Besides, I’m a creature of habit.  If my routine is off, it throws my whole day out of whack.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?  I don’t like being injured or sidelined and if I feel like I’m going to do something that may hurt myself, I won’t push past that point.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  Hitting 3 bones (300#) on my deadlift, getting my HSPU and Double Unders.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  When Jason doesn’t show up for rowing days.  Those days are pretty disappointing.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?  Birds, frogs and worms petrify me.   If they get too close to me, I’ll break out into a cold sweat.  If I have to touch one?  I’ll cry.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?  “No one dies on our watch!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?  Stringing together Chest to Bar Pull Ups and Toes to Bar.  It’ll happen.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?  Do what you can do, but embrace the challenge.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?  That first step is always the hardest, but you have two choices:  jump feet first or hang there by the britches of indecisiveness.  One hurts a lot less.

Coach’s Comments: I have found that one of the hardest things to do as a trainer is to train other trainers, but it has never been an issue with Erin!  Despite her vast experience, she came to us in the fall of 2015 with an open mind and an empty cup and has never looked back.  She mentioned that she is a creature of habit and I’m pretty sure that there would be a picture of her if you looked up “consistency” in the dictionary.  She routinely trains at our 9:00 am class Monday through Friday each week and is able to seamlessly balance her training with the demands of a job and family.  While she was strong and had some basic body awareness starting out, her lifts have all improved as well as her gymnastics skills and aerobic capacity.  She participated in the 2016 CrossFit Open, where she had to scale nearly every workout, and was completing most daily workouts as prescribed just a few months later.  Simply put, Erin pushes other members and not in a pushy, aggressive, “I’m better than you” type of way.  She pushes them via her own effort, expanding skill set, and example. Plus she’s strong… like real strong… like set the new all-time women’s gym records for the deadlift and sumo deadlift within a year strong… like deadlifts more than a lot of men strong!  Erin also regularly expresses her fitness in pursuits outside the gym as well.  She has participated in a number of obstacle course races, adventure events, and is currently training for a marathon.  Erin has been an awesome member to date and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I was very into home-fitness programs and that’s how I started my fitness journey. After a while, I got tired of the monotony and it really is tough to challenge yourself when it’s just you at home, so I decided to give CrossFit a try after binge-watching the CrossFit games.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Other than a significant increase in strength and stamina, I really enjoy my change in mindset and the way I approach fitness and nutrition now. Before CrossFit, my main motivation for exercising was a “good” physical appearance; this led to an unhealthy diet restriction which in turn affected my mood. When I joined CrossFit I was at 160# body weight and a body fat percentage of 14%; 1.5 years later I am 171# and a PBF of 15%. Now my nutrition is geared more towards performance and I enjoy not having so many restrictions (makes going out to eat way more fun). Now I LOVE being at the gym and is one of my most favorite daily activities.

What do you like best about the gym?

I love that there is like an almost perfect (unspoken) balance between competitiveness and friendliness. You want the person that’s next to you during a WOD to do well, and you want to see them get better and improve, so long as they don’t beat you =) I think it helps us push harder to become better athletes. I love how we all cheer when someone hasn’t finished a WOD or is fighting to get that PR.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Any combination of OHS, toes-to-bar or pull-ups.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

THRUSTERS!! And their mean baby sister, wall-balls.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

I just love being at the gym. The environment, the friendships, pushing my physical boundaries, and just learning new ways to get faster and stronger. I really enjoy doing things that I thought would be impossible for me to do when I first joined; I remember when I first watched someone do a muscle up and thinking “not happening in a million years.”

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

It’s really easy to forget everything you’ve accomplished when you’re focused on someone else’s accomplishments; I do this sometimes, but I’m getting better at seeing how far I’ve come and using that as motivation to keep pushing.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Too many. When I learned to walk on my hands, my first MU, but my all-time favorite was getting those stupid DUBs (my nemesis for over a year!). Also, watching my wife do her first WOD; fitness is so much better when you can share it with your significant other (just ask Kyle and Pete).

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Although it didn’t really happen at the gym, it started there: getting obsessed with handstand walks and then going to my apartment to practice and falling on the dogs’ crates while doing so, and puncturing a hole in my shin (not fun at all).

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?       

Just a few of you know. When I was in middle school I belonged to a club called the “Monkey Monkeys” and we used to climb tall trees and jump from branch to branch. That’s how I fractured my left heel-bone (now I’m a bit less than 1/2cm taller on my left side haha) and my right wrist.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Your comfort zone can suck it!” Ryan (to Michelle I think)

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?    

Just want to focus a bit more on strength and be able to lift heavier.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

I’d tell them to not listen to me!! I will tell you to just go for it and that some movements are easier than they look. Sometimes this is true, other times is not 😉

What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

“People criticize what they fear, and they fear what they don’t know.” Don’t let other people deter you from trying something new out; it may turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (it was for me). And if it’s not other people, and it is you getting in your own way, remember “you can’t keep doing the same things you have been doing, and expect to get different results.”

Coach’s Comments: Andres joined us in the spring of 2015 as a relatively fit individual.  He immediately impressed us as a “good mover” his first official class when he was able to effortlessly learn and execute toes to bar, which is a movement that many people struggle with for months after joining.  He continued picking up basic and intermediate gymnastics movements really easily, but struggled more with barbell movements as he was starting out.  Gymnastics movements came so easily to him that we kind of figured he was a gymnast as a kid, but nope!  He was a dancer through college and that background really seemed to give him the basic strength, mobility, and coordination to pick body weight movements up quickly.  In fact, he participated in Rep Your Box 4 just a few months after joining the gym and did great!  He went on to take second place in the intermediate division of the Fall 2015 Festivus competition after only about six months of training.  Despite some innate natural ability, Andres has a tremendous work ethic.  He is generally at the gym 5-6 days a week and routinely does extra work on his own, which has really paved the way for his dramatic improvements over the last year.  And he has done all this while continuing to intern and working toward finishing his PhD!  His resolve was tested, but not broken, when he bruised his patella recently and was unable to squat for a period.  He continued training almost daily working his upper body and pretty much any other movement that he could.  Besides being a standout performer, Andres is simply one of the nicest and most welcoming members of the gym.  He routinely goes out of his way to introduce himself to new members and help them feel welcome.  Andres has also volunteered for several of the competitions that Strongpoint has hosted in 2015 and 2016.  He also referred in his wife, Catalina, who has become an outstanding member in her own right.  We have really enjoyed working with Andres and look forward to helping him continue moving toward his goals in the future!

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

What had happened was… In Jan 2012, I was browsing Groupon and found a deal for “CrossFit.”  I had no idea what it was, and somehow convinced my bestie Devon to buy it too and join me.  The gym turned out to be right by my house, and a perfect fit with an awesome coach!  I’m proud to say I am one of the original gangstas (OG)

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Because of my consistency at the gym this year, I have been happy with many results. I’ve set new personal records on many lifts and I’m looking forward to many more.  I also participated in the TakeDown Challenge last January. I continue to use what I learned about nutrition on a daily basis.

What do you like best about the gym?

The friendships I’ve made, the awesome coaches, ROMWOD and Blitz!

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?  

Running

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Wall balls and Snatches

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Dem gains bro!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I don’t have any. My motto is Be Positive, like my blood type. #B+

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

It feels like so long ago but the first time I completed a kipping pull up! Also competing in Festivus this year!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

It’s between Cassie flying/falling off the pull up rig at the old gym, or the moment Deevon cancelled her membership.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I think some may know, but in 2013 I completed a full Ironman Triathlon. 140.6 miles! I also competed in the Jax Physique bodybuilding competition at UNF. (Ok that’s two)

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Stronger people are harder to kill” -RM

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

Keep getting stronger and more flexible. Maybe compete again!

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Consistency is key and don’t forget to mobilize!!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

CrossFit provides fitness improvements that are quantifiable!

Coach’s Comments: Rachel has been member since the days of the much fabled “Old Gym.”  I believe that she started before we even had paint on the walls in the old place, which eminently qualifies her as a Strongpoint “OG.”  She was primarily a distance athlete through the majority of the first couple of years relying on CrossFit a couple of days a week as her cross training days.  After a brief foray into figure competition in 2015, Rachel decided to start training CrossFit more regularly.  We have seen her lifts steadily rise and dramatic improvements in her gymnastics skills this year with more regular attendance.  Rachel participated in her first CrossFit Open, where she earned several top-three finishes in scaled workouts in our in-house competition, and the spring Festivus Games.  She now routinely completes workouts as prescribed and has steadily moved up the leader board throughout 2016.  The coaching staff has really enjoyed working more closely with Rachel in 2016 and we look forward to seeing what she can do with continued consistent effort in the future!

 

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

KS: I was getting bored of the normal gym routine and was looking for something different. I remember watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN in 2013 and thinking it looked like a lot of fun. I joined a gym in January 2014 and was hooked after that first workout.

PK: Essentially I was in the worst shape of my life and was extremely frustrated with myself for letting it get so out of control.  I basically went from being a very successful High School and Collegiate Wrester, to ultimately not working out at all over a 13-year period.  I think there might have been a 6-month stint where I went to a Globo Gym regularly, but absolutely hated it and slowly stopped going.  I put a lot of the blame on my previous employment, due to the lack of work life balance it provided, and then in the summer of 2014 I was able to make a career change that afforded me the flexibility that I was really looking for.  Once I got settled into my new job, I realized that I couldn’t use my employment as an excuse anymore and decided I had to start working out again, but I knew it had to be something different, something that would keep me challenged and motivate.  I had heard about CrossFit, but really had no idea what it was or how it worked!  I just remember some of my old coworkers saying that it’s insanely hard, but go figure, of course none of them had actually ever even attempted to try CrossFit before.  I knew I had to make a drastic change in my life, so I figured why not try this CrossFit thing that everyone told me was virtually impossible.  So I went on line and searched for the nearest Box to my house and it came down to CrossFit 904 and Strongpoint.  I saw that Ryan offered a free consultation, so I reached out to him first and scheduled my consultation.  I won’t lie, I was extremely nervous walking up to the gym for my consultation, seeing people doing Bar Muscle-Ups, weights slamming and the music blasting.  I came extremely close to buying into the notion that this might not be something that I’m going to be able to do and almost got back in my car to drive away, but deep down inside I knew this was exactly what I was looking for and what I needed in my life to get back into shape.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

KS: All of my gymnastics and general cardio has gotten a lot better. I came in with a relatively good strength background but was lacking on gymnastics. Now I’m able to consistently do muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and pullups. Also, losing weight was a big plus I think I’ve lost a little over 30lbs since I started at Strongpoint.

PK: Walking into the gym for my first WOD, I really didn’t have any goals in mind other than getting into better shape and committing to making a minimum of three classes a week.  Over time I was able to eventually ramp up the number of workouts a week, along with occasionally incorporating in some of the accessory work.  I’ve gone from not being able to do more than 3 or 4 Pull-Ups without a band during my initial consultation to now being able to string numerous butterfly pull-ups together at a time.  Over my first 3 months I completed exactly 1 Metcon Rx (Jackie in 14:49) and now the only workouts that I’m not able to complete fully Rx are those with Ring Muscle Ups.  I’ve also lost approximately 27 pounds, gained significant strength, increased my conditioning and improved my overall health and fitness significantly!

What do you like best about the gym?

KS: The people make it awesome you just go hangout with other’s who like to lift and torture themselves. Also, beating Pete at WODs is fun.

PK: Hands down the people!!!  Strongpoint has a great member base and excellent coaches that are extremely knowledgeable and tremendously supportive!  Being a former athlete, I also really enjoy the friendly competitive atmosphere.  I also really appreciate that Ryan is continuously looking for ways to improve our experience and continuously seems to be investing back into the gym with new equipment etc.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

KS: Cleans are my favorite exercise. Grace would probably be my all-time favorite WOD. Outside of that I like any WOD that involves heavy weight.

PK: Any Metcon with Pull-Ups, Handstand Push-Ups or Rope Climbs.  I won’t name names, but I typically can outperform the “Other Spotlight Athlete” in the majority of these workouts.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

KS: I hate overhead squats so any WOD with overhead squats I automatically prepare myself for a world of suck. Burpees would have to be a close second.

PK: Any WOD that has Thrusters, Clusters or Wall Balls, so basically any movement that includes a squat followed by pushing weight over my head!

What motivates you to show up day after day?

KS: I love the gym and just love working out. If I miss a day I feel lazy and like I didn’t accomplish anything. Also, I know Pete would give me crap if I didn’t show up.

PK: Honestly I just really enjoy working out again.  It’s no longer an unpleasant chore that I have to do on a regular basis to stay healthy!  I’ve also developed a great friendship with the “Other Spotlight Athlete” who I typically workout with.  It’s great being able to workout with someone that’s willing to point out my areas for improvement, while also pushing me past my limits on a daily basis, but this also cultivates a feeling of accountability to one another to show up day after day.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

KS: I’m bad about getting in my on head. If I’m not performing as well as I think I could I get frustrated and that hinders my performance.

PK: The fear of getting injured.  I’ve had numerous surgeries during my wrestling career, so I have a pretty good understanding about what the recovery process may require and I know it’s not going to be any easier now that I’m much older.  But I also realize that the fear of getting hurt could lead to improper technique and positioning and possibly cause the injury that I’ve been fearing.  I also recognize that the more I work on my technique and form, the more I’ll become comfortable with the movements and the fear of getting hurt will ultimately subside.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: Probably this year during 16.3 the power snatch/bar muscle-up workout. I was worried because I didn’t really have bar muscle-ups down, but I ended up getting into the 6th round. I realized then that I was capable of doing more than I what previously thought. Also, cleaning 300lbs last year was pretty exciting.

PK: Not having Bar Muscle-Ups after months of attempts and spending the Friday evening before 16.3 trying to figure out how to do them.  Ryan recommended that I make a slight adjustment to my approach and on my first attempt I was finally able to propelled myself up and on top of the bar… go figure!  The next day during 16.3 I completed 4 rounds totaling 12 Muscle-Ups, but most importantly I had an Rx next to my name!  Thank you RM!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: When Pete beat me in the Sunshine State Cup…stupid handstand push-ups. Also, doing 16.5 I’m still haunted by the fact that I had to redo that workout.

PK: The evening of my very first Metcon (5 Rounds – 10 Deadlift, 10 Burpees)!  I didn’t do the 275 Rx weight, but I definitely didn’t scale down to what I probably should have either.  As soon as I made it home, it hit me really hard, I immediately had to lie down on my living room floor as the room began to spin and then came the wonderful introduction to Pukie The Clown.  During all of my years working out for wrestling, I never got sick from any kind of exercise or workout and thankfully I haven’t since that evening!  That first workout was extremely humbling, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that I was much more out of shape than I realized and I absolutely needed to make a long term commitment to CrossFit if I really wanted to get back in shape.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

KS: I was part of a State Championship weightlifting team in high school.

PK: The summer after my senior year of high school I qualified for a U.S.A. Wrestling Team that traveled all over Turkey for two weeks competing against their countries top Wrestlers.  During that trip my only loss was in OT to the reigning World Champion.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: “Get Angry!!!” – Ryan every time we have to do heavy deadlifts

PK: “You know where you can find sympathy?  Between shit and syphilis in the dictionary!” -Ryan

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

KS: I just want to steadily improve across all areas such as gymnastics, strength, and endurance.

PK: I really want to complete a full Ring Muscle-Up Metcon Rx!  I also really want to stand on the podium at the Team Festivus Games competition this fall alongside the “Other Spotlight Athlete” and preferably we’ll be standing next to, but above Andres and Kosta.  I’m also secretively working on my handstand walking with the hopes that Dave Castro programs them into the Open next year, knowing that’s probably the only possible way that I’ll ever have a chance at actually beating Ryan in a Metcon.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

KS: Just stick it out. Those first few weeks or months can be tough trying to learn all the movements and terminology and constantly being sore. Over time though you’ll see improvements and you’ll start to become addicted.

PK: Set a couple small but attainable goals when you first start out and use Wodify to track your progress and keep notes on your previous workouts.  If you stay dedicated and show up to the classes, you’ll start checking those goals off your list and eventually you’ll be setting goals that you never thought would even be achievable when you first set foot in the gym for that first workout or consultation.

Also, if you have little or no previous experience with Olympic Lifting, I would highly recommend participating in the Olympic Weightlifting class on Thursday nights!  I had no idea what the differences were between a Clean, Snatch, Power Clean, Hang Snatch etc. but the Thursday night Weight Lifting class definitely help me gain a better understand of how to perform each and every one of these movements.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

KS: Just do it! You won’t find a more supportive and awesome community than the people who do CrossFit. And if you’re serious about getting in shape or looking to change things up CrossFit is the perfect opportunity.

PK: I would tell them that CrossFit has definitely improved my life in a very positive and healthy way!  Give it a chance and try it out for at least a couple weeks and don’t listen to the naysayers!  Yes, it can be hard, but only as hard as you make it and anyone can absolutely do it!  If you don’t think you’re 100% ready to participate in a full-blown CrossFit class, then start out with the Fundamentals class or the Boot Camp class.  Also, keep in mind that you basically have a personal trainer available to you in every class and they’re there to provide advice and guidance through your new found fitness journey!

Coach’s Comments: Kyle and Pete have become the hottest “bromance” in the gym.  They started up with Strongpoint right around the same time and have both become mainstays in our 6:30 pm class nearly every weekday.  They both participated in our most recent TakeDown Challenge where each finished in the top four.  They have each participated in multiple Festivus Games, the CrossFit Open, and most recently the Sunshine State Cup where their back and forth rivalry was pretty entertaining.  Here’s two guys that are separated by about 12-13 years in age that met up at the gym, pushed each other every day for a couple of years, and have inspired each other to do things that exceeded either of the expectations when they started.  They have developed a great friendship in the process.  Kyle and Pete both came in with good athletic backgrounds, but we have watched them steadily and consistently creep up the leaderboard as their strength and skills have developed.  They both have great attitudes, are very coachable, and will undoubtedly continue to develop as they work together (and against each other) in the coming months.  We look forward to seeing them compete as a team at Rep Your Box later this month and Festivus in the fall!


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