December 2015 Spotlight Athlete: Martin Pena
What made you decide to start CrossFit?
The routine at the globo gym was boring and I needed a change of pace. I actually started CrossFit in Orlando, but wasn’t very consistent because of a hectic work/travel schedule. Needless to say after my very first work out which was a Tabata, I puked, which not only confirmed that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing in the gym all those years but that I was in the right place to get in shape.
What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
My overall health and wellness is better now at 35-years-old than when I was in my 20’s. I like to stay active and CrossFit keeps me tuned up for life’s adventures.
What do you like best about the gym?
The people, the programming, and the atmosphere of the gym. Everyone is extremely positive and there to work hard…it’s contagious! As far as programming is concerned the proof is in the pudding…there’s usually a Strongpoint athlete on the podium at the local competitions. And, no matter how I feel, I always get a shock of energy when I walk into the gym. It’s hard not to when you hear the loud music and see all the athletes working their tails off. The facility and the environment is awesome at Strongpoint for sure!
What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
Murph. It’s long and grueling but I seem to get the biggest sense of accomplishment every time I finish it.
What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
Overhead squats. They are definitely the one exercise/movement that I least enjoy but have noticed serious improvement in the past year. It boils down to lack of mobility.
What motivates you to show up day after day?
I want to stay active for the rest of my life and want to set a good example for my daughter for her future health and wellness. Being a couch potato is not the recipe for that kind of success. My girlfirend is an amazing athlete too. She keeps me motivated to stay in tip top shape.
What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
“I don’t want to get hurt or I’m too tired”. The typical nonsense. They’re all excuses I’m sure everyone deals with to a certain extent. It’s true that you have to listen to your body to avoid injury. I have learned that getting better in all aspects of life is all about challenging yourself and getting out of your confort zone. That is what CrossFit is all about.
What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Getting my nutrition dialed in during the Fall TakeDown Challenge. I lost 12 pounds and learned that you can eat regular food and still feel satisfied and lose weight. The program is amazing. I also noticed my workouts improved and have steadily improved since.
What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Last week when we had to do overhead squats! Ha.
What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
I’ve been know to have a “salty” tooth. My favorite comfort foods are french fires and chicken wings.
What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
“It’s your nickel…do whatever you want”.
What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
I would love to hit a 300# back squat. I’m almost there at 275#
What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
Be consistent, listen to your coaches and you will see results!
What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
Take a leap of faith. It’s not about how crazy or difficult the workouts are. It’s about the effort you put into the workouts. The weight and movements can all be scaled and there is no shame in that. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Coach’s comments: Martin started up with Strongpoint during the summer of 2014 and he has become a mainstay at our 4:30 session. While he started in decent shape with some basic skills, Martin has developed much better endurance, stronger gymnastics skills, and realized some dramatic strength gains in the past year-plus with us. He participated in his first CrossFit Open this year and then completed his first bar and ring muscle ups during the summer. He was a fairly late registration for our fall TakeDown Challenge and I really didn’t think he had a lot of weight to lose. Martin actually ended up not only shedding 12 pounds of body fat, but he won the whole competition! He simply put his trust in the program and coaching, stayed consistent and stuck to the plan, which was enough to give him fantastic results and seal the deal on the competition. It also locked him in a free massage and a free month of unlimited training! “Mr. Consistency” has become a real ambassador for the program and we look forward to seeing what he’s able to do with continued effort in the future!