1. When did you start training at CrossFit Milwaukee?
I started at CrossFit Milwaukee back in April of 2012. The gym was running a special on the boot camp and I told my wife to buy that for my birthday. At 49 and in mediocre shape I was in need of something to jump start my fitness.2. How did you find out about our gym and what motivated you to start our style of training?
I began to follow the paleo lifestyle as outlined on Mark’s Daily Apple – http://www.marksdailyapple.com. One of the guidelines is to “lift heavy things” at least 2x a week. The message boards on this site spoke well of CrossFit, so I simply Googled CrossFit and Milwaukee. The low cost on ramp was featured that month so I signed up. 3. You're, for lack of a better term, senior to many of the members at our gym. What words of advice do you have for them as they progress through the years?
Anyone doing CrossFit should have some long-term goals in mind, but they should also celebrate the short-term achievements. Write down your goals and slowly work towards them. For the first six months or so, I drifted without anything specific in mind.4. What about someone your age starting CrossFit? What would you tell them? Warn them about?
When I started, I wish I would have taken some measurements – arms, legs, waist, etc… Change is dramatic, especially at the beginning. If you can, get a percent body fat test. After about a year, I finally had this done, but I had nothing to compare with it.
First, DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. You will see people in the gym lifting insane amounts of weight. Good for them. Focus on your results.
I would warn them a new participant about pushing themselves too hard. At the beginning, it was easy to see big jumps in weight. Initially, my PRs were going up 10 pounds a week, sometimes 20. A new user will plateau and it is important to keep moving forward even it if is only by 1 pound.5. You're probably one of the most consistent among our client base when it comes to class attendance. What factors helps you accomplish this?
How do you cope when you don't have access to our gym (i.e. vacation, business trip, etc.)
I generally get to choose my work schedule for each semester. I try to cram as many classes into one day that I can so that I can have more days off. It is easy for me to have a set schedule for workouts. I simply make it part of my schedule. I do the 2x per week – generally MW or TTh and then I come in to work out by myself on Saturday morning. Plus, I prey on the addictive nature of exercise. I know that even if the gym is closed, some instructor will need to get their fix and will open it sometime during the day. So, I check Facebook often.6. You came to our gym with some limitations. What were they and how have you worked to overcome them to the point where you can do a good portion of our workouts Rx'd?
When I started, my left shoulder was bad and my knees were atrocious. I was unable to run like I used to and I kept hearing a popping noise whenever I went up and down the stairs. After all the CrossFit, I have started to run again with no pain – NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADA. My left shoulder is still jacked up, but not as bad as before. Ryan and the other instructors did an excellent job coming up with alternative movements for my shoulder. Initially, I was using the safety squat bar to do back squats because I simply could not move my arm back far enough to support the bar. A few months back, I sensed that the arm was improving and I switched back to a regular bar. The range of motion is better, still not great, but better.7. What are some other fitness related results you've achieved since training with us?
My first fitness goals were to 1.5x my body weight on the deadlift (1x5) and 1.25 my bodyweight for the back squat (3x5). Those actually came pretty quickly.
What is more amazing are the unplanned results. I am able to run several miles without pain. This year, for the first time in several years, I am able to ice skate without leg pain. Just the other day I was out at the rink for a couple of hours – no problem.8. What other fitness goals have you set for yourself in the future?
I am working on three right now – 2x bodyweight for deadlift (1x5), 1.5x bodyweight for back squat (3x5) and 1x bodyweight for bench press (3x5). I have already passed the bench press, but I’m still 20-30 pounds away from the other goals.
I’m already contemplating my next goals. I believe that I will want to focus on double unders, hand stand push-ups and possibly a totally different lift.9. Do you have a favorite benchmark workout? If so, what is it? What about a favorite lift?
My favorite benchmark is Christine. Three rounds for time of rowing, 12 reps of bodyweight deadlift and 21 box jumps. On paper, this sounds easy. Of course, we do not workout on paper.
My favorite lift is the back squat. I literally feel good all day long if I start my morning with some back squats. Something about this one kicks the endorphins into overdrive.10. Anything else you want to add?
Use the trainers! Ask questions. Ryan made a slight correction to my kettlebell swing and all of a sudden it became a lot easier. I know when I am getting the movement right because the weights simply fly off the ground. Alex made some tweaks to my double-unders and they also improved. Not great, but moving in the right direction.