Athlete of the Month Colin Hayward

CrossFit Teens classes can be challenging and intimidating for many.  It takes a level of dedication and a willingness to want to get better. That’s what Colin did, he showed up consistently, worked on mobility and worked hard in class to get better. He was the overall most improved for the 8 week program and I am proud of him. ~Coach Gino

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit on June 30, 2014. My family spent Memorial Day Weekend in Wilmington, Delaware. We saw a CrossFit gym and watched the people running outside and I saw all the equipment. I asked my parents if I could join a CrossFit gym for the summer. I wanted to get in shape and learn how to exercise correctly. My mom saw that CrossFit Salus had a program for teens so I signed up.

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

My performance has changed because now I know how to do a pull-up correctly. I also learned how to stand when lifting and how to do squats.

Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

I learned how to do a double under, which is an exercise with a jump rope. This exercise works on your legs and your speed.

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

My body feels stronger since I started CrossFit. I also feel good about myself and how I look.

My body feels stronger since I started CrossFit.

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

After going to CrossFit I was able to fall asleep faster. I realized that working out is fun and makes you feel good.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell my friends that CrossFit helped me learn how to lift and do other WOD’s that I had never heard about. CrossFit Salus has an awesome teaching staff that makes class fun and they teach you the right way to lift.

Favorite WOD or lift?

My favorite lift is the Hang-Power Snatch, jerks, and Hang Power Cleans.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

The advice that I would give a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus would be that you should have a good breakfast and drink lots of water before class. Have fun and give it your all.

 

Have fun and give it your all.

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Athlete of the Month: Lauren Simpson

When Lauren walked into the box, we knew she’d be a firebreather! We saw the determination in her eyes and recognized her quick ability to make form adjustments with simple cuing (not an easy task for many). Lauren’s continued desire to improve and dedication to training is so inspiring which is why we want to highlight her this month.

When and why did you start CrossFit?

Why? I was tired of big, modern gyms and their aerobics, zumba, and kick boxing followed by pulling cables on weight machines. I was tired because I wasn’t seeing all that much progress. And then, in the summer of 2013, I saw an old friend compete in the CrossFit Regionals. I was fascinated and excited to try it. I finally found myself at CrossFit Salus in October 2013, after more than a few months watching videos and getting psyched.

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

My recovery time has improved. As I get more familiar with the different movements, little by little, I am getting faster.

Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

One of the first moves that blew me away was the pistol. I saw athletes doing 50 at a time and I couldn’t even get down in the squat with my leg out. I worked on it at the box and then around my house on the coffee table. One day it was in a WOD and boom I was doing pistols. It was and still is a great feeling.

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I was always thin, but now, my abs and back are ripped! And I’m just generally more muscular everywhere.

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I yell a lot less! No joke. For me, CrossFit is like the oxygen mask on the plane. You have to put yours on first before you can assist your young children. It’s the way I take care of myself, so I can take care of my family. I workout, socialize a little, enjoy the me-time, and then have more patience for my family. It makes everyone happier.

For me, CrossFit is like the oxygen mask on the plane.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I try to get everyone to join CrossFit. I tell people it’s a workout anyone can do because it will be scaled to you and what you can do. It’s any combination of running, olympic lifting and gymnastics. You don’t have to be an athlete or a prior athlete to do these workouts.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

Salus’ programing of the workouts. I especially like the 12 week strength work. It’s designed so as the weeks go by you continually PR week after week. It is weekly proof of how much better and stronger you are becoming.

It is weekly proof of how much better and stronger you are becoming.

Favorite WOD or lift?

I love any gymnasty WOD. Favorite lift would have to be the deadlift since that’s what I’m best at. If I can get to a few more OLY classes it could become the snatch. You look like a badass snatching.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Work at your own pace. You may be sore, and you need rest days, but don’t let there be too many in between. It can become a reason not to workout. The sooner you get back to the box and work out, the less sore you will be.

Work at your own pace.

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

I can do pull ups, and dips, so it’s time to put them together… my next Goat is a bar muscle up!

Athlete Of the Month: Michelle Chanod

We are super excited to announce Michelle Chanod as Athlete of the Month for August! Michelle quietly stepped into the box 6 months ago and has quickly made PR after PR… getting stronger, faster (and more competitive!). We see it fit to nickname her, the Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse as defined by Wikipedia: “A dark horse is a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence.”

Just watch out…she’ll be passing up Pat soon enough!

We couldn’t be more proud of the successes she’s made, emerging into a pretty amazing athlete! Take a moment to read her story below and give her a chalky high five next time you’re at the box.

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 6 months ago with the encouragement of my husband, who is also a Salus athlete. Previously I was a member of a local globo gym but I didn’t enjoy going there so I was inconsistent with workouts. Meanwhile, my husband was getting into the best shape of his life AND having a blast. He also would constantly talk to me about CrossFit (something I now know all crossfitters do!). I figured if I couldn’t beat him I would join him. Since I’ve never been athletic I was a little scared and intimidated but in January I attended a Friends on Friday class and have been hooked ever since!

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I’ve become a lot stronger and faster and my endurance has improved. One of the many great things about CrossFit Salus is their use of the Wodify tracking system. It makes it very easy to see how much I’ve progressed since starting earlier in the year. I love getting a gold star when I’ve PR’d a lift or WOD!

Are there exercises that you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

When I started CrossFit many of the exercises were new to me. With lots of practice, I managed to get double unders early on which was a nice confidence boost. Recently I started connecting toes-to-bar and I also had my first successful rope climb. I can also kick up into a handstand against the wall without screaming (most of the time!).

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

First, I’ll start off by saying that with the great coaching and programming at CrossFit Salus, I’ve become so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. In the general fitness world so much of what we see and hear as women focuses on looking better and getting toned/tighter. CrossFit has made me realize that becoming stronger is a lot more desirable than just looking good. Now…has my body changed?…the answer is YES!! I’ve gained more muscle definition and I am at the lightest weight I’ve ever been in my adult life. I never thought my body could look this way, especially after 3 kids!

CrossFit has made me realize that becoming stronger is a lot more desirable than just looking good.

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

As a busy mom of three young girls, I always found excuses to skip workouts. I now realize I just didn’t enjoy going to the regular gym so it was a chore. About a month into CrossFit a mind-shift took place for me. I was no longer working out just to check it off my to-do list. I’ve truly come to love CrossFit and aside from scheduled rest days, I rarely miss a workout. It’s the part of my day I look forward to the most! I don’t need to wind down at the end of the day with a glass of wine because I’ve had my WOD!

I have also gained an awesome group of friends that motivate me on a daily basis.

Lastly, my husband and I can now have two-way conversations about CrossFit (it’s basically all we talk about!!)

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I describe it as a varied fitness regimen that takes place in a group setting which incorporates a variety of moves including gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, power weightlifting, plyometrics, high intensity interval training, running, etc.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

I saw a quote that sums it up pretty well for me:

“Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t mean I can’t do it someday.” It’s the “someday” that keeps me motivated.

CrossFit has also sparked a competitive side of me. I’ve never played on a team or have ever been competitive but I’ve discovered it’s a great motivator to get better. I’m excited to compete as part of a team in my first ever CrossFit competition later this month.

Favorite WOD or lift?

One of my favorite WOD’s is Fight Gone Bad. It’s memorable because it’s one of the first WOD’s I Rx’d. I tend to like WOD’s that are longer and test my endurance and that also have a variety of exercises.
My favorite lift is the overhead squat because it’s a technical lift that’s pretty bad a$$ and I tend to do well with them!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

• Jump right in…don’t be shy…we’ve all been new and intimidated
• Ask questions
• Scale and modify as needed
• Don’t cherry pick WODS
• Listen to your body
• Listen to your coach
• Don’t compare yourself to others!!!

What is your next goal to accomplish or goat to kill?

I have so many!!! It’s a long list!! Currently my main goal is to get a strict, unassisted pull-up. Then I plan to work on pistol squats and I also want to strengthen my deadlift.

Athlete of the Month: Jason Pino

We are excited to announce Jason Pino as Athlete Of the Month! When Jason started here at Salus, we knew he had a fire inside of him. His persistence to finish each WOD at 110% (and with integrity) is just of his strengths…besides his handstand pushups.  Most athletes at the box don’t just walk in the door with the level of strength and skill you see them with today, it takes time and determination to make them the athlete they have become.

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not always that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight.  What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some.  They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too.  They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is.  Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better.

 

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I was getting annoyed at the daily routine at my regular gym and I wanted new challenges. I dabbled with CrossFit without formal training for a while but I didn’t take the leap to train in an actual box until a pretty rough patch a year ago when I made the leap to do something for myself. I actually hounded Coach Gino for days after my free class because I was instantly hooked and wanted to get started. I finished on-ramp at 9:30 a.m. and was back at 12:30 p.m. that same day for my first regular class.

How does CrossFit impact your performance?

Everything has changed. I played college football and right now I am the best combination of strength, speed and body composition I’ve ever been.

The lifts that would have been challenging for me years ago are now my strengths.

Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Double Unders. Not being able to do them took a toll on my psyche for a long time when I couldn’t do more than four or five in a row but now I consistently string together 50 and have done as many as 90 unbroken after a year of coaching and extra work from the coaches at CrossFit Salus.

How has your body physically changed?

I’m much healthier. I’m much more mobile and my positioning in squats and overhead lifts has improved greatly. I used to have chronic lower back pain from tight hamstrings but ever since I started training smarter it has gone away. I look good, I feel good and perform at a much higher level than when I walked through the door on day one.

How does CrossFit benefit you in other ways?

It has re-ignited my competitive spirit.

Being a competitive CrossFit athlete is a humbling experience but it has been an awesome ride so far.

I love the sense of community; I’ve made some awesome, like-minded friends. I feel at home in our gym and community. Whenever I put on Salus gear at a competition or even just wear it out in public, I feel like I’m wearing a football jersey again and representing my team.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

They get the idea from Facebook and Instagram since it’s all I really talk about but they usually have the misconception that it’s not for everyone, which it is. Everything can be scaled to your ability level and anyone can get the desired stimulus out of the workout.

You just have to keep an open mind and get away from the traditional gym routine.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

The guys I workout with in competitors classes and my coaches. We mess with each other and don’t pull any punches when one of us slacks but it brings out the best in all of us and we hold each other accountable. We’re a right knit family. We’re competitive and we want everyone to do well but everyone checks that whiteboard with one thing in mind. We workout and get together outside of the box often, they’ve become good friends and great motivators. The coaches care about you, they take care of us in so many ways other than providing us with a gym. They do an excellent job fostering a sense of community and are excellent business/fitness professionals.

Favorite WOD, skill and/or lift?

I bet everyone thinks I’ll put Diane or handstand push ups here…my most memorable WODs and my favorite moves are the ones I stink at. That’s what keeps me coming back. That’s what teaches me the most. I don’t value my success as much as my failures, even if they upset me initially. I learn from them and always come back better, they often guide my training. My favorite WOD was appropriately named “Jason” I failed for almost forty minutes throughout my last set of muscle ups. The workout took me an hour and forty minutes, I was the only one left in the gym but I finished. To some it may look like I lost that day, but in my own mind I won because I battled through it and finished.

That’s what CrossFit is about at its core, you vs. the workout.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit?

Have fun. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be something that makes you feel good. Not everyone that does CrossFit needs to be a competitor, that’s just what keeps me coming back. There are plenty of people here and each of us has our own reasons. The beauty of CrossFit is you can attack it in so many different ways depending on your goal. If your goal is to compete, they have the experience, classes and the resources to help you. If your goal is to function better in life’s daily grind, there’s no better cure than CrossFit. If your goal is to get a better looking body composition, that’s the best side effect of CrossFit. Listen to your coaches…they know better than you and want what’s best for you. Share your issues or concerns but don’t let them become road blocks for you or the professionals coaching you.

Check your ego at the door and just come in ready to give it your best, you won’t be disappointed.

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

My short-term goal right now is to podium at a local individual competition. Right now I’m registered for the November qualifiers for the East Coast Championships. My long-term goal is to make it to Regionals before my 30th birthday, whether it’s through team or individual. I look forward to the journey, it’s been rewarding so far.

 

Athlete of the Month: Greg Douglas

It is with much excitement to announce Greg Douglas as Athlete of the Month for July. His dedication to the sport is clear especially when looking at how far he’s come in just over a year’s time. He, along with many athletes at the box, didn’t walk into box at the level you see them with today. It is through hard work (and blood, sweat and tears) that makes them the athlete they are today. Give him a chalky high five next time you see him at the box and check out his story below.

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not always that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight.  What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some.  They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too.  They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is.  Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better.

 

When and why did you start CrossFit?

My first CrossFit WOD experience was in the Secret Service Academy in 2010 when my instructors introduced us to a workout called Murph. It was 5am on the 4th of July, 2010 and the instructors explained why we were doing this workout and who Lt. Michael Murphy was. That was my first taste of CrossFit. But at that time I was too into bodybuilding and working on my beach muscles that I didn’t know how a consistently varied workout system was going to make me a better athlete, human being and police officer. In 2012 my personal trainer suggested that I try CrossFit. Although hesitant, I finally met him for a class a couple weeks later. After that first class I wasn’t hooked but decided to come back the next week and try it again. The first 6 months I think I only went once or twice a week. It wasn’t until CrossFit Salus opened up that I really saw what CrossFit was all about.

CrossFit is much more than a workout; it’s a community and through that people get ridiculously fit.

How does CrossFit impact your performance?

Being a police officer my job is hard enough, but being fit makes it easier. Since CrossFit workouts are constantly varied and I’m learning new skills every week; I have the peace of mind that whatever my jobs throw at me I can overcome and adapt, just like a WOD.

Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t do very many skills including double unders, muscle ups, handstand push-ups, kipping pull-ups, pistols…. you name it, I couldn’t do it. Now, since CrossFit Salus pushes us to learn new skills, I can do all of them! I remember Gino spending an hour in my driveway trying to teach me double unders before they opened; it took time a lot of patience and a ton of rope whips to finally get them.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

Describing CrossFit can be difficult, especially trying to explain it to somebody who hasn’t experienced it before. I once heard someone describe CrossFit as this. You have a large bag, and in that bag you have Olympic lifting, powerlifting, anything gymnastics, running, calisthenics, kettlebells movements, rowing, pullups, and any other bodyweight movement you can think of. Now, shake up the bag and dump a few things out of it each day.

It’s training for the unknowable and the unthinkable so you can be ready for whatever life throws at you.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

I think CrossFit Salus has a great community and a great atmosphere. More than my own goals and motivation it’s the people who go keep me coming in for more of the pain and punishment. I think the people hold each other accountable and if you don’t show up one day it’s like you’re not only letting yourself down, but in a way, you’re letting other people down, too.

I am also motivated to keep getting better and coming back day after day because I know as a police officer one day I will have to come face to face with a life or death situation and I want to know in my heart that I prepared as much as I could to overcome whatever that day may bring.

CrossFit doesn’t just train the body, I think CrossFitters and very mentally strong. You have to be to know that every day when you walk in that gym you’re going to get kicked in the proverbially nuts.

But yet, you walk in there every day no matter what the WOD is with a smile because today you are getting better than you were yesterday.

Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift?

My Favorite WOD would have to be Karen, 150 Wall Balls for time. I do not know why but I just like doing it. My favorite skill is the Muscle Up because it took me so long to get them and I can still remember the feeling when I got my first one. My favorite lift now is a tough one to choose from, Overhead Squats have to be up there along with deadlifts.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

I would say to new people trying out CrossFit for the first time or even Salus for the first time is CrossFit is fun and it will get you in better shape no question about that. You will also feel empowered because you will be able to do things that you didn’t think you could. For me, CrossFit has definitely gottn me in better shape. I also thought just because I could bench press a lot or bicep curl a lot that I was fit. I didn’t know what “fit” meant until I started CrossFit. It has changed my outlook on what being fit means.

I can honestly say that I am in better shape now than I was when I was going through the Secret Service Academy at 21 years old.

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

My next Goal is to master handstand walks and qualify for regionals either with a Team or as an Individual. I know that I have a lot of work to do but with the help of the amazing Coaches at Salus and community I know the sky is the limit for me!

 

Athletes of the Month: Lili & Chris Bernardini

For the Bernardini family: Lili, Chris, Cassidy, Luca and Jess, CrossFit is their “prescription for life”. It is our pleasure to feature them for this month’s Athletes of the Month. Together, they each demonstrate a drive to better their fitness and their life.

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight.  What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some.  They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too.  They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is.  Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better.

Meet Lili & Chris Bernardini!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

We first learned about CrossFit through our daughter Jess and now we are pretty much a CrossFit family. I walked in on the first day CrossFit Salus opened, met two amazing people, coaches Angie & Gino and I felt connected to them right away. I took introductory class and that was it… I signed up right away (for the rest of my life!). Our son Luca started attending the CrossFit Kids classes and soon after, Chris switched over to Salus not only because we like to workout together but also because the coaches and their knowledge made the difference!

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

One step at a time, we have been executing lifts and gymnastic movements with more confidence. CrossFit has made us push ourselves beyond our comfort zone while being aware of our limitations.
For Luca, he has developed more confidence, concentration, agility, interest and passion for exercising while having fun and following direction.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Chris: I have been training my whole life but CF has made me aware of Olympic lifts which I never trained before .
Lili: I finally got my firsts unassisted pull up and double unders. Little by little I’m improving my cleans and OHS. I never thought I would be jumping 24 inch boxes or even doing wall balls with 14 lb ball (I was afraid of crashing). I still have a long way to go, but I love to challenge myself.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

Chris: I have gotten stronger and more mobile, I feel that CF has helped me recover and endure my knee surgery better.
Lili: I love feeling stronger and agile. I enjoy watching how my body has been changing, getting fitter, seeing my muscles coming to life and checking every day how my “6 pack dream” is progressing (I’ll give it 1 more year – baby fat still around).

 

“CrossFit is my prescription for life.”

 

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

Chris: I definitely have more energy, I’m much more aware of posture, mobility and movement. It has also given me and Lili something else to do together, that is healthy and sets a good example for our son Luca.

Lili: CF is my prescription for life. Whenever I get down, I can’t wait for the morning to run to my WOD. It motivates me, gives me more energy than ever, cheers me up, eliminates my stress and helps me to find clarity in my decisions. I feel happier every time I leave the box .

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

Chris: I tell people that CF is a means of training which is high intensity using time, weight and/or bodyweight and effort. You work out with other people and it is fun.
Lili: CF is inspirational not just by examples of different levels of athletes, limitations or ages but by the sense of community. No matter who is next to you, they are all cheering for you and you for them. Everybody helps each other to get better or to finish something that you didn’t feel capable of… The people make it fun and the coaches (my coaches) make it possible.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

Chris: Getting better at all phases of training and being as fit as I can be.
Lili: The results, the energy and feeling of accomplishment that I get and the wonderful quality of people that I have met.

8. Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift? (What was your first- or most memorable- WOD ever?)

Chris: My favorite lift is Deadlift… the first time that I lifted 305 lbs, my eyes got watery because I was so excited.
Lili: WODS that I remember as hard but fun, the Halloween WOD (first time jumping a huge tire in and out, 100 meters carrying weights OH, medicine ball, run and Gino trying to scare us); “Bring Sally Up, Bbring Sally Down”; the 12 Days of Fitness Christmas WOD to name a few. My favorite lifts areBack Squats, thrusters, Split Jerks and Deadlifts.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Chris: To be patient with themselves and not to get hung up on other people’s abilities. Work on own improvements, mobility, etc.
Lili: Benefit from Gino and Angie’s coaching (nowhere else like Salus), take advantage of the On Ramp classes and learn and practice as much as you can; don’t get intimidated by others, don’t push yourself to lift heavy weights until you have mastered the proper move and position; have fun and enjoy everybody’s support.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Chris: I don’t have a goat… I have a herd but I am culling the herd one goat at a time. I’m working on Handstand pushups and double unders right now.
Lili: Like my hubby, I have a lot. As I accomplish one, I have to continue to get better on that (pull ups and doubles currently under improvement)… My next goats are handstands and handstand pushups while I keep working in getting a better clean and snatch (CF exercises!)
Luca: Jump rope and Hand Stand… haha

 

Athlete of the Month: David Wicki

We are excited to feature Dave Wicki as May 2014 Athlete of the Month. Dave has embraced the philosophy of CrossFit as a whole. Not just through his performance in the workouts, but also through his lifestyle (which is the hardest part) by changing his diet.

 

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in November 2013 and I started because of my wife. She had been doing CrossFit for several months and had made great improvements and looked forward to working out each and every day. I was looking for something that would challenge me, keep things fresh, and help me stick to a schedule. She suggested that I give it a try and I joined her for a friends on Friday class and I was hooked.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I have improved in several areas. My strength and endurance has greatly increased. I am able to do things that I have never been able to do such as various Olympic lifts. To put it simply I feel better than I have in years.

I am able to do things that I have never been able to do before.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

While I was always athletic all of my life, weight training always consisted of using the weight machines at the gym. Since joining CrossFit Salus I have learned various Olympic lifts and how to work your full body. I can also do a handstand push-up and my greatest accomplishment so far is learning how to do a muscle up.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

Visually, I have more definition in my muscles.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I would say the thing that has changed the most since joining crossfit is my diet. I started to learn the importance of nutrition as part of maximizing your performance and overall health. After researching several options I decided to follow the Paleo diet. The premise behind this lifestyle is to eat a whole food diet: eating foods in their most natural state as possible and cutting out processed foods. Since starting this way of eating I have seen a tremendous improvement in my overall health.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them that it is a full body workout. That it is a combination of weight lifting, cardiovascular, and body resistance training. I tell them that it is a lot of fun and the workout is different everyday.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

There are several things that keep me motivated, the fact that the work outs are different every day, that I am challenged every time I work out, the environment that has been created by the coaches. It is like one big family and everyone is always there to encourage each other.

8. Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift? (What was your first- or most memorable- WOD ever?)

I would say that my most memorable WOD I ever did was a METCON we did where we had to do 50 power cleans, 50 HR push ups, 50 T2B and 50 back squats with an EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) of 5 burpees. This WOD took me just shy of an hour. I remember this WOD the most because it would have been a workout that I would not have finished before starting CrossFit.

This was the first workout that I thought I would not finish and I bring this up because the support of everyone I was able to finish.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Not to be intimidated to start at their own pace. That all of the work outs can be scaled to fit them at where they are at. I would also tell them that the people at this box are some of the nicest people and that they will root you on and encourage you until you finish and no one cares how long it takes you to finish a workout.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

My biggest challenge that I am currently working on is my double unders. This has been something that has been hard for me and I continue to work at it and I am getting better at it. I have worked my way up to 8 in a row but not on a consistent basis. The other thing that I am working on is my strength training. Lastly, one of my goals is to compete in a CrossFit competition.

Athlete of the Month: Patrick Chanod

This month we are excited to feature one of our members who has been with us since we opened our doors just one year ago. Patrick Chanod has made some tremendous improvements in strength, mobility, performance, position and more over the past year…and that is because of his dedication and commitment to training and his hard work ethic toward his goals. We have witnessed him become a stronger athlete the past 12 months and are honored he is a part of the Salus box.

Check out his ‘interview’ below:

 

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I bought ten sessions at some other local boxes over the past few years. They were great places and positive experiences but it didn’t click for me. The timing wasn’t right or maybe the distance but I always knew CrossFit was for me. When I spotted Salus on Facebook in January of 2013 I knew this would be my place! I actually signed up Day 1 in April of 2013, I initially started because I was tired of old school, Chest, Tri’s. Back and Bi’s “Globo Gym” workouts. In between days I was running all around Middletown. I had hit a wall, and now I can’t ever go back!

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

My capacity has changed dramatically. I can’t believe how much work you can actually do once you think you are “done”. I look at WOD’s so differently now. For me they start at a fast pace and I quickly get that feeling we all get. Oh no, “the monster” I am tired! Now I know that is when the real work begins, that is where all the gains are and I don’t slow down. I welcome the monster!

Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

There was a list of moves I wasn’t proficient in. Now I just love the feeling of banging out Muscle Up’s in the middle (or at the end) of a killer WOD. It is such a rush and feeling of accomplishment at the top the rings when you are gassed!

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be strong! The strongest I have ever been and I am at my lightest weight. I believe one of the best aspects of our training is the strength programming. To Rx a WOD you have to be strong, and to get strong you have to get comfortable with heavy weights. I was apprehensive and had a list of reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t and none of them were valid. “I have a bad back”, “I had major knee surgery, “I am not a kid anymore” I had to quiet those voices and work hard to lift heavy weight with proper form. It all started from there, the Olympic Lifting Class and following the strength cycle outlined to a tee, have me lifting weights I would have never dreamed of just a year ago. I came in with an athletic background but I am shocked at the weights I put up. More than in my HS and College football playing days 20 years ago! (Now to be honest and in the interest of full disclosure it is kind of cool taking my shirt off at the beach and showing off the results.)

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I am going to use a phrase that has been around for a bit but I first heard from Coach Gino in class. CrossFit helps me be the best version of myself! When I first overheard that term it all clicked for me. I am not addicted to CrossFit. I am addicted to becoming the best version of myself. In all aspects of my life. I work towards that same challenge as husband, father, business owner, and member of the community. CrossFit helps me be the best version of myself. It is really that simple.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I am training to become an Olympic Weightlifting, sprinter, gymnast.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

The moment I saw the news about the CrossFit Open (and Games) new age group 40-44 I said to myself there is the long term goal. I know I need more work but I am going to compete at a high level, regionals or better in the future in that age group. With great coaching and a lot of time and effort my scores actually hold their own in local competitions and in the 18-39 age group. Secretly, I am going to give it (Regionals 18-39) two major shots in 2015 and 2106 before I turn 40. What do I have to lose? I thrive on the competition. I am motivated by the competitive aspect of CrossFit, sometimes against myself and sometimes against others. I have always been competitive and enjoy filling that void. I could never get that a traditional gym.

Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift? (What was your first- or most memorable- WOD ever?)

I love LONG brutal WOD’s, 30 – 40 Min Plus. Early on the Memorial Day Murph was one of my favorites. It is a 1 Mile run, 100 Pull-ups, 200 Pushups, and 300 Air Squats and finishing with a 1 Mile run with a 20 Pound Weighted Vest! It is an amazing WOD in honor of great man. I remember reading about it and just wondering how the heck I was going to finish. I gutted it out with several other members. It was a great morning and it really let me know what CrossFit was all about. I can’t wait for this year’s Murph.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Have fun! This should be the best hour of your day. Where else can you work out next to Olympic Athletes, your wife, your best clients, regional hopefuls, top notch local HS and College athletes, old friends, and local Mom’s and Dad’s just looking to get back in shape. The classes are so diverse. Enjoy the community and the people, have fun, work hard and don’t get frustrated. It is a process and if you put in the work you will get better every day.

What is your next goat to kill (goal to accomplish)?

Pistols and butterfly pullups!

 

Side Note:

I knew CrossFit was for me but one of the most amazing aspects of all this has been the impact on my family. They started as a cheering section at local competitions but boy did it grow from there! My wife Michelle is a CrossFit athlete now too and is quick to remind me of the moves she is more proficient in. I love watching her work hard to kill her goats. She is so determined to string together those double-unders! My daughters Ella (5) “The Burpee Queen” and Olivia (10) are avid CrossFit Kids on Saturday Mornings and little Lia (2) can be seen on Facebook or in the kid’s area working on her thrusters. KB swings, or Shoulder to Overhead with Joshy and Max. I am so glad they are having fun too and are a big part of all this.

 

Athlete of the Month: Dina Oxley

This month’s featured athlete has displayed such a commitment to the sport of CrossFit. Dina is focused on improving her skills and displayed a strong effort in all her WODs. It’s exciting to watch! She’s stepping outside of her comfort zone regularly and just registered for her first CrossFit competition! We’re excited to have Dina be CrossFit Salus’ Athlete of the Month for March 2014!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started crossfit in Aug of 2013. I had heard about it from a good friend. Her enthusiasm when she talked about it made me eager to try it. I drove past Salus a few days later and just had to stop in to see what it was all about. I went to an intro class and was instantly hooked. Finished my On Ramps in a few weeks and started classes right away. I get bored very easy and I love change so Crossfit is the absolute perfect program for me. I love seeing what the next WOD will bring!

 

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

It’s changed so much since I started 6 months ago. I am so much more comfortable with all the exercises and lifts. I don’t shy away from trying anything. Seeing my improvement over time is so addicting. I love seeing that little gold star!!!

 

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Definitely!! Most of what I do at Crossfit, I never did before. I never did a pull-up. I will never forget one of my first WOD’s, EVA (yikes). I was using three bands to assist me in my pull-ups. I needed all the help I could get. Then, on New Year’s Day, I did my first unassisted pull-up. It was a huge accomplishment for me. It motivated me to make 2014 a year full of PR’s. I can’t wait to compare myself in another 6 months.

 

4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

My body has changed a lot. I am definitely stronger all around. And my favorite part, I have the best ABS I‘ve ever had in my lifeJ. That six pack is starting to surface!!!

 

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways? (Sleep habits, stress management, as a mom, mental focus, sex life, work productivity, etc)

Crossfit has changed my life so much and is a priority for me now. I am a much happier person. I have more energy than ever, sleep better, and stress a lot less. As a mother of 2 little girls, I’ve managed to lose focus on myself many times. I would get into my “funks” as I would like to call it. And I know there are many moms out there that can relate. It would take me a while to get back into the grove of a workout regimen and force myself to go to the gym. Since starting Crossfit, this is the first winter in over 5 years that the “funk” didn’t get the best of me. I no longer plan my workouts around everything else. I plan everything else around my workouts!! No more excuses!!! Making Crossfit a priority in my life makes me a happier person all around. When I take care of myself, I am a better mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. And my husband definitely likes my new and improved body;)

 

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

AMAZING!! Life changing! And the best thing I ever did for myself!! I could go on for hours if they are willing to listen…hahaJ

 

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

My energy! I love how great I feel. Seeing my improvements weekly is a huge motivation. And of course, my surroundings at the box. What’s better then working out with amazing coaches and members!?!? They are all amazing motivation!

 

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

I am a big fan of squats believe it or not. Front squats, back squats, OH squats, thrusters…. I have done more squats in the last 6 months then I have done in my lifetime… I like to work my quads and glutes. Every girl wants a nice booty and that takes workJ.

 

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

I would say don’t hesitate…“jump right in”. Don’t let anything intimidate you, a workout or a beastly member… That beast will be the first one cheering you on when you’re struggling to finish the WOD. And everything is scalable so don’t shy away from anything. Before you know it you will be PR’ing like crazy!!

 

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Those darn DUBS!!! I am dying to master the dubs. HSPU are definitely on my list and maybe, just maybe a muscle up?!?! Hey, never say never in Crossfit. Or that will cost you burpeesJ

 

**I want to thank Gino and Angela for being such amazing coaches! You have created such a great community of members and friends. I am very fortunate to get to work out in such an amazing atmosphere every day, especially getting to work out with you two. You are both an inspiration and give me such great motivation!!**

CrossFit Salus Athlete of the Month: Michelle Wicki

January 2014 CrossFit Salus Athlete of the Month

Michelle Wicki

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We are so excited to announce January 2014 CrossFit Salus Athlete of the Month, Michelle Wicki. Michelle has been so dedicated and consistently attending class since the moment she started and always gives it her all (even when her dad warns her about the dangers of rhabdo). Check out her bio below and give her a chalky high five next time you’re in!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started my on-ramp classes at the end of May 2013. I like workouts that are challenging and fun because I get bored very easily. The workouts I’ve been into in the past included p90x and bootcamp training…my next challenge was going to be between CrossFit and Kick Boxing. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have chosen CrossFit!

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I think for the first three months i just “learned” how to breathe! It’s hard to explain but since doing CrossFit I don’t think I have the same lung capacity. My endurance has definitely gotten better, and I find myself less apprehensive about facing challenges..even handstands!

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

I knew nothing about weightlifting (besides using the machines at the gym which by the way is NOT weightlifting)! I couldn’t grasp the concept of a clean! Everything with weights was so intimidating! I started with the 15# tech bar and could barely put weight on it. One lap around the building and I couldn’t catch my breath. And those box jumps…I was afraid to even attempt the 12″ box. I thought I could never get my body to be coordinated enough to do the movements I was being taught…So much to think about for just one small movement (butt tight, hollow out, chest up, OMG!!) Whenever pull ups were in a WOD, I would have to do jumping pull ups…in my head, I’m just jumping right? How hard can that be? Well, it was harder than I thought!! Now, I enjoy the weight training part of the workout…the weights that were so intimidating became a challenge I look forward to facing everyday. I am getting so much better at running, even though I still don’t enjoy it…it feels good to finish a WOD with a lot of running- I would never have believed I was capable of doing that! I am no longer afraid of box jumps and I am finally able to do an unassisted pull up!

4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I was so impressed with the immediate change in my body. Within 2 weeks I started slowly wearing clothes I hadn’t worn in years. My whole body started getting toned, especially my legs. I slouch much less- finding myself standing straighter and even sitting up straighter. It ;is definitely a great motivating factor for me!

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I definitely have more energy. I find myself less stressed, I’m eating better and sleeping better!

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them there really is nothing like it. It’s hard to compare it to anything I’ve ever done before…I say its a combination of cardio, and strength training, but you really won’t fully understand it until you’ve tried it.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

So many things…my progress is a good motivator. Every week I see an improvement in something…I see results…often…And everyone at the box…Its like a community… or a family…everyone is so supportive. When I am having a rough day, I can’t wait to go in!

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

I am surprised to say this but I think my fave lately would have to be the clean and jerk.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Keep coming…no matter how sore you feel, you always feel better after the workout. And don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Go at your own pace, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Ummm…soo many to choose from… I would say pull ups and double unders.

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