William Barnhisel on “Dad Strength”

william athlete of the month

Each month we bring you a story about one of our amazing Salus athletes. This person has something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work without complaining. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

Our August 2022 Athlete of the Month is William Barnhisel. William came to CrossFit Salus in 2019 looking for a place to drop in during the holidays. Now living in the Middletown, NJ area, Bill and his wife, Lauren are regular members. You’ll find Bill crushing the early evening WODs bringing his positive energy and baby Bill Jr. with him!

“Bill is so much fun to coach—he gives 100%, has never seen a barbell he can’t wait to move, and crushes those gymnastics movements. He is a real pleasure to have in class.” ~Coach Lisa

“Bill is a pleasure to have in class . He quietly crushes every WOD and has a real sweet family.” ~Coach Scott

“Bill is one of our most well rounded male athletes, he has a great mind set, great energy and loves a challenge.” ~Coach Gino

We’re so happy to have William as our August Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Congratulations Bill!

William Barnhisel Athlete of the Month August 2022

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started full time when my wife (Lauren) and I moved to Middletown in the Summer of 2020. Previously, I would drop in periodically when Lauren and I would come down from the city to visit her family.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I have definitely gotten stronger on most of my lifts as well as HSPUs.

I think this is because mainly we consistently do lifting at Salus or because now I have dad strength with the birth of Little Bill. Our old gym in the city was so small and so busy it was hard to program lifting.

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

Strict HSPUs I always struggled with, but I have definitely gotten better at those and can string larger sets together now.

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

Well when first starting Salus I had a little more COVID weight, you can only get so far with a 50lb dumbbell in a 500 sq ft apartment you are sharing with your wife and 80lb dog. So I dropped the COVID weight by fall of 2020 and have been pretty consistent since then.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I have always used the gym as my de-stressor. So Salus definitely helps with that. It’s a combination of zoning out for an hour a day and just focusing on the task at hand, getting the endorphins going and having fun with the other members.

It’s a great community at Salus.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Eh ok, Kidding. Lauren and I have made most of our friends in Middletown from Salus.

There is just something about CrossFit people.

On the whole they are great people who enjoy the same things so it’s easy to make friends and enjoy the community.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

For me it is really my stress management. My job is pretty stressful, so my workouts are essential.

I always feel better no matter what happens during the day.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I love Murph. I know it’s a long one, but just something about chipping away at it while keeping in mind WHY we are doing it is just so motivating.

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

Take your time figuring everything out, especially on the technique. No one really cares how much you can lift or what you can do.

We are all there for our own reasons.

It takes a while for some of the movements to click. I’ve made the mistake when I was younger by trying to go too heavy too fast on some of the lifts and have injured myself. Some of the members have been doing this for years, so don’t feel intimidated when they are lifting much heavier or doing movements you don’t know yet.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

My mobility.

I sit most of the day for work, so my back and hip flexors get pretty tight. I want to get to a point where I can comfortably sit in a full squat for minutes without being uncomfortable.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

I love long chippers, so some combination of hang power cleans, shoulder to overhead, HSPUs, double unders and bar muscle ups with a 25 minute time cap.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I’m a busy body. So I love my projects around the house. Lauren sometimes gets annoyed with, “why can’t you just relax?”

I don’t know why, but I usually need to be doing something.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

My favorite healthy dish is soy salmon filets I make on the grill. I started doing it for lent last year on Fridays and now it’s one of our staples at the house.

My Favorite splurge meal is homemade pizza, when it’s made I eat far too much of it!

14. Favorite motivational quote?

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” I think this goes back to my busy body nature, again it annoys Lauren sometimes haha.

15. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I’ve been to 46 states. Most of it came from traveling during my wrestling career, but I think it’s pretty cool I’ve seen so much of the country.

Only states I haven’t been to are: Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Alaska.