“Starting Crossfit a little over a year ago was one of the best life changing decisions I have ever made. In a short year I have drastically changed my fitness level, self confidence, mental health, and general well being. Before starting Crossfit I was the typical guy in the gym that wanted to judge everything by how much I could bench or curl or maybe leg press. I played 3 sports in high school and stayed pretty active through college, so I continued doing the same lifts and routines that I learned there and thought I was in pretty good shape. I did the typical “back and bis” or “chest and tris” workouts and hit legs occasionally but always did leg presses and calf raises instead of any kind of squats. I ran a few miles once or twice a week or took on an occasional Saturday morning 5k and figured that would be enough for endurance.

Week 1 of Crossfit at C3 made me realize how far I was from being in great shape. I could get a few pullups and a couple ring dips but I had to do them on pretty thick bands to get through a WOD. Handstand pushups, chest to bars, and muscle-ups (still not quite there) were all out of the question. Olympic lifting was all brand new and I was almost embarrassed to even try. Quickly getting in better shape and seeing what I could do turned Crossfit into an obsession. The deliberate recording of improvement made tracking progress crystal clear and a source of constant encouragement. Starting at a pretty basic level meant that things got better really early on but also continued to build on itself, so even after a year of training I am still seeing constant gains. After a month or so of coaching and working on form I started seeing great gains on all of my strength and Olympic lifts. Being a 200+ lb guy, the bodyweight moves came a little slower, but before long I was off all bands and learning how to kip and make them even easier. Now after about 13 months, I am finally doing all the WODs with prescribed weights and unassisted (excluding MUs). In just over a year I have added 100lbs to my squat (350#), 70lbs on cleans (245#), snatches are up almost 60lbs (180#), and I can now do over 25 unbroken pullups. Meanwhile, I am a few pounds heavier than I was when I started, yet 3 notches tighter on the belt. We set ourselves goals for 2012 at the beginning of the year as a sort of New Years resolution and with months to spare I have already hit many of them. Recently I started a two a day program and am looking forward to seeing how much the extra dedication will pay off toward reaching the more challenging ones.

Most importantly to me though, has been the mental improvements. The obvious endorphin and chemical changes made my general mood much better on a daily basis. At the same time, learning new things in the gym and seeing such improvements in my ability to do them gave me confidence to try new things in my life outside the gym without the fear of failure. I had always been pretty happy in my own comfort zone but very hesitant to venture out of it and try new things. I have made many new friends in the gym and also become closer to the group that I started with as we continue to challenge and push each other toward new goals. I could go on and on but in the end, I feel that I am a better, stronger, healthier, and happier person than I was when I started. I have C3, my coaches, and gym family of new friends to thank for that. I look forward to the next year and the challenges it holds for me!”

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