September 2013 Proven Athlete - Nate K.09.12.2013

1. When did you start training at CrossFit Milwaukee?

first partook of the “CrossFit Kool-Aid” in January of this year.

2. How 
did you find out about our gym and what motivated you to start our style of training?

I have been involved in team athletics since I was 5 years old and have always enjoyed being active. I played soccer all the way through high school while also participating basketball and then swimming my junior and senior years. It was my involvement on the swim team throughout my undergraduate career that really laid the foundation for my decision to begin CrossFit training.

The two are eerily similar in that it is a “team” sport based almost entirely on individual performances, they push you to limits that you never thought you could reach and you can eat just about anything and still look good! Swimming also instilled in me a certain motivation that most other sports cannot compare to. Training for swimming is intense, it hurts, you almost always feel like crap and you wonder why you come back day after day BY CHOICE! But when you’re on deck right before the work out, you look around at the rest of your team, no doubt feeling the exact same way as you; staring into the ice cold water you feel their energy, you feed off it, you get to the point where you can’t live without it. You must have that PR. This day’s challenges await you in that god-forsaken battlefield of a pool and you embrace the thought of meeting them this day, and every day after that.

I get that feeling every day I walk into CFM. We don’t necessarily know each other or know if we will be able to conquer the challenges that await us but we feed off the apprehension in the room and use it to push ourselves further than we ever imagined. We can all walk off that battlefield after a hard fought hour of pain knowing that the stranger who started the day with us extended their hand to help our destroyed and sweat-soaked bodies off that floor and congratulate us for the victory achieved. That’s why I CrossFit.

3. When I was considering who to choose for this month's Proven Athlete, the progress you've been making in your squats was the first thing that jumped to my mind. Please tell us a little bit of what you did the past couple of months and the results that you got.

After I felt like I was hitting my plateau with the “bucket list” squat routine I decided that I was going to try every day to PR. I started with warm up sets of 5 reps to a 5RM then did a set at 3RM then did singles, increasing the weight until I couldn't complete another rep. In that span of 2-3 months my PR jumped from I think around 240 to my current PR of 286. That old PR that I started with is where I set my 3-5RM by the end. I have to give it up to the gym rats Alex S. and Murph for pushing me and giving me tips to really make all those reps happen.

4. What are some other fitness related results you've achieved since training with us?

I thought about joining a CrossFit gym for a while before I actually pulled the trigger because I thought “there’s no way I’m
walking in there not in great shape already!” So I got an L.A. Fitness membership and worked out there for a while to get myself
“ready” to train CrossFit. Little did I know, all the movements I thought were full-body and building the most strength, were barely
having any effect on my overall conditioning.

Since starting at CFM every single one of my movements has improved and I’ve learned many new ones as well. I knew about the squat and bench and thought those were the only big muscle group exercises. If you had asked me what a clean and jerk was or a snatch I would have given you a pretty odd look as I’m trying to not say what I know would be considered inappropriate. I have really gotten a lot out of the Olympic lifting classes and the technique I gained there has correlated to much improved WOD times and a better feeling after them as I can maintain good form now throughout the entire work out (or at least most of it).

5. You've moved past the point where a beginner's routine (i.e. 3x5 back squats, front squats each done 1x/week) will give you optimal results. How have you tailored your squat work to suit your current fitness levels and goals?

Other than changing my rep scheme I also mixed in more variations of squats. Front squats have really helped with my body positioning, forcing me to keep my chest up and weight on my heels. I also try and squat more than two times a week. Really focusing on getting in at least 3 times a week and spending a lot of time just on squats has helped me reach those PR’s a lot quicker. I currently am on a new rep scheme where I cluster my reps in sets to be able to get in more reps at higher weights. Taking small breaks has allowed me to really focus on each rep and get the most out of my form while allowing me to make small changes mid set.

6. What other fitness goals have you set for yourself in the future?

As long as Josh P. is complementing my hair I’ll be happy. Getting the butterfly kip down for pull-ups would be nice too.

7. Do you have a favorite benchmark workout? If so, what is it? What about a favorite lift (something other than squatting)?

I don’t have a favorite benchmark yet but I am looking forward to Fran this month. I think it will be a great test of how far I’ve
come as thrusters have never been one of my favorite movements. Any workout that gets me drenched in sweat is a favorite workout of mine. That and I’ve grown quite fond of snatching.

8. You're at the level where competing in CrossFit style competitions could easily be a possibility. Do you have plans to enter any competitions? If so, when? What would you feel are some of the strengths you have to bring to the table in this regard?

would definitely like to get involved in some competitions. I was looking forward to the competition class but my work schedule doesn't allow me to dedicate the time necessary to fully contribute. I think I’m still a ways away from any individual competition level as I’m still working on building the necessary strength but I think my current level would be perfect for team competitions. I have been able to build a greater cardio capacity to push through WODs and I definitely have the determination to not quit even when I’m gassed. Plus I miss the thrill of suffering with a team. There is nothing like putting forth 110% effort for the competitors grinding it out for your sake as well as their own.

9. Anything else you want to add?

I would like to thank Ryan and all my other coaches and “teammates” at CFM for providing the type of environment that I have been missing since my collegiate athlete days. Whether it’s a full class or a head to head WOD battle I appreciate the level of commitment that all the members of CFM have and I am a honored to be a part of that.

One quick note: We’ve also got some of the best looking groups out there! Be proud and show some skin during WODs people! You work too hard for us not to notice! Haha Cheers guys!

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