February 2014 Proven Athlete - Carl W.02.06.2014

1. When did you start training at CrossFit Milwaukee?

 5 months ago.

2. And before that you were at Cream City CrossFit. How long did you train there?

10 months.

3. What fitness activities were you doing before you found out about CrossFit? How did you find out about CrossFit and what motivated you to start our style of training?

Before CrossFit I wasn’t doing much of anything. Throughout my youth and in high school I was always very active and never had problems with my weight. But after that I started gaining weight. Every diet and exercise plan always ended with minimal short term weight loss and eventual weight gain above and beyond what it was when I started. Over seven years I yo-yo dieted my way up to 335lbs by the fall of 2012. After having a physical and labs my doctor insisted I needed medications because my cholesterol and triglycerides were more than double the high risk range. I knew about CrossFit and Paleo from a family friend that is a nutritionist and CF affiliate owner in Arizona. So I decided to pass on the medication and gave CrossFit a try and never looked back.

4. One of the reasons I decided to choose you for the Proven Athlete is your massive success in couple of categories. You've lost a lot of weight while gaining strength levels. Please tell us more about that.

In the 15 months I have been doing CrossFit and eating Paleo I have lost just over 100lbs and 8 pant sizes so far, and have continued to see strength gains over time. Starting out new to Paleo, CrossFit, and weightlifting there were significant changes for the first 6 months or so. Since then progress has slowed but persisted nevertheless.

5. What do you think is the singular most important factor for someone looking for fat loss as their primary goal?

Consistency has been the most important thing for me. 100lbs in 15 months is not a staggering rate by any means but it has been maintainable. I eat right most of the time and I workout 5-6 times per week. There have been several plateaus along the way and as frustrating as that can be I just keep going and eventually break through. Achieving significant weight loss and keeping it off has not been fast or easy. Unfortunately there is no magic trick. There is no secret. Eat better, and work harder is the only thing that has worked. I had to stop thinking of nutrition and fitness as a temporary fix and make it a lifestyle and because of that doing CrossFit and eating Paleo has become a part of who I am.

6. What about the same question in regards to strength gains?

Consistency again is the most important thing. Also eating quality foods and eating enough volume. Trying to lose weight and gain strength are quite contradictory. It has been a struggle to find the right balance of eating enough to gain strength but just enough to still lose weight. Again, there have been several plateaus but I just keep coming back and eventually it all comes together.

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

All the time I am finding more movements and WODS that I am able to do prescribed and finding that WOD times are going down and lift weights are going up. All forms of moving weights have been PR’d many times over. I have done things in the gym that a year ago I never would have thought I could do.

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

My primary goal for now is still weight loss. I have no idea what my ideal weight will be because I never had this much muscle mass before but I’ll find out when I get there. I also want to shift my focus towards increasing speed and intensity. I am happy with the strength I have thus far but feel like I need to move faster particularly in the bodyweight/lightweight WODs. I have also been working on HSPUs and DUs and would like to be able to do more than just 1-2 pull-ups without a band so that I can do a WOD with pull-ups Rx.

9. Do you have a favorite benchmark workout? If so, what is it? What about a favorite lift?

Besides all the obvious WODs like Grace, Fran, Murph, etc. I really like a HERO WOD called ABBATE. It is 1 mile run, 21 C&J
155lb, ½ mile run, 21 C&J 155lb, 1 mile run. This one is special to me because it is the first workout I ever did Rx despite it taking the better part of an hour. I like that it combines something I love, Olympic lifting, with something that I don’t care for and need to improve on, running. I think it is a good test of the balance between raw strength and cardiovascular ability.

My favorite lift is the snatch. The combination of explosiveness and precision with a very small margin for error is something
that I find is both challenging and rewarding.

10. Anything else you want to add?

Thank you CrossFit, affiliate owners, coaches, and members, for making this possible by providing an amazing community that I am proud to call myself a part of.

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