Paul started with in a little over a year ago, and from the day we met him, we knew he would be a great addition to our CrossFit family. Although he is a great athlete, he is always humble. No matter how strong or fast he is, he is always hungry for more. Whatever the day throws at him, he will always show up to the gym happy. Humble, hungry, and happy is what makes our members so inspiring.
He has been an athlete his whole life, was in the British army, and is now a Firefighter. His performance in the gym improves every single day. From his strength, to his speed, to his gymnastics, and even to his mobility. He works hard, and it shows.
He recently approached me about my nutrition program even though he was already in great shape. His goal was better performance and recovery. We only did 6 weeks of a cut (fat loss) and then used 6 weeks to increase his macros/ calories back up to a new base, as he was already very lean. In the 6 weeks of the cut, he lost 8 pounds of fat.
As we started to increase his calories, his metabolism sped up so much, that he kept losing weight (fat), despite the fact that he was consuming more and more calories, he lost another 3 pounds of fat in the 6 weeks of caloric increase. Overall he lost 11 pounds of fat and is now eating about 150 calories more than when he first started with me. His strength went down initially, as expected, but came back (plus more) as soon as his calories were increased. His performance has improved tremendously, and so has his gymnastics, he got his ring muscle ups in a workout!
How training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Since I started at CrossFit 201 back in August 2017, I’ve learned a lot. Previously working out by myself all the time had led me down a black hole of denial about my physical fitness. Having coaches, and other gym members, help me with my form has led to great improvements in what otherwise would have been a lifelong series of ‘no reps’. Mobility was one of those such key things that I’d never practiced on my own. This leads to the mental accountability of continuously trying to ensure every rep counts and learning to be humble enough to drop the weight down and scale as needed. Fitness has always been a therapeutic part of my life, therefore enjoying the workouts and time in the gym are one of the aspects in my day that I would list as making me ‘happy’.
How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?
Not only do I feel fitter and stronger on a day to day basis in simple tasks, I have also met some amazing people who share the same passion (including Amanda, for better or worse) to connect and socialize with, that I didn’t have before. Having now dropped 10lbs, I feel better educated in my diet and look healthier than ever. The benefits overall are felt daily in so many ways and I wish I’d started years ago.
What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?
Muscle ups, most Olympic lifts, deadlifts without hurting my back, admit when my reps were bad, and hold a weight heavier than an empty bar in the front rack position without feeling like my fingers were breaking… There’s always something new to learn and plenty still to work on.
Can you share a little bit of your story and how fitness became a part of your life? What motivated you to start and what keeps you coming back?
I’ve always been involved in sports and I love being active. From karate, MMA, rock climbing, tennis and swimming as hobbies, to more competitive roles as a skinny long-distance runner, football and rugby player in secondary school. When joining the British army and then firefighting when I moved to America, fitness became a serious part of life, a discipline that was key to functioning in my role, to saving lives and protecting the people around me.
I’ve faced a few situations where stopping and taking a rest, or not being strong enough, were just not really options I could consider. Keeping that mindset has carried on to the current day, that strength, determination and perseverance through adversity are as important for oneself as they are assets for the loved-ones around you in times of need.
What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?
It doesn’t matter what your starting point is, everyone can benefit in some way. You may never be the fastest, the strongest, or the fittest, but it doesn’t mean you can’t improve yourself. That improvement will not only help your own quality of life, but also those around you. Whether to help an elderly relative or neighbour, your children, or a complete stranger – you never know when a healthier lifestyle may pay off.