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Category: Success Stories

Paul: Firefighter, Humble Athlete, and In The Best Shape of His Life

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.

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Joe: Faster, Stronger, and 17 pounds lighter!

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Joe has been a member of CrossFit 201 for over 6 years.  If he’s in a class with you, it’s guaranteed that he will put a smile on your face.  He loves CrossFit himself, and keeps improving every day, but more importantly, he loves to see everyone around him improve and push themselves as well.  If you’re the last one finishing a workout, he will jump back in and finish those burpees with you, or cheer you on until you do!
He recently asked me for help on his nutrition, so we did a 12 week cut with him.  We kept a log of his macro intake, daily weight, sleep, waist measurements, workouts, and even mood.  He also kept a log of his lifts, workout scores, and running intervals.
He lost 13 pounds on the program and is now able to maintain it and keep seeing improvements in everything.
How has Coach Stacey’s nutrition program change your body?
July 2 – Weighed in at 197.8 -decided that I wanted to cut
July 9 – Weighed in at 194.1 -official start of cut
October 9 – Weighed in at 180.9 – Official end of cut
November 2 – Current Weight  181.1
Decided that I wanted to cut after spending three months at just under 200 lbs.  Was able to get my weight down and keep it around 181 pounds.  During the first month of the cut, I lost roughly 10 pounds, accompanied by a significant strength loss in all my major lifts.  Dropped an additional five pounds over the next two months, but all my strength numbers came back up to just under pre-cut levels (just deadlifted 455).  My running performance drastically improved over the three months.  Dropped my mile time from 7:25 to 6:35.  My 800 time is now 2:55.  Grace time improved by over 30 seconds.
Bottom line – I’m 15+ pounds lighter than I was in June, much faster and just as strong.  I feel 10 years younger.  The cut completely changed the way that I eat and think about food.  Very happy that I did it and would recommend to anyone looking to improve performance.

 

How training at CrossFit201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally and emotionally? 

CrossFit201 has completely transformed my approach to fitness.  I used to do bodybuilding and running a few times a week at the gym.  At CrossFit201, I now try to maximize the intensity during my workouts which has made me a much better all around athlete.  Stacey’s nutrition coaching has also given me a much healthier and simple approach to eating.
How has your training at CrossFit201 enhanced the quality of your life outside the gym? 
Aside from the physical benefits, I’ve made some really amazing friends here.  I spend most of my free time outside the gym with other members and couldn’t be happier.  You’ll make some really great friends at CrossFit if you open yourself up and talk to people.
What can you do now that you couldn’t when you first started? 
Plenty.  Double Unders, Muscle Ups, 460llb deadlift, handstand pushups
How did fitness become a part of your life? What motivated you to start and what keeps you coming back? 
Fitness has always been a big part of my life.  I played baseball in college and then in men’s leagues for several years after.  CrossFit gave me the structure and team atmosphere that I was missing after I stopped playing baseball.  Initially the improvements that I saw in my own fitness were what got me excited to go to the gym every day.  Now I get even more enjoyment out of seeing my friends and new members make positive changes in their lives.  Nothing more awesome than seeing someone get their first double under or muscle up!
What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to make a positive change in their lives?
The best part about CrossFit is the focus on relative intensity and scalability.  I know some people with chronic conditions and injuries sometimes get frustrated and give up.  My message to them (and to everyone), is to get up and do something and do it as well as you can.  If that means ten muscleups, great.  If that means you walk around the block three times, also great.  As long as you are pushing yourself to get better, we’ll always be pulling for you.
-Coach Stacey

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Alyssa on losing 30 pounds and gaining strength both mentally and physically

How has training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?

I joined Crossfit 201 in September 2017 and it has been a game changer for me. It was the level up I needed both physically and mentally. In less than a year I managed to transform my body, strengthen my mind, and learn more about what I’m capable of. All while meeting some pretty awesome people!

How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?

Training at Crossfit 201 has reaffirmed the importance of consistency in my life, something I’ve struggled with on my fitness journey. I’m at a point now where I’m consistently training 1-2 times per day, incorporating running and accessory/foundational movements, and tracking my food as best I can. I ran my first 5k just a week ago, something I couldn’t imagine doing a year ago. I feel strong, healthy, lively, and genuinely happy. I don’t dread waking up at 5AM to train anymore, it’s my lifestyle.

What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?

PULL-UPS! (Insert excited emoji) While pull-ups may come easy for some, it has been my year long goal to pull myself up over that bar! With some help from CF201 coaches and my fitfam, I’ve manicured my kip and am able to string 5 pull-ups. I still have lots of room for improvement but this is a perfect example of consistency and taking the time to do the extra work. I’m also able to do double-unders, climb a rope, and get upside down gracefully for a hand stand hold!

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?

Long story short, unhealthy relationships lead to unhealthy lifestyles. By the end of 2016 I was 35lbs overweight and couldn’t take how unhappy I was. That is motivation enough. I knew my happiness was only going to come from moving and taking care of myself. Having an athletic background, my body was not used to carrying all that extra weight, neither was my mind. So I changed it, began taking HIIT classes and finding my fit again. Fast forward to summer 2017, I was down 30lbs and ready for something more. I felt ready and more comfortable with myself to try Crossfit so I did. What keeps me going back? The growth, the learning, the energy, the people, the programming, the coaches, the never ending support, the sense of community. Taking a rest day is the hardest part!

What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives? 

If it scares you, do it. If you need help, ask. If you think you can’t, you’re wrong. Practice and be patient with yourself. But most of all, have fun!

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Kyle

Kyle has been doing CrossFit for 3.5 years.  He did a 12 week cut with Coach Stacey and lost a total of 22 pounds.  He was able to maintain and even build strength during his cut.  He can back squat 405 for reps, run a sub 7 minute mile, and do 20+ pull-ups at a time.  He has gotten faster and stronger.  The best part is that now we get to increase all his food back up while he maintains his leanness as his body will be using the extra calories for energy during training.  He now better understands how to fuel his body properly to perform better in the gym, keep his energy levels high, and stay lean.

How has training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?

I have been doing Crossfit for about 3.5 years at Crossfit 201 for just under 1 year. Crossfit has given me a place not just to work out but to test myself physically and mentally. Crossfit 201 has been a place that has people that can motivate me to work harder and push farther than I thought I could (sometimes more than I want, in a good way). Between the community and the coaches, I am challenged, motivated, and inspired to become the best version of myself.

How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?

Crossfit 201 has helped me stay at a fitness level that will allow me to do any physical activity I want to do. It has kept me healthy and feeling the best I have ever felt.

I have always loved going to the gym and working out but only recently have I learned that food is just as important, if not more, than going to the gym. I have never been good at portion control or eating the right foods. I have tried many different diets and never been able to stick with it. Both my old gym and Crossfit 201 gave me a great community and helped me to start looking at food differently. Not until I got to Crossfit 201 did I find a great plan that works and one that I feel is a system that I can stay with for a long time.

What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?

Since I started Crossfit I have learned so many new skills and enhanced many of the skills I already had. My body awareness has been one of the greatest improvement I have noticed, whether it is body awareness during a lifting or gymnastics. It is a great feeling knowing I am more self-aware. It has also greatly improved my mental toughness. I constantly set goals for workouts and every time I push myself to meet those goals I learn that I can endure or push through more than I ever thought I could.

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 have played soccer all my life and through college, so fitness has always been a part of my life. After college I took time away from the gym and got really out of shape and started feeling bad about myself. A friend of mine got me to try a Crossfit class and I fell in love. I am able to set goals and work toward them. I am able to push myself and challenge myself physically and mentally. I know that I do not hit my expectations everyday but I love that Crossfit has a community that pick you up and inspire me to come back the next day and go after the next challenge.

 

What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?

If you set a goal and truly want it, nothing should stop you from obtaining it. Also, if you ever need help, which is perfectly fine, there is always someone around willing to help.

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Anthony

Anthony has been a member at CrossFit 201 for almost 4 years.  He went on a 12 week cut with Coach Stacey to get ready for the Summer, to increase his performance at the gym, and to feel better overall.  He was very lean to begin with, but with the 12 week program, he lost an extra 10 pounds of fat.  He has a much better understanding of how to fuel his body properly for performance.  The best part?  We get to bring his calories back up to continue supporting his performance gains at the gym without losing his leanness.

 

How training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?

I see and feel results. I am stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. My day to day work life is pretty hectic and I look forward to going.

How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?

I make better choices all around from my diet to how my day runs giving me more energy.

What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?

Climb a rope..lol

Before I use to avoid certain classes and now I look forward to those classes. Consistency has given me strength and I really look forward to challenging myself each class.

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 played soccer my whole life but had to stop because of injuries…Crossfit has the same competitive nature where you push yourself to the max.

What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?

Set a goal and be consistent. The results will come.

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Lauren on CrossFit, Nutrition, and Friendship

 
Lauren has been doing CrossFit close to 5 years.  She comes into class 4-6 times a week and pushes hard.  When traveling for work, she makes time to get a workout in at the hotel gym.  She went on a 3 month nutrition program with Coach Stacey to help her feel better in workouts and lean out for the Spring and Summer months.  She dropped a total of 15 pounds and has been in maintenance for over 3 months at her new body weight.  She is eating more than she did before, feeling a lot more energetic, and looking amazing!

How training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?

I started training at CrossFit 201 almost 5 years ago. At the time, I was at a regular gym just doing cardio and getting pretty bored. I never looked back after starting in 201 and it quickly became much more than just a place to get a workout in.  Some of the best friends in my life I met at 201, so emotionally, I can say it became a place where I belonged.  Physically, it pushed me in ways I had never anticipated.  I loved getting stronger but it also gave me the wrong impression that as long as I did these very intensive workouts, I could eat whatever I wanted. That did not turn out to be completely accurate, but we’ll talk about that more later.  Mentally, it has challenged me to push my limits.  I’m constantly amazed with the things I am able to do or the times I’m able to do them in that I never would have expected.

How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?

Until I began working out at 201, I was struggling to find my niche.  Coming back from college, I had groups of friends all over the place but not many locally.  In addition to improving my social life exponentially, it added a level of confidence to my personality.  I was proud of how my training was going and how I felt in my own skin.  It made me want to try new things, broaden my horizons and interact more with the larger CrossFit community. I ended up volunteering 3 times for the North East regionals and twice at the CrossFit Games  in California. I’ve met so many wonderful people that I would not have crossed paths with otherwise.

What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?

So many things!!!! I remember walking into the box and thinking “Toes to bar? I can do a ton of those no problem!” Well….I couldn’t. I couldn’t do pull-ups without a band, crazy looking double unders or handstand pushups like all the others were doing. Now I can not only do pull-ups, but chest to bar pull ups and any type of muscle up. I had no idea how much I loved doing the more gymnastic movements.  My handstands still need a lot of work, but that is part of what really makes CrossFit amazing.  No matter how long you have been doing the movements, you never stop improving or learning how to move more efficiently and how to make your technique better.  There’s also all these great people around that go out of their way to help you improve, not just the amazing coaches but other members too.

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?

My fitness journey really began when I got home from college.  As a kid I had always been active and played sports, but not so much in college.  Coming home for good, getting three meals a day again (which did not happen much at school) made me realize that despite going to the gym and using the elliptical for maybe an hour I was not actually seeing results or feeling the way I wanted.  Two months later I found a nutritionist and over 3 months went down to 128 lbs from maybe the high 140s or low 150s, can’t remember.  During dieting I began running on the treadmill at the gym A LOT.  From 2011 until the summer of 2013 when I first walked through the doors of CrossFit 201, I ran 5 miles 6 times a week.  Unfortunately, over time I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted in the form of abs or muscle tone. I was skinny but flabby in places I didn’t want to be.  I was also getting really bored. CrossFit was exactly what I needed because I like walking into a gym and just being told what to do that day and I love the class setting.  It doesn’t work for everyone but it was a great fit for me.  Over the years I have pushed my limits time and time again.  Going back to a normal gym hasn’t crossed my mind once in the last 5 years since starting. Coaches and other members push me every day to do more, do better, get stronger, and blow through limits I unknowingly gave myself. Though as I mentioned before, I did think that because I had an intense workout 4-5 times a week it gave me the ability to eat whatever I wanted.  Well 7 years after seeing a nutritionist, I enlisted Coach Stacey’s help to get back into fighting shape.  With her, in 12 weeks I lost 15 lbs of fat and have since maintained the loss. CrossFit 201 really is the complete package for me with great coaches, amazing friends, and terrific programming.

What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?

I know people can see CrossFit as overwhelming and scary, especially when seeing videos of some of the top athletes in the sport. What I always tell people is that you are in control of your own journey, period.  The WOD tells you the general guideline of what we may be doing that day, but you are able to scale it any way you need and all of the coaches will give you suggestions of alternatives to what you may feel uncomfortable with.  The important thing is just getting up and moving on a regular basis. If that means going for walks, bike riding, yoga classes, anything really to get moving then that’s great.  It just has to be something that works for you. CrossFit 201 is what works best for me!

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Miguel: Stronger, Faster, and Down by 18 Pounds!

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Miguel has been training at CrossFit 201 for almost 3 years.  His strength numbers have nearly tripled, and he is stronger, faster, and healthier than ever before.  He just did a 3 month nutrition program with Coach Stacey and lost at total of 18 pounds in those 3 months.

How has training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Crossfit 201 changed my fitness life completely. I have been able to accomplish a lot of things I didn’t think I could. I have gotten stronger and faster since i joined. Emotionally, I have a very stressful job and nothing helps me more than coming to 201. I get a great workout with amazing coaches, and get a laugh with a great group of people.
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How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?
I just feel that I have more energy. I may be sore from time to time, but I can do a lot more.
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What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?

A lot of things! Double unders, chest to bar pullups, hand stand push ups, pistols, backsquat more than 135 lbs (my one rep max is now is 335lbs). This year my goal is to get 1 muscle up. Hopefully soon!

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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 have always been involved in sports, I played soccer. When I moved to NJ, I tried to keep playing but lack of friends (completely new to the area), made it very difficult to play anymore. For years I didn’t work out.  I eventually started going to a regular gym but had no motivation. One day, years later, I signed up for a sprint triathlon (which I still do few times per year) and realized how out of shape I was. My wife who was already doing CrossFit at the time, convinced me to join a CrossFit gym, and it was great! A year later, both of us joined CrossFit 201 and everything changed for the better!  My times decreased dramatically andI feel a lot stronger.  It keeps me coming back for more because I feel that I can push harder.

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What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?

Just don’t ever say you cant.. you absolutely can. Hard work pays off!

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