Member Spotlight: Brian Mitts
The first time I tried CrossFit was when Ryan Lang talked me into attending the community class at CFC. When he invited me because I had expressed an interest in giving CrossFit a try. I was in dire need of a change of pace from my workout regimen and running routine which had become repetitive. As soon as I attended the community class I was immediately hooked and joined CrossFit Clintonville the following week. I soon came to realize one of the biggest draws for me that I clearly missed was the community aspect of CrossFit, and the fact that there is always someone there to push you a little harder. I played soccer in college and missed being involved with a team sport, and I found the CrossFit community provided the same benefits. Another aspect of CrossFit that I enjoy is the constant challenge of mastering new movements, meeting new goals, and setting new PRs. When I first started CrossFit there was a lot that I couldn’t do. While my double-unders still need work, I’ve come a long way from not being able to do them at all. When I first began CrossFit I couldn’t do handstand push-ups, bar muscle-ups or toes-to-bar either. Now I can do all of those movements, and I’m currently working on my ring muscle-ups! Through my work at CFC I have continued to set new PRs. At the conclusion of Wendler I recently set new PRs in back squat (365), front squat (285), strict press (165), and deadlift (500). My next lifting goal is to be able to deadlift 600 pounds by the end of next year and would like to hit 300 in squat clean.
At the moment, one of my main goals is improving my mobility. I have struggled with mobility since I first started at CFC. In college, flexibility was prioritized and many of the Olympic lifts were part of our regular training regimen, as core strength was imperative to staying healthy and avoiding injury. While I kept up with my general fitness after college, I didn’t realize the importance of keeping up with my mobility. I lifted and ran a lot when I graduated, and I even ran a few marathons. However, I never stretched and when I started CrossFit I came to realize how rigid I had become and that I had lost all of my flexibility. It took me a couple months to get below parallel on my back squats. I’m still nowhere near as mobile as I was in college, and is something I am constantly working on.
In addition to mobility, I would like to begin focusing more on my nutrition. There are so many factors that go into becoming a better athlete, and the way I eat affects my energy level in the gym as well as my gains outside of the gym.
CrossFit has become a huge part of my life. I’ve made new friends, met new fitness goals, and fulfilled the void I felt after college from no longer having soccer in my life. CrossFit allows me to be competitive, and also to reap the same positive benefits that being a part of a team provides. In March, I will compete in the Arnold CrossFit competition for the second year in a row. This year I am on two different teams. I look forward to doing even better than I did last year, and to training with my teammates. We will motivate each other, and more importantly have fun together. That is what the CrossFit community is all about.