The Member Spotlight showcases those who demonstrate the characteristics necessary for success, both in and out of the gym. Brad has been a long-time member of our community, coming over from Cactus CrossFit, and even though he travels often (sometimes weekly) for work, still makes getting the gym a priority and continues to make progress after over 6 years in CrossFit. We asked him some questions about his journey at the gym so far:
- What led you to CrossFit? Describe your experience.
I grew up playing pretty much every sport and I always enjoyed competing, both against others and myself. After graduating from college, my main focuses turned to my business and my family. I quit exercising and became somewhat soft. In my early 30’s when I was living in Iowa, I got sick of being unhealthy and out of shape, so I joined a boot camp class, started running, and lost about 40 pounds. In 2013, one of my cousins told me about this crazy CrossFit stuff and I started doing WODs in a globo-gym with a few other people. When I moved to Scottsdale in 2014, I joined a legit box (Cactus CrossFit). When it closed, a group of us came over to CFIS and I haven’t looked back since. I love the methodology and intensity of CrossFit, and the fact that the workouts are scored and measured so that I can track my progress over time.
- What have been the most significant changes you’ve noticed? These could be lifestyle, body composition, or performance.
My absolute strength numbers grew quickly early but now I look to maintain them as I get older. I feel pretty good about my progress in the area of gymnastics, especially being a bigger guy. Even though there’s still a lot to improve upon, I feel like I have much more body control and awareness than I did in the past. This is an area I want to keep working on. My conditioning has continued to improve also, and I’m still hitting PR’s whenever we do repeat workouts.
- What’s your favorite (or least favorite) exercise? If you could program a workout, what would it be?
Because I’m a relatively large athlete, I definitely have a bias for movements that aren’t penalized by body weight (like barbell work) and really like movements where size helps like the rower and air bike. I would think I died and went to Heaven if James would program the following WOD:
Buy-In: 50/35cal Echo Bike
Then, 5 Rounds of:
5 Hang Power Cleans (225/135)
5 Bench Press (205/125)
Followed by:100/70cal Row
- Tell us something we don’t know about you! Something not fitness related.
I may have the world’s worst luck. In 2011, I made my first trip to Japan. Actually, I was in China and simply had a 2-hour layover in Japan on my way back home. During that layover, the big 9.1 earthquake/tsunami hit, and all hell broke loose. I survived (obviously) and made it home a few days later with some really good stories to tell at dinner parties.
- What’s next? Have you set any goals for the future?
My primary fitness goal is very simple: keep getting better/fitter for as long as I can. I just turned 40 and I’m still making improvements in nearly all areas of CrossFit. My goal is to keep that up until I’m 50. So, I want to be fitter at 41 than 40, fitter at 42 than 41, etc. all the way up to 50. When I get to 50, I’ll reassess the goal situation again. In order to make this happen, I have to tighten up my nutrition a bit, keep training hard, and most importantly avoid injuries. I have some lower back pain that I fight from time to time and I think that would have the greatest chance of derailing my plans if I didn’t care for it with some routine maintenance. In the short term, I am trying to focus on my glaring weaknesses for the next Open. This would primarily include double-unders, ring muscle-ups and strict handstand pushups. Any out-of-class accessory work that I do for a while will be focused on this.