CrossFit members win big after 90-day fitness contest
CHARLES TOWN — When CrossFit 304 issued a 90-day challenge to its members in January, nearly 40 signed up to compete. The ultimate cash prize was one motivator, but more importantly, these members wanted to better their body composition, strength, and endurance.
Head Trainer Sean Leonard said the winners were selected from several metrics. Besides bimonthly weigh and measure sessions, the participants would begin and end the three-month period with two benchmark workouts and they had to complete three CrossFit WODs (slang for workout of the day) each week.
The first benchmark workout was endurance-focused. Named the “Foul Mouthed Forty,” challengers had to complete 40 repetitions of box jumps, jumping pull-ups, kettle bell swings, walking lunges, knees-to-elbows, push presses, good mornings, and burpees.
The second benchmark was a strength workout, known as the “CrossFit Total.” Participants had 15 minutes at each station to determine the most they could back squat, strict press, and deadlift, then they added up the total.
The top three winners announced in late April were Troy Wilfred, 47, who took home the first-place prize; Shawn Love, 35, who finished a close second; and Jessica Goins, 38, gave the females a spot with her third-place success.
Wilfred’s winning metrics included an impressive 32 pounds and nearly 20 inches lost. His CrossFit Total went from 425 pounds to 635 pounds and he improved his endurance workout time by seven minutes, 20 seconds.
Love lost the most weight at 35 pounds, plus 13 inches. While he stayed the same in strength — his CrossFit Total was already a hefty 825 pounds — he was pleased to see the improvement in the endurance category, where he shaved off four and a half minutes, allowing him to complete the workout in 13.5 minutes.
Goins lost nearly 30 pounds and 17 inches. Her CrossFit Total improved by 25 pounds for a total of 445 and she did her Foul Mouthed Forty 4:30 seconds faster than before.
Despite the losses — or gains, depending on perspective — each challenger learned plenty during the process.
“Once I had my mind made up that I was going to start a life-changing process, my diet became a habit change and the workouts were something I would no longer give up, no matter how life changed,” Wilfred said. “Although winning the challenge was on my mind, I started to see the results and enjoy the way I was performing which pushed me on. At one point, I really didn’t care if I won or lost as I was winning another battle, my fitness!”
Love added, “It showed me that all of my hard work in CrossFit was wasted by eating poorly for the first nine months. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you eat clean. It allows you to workout much harder.”
Goins learned to be adaptable.
“My schedule often changed, hindering my workout plans, but I had to adjust,” she said. “I also discovered that while I may not be perfect, I had to learn to eat properly to get better results. You can always pick yourself back up, so don’t give up if you have one bad day.”
All the challengers were new to CrossFit or began in the past year, although none were strangers to physical fitness.
“The challenge and CrossFit gave me the confidence to do much more than I ever thought I could and see the results faster than I dreamed,” Wilfred said. “But it wasn’t all me — the trainers and support you get from the CrossFit community and the other members at the box is amazing and helps to keep you going when you want to give up.”
Love believes CrossFit is amazing. “Not only does it challenge you physically, it also challenges you mentally. It’s the only physical fitness program that has been able to keep my attention. It is likely due to the constant variety.”
Goins said she enjoys the community aspect of CrossFit. “Going to class helped me make friends in the area, a help since I am a commuter, but we don’t just chat — we work out hard,” she said. “I love the challenge of it and the variety. Adding CrossFit has made me stronger and toned, but the added cardio also provides an intense workout that ends up being pretty fun.”
The trio plan to continue their newly formed healthy lifestyle habits and meet their goals.
Wilfred said he is hooked and in it for the long haul.
“I am going to challenge myself with other things I might not have considered before such as competing in the CrossFit Open in 2014 and possibly get certification as a CrossFit trainer so I can work with folks and help make a difference in their lives.”
Love agreed. Having been the “fat guy” himself, he believes he can relate to others in the same situation and be of help.
“I’d like to really understand all of the basic movements and complete my CrossFit certification — I’d love to lead a CrossFit class.”
Goins said she needs to continue on her path of healthy eating. “I will continue to work on my weight loss goals and get to a healthy weight for me. I would also like to get stronger and just be a better and healthier me. I already liked who I was, I just knew I could be better!” she said.
Leonard said CrossFit 304 will hold another challenge in the future, possibly before the holidays or at the beginning of 2014. He said while the majority of challengers improved some or all of their metrics, members were most excited about the improvement in their endurance or strength numbers.
“I think it helped a lot of people to be more aware of why they are coming to the gym. It gave them a mission,” Leonard said. “And CrossFit is about making people’s lives better in a tangible, measurable way. The challenge certainly succeeded in that goal.”