CrossFit Bradenton: Our Community

CrossFit Bradenton: Our Community
By Guest Contributor, Alia White, CrossFit Bradenton’s Joy Girl

In a world where life is always on the go and there never seems to be enough time, CrossFit Bradenton serves as a haven, providing an environment where one can, of course, physically work out, but also mentally work out. Our CrossFit community is comprised of fellow people from all walks of life, most of whom you would have never had the opportunity to even meet without CrossFit Bradenton. We join to push ourselves to our physical limits each day, sweating and suffering, only to come in and do it again the next day to improve ourselves, together. We provide one another with encouragement and support, and build friendships. Drama, life worries, and struggles are left at the door, and for your one hour class, we are simply humans on the same journey.
CrossFit Bradenton is an environment where you are welcomed, treated with respect, and valued. It is a place where you can be humbled and work to mitigate your ego. Hate, ignorance, and shame are not tolerated. Our CrossFit community is not just about technique, personal records, and competitions; it is about relating to your fellow athlete, on a face-to-face basis, through life’s ups and downs. It is about knowing that, in spite of what is going on in each individual’s world at the moment, our one hour class period is a time where we can be ourselves, be accepted, and be backed by our community.

Sara Nader-Hund: Strong in Both Body and Mind

I was first brought to CrossFit Bradenton by my dear friend Beate Heyman. I had been working out at “The Y “daily and running. After several years of group fitness, weightlifting, and completing a few marathons, I was looking for a new challenge. Beate and I tried CrossFit Bradenton. I remember being so nervous and the gym looked nothing like what I expected. There were no machines and a lot of open space, and some ropes. I really didn’t know what they did “at CrossFit” but I was definitely curious.

Paris and Beth created a great first experience for me and assured me that CrossFit can be tailored to anyone’s fitness level. While I was in decent shape, I was neither able to do pull ups, nor had I ever done Olympic weightlifting. They helped me find movements and modifications that would build strength, and eventually be able to complete movements such as pull-ups and handstand push-ups.

Since that first day, I have learned to do most of the CrossFit movements and still, some elude me. I truly believe this is the reason people fall in love with this sport. No matter how many skills you are able to attain, there is always more to work on. Every day is different, every workout is different. There are no routines to learn and progress happens quickly and tangibly.

Meeting milestones, reaching personal bests, getting a “first” (pull-up, bar muscle up, double under) are all bright spot moments. The real way however, that CrossFit has created a bright spot in my life, is the way it has empowered me to try achieving “hard” things outside the gym [educationally and professionally speaking]. What started out as a desire to change up my fitness routine proved to be much more. Creating a strong body surprisingly segwayed into building a strong mind and even stronger will.






Liza Zona: Transformed Through CrossFit and a Healthy Diet

My CF journey! I started CrossFit 7 years ago after working out in a cardio class that got boring quick! My firsts 6 months were so challenging but I kept after it and watched myself become someone I never knew I could be, an athlete!  I love to lift and just never knew it. I love to push myself and just never knew it! I have some weakness but I also have some strength and CF bring those to light!

I started to transform my body, build some nice muscles on my frame.  Then my box did a Paleo challenge. Most boxes were pro-paleo even though HQ was pushing The Zone and I lost some weight and kept doing Paleo for another 3 mos. I looked the best I had ever since my wedding. But then summer….my weight slowly crept up. I did another challenge the following year and boom weight came off and then summer again! This became my life. Strict paleo for 3 months then 80/20 for a few months and then summer! I then had rotator surgery and somewhat used that as an excuse not to eat better. Plus I was honestly sick of denying myself certain foods just because a diet told me too, not because I was gluten intolerant!

I moved to Florida and if anything become more lazy about my nutrition. Way too many tasty fast food joints here! My weight crept to probably it’s highest except pregnancy! I knew I had to do something and I started macro-counting after seeing some amazing transformations on Facebook.  Eating a certain amount of protein, carbs & fat every day not going over nor under my allotted numbers. I’m down 42lbs in 20 weeks and I deny myself nothing! No I’m not eating candy & cookies all day but if I want to treat myself once & a while with them I do.  I eat bread almost daily. Yogurt & rice on the regular! I’ve found healthy foods that now make me just as happy as the unhealthy ones used too.  My performance in CrossFit has been a 180! I use to struggle to finish the WoD in the time-cap and now that’s hardly an issue. My lifts are mostly at my pre-surgery numbers and some I’ve even beaten. I started walking while my twins trained at soccer and built myself up to now running 5k 2x a week, and OMG I even like running, can’t believe I am that person now!

I’m a new person inside & out and my goal is to be this woman forever.  I’m thinking of trying for things like bar muscle-ups that I would’ve never thought could be done as the old me, this new me has a chance, slim one due to my shoulder but one never knows what they are capable until you try! If you are looking to change, do it, you honestly have nothing to lose but a lot to gain.  There are so many diets out there, search for the one that’s perfect for you and the one that can truly become a lifestyle not just a diet, those will be sustainable!

Do You Need An Accountability Partner?

By Guest Contributor Hannah Winner, CrossFit Level 1 Coach

The CrossFit community is undoubtedly one of the most supportive when it comes to individual success in a sport. Sure there is competition between fellow athletes, but seldom do you see ‘rivals’ not cheering each other on to keep moving or finish a wod. However, it can still be hard to motivate change in your at home habits or gym routine. This is why finding an accountability partner can be extremely beneficial.

What is an accountability partner?

  • An accountability partner is someone who will hold you to a different set of standards than you may hold yourself. This person has a clear understanding of your goals and is looking to support and motivate you on this journey. At CrossFit Bradenton I have seen them being used to make athletes more aware of their nutritional setbacks, or making sure their partner does extra work to conquer new movements and PR’s.

How to Decide what person may be a good accountability partner for you?

  1. Is this person’s success a reason you have picked them?

Your partner should not be picked just because they are your friend. Ideally, this person will be someone who has taken action and achieved something that you admire. If you are trying to eat better and your accountability partner doesn’t see a problem with the phrase “Treat yo self,” when it comes to a sleeve of Oreo’s, you may have picked the wrong person to keep you on track. Facing temptation will happen in the outside world, but your accountability partner should not be the source of temptation.

2. Does this person have the capacity to follow through with being an accountability partner to you?

When choosing an accountability partner, you should discuss whether they have the time and/or energy to follow through with being there for you. Overseeing other people’s work or feeling like there are deadlines for checking in may be too much for someone to handle on top of their own responsibilities.

3. Is this person going to sugarcoat their words when you fall off track or be bluntly honest with you?

The former may not make them a great fit, but blunt should not feel like you are being berated either.

Things to talk about when you are deciding how you want to utilize your accountability partner.

  • What are your goals and are they realistic?
  • What steps can you take to realistically help you meet these goals?
  • How are you going to check in with your accountability partner? Frequency, method, etc.
  • Will there be consequences should you fall off of your plan? If so, what are they?

It is true in most cases, that you are your toughest critic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are holding yourself accountable. It is easy to tell yourself that you are going to be responsible enough to wake up earlier, eat better, work harder or take time to focus on your weaknesses.

In the end, the decision is yours. You can try to go it alone, but remember that it is always acceptable to ask for help.

Members of CrossFit Bradenton may click the link below to schedule a goal setting session if you need some help:

Member Goal Setting

Greg Miller: Founding Member & Law Enforcement Officer

Several of my very good friends were very involved in the CrossFit community and had nothing but great things to say about the workouts and how they related to my career in law enforcement.  Two of which were/are in law enforcement and attested to the benefits of a constantly varied workout.  I attended the Grand Opening of CrossFit Bradenton with my friend Donelle and after recovering from the workout I was surprised as to how welcoming, supportive and informed the coaches (Paris and Beth) were about fitness and weightlifting.  From that moment I was hooked.

Initially was I somewhat intimidated about the workouts because I had never done anything that strenuous before even when I was in college doing strength training.  The workouts are hard for a reason because change doesn’t come easy.  It only comes with hard work and after the first couple of classes that slight intimidation turned into eager anticipation to the classes and workouts.

My first accomplishment was getting my first ring muscle up.  We also got it on video too! I don’t know what spurred Coach Paris to video me just toying around on the rings but his coaches sense must have been tingling.

Ever since my recent car accident, I have been “gun shy” of anything involving heavy deadlifts or heavy Olympic lifts because of a lower back injury.  I’m working on strengthening my lower back and gaining flexibility at the same time to get back to where I was before the accident.

I have two favorite memories.  The first was when I was doing an Open workout and Johnny was my judge.  It was a workout that involved heavy cleans and hand stand push-ups.  I was tired and all I remember hearing was Johnny yelling at me “Find another F*%@ing gear man!’ “That shit isn’t heavy!!” “F*%@ing power clean it!”  We still laugh about that today.  The second is when I had the “Ah Ha” moment for Atlas Athletic Apparel.  We were doing heavy split jerks and I had drank a little too much pre-workout and out of nowhere the phrase “Move Weight” was yelled after getting a PR.  Who knew that pre-workout and adrenaline could make someone creative?

Jhojam Torres: A Beast Unleashed

I’ve been working out ever since I could remember. I practiced Judo when I was 4 and at age 7 I got into Greco Roman Wrestling. Later, I moved to the US with my family and started playing football. Once I was in high school I joined the Football, Weightlifting and Wrestling teams. I also worked out with the Cross Country team and track teams as well. After high school I started working and didn’t exercise for about 5 years. I gained close to 100 lbs.

In January 2016 I made a promise to start getting healthy and started doing Insanity and lost 30 lbs. Then I did Body Beast and lost another 20 lbs., but soon I became bored of my routine. One day my sister told me of this gym that she was going to. She said that she does CrossFit. What’s CrossFit I asked her? She told me and I committed to try it. I didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived at the gym, I saw an open floor, Olympic weights, and ropes hanging from the ceiling. I got a sudden rush and chills! I had to sign up as soon as possible. I started with their Foundations sessions, which taught me the basic movements of CrossFit. I soon asked myself, “what the hell am I doing”? However, I pushed through the workouts and when I finished I often felt like I had died. It was actually like I was reborn though and through it I started to learn my body and what I needed.

After my knee surgery I never thought I would ever be able to straighten my leg or sleep without having a pillow under my leg. Coach Jason showed me what I needed to do to work on my limited mobility. The owner, Paris instructed me on proper form and skills and coach Mike guided me to push harder everyday. Everyone there, including my fellow athletes has helped me along the way. I still work on my flexibility and getting full range of motion with proper form. I’ll never forget the first bar muscle up that I did. I had been here just for a short time and wanted it so bad. I was about to give up and go home when everybody got around me and gave me pointers and cheered me on So I jumped and I swung and I pulled hard as I could! I did it!! Thanks to the support and encouragement from everybody I feel like I can overcome any obstacle that gets in my way and live life to the fullest.



Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Compete in the CrossFit Games Open

The CrossFit Games Open is upon us again. This is one of the most exciting times of the year to be a CrossFitter! The CrossFit Open last from February 23 to March 27th and consists of 5 weeks of workouts that are published on Friday and must be completed by the following Monday. This will be mine and Beth’s 5th consecutive year competing in the Open.  Even from the first year that I competed when I was still relatively new to CrossFit, I always found it interesting to see how I stacked up against others in my gym and my division throughout the world. I went from being in the top 20% in my first year to into the top 5% over the last two years. I’m still trying to make it to the Master’s Qualifiers (the Master’s version of Regionals) and I hope that 2017 is the year that I do. Whether I do or not, doesn’t really matter all that much though, because that is not the only reason that I compete in the Open. I have many reasons why I compete as do most people, but here are a few reasons why YOU should do it.

  1. It’s the largest community event of the CrossFit Calendar.
  2. To be a part of your Affiliate Community
  3. To compete with hundreds of thousands across the world from all walks of life.
  4. To see how you stack up against the rest of the state, world, your occupation, the fittest on earth or just others in your box.
  5. It will highlight the areas where you need to improve on.
  6. To see just how far your fitness has come in the last year.
  7. It’s the first step in qualifying for Regionals or the even The CrossFit Games.
  8. There is a division for everyone, including: Rx, Scaled, Teen and Masters divisions (including 35-39 – new this year).
  9. Competition will help you push yourself more than you thought capable.
  10. It’s a blast!

Chris Carey: Chasing a 500# Deadlift

I was looking for a way to get in better shape and lose some weight. Instead of having to come up with my own workout it was nice having it planned out and coaches helping you improve along the way. I remember thinking these people are crazy. I remember being in awe watching people do some of the workouts and different movements.  Now I know those people have worked hard to improve and I try to get advice from them so hopefully I can keep improving in those movements and exercises. One of my bright spots was surviving the “Karen” WOD.  It was the first named WOD I did after signing up a week or two before that.
At the moment I am working on getting my deadlift over 500 pounds and continuing to improve my cardio and strength for upcoming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions.
I really started to enjoy crossfit when I became more comfortable with all the lifts and WoDs. I began improving and started setting personal records . I went from being scared that I would injure myself doing certain movements and exercises to looking forward to them when I saw them on the board.

Ashley Duvall: Single Mom Making Time for Herself

I’ve been active my whole life with sports and working out. A couple years ago I had decided to go back to college. I was a single mom, working full time and now a full time student. Let’s just say my fitness took a back seat for a while. Nearing the end of school I was going to be in my brothers wedding and had been fitted for a bridesmaids dress earlier. I went to pick it up, tried it on and couldn’t zip it at all! I had to go 2 sizes bigger than what I ordered! That was my wake up call. I started back at a gym for woman and it got me to a certain point, but not nearly where I wanted to be. I had hit a plateau.

I ran into Beth Button, who I had went to college with, at soccer sign-ups and we got to talking about how she started CrossFit and she mentioned I would love it. Well she was right. I was sold with CrossFit Bradenton immediately. The gym was large, clean and the people were amazingly welcoming.  The one goal I had been trying for was a strict pull-up.  I was able to hit that goal in a few months here. Now I’m working on getting 10 strict pull-ups in a row! CrossFit Bradenton will give you the push you need to go for things you never thought you could do. I remember signing up for the CrossFit Open not knowing if I could do the workouts. The first one had a lot of pull-ups and I was nervous. All the members and coaches pushed and cheered me on to be able to do them all! It was a great feeling. The programming is always changing and keeping my body on its toes. I couldn’t be happier with my box and all the friendships I have made the past few years.

Tom Cronshaw: From Bored to Inspired

What brought me to CrossFit Bradenton was just being bored with my workouts. I was a member at Crunch and just was really tired with my routine. I also was rarely leaving the gym with that good sore feeling. I remember telling my girlfriend Olivia that we should try something different and I had heard that CrossFit was really cool so we searched the area and found your gym.  I remember being really nervous when I first started. I wanted to make a good impression and I wanted to be able to pick things up quickly. Paris and Beth made the transition a lot easier than I thought it would be. They both made me feel comfortable and were really good at teaching me the things that I needed to know. To be honest, I still to this day get nervous before every workout. It’s a good nervous. Its excitement and wanting to perform at my best. I have always been a big competitor and love seeing how I rank compared to the others at CrossFit Bradenton. My scores or times are not even close to being at the top, but I still strive to get there each and every workout. It’s always a challenge and I love challenges. But no matter how I may score in AMRAP’s or time, I always leave knowing I had a killer workout. I’ve had so many bright spots along the way that it’s hard to remember what my first one was. I know that the bright spot that sticks out is my first RX workout. I just love the satisfaction of going RX. I don’t care if I’m last on the list for time or rounds. If I’m in the RX list, I am very proud. I don’t get the opportunity often. It has to be some workouts that are right in my wheel house. But it is always something to strive for. Don’t get me wrong, I get immense satisfaction just completing any workout whether it be RX or scaled. The workouts are all tough either way. But, my ultimate goal would be to be able to do all RX workouts. That would be sweet. I am currently working on so many things! Ring dips, bar muscle ups, double unders, toes to bar, over head squats, squat cleans. Damn there are so many things I need and want to get better at. But, like I said before, it’s all a challenge and I love being challenged.  I have to say honestly I don’t really have a favorite CFB memory. So many equally great memories. I have great workout memories of PR’s and improvement in skills. I have great memories of Olivia and seeing her get PR’s and improve in her skills. To see her huge smile after she accomplishes something is so amazing to see. I have great memories of other members pushing through tough workouts. I have great memories of CFB functions like the Christmas Party or a get together at a restaurant. I have great memories of just pushing through workouts with all the people I have worked out with. So I can’t pick a favorite memory at CFB. Let’s just say I have a lot of favorite memories.