The Crossfitification of The Todd

My CrossFit story is 180 degrees from most of the other stories you will see on the CFW site.  I’ve never had the issue of being overweight, quite the opposite.  My issue since growing up has always been one of being the tall skinny guy.  But I’ve always been an athletic tall skinny guy.  In middle school I played all sports in all the seasons that I could.  I played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, little league in the spring and tennis in the summer.  When I got to high school I dropped all the other sports to focus on tennis during the spring season.  Coming out of high school I was 6’2” and 145 pounds, not exactly the most muscular person on the planet.  Going into college I picked back up on the sports and played club and intramural soccer.  Eventually all my super healthy habits of soda, snacks and anything else I wanted to eat caused my weight to balloon to a whopping 160lbs by the time I graduated college.  From there I would slowly creep up in weight over the next few years to 180 and then settle in the mid 170’s, all the while not increasing my muscle mass one bit.  If you’ve ever been to one of Tony’s nutrition classes, this is what he calls “skinny fat”.

Fast forward to summer of 2009 and I head down to Florida to attend a college buddy’s wedding and I get reacquainted with Will Kuenzel (Both of us attended UNC-Charlotte).  As we’re catching up I mention that I’m in Wilmington and he mentions that he comes up to do a powerlifting seminar for CFW a couple of times a year.  This was my first introduction to the world of CrossFit.  Over the course of the next few months I realize that I’m not getting anywhere at the gym I belonged to and in September of ’09 I crossed the threshold of CFW for the first time.  Josh was the one who explained to me the methodology of CrossFit and took me through the first intro workout where I felt like my heart was about to explode when I got done with it.  I signed up for the classes after that and finished the full intro week with Dawn and Julie.

Over the Course of the next year I admit I wasn’t the most dedicated crossfitter out there.  I would come in a few times a week for the classes but I wasn’t really getting any stronger.  However my endurance capabilities improved greatly from all of the metcons.  So this past January I decided that I was going to go full effort into getting in shape.  I had gone through some personal issues in the fall and this was my new goal that I was going to do for me and no one else. “If you want more, you have to do more” has never had more meaning for me than at that point.  It had been a while since I had been in the gym and I remember Abby saying something along the lines of “time for your new year’s resolution?”  I knew that she was asking why I hadn’t been in the box in a while but it also hit me as a challenge because she was right.  Would this be just another resolution that so many people make and then slowly give up on within a few months or would I be able to stick with it?  One of the other things I made sure to do was attend a nutrition class at the beginning of January and it opened my eyes to the effects that unhealthy eating can do to a person’s body.  I gave up drinking soda’s at that point and cutting out several other foods.  I opted to go to a more paleo lifestyle and it has made a world of difference.  From January until June I would come to work out and watched the fat in my midsection disappear.  It’s very humbling to watch the outer layer of your body slowly go away and realize that there isn’t much of a muscular foundation underneath.  Fortunately at this point in time we were beginning a new strength/power cycle and this is where the real story begins.

The strength cycle was started in the beginning of June. Around the weekend of July 4th I asked Tony to do a 1 on 1 nutrition session.  We sat down the Tuesday after the 4th and formulated a plan to help me gain weight.  When I stepped on the scale to get the initial weight, I weighed in at 156.6 lbs.  I had lost around 15 pounds of fat over the course of the last 6-8 months.  The plan was very simple, eat lots and lots of healthy proteins and fats but watch the carb intake.  My goal was 150g of protein, 130ish of fats and under 150 of carbs per day.  Not an easy task when you don’t really eat a lot during the day.  To track my progress I would weigh myself every 3 weeks and record it.

Over the course of the last 5 months my weight has looked like 156 => 158 => 160 =>162 =>162 =>160 => 162 => 165 at the most recent weigh in at the end of November.  As you can see it hasn’t always been a steady gain, which can be frustrating.  However, I know that I’m on the right track and will continue this way.  In the last 5 months I’ve put on 8.6 pounds of “mostly” muscle.  My strength gains have surprised me as well.  After the strength cycle was finished in late July I wanted to keep the strength training going.  I found out that Andrew and Kelly were doing a program that Will K had given them and asked him to send it to me so I could continue as well. At the beginning of June my back squat was 165, at the end of October it was 220.  My bench has gone from 130 to 165 and my Deadlift has gone from 215 to 275.  My goal for the end of the next cycle is to keep the same rate of strength gains and I fully intend to hit my goals.

I just want to give a big thanks to Tony, the trainers and the members for making CFW what it is.  Any time I’ve had a question about technique, nutrition or supplements I’ve always gotten a detailed answer.  I’ve never been told “no” when asking for help from anyone in the gym.


Todd putting his new strength to work

10 thoughts on “Todd’s Story

  1. t. says:

    Todd, thanks so much for posting. Obviously, weight loss is not everyone’s goal and putting on muscle can be just as difficult (if not more so) than shedding fat. Ten pounds of muscle a year is about all you can ever hope for but through your dedication and hard work, you have put on 8 pounds of muscle in just 5 months. Good job and congratulations. We’re looking forward to seeing your tally in January.

    One of the things that makes Crossfit Wilmington unique is that we help our clients reach their goals even when the program required is not Crossfit. We have the equipment and flexibility, but more importantly, the expertise of our staff to design programs specifically for our client’s goals. We pride ourselves on not being a “cookie-cutter” Crossfit that prescribes metcon after metcon. We understand that metcons, even “heavy” ones, do not typically increase muscle mass. So for a client that would like to put some pounds on his or her frame, we do not even have a problem with split routines for building muscle, i.e. “globogym” style workouts. So whether you are interested in being an olympic lifting competitor, a powerlifter, an endurance athlete, or of course, a Crossfit games competitor, Crossfit Wilmington supplies all the tools to help ensure your success.

    Speaking of successes….
    I would like to congratulate all the Crossfit Wilmington competitors who participated in the Carolina Fitness Challenge yesterday. Crossfit Wilmington had more competitors in the top 20 than any other affiliate with Tanner Martin, John Z, Zach (yes, we still claim him), Amanda, Felice, Dave and Anthony making it to the finals. Special recognition to Zach and Tanner whose finishes put them on top of the podium in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

    Thanks to all those that came out to show their support and to all the CFW competitors that represented the gym with class and professionalism.

    Good job and congrats on their performances to Brock (Men’s Master’s finalist) and Whitney of Crossfit Carolina Beach, Tracy B. of Port City Crossfit, and Marcie of Crossfit Coastal who took 1st place Women’s Masters.

    Wilmington was undoubtedly well represented!

  2. Meagan says:

    Yesterday was so much fun. Our gym did an amazing job. The support we have is amazing! Props to all of our athletes that made it to the finals. Everyone did a fantastic job. I am so glad to be part of such a great gym and family. Thanks to everyone who came out and pushed us all. Congrats to Dave, Anthony, Zach, Tanner, JZ, Amanda, and Felice. You guys are amazing. Can’t wait to be like u when I grow up. Haha

  3. Will says:

    Congratulations to everybody who competed yesterday. No matter how you finished, simply putting your ego to the side and putting yourself out there in a competition is a huge accomplishment, win or lose.

    From the pictures I’ve seen it looks like CFW represented well as always, both competing and spectating. Seeing our community come together for events like this week in and week out is what makes me proud to be a part of CFW

  4. sara clark says:

    Keep it up todd! I have never had trouble staying thin either but theres a difference between skinny and healthy that gets overlooked so often, and eapecially in women!

    To anyone who wasnt there- it was awesome to watch everyone this weekend, but especiaally to watch felice push through about 60 pullups and thrusters AFTER her hands ripped on the final wod. She was awesome.

  5. Albert Steed says:

    Way to go Todd! It is awesome to hear all the different stories that all have one common theme at CFW, SUCCESS! Happy for you man and keep up the good work!

    Way to go to everyone that was at the challenge. Maybe next year it will hit a weekend that i am able to go up and give it a whirl!

  6. Edwin says:

    WOW! What a day yesterday was at the Challenge. I would like to congratulate everyone who participated, those that made the finals, and those that dominated (Tanner and Zack). Everyone did awesome and I could tell a story about every person who was there or thank each of them for their support, but I’ll limit it to a few…thanks to Daniel for the preparatory training, Thomas and Aaron for the push and encouragement during WOD 2, and finally to Meagan for inspiring me. Watching her compete (and by compete I mean give it everything she had) in WOD 3 just about made me get emotional. Having had a few hours to reflect, I’m so thankful for CFW, our coaches, and the general comradery/family that we have. It is so nice to be a part of something so positive with such like minded people. Can’t wait to do this next year!!! Oh yea…bring on the sectionals:)

  7. Amanda says:

    Todd – you are awesome! Like Sara said, it’s easy to overlook thin and unhealthy. You’re working your butt off and it’s showing! I do take issue with your volleyball picture… We’re gonna have to work on that platform 🙂

  8. Will Kuenzel says:

    Awesome write up, Todd! It’s great to hear about your progress. You’re a far cry from the dude I knew in college. Stronger and healthier are definitely better ways of going through life. Going at it alone isn’t easy, always make use of the strong and knowledgeable around you. They’ll help make getting those goals easier. I’m glad to hear I could help in at least some small way.

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