We’re only successful when you’re successful

Here’s our chance to share the hard work and results our athletes have achieved.

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This is my weight loss story. I came to CrossFit East Bay at a portly 265 pounds in February 2011, having spent almost a decade sedentary in front of a computer. By December 2012 I had dropped 80 pounds, improved all of my lifts (some by as much as 2X), and I can easily run a sub thirty minute 5k. This is my story of how I was forged in the crucible of CrossFit by Maximus Lewin and the trainers at CrossFit East Bay.

It was January 2011, I had just gotten back from a trip to the doctor. They wanted to put me on medication for my high blood pressure. They told me my weight was too high and the chronic heartburn that had brought me in was probably Gastroesophageal reflux disease which they put me on pills for. I was thirty years old and felt like I was falling apart. I remember the elevator at the office was out so I took the stairs. Climbing them was miserable. I was tired of sweating and getting winded walking up a flight of stairs or feeling like my heart was going to explode when I needed to run and catch the bus. I asked the doctor for three months to try and turn things around because the idea of being dependent on medications for the rest of my life was very distressing.

That night I cracked open my browser and started doing research. I needed to find a gym and a trainer. I wanted a place near my office so I could pop in before or after work. I needed something with a regimen. Working out on my own was not going to cut it. I had tried the solo workouts before and it always started out well but then I would become bored, and stopped working out. I found CrossFit East Bay’s website, the location was close to work, and they offered personal training. I saw some workouts on the site and they looked impossible, but they also had an essay on the site about how CrossFit was infinitely scalable. I devoured all of the information I could find on their site. I read the bios of the trainers, I read the testimonials on Yelp, I sent an email to Maximus Lewin the head trainer, and he responded back to me very quickly. A phone call or two later and I was signed up for ten one hour, one on one personal training sessions. I drove over to the gym in the morning and became a member.

My first session with Maximus I distinctly remember telling him that my friends thought I was crazy for jumping into CrossFit, he said they may be right. That first workout was awful, twenty or thirty minutes into the first hour, I was so winded and dizzy I thought I was going to vomit. I had to run to the bathroom, and while the world was spinning I knew that was the hardest workout I had ever done, and I was hooked. I figured I was starting at the bottom, and things could only get better. For the next couple of months I worked out with Maximus one on one twice a week. Maximus recommended that I read “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” by Gary Taubes, I changed my diet, and I started shedding scale weight. I was losing three to five pounds a week. When I went back to see my doctor after three and a half months, I had lost fifty pounds. My doctor was floored, I got off the pills, and the doctor told me whatever I was doing to keep doing it. The craziest thing was not only was I losing weight, but I was getting stronger, little by little, week by week, I was improving. We tracked my progress in Maximus’s training book, he came up with all kinds of interesting workouts for me. Week by week, there was always variety, I never got bored, and I stuck with it.

Maximus encouraged me to start running, initially I hated it, but he was right about everything else so I kept at it. We set a goal of completing a 5K without walking. I was going to be in Baltimore for a conference and there happened to be a race going on, so I signed up; my first race ever. Before I left, Maximus made me promise that if I stopped running and walked during the race, I would find a very public place and do fifty burpees. During the race I had his voice in my head, “Run, don’t walk” I really wanted to walk, I wasn’t sure I could finish, but I really really did not want to do burpees, so I continued running. One of my feet fell asleep, but I kept running, I got a stitch in my side, but I kept running. I finished the race, it took me forty five minutes, and for the next three days I was so sore I could barely walk, but I was delighted. With the race completed, I had a data point, I could improve. We set another goal, run a sub thirty minute 5K, I started training, supplementing my CrossFit workouts with two or three runs a week. I signed up for my next 5K race in September of 2011. This time I would be running with my brothers and my dad, our first family run. I finished that race in twenty nine minutes twenty four seconds, and I wasn’t sore the next day. Another goal attained!

Eventually I decided to graduate to the group classes. I was ready to train with other people. I started by going to the Fundamentals classes twice a week, and then slowly ramping up to the CrossFit classes three times a week. I had gotten my weight down to 210 pounds but my weight loss had plateaued. I was still getting stronger although more slowly, I was also struggling with body weight movements like pull-ups. I ran into Maximus after class, told him what I had been doing and he said he had something new for me to try. He asked for some data, measurements, weight and height. I emailed him the data, and he responded with a new program. Cardio in the morning before breakfast, an updated diet and CrossFit in the evenings. It took a week or two to start taking effect, but I started losing weight again, and I didn’t lose any of the strength I had been building. It took eight months of hard work, but I finally hit my goal weight of 185 pounds! I hadn’t been 185 pounds since I was 18 (thirteen years for those keeping score). I also completed my first ever kipping pull-up and a few weeks later a static pull-up.

Now, I do CrossFit five times a week and run at least 5K a week. In 2013 I plan on running my first half marathon, completing a Tough Mudder, and nailing my first muscle up. CrossFit and Maximus Lewin changed my life, I went from dreading anything physical to relishing the challenge. I learned that I am capable of doing so much more then I thought possible. Now I push myself beyond my perceived limits, not only during the workout, but at work, at home, everywhere! If you want weight loss results like mine contact Maximus.