athlete spotlight

Emily Beck

May 2018 Four Core CrossFit Athlete Spotlight

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I joined in October 2016. I did IRONMAN Wisconsin in 2016, and after that was over, I felt a little lost without a big goal on the horizon. I had considered CrossFit before but was always intimidated and wasn't sure I wanted to give up all of the perks of belonging to the Y to "just do CrossFit". When I learned the Y had a box I thought I’d give it a try.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
Increased upper body strength, better cardio endurance and a renewed love for exercise, lifting weights and pushing myself that I always had when I was training for track in HS and college.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I ran, lifted and cycled. I was in a bit of a rut after running in college and lost the excitement and energy to come up with new and challenging workouts. I got stuck always doing the same things which left me bored and unmotivated. I love that CrossFit pushes and challenges me every day, and I really like the community feel of working out with the CrossFit team instead of always by myself. I truly appreciate how the coaches help everyone set new goals, break them down into achievable chunks and keep us honest so we don't slack on using the proper form.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I love a hard workout that really makes you out of breath and burns, so cardio mixed with a strength component.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Push-ups are the worst. I hate them, but I am still (kind of) glad when they show up because it’s one of the things I need to work on most.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
My goals are a bit different being pregnant. Right now, I just want to focus on each day, staying fit enough to show up and do the best I can at each workout. After baby, I look forward to working my way back to pre-baby shape and picking up my goals where I left off: working on improving kipping pull-ups (maybe butterfly pull-ups eventually), push-ups and the progression to muscle-ups. I think it might be fun to tackle a competition, but that is still pretty intimidating for me.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit
CrossFit consists of a really inviting and supportive group, and everyone is at a different place in their goals and fitness levels. So wherever you start, you will fit in, and you will be surprised at how much you improve. Plus its super fun!

Danny Schlingman

April 2018 Four Core CrossFit Athlete Spotlight

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I have been at Four Core for almost two years now. I used to do CrossFit before I moved to Madison, and when I saw the Y was starting classes, I thought it would be great to start again.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I am much more fit overall than when I started. I have greater overall strength and a higher cardiovascular threshold. When I first joined, I had to scale the workouts. I am to the point where I mostly don't have to do that now.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did CrossFit before I moved to Madison, and in Madison, I climbed. The best thing about CrossFit versus other activities is the variation. There are so many different exercises to work on, you do not get bored and there are always areas for improvement.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I prefer body weight exercises like pull ups, air squats and box jumps.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Heavy squats, thrusters and wall balls. Anything with a weighted squat is my nemesis, though this is something I am actively trying to improve.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
My main goal is to continue increasing my capacity to do weighted squats. In addition, I need to get ready for Murph on Memorial Day.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Know that it is okay to scale your workouts. The goal is to push yourself and improve, not to beat everyone in the room. Everyone is at different levels, and those levels might change between exercises. Just do what you can, and enjoy the CrossFit community!

Lori & Patrick

How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
Lori: I’ve been doing CrossFit off and on for the last four years. I’ve been here about a year and a half. I was bored and wanted to try something new.

Pat: I started in August of 2015. Lori did CrossFit in the past at another location, and I figured I would give it a try to help stay in shape outside of rugby season. I liked the idea of having a variety of workouts, rather than simply lifting or doing the same cardio week in and week out.

What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
Lori: The biggest change is my ability to do everyday tasks with ease such as lifting heavy boxes or moving outdoor patio furniture.

Pat: My cardio has improved and my WOD times have decreased over the year. I have also noticed improved rugby performance and an ability to keep my workmate up during matches.

What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
Lori: Before CrossFit, I did a variety of classes: BodyPump, BodyFlow, kickboxing, etc. The variety is the most appealing thing to me about CrossFit; I can’t remember the last time I was bored with a workout.

Pat: I mostly did basic weight training such as deadlifts, squats and cleans along with some intermittent interval training such as sprints. What I like the most is the variety of workouts and the ability to work out in a group since it pushes me to work harder.

What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
Lori: HITT & Tabata’s.

Pat: I still like lifting, but I have an increased appreciation for the longer cardio-focused WODs.

What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Lori: Anything that involves Wall Balls.

Pat: I’m no good at pull-ups, so I’m not a fan of those.

What are your goals going forward?
Lori: I want to be able to move with ease as I age. My goal has always been to show up; just getting in the door is success to me!

Pat: To do some pull-ups without assist and continue to improve my cardio. I’d like to play competitive rugby into my 40’s, and I know I need to continue to work harder in order to reach that goal.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Lori: Allow yourself time to learn the lifts. Some lifts are challenging, and it can very be frustrating, especially if you are already an accomplished athlete.

Pat: Getting started is always the hardest, and it really is hard to enjoy the workouts that first week. However, if you stick with it, you’ll really notice some changes, begin to enjoy the workouts and your improvements will only encourage you to continue to get better.

David Gowin

September 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

Q & A with David

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I started Four Core CrossFit in February of 2017. I really wanted to make a change in my life and become healthier, and I heard about CrossFit and thought it would be a good fit for me. I began watching youtube videos to try and figure out what CrossFit really was, and it became addicting.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
In regards to fitness, I see changes in overall strength but also in the ability to  complete movements that I haven’t been able to do since high school, like a pull​-​up. The real change happened in my head. I enjoy working out, and I have a new sense of energy and pride that I haven’t felt for a long time.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I really didn’t do anything before starting CrossFit. I played high school soccer and continued playing in intramural leagues in college, but I never really worked out. I really like the community of CrossFit and being able to see everybody in class pushing themselves beyond their expectations. It’s truly inspiring!

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
My favorites are completing workouts that I previously failed and workouts that involve movements I’m trying to perfect. Gymnastic movements tend to be a favorite for me as well.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
I don’t know that I dislike any in particular. I actually hope that my least favorite movements show up because I realize that those are the ones that I need to work on the most.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
My main goal is to take less rests during workouts. There is a huge difference between now and when I started, but I’m definitely not where I want to be. I also want to be able to handstand-walk proficiently.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
If you’re nervous or scared about CrossFit, I encourage you to observe a class. You will see a group of people working out together who are having fun and tackling their challenges as a unit. We never bite, unless we are doing box jumps, and we will welcome you with open arms!

Lorrie Hylkema

August 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

Q & A with Lorrie

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I have been a member of Four Core since last August. I like to try new things and was inspired when I read about this offering in your mailing. I had never heard of Crossfit, and I guess I was challenged by the concept of a full work out and the community that it provides (the video helped too!).

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I have been able to lift more weights, feel less exhausted and improve my overall endurance.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did lots of swimming and biking before. I still swim and bike but mostly bike now, at least until the winter months. I like the challenge of the exercises—the WOD—because there is always something to strive for and to compete against yourself, even if you don’t compete with others in the class.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
My favorite workouts are those that I can actually complete in the allotted time, even if I have to do them to scale. I particularly like squats, planks, sit-ups and rowing.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
My least favorite are box jumps, handstand push-ups, burpees and wall balls.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
I want to improve my form while lifting weights and someday be able to do an actual pull-up without standing on a box or using a stretch band.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Come and join in, and don't be intimidated if you are older or not in perfect shape. The community you are part of, along with the ongoing work on your own personal fitness level, are well worth it. My motto is don't give up, and don't get injured.

Andrew (Drew) Ogden

July 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

Q & A with Drew

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I’ve been a member for roughly three years. I did Body Pump for a year and Jodi, the instructor, talked about going to CrossFit and what a great workout it was.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I can do a pull-up. Also, I find that I prioritize getting to CrossFit classes more than I did for other classes or working out on my own.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did jogging, Insanity and Body Pump prior to CrossFit. What I like most about CrossFit is the community and how we push each other to get better.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
Anything without a Burpee.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Burpees.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
I just want to keep getting incrementally better … a little stronger, a little faster.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
To quote DeVon, “Today is just you against you yesterday.”

Erin Weber

June 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

Q & A with Erin

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I've been at Four Core CrossFit since June 2016. I did CrossFit for a year before moving to Madison in the summer of 2014. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a nearby box that I liked, so I gave up on CrossFit for a bit. When I saw that the YMCA near my house was opening a box, I was thrilled. CrossFit has been the most effective workout program for me, and I was excited to get started again.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I accomplished a goal — the ability to do kipping pull-ups.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did rock climbing for the year between moving to Madison and finding Four Core. I do not like to work out. I get bored of the same routine, I run out of motivation and I'm terrible at pushing myself. I like CrossFit for all of these reasons; it's never the same workout, and I have people around me that provide instant motivation and occasionally friendly competition.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
Anything with a decreasing rep scheme. I find it very satisfying to watch the number go down.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Wall balls and running. It’s the fastest way for me to decide I need to stay home and wash my hair.

6. What are your goals moving forward?
Handstand push ups, strict and kipping. I find the kipping motion awkward when I'm upside down and I don't yet have the strength for strict handstand pushups.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
You do you. At any given time, there will be other people working out that are stronger, faster and better at a technique than you. The beauty of CrossFit is that you can scale it so that it's a challenge to everyone. There is no need to compare to others unless you want to. I record every workout so I know when I do better. Besides, at the end of the workout everyone feels terrible. ;)

 

Jeff Holmes

May 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I have been a member since May 2016. I wanted to try CrossFit because I wanted a challenging group workout class. 

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day? I considered myself out of shape before I started CrossFit, and now it is easier for me to maintain my ideal weight. My strength has consistently improved, and I surpassed some of the personal goals that I set.

3. What did you do for fitness before Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I used to be a long distance runner and did some minor weight training. I enjoy CrossFit because being part of a group inspires me to exercise more often. I challenge myself every day, and the coaches and other athletes in the room motivate me to work harder.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I don’t think I can honestly say that I have a favorite workout. I don’t ever look at the board and get excited for any specific workout. What’s exciting about the workout is when you finish, look at the board and see what you accomplished and how much you improved over time.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
The workouts that I like the least are the lifts/movements that I struggle with. That said, a challenge is the only way to get better.

6. What are your goals going forward?
I hope I can maintain CrossFit workouts 5-6 days a week. I want to be able to do handstand walks and more consistent rounds of pull-ups.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
If you are thinking about doing CrossFit, you can start at any fitness level. Everyone goes at their own pace, and strength conditioning is based upon your current fitness level. If you want to rise to the next level and achieve fitness goals that you didn’t think were possible, CrossFit is the place for you!

Yernny Perez

April 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

Q & A with Yernny

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I've been a YMCA member for the last three years, mainly doing Body Pump. I started CrossFit last August (2016). I had my son in March of 2016 and wanted to get back into shape. I heard that CrossFit members support each other, that you’re challenged you to do your best and if I wanted to get back into shape, it seemed like a great option.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
The changes I've seen are having more energy for my family, more confidence in my body and even my stress levels have gone down … just ask my husband! I'm more willing to get up on a Saturday knowing my trainers are there to guide me.

3. What did you do for fitness prior to Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did Body Pump and Zumba at the YMCA before CrossFit. CrossFit is more focused on your own capabilities, targeting every muscle group you have. In addition, I believe CrossFit increases your mental toughness, encouraging you to lift that weight one more time than you did before.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I really like deadlift and back squat. These work out my legs, which I need to keep up with my son!

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
I really don't like CrossFit Burpee. This requires a lot of cardiovascular fitness, which I apparently don't have. However, I'm up for the challenge and can't wait to get better.

6. What are your goals going forward?
My goals are to continue getting better at cardiovascular fitness as well as being able to do ONE handstand push-up within the next two months, because I can't even get my head off the ground right now … but I'm working on it.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Don't be scared. It doesn't matter what your size is, your age, your strength level or what you think you can or cannot do physically. They have great CrossFit trainers that help you progress at your own pace. The ultimate goal is self improvement, not beating the person next to you. CrossFit is a community where we support each other, making each other better together.

Ross Edwards

March 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

Q & A with Ross
1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I joined in spring 2016. I’m getting close to 50 and started to lose strength and fitness.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I've had major improvements in strength, endurance and body fat. I’m stronger now than I was in my twenties. My cholesterol, etc. has improved dramatically.

3. What did you do for fitness prior to Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I started working out in the gym but decided I wanted to do more body weight exercises. The thing I like most about Crossfit is the group motivation and constant help with different techniques from instructors and other members.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
To be honest, I don’t have one; diversity is part of the recipe. However, if I had to choose, I would say that I like the WOD’s with rowing or handstands.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
Wall balls, of course.

6. What are your goals going forward?
To be able to perform ring muscle-ups and human flag. I’m trying to work up to Jeff and DeVon’s deadlifts without the need for gamma ray exposure!

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Get into a rhythm, go as hard as you need to and focus on technique. Don’t forgo the stretching. Have fun!

Aimee Ogden

February 2017 Four Core CrossFit Athlete of the Month

 

Q & A with Aimee

1. How long have you been a member at the YMCA of Dane County’s Four Core CrossFit, and what made you want to get started?
I have been a member since last fall (2016); I went to one of the free trial classes and got my butt kicked, so of course I had to come back for more.

2. What changes have you seen in yourself since your very first day?
I can do unassisted pull-ups now! That's been a goal of mine for ages. I'm also getting better about not moaning and groaning when I come in and see a tough workout for the day, but there's room for improvement there.

3. What did you do for fitness prior to Four Core CrossFit, and what do you like the most about CrossFit?
I did BodyPump and Boot Camp classes, which were a lot of fun. They helped get me back into shape after my kids were born. I think my favorite thing about CrossFit is getting to do something different every day. One day it’s heavy lifting, then agility, then building endurance and so on. I love the deadlifts! It's hard not to feel awesome when you're doing a deadlift correctly.

4. What type(s) of workouts are your favorite?
I don't think I could pick one type! I enjoy the variety of workouts and not knowing what is coming next.

5. What type(s) of workouts do you least like to see come up?
The workouts with lots of rowing are probably my least favorite. Being short + rowing = yuck.

6. What are your goals going forward?
I want to string more pull-ups together, work on a better overhead squat form and manage an unassisted pistol squat.

7. What advice do you have for someone just starting out at Four Core CrossFit?
Remember that the only person you're competing against is yourself!