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August 20, 2014

Athlete Highlight - Brian Salzman

Name: Brian SalzmannHometown: Tampa, FL/Currently Lynchburg, VA

b salzman OH

Age: 29When did you first start training at CFL? I started at CrossFit Lynchburg in July of 2013Tell us about your sports & fitness background: Prior to joining I had been active in sports and fitness. Over the last couple years I worked in the fitness industry and I was an avid rock climber.How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?I was working at another gym in town, but had friends and acquaintances that were involved at CFL. Though I had access to a facility to workout whenever I wanted, I had a strong desire for community and motivation, and for legitimate programming (I wanted someone to tell me what to do).What was your first workout and how did it go?My first workout at CFL was a variation of Cindy, lots of pull-ups, hand-release push-ups and air squats. It also included hang power snatches between rounds of Cindy, which I was not competent with at the time (I either scaled significantly or did a sub exercise if I recall). I burned out on my Push-ups going waaaaay too fast.Favorite Workout/Least Favorite Workout: My favorite benchmark workout right now may be Mary. I did it recently and liked it for some reason. I hate, hate, hate Fran, as it makes me feel like death, but I still have a desire to get faster and more efficient at it. As for specific movements, I really like muscle-ups and cleans. Double-unders are the death of me, and I get a sick feeling when I see high volume wall balls in the WOD.What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting Crossfit? My best answer is, “everything.” I am stronger, I am fitter, I am denser. I am a more competent lifter. My mobility has gotten significantly better. When I started at CFL in July of 2013, I could not back squat 225 (I have a video of me failing at the weight). Recently I back squatted 300 (2x my bodyweight), which was a goal of mine for 2014. My clean has increased significantly (currently 1.5x bodyweight), I have learned how to snatch (currently 25# more than bodyweight), and I can now do 10+ consecutive ring muscle-ups. What sort of unexpected changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like Crossfit? My buddy and I would joke that if you cheat on your workout, you will cheat on your wife. Hyperbole of course, but with a valuable underlying principle. When things get hard, many of us often want to quit, or cheat. So many times I have wanted to quit a workout, or cheat on a workout by counting bogus reps. It’s often not because I can’t continue, it’s because my mind gets weak and I don’t want to continue. But I learn to persevere, and I see this principle at work in other areas of my life.Please share any of your favorite CrossFit/ CFL moments: Seeing my buddy Jerm squat over 400# was really cool, and hitting my 300# squat was a major highlight for me. I also remember snatching with Adam Barnes on one of his PR’s and it really stuck out to me, his movement and his determination.Any advice for people just getting started or new to Crossfit?My advice is, truly seek to find balance between pushing your limits and going too far. The one time I got injured doing CrossFit, I blame completely on myself. I knew in my mind that my shoulder was getting sore but I wanted to attempt “just one more” snatch. It was a bad decision. I was not coerced into it, the decision was mine and I made a poor choice. It was not a significant injury, but it was definitely a learning experience. Sometimes the “silent” peer pressure can be the most dangerous, the desire to perform in a group. To not be last. To not use less weight. You have to be honest with yourself. A coach can and should be there to point out bad form and technique, but only you know if your back is sore or your knee hurts. Oftentimes my mental battle is simply pushing through the workout, but an equally important battle is knowing when to scale or pull back. A person would be wise to consider that balance early and often.

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