Name: David Syvertsen
Crossfitting Since: October 2011
Attends Class: 6-7 per week (usually 5:30am)
Favorite Quote: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I had heard little tidbits here and there from a couple friends over the past few years but I started to really find out what crossfit was all about from a co-worker. He joined Crossfit Hoboken in 2009 and we were constantly discussing the different workouts he was involved in and the progress he showed on a monthly basis. It sounded like a lot of fun and very rewarding and he invited me to the free classes on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Following a few of those, I was hooked. I knew that was going to be my next gym.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU STARTED CROSSFIT?
The number one thing I wanted was variety. I was sick of lifting weights with the occasional run on the weekends. I wanted to have a balanced approach to my physical condition that could blend strength, power, agility and explosion while maintaining cardiovascular capabilities. Simply put, I wanted to challenge myself to on levels I never have.
HOW HAS CROSSFIT DIFFERED FROM YOUR FORMER TRAINING?
I’ve always approached workouts with a certain level of intensity but it was taken to an entirely new level when I started CrossFit. I never used to chase a previous time or rep count, but now that I am starting to repeat workouts from when I first started, there is a new bar to reach for every time I walk in to the gym. In addition, I love working out with a group of people that are all chasing their own personal goals. Prior to CrossFit, I usually worked out alone and the level of motivation and intensity just isn’t the same in comparison to a group setting.
WHAT TYPE OF RESULTS HAVE YOU SEEN WITH CROSSFIT?
In five months, I’ve seen enormous gains in flexibility and mobility, although I still have a ways to go there. Simultaneously I’ve become stronger and leaner, making my workouts much more enjoyable and fulfilling. I have also come a long way with technique/form when it comes to the Olympic lifts and CrossFit-specialty exercises. It is amazing what a difference I feel when something clicks and the weight you are using feels like nothing. Again I still have a ways to go, but the progress is quick if you really take in what the coaches are telling you.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT HOBOKEN?
I had high expectations for CrossFit Hoboken because of the things I heard from other people. But this gym in particular has far exceeded those expectations in every way. The coaches are top tier; they all know their stuff and they all are willing to sacrifice their time and energy (among other things) to help each and every member of the gym. It sounds a bit heavy, but I cannot imagine what my life would be like without Crossfit Hoboken. It doesn’t get any better than this.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT YEAR IN YOUR OWN FITNESS?
Now that I have been around a few months and I am starting to comprehend what crossfit is all about, I’d like to try and take it to the next level. I am aiming to get to a point where I can compete in some of the competitions around the country in 2013. I would love to make it to a regional competition before all is said and done. Even though it is a sky-high goal, it something that will drive my training in the future.
WHEN DID YOU START EATING PALEO?
I was introduced to and started to implement it in to my daily diet in November 2011. I did not take it seriously until I started the 45-day Paleo Challenge in January 2012.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY OF FOOD LOOK LIKE YOUR YOU?
A lot of foods that have minimal processing and sugar. I eat a lot of eggs, nuts, berries, and most importantly, meat! I like to throw in some spinach, peppers, Avocados, and Sweet Potatoes on the side as well. I workout in the morning, so I eat most of my daily intake between 7 AM and 3 PM with something light after work.
HOW DID PALEO ACCELERATE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS?
When I started to eat a strict Paleo diet, I lost 6-7 pounds in a week. Weight loss was not my goal however, therefore I nearly doubled the am9ht of food I ate daily. It was all Paleo-friendly though and over the course of those initial 45 days, I lost 10 pounds.
HAVE YOU FOUND IT HARD TO ADHERE TO PALEO DIET?
I am a meat lover, so as long as I can keep that in my diet, nothing will be overly difficult to follow. I did have a hard time avoiding bread simply because it has been something I’ve eaten quite frequently for a long, long time. I think it is hard to break any routine that has been a part of your life for awhile, even something small like having crackers/chips on the side of whatever you are eating. But once I decided to completely ignore those kind of foods, I found that the cravings eventually disappeared and it was no longer an issue.
OTHER THAN PALEO WHAT OTHER DIET TOOLS HAVE YOU USED?
I’ve never been big on “diets” simply because they promote the short term fix. I’ve avoided the meal plans or specific diets that are out there because I don’t believe they bring the results that most people are looking for. I’ve tried low-carb stints here and there but at the end of the day, you have to eventually make the decision to change the way you eat for good and suck it up when it gets tough.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF GOING PALEO?
The day-to-day part of Paleo is fairly easy and simple. However it gets very tough when it comes to the social aspects of your diet. It is rare to go over someone’s house for a party of even a meal, and it is a Paleo-friendly environment. Relying on other people to adhere to your Paleo style of eating seems a bit selfish, therefore there have been times where you simply have to put aside your desires and eat what is provided.
DO YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE WITH THIS WAY OF EATING PERMANENTLY?
Yes. The results I’ve seen and felt on a daily basis far exceed the fulfillment that burgers and fries give me!! While I am still learning about the advantages of certain foods, I really believe that what you are putting in to your body can really help you, or really hurt you. When you break it down like that, the decisions are rather simple. I want CrossFit to be something I can continue to improve at and the Paleo way of eating is one of a few bridges that can lead me to that goal.