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At Verve and CrossFit Rosslyn, we know that getting fit takes some serious hard work. It takes a certain mindset to make it through a tough workout while motivating yourself and others along the way. We like to recognize those who not only show growth and determination within our programming, but also inspires others to be their best!

Congrats to our client spotlight for June, Sameer AlZahrani! Sameer has excelled greatly in our Pure Strength programming since joining Verve/CFR in May 2016. With his consistency with working on the major lifts (Back Squat, Deadlift, Clean and Jerk, and Snatch) he is a true inspiration to those who want to get their lifting technique on point! Read his story below!


1) Please introduce yourself and what brought you to Verve Health & Fitness /CrossFit Rosslyn

I’m Sameer AlZahrani, originally from Saudi Arabia. I have always been interested in health and fitness. I did lift weights at various points in my life, but my programs were not optimally designed. At best, I did a 3-way or a 4-way body split that had more isolation exercises than ideal.

2) Prior to working out at Verve/CFR, what was your fitness/athletic background?

I did Brazilian Jiu Jitsu roughly from 2000 until 2013 when my oldest daughter was born. At that point, I could not keep a demanding job, a demanding sport and the family side as well; so I took a break from Jiu Jitsu.

Some of my colleagues in the office told me about Verve/CrossFit Rosslyn. I looked into it and was intrigued by the Pure Strength class. I signed my membership contract on May 5,  2016.

3) What was your initial impression after your first training session /group class at Verve/CFR?

It was love at first sight!  The Pure Strength class covers the most important lifts that any athlete should master, and a few support exercises to help improve those main lifts.  I see Pure Strength class as the ideal and most efficient way to train for busy people. A great way to get a huge fitness adaptation in a very short period is to train with intensity and explosiveness; but of course, one would need expert coaching to do that, and that is what I found at Verve.

4) What was your biggest challenge with starting your fitness regimen at Verve/CFR ? 

In my current program, we have 5 main lifts:  Squat, Deadlift, Press, Snatch, and the Clean and Jerk. The challenge has been and remains to work on the technique. It’s a never ending journey. Initially, I was focused on the basics: learning efficient squatting, deadlifting, and pressing techniques. Now I’m finding my challenge in being explosive while maintain proper body alignment in the Snatch, and Clean and Jerk.

5) Please share with us some of your proudest fitness accomplishments. 

Across the board, my lifts improved dramatically. Below is a comparison between my lifts now versus a year ago. You see an increase of over 25% in all my lifts within my first year.

1 Rep Max

Difference

May 2016

May 2017

Pounds

%

Back Squat

185

250

65

35%

Deadlift

245

305

60

24%

Press

95

130

35

37%

Snatch

65

100

35

54%

Clean/Jerk

95

145

50

53%

6) What are your favorite and least favorite exercises?

I love my exercises equally! They are all important! Categorizing the exercises as favorites, less favorites, at least for me, has an impact on what lifts will improve and what lifts will not improve. I’d rather not think that way.

7) Outside of working with the Verve /CFR trainers, what’s the biggest difference that you’ve noticed in your day-to-day life?

My posture improved a lot.  Opening the shoulders during the snatch, and overhead squats, translated into being aware of rotating my shoulders and opening the thoracic spine a bit more.

I’m also sore a lot!

8) What are your future fitness goals?

My goal is to make a small improvement every time we test the 1 rep max. I’m not competing with others. I’m competing with my past best lift. In addition, because I like to maintain longevity in the sport, I’d rather be careful not to make too much progress in a short period of time in order to avoid injury.

My benchmark for the next 12 months is to make at least 10% improvement in all 5 main lifts. If I reach that goal, I would be very happy.

9) What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

First, focus on the technique. It takes years to learn proper technique. Learning to Snatch decently can take a couple of years at least!

Second, measure your progress. It’s tough to improve what you don’t measure. Use whatever system to record your workouts and track your progress.

Third, trust the process! We have the luxury at Verve to have expert coaches design our programs. Follow the program. It works!

10) Share something random about yourself! 

The real motivation for me to work on core exercise is that I don’t hurt my back when I carry my two little girls (4 years and 2 years).

At Verve and CrossFit Rosslyn, we know that getting fit takes some serious hard work. It takes a certain mindset to make it through a tough workout while motivating yourself and others along the way. We like to recognize those who not only show growth and determination within our programming, but also inspires others to be their best!

Congrats to our client spotlight for April, Alejandra Velilla! Since Alejandra joined the CrossFit Rosslyn family, she’s progressed in her fitness in major ways. She’s very consistent when it comes to working on the various skills of CrossFit and mobility before and after class time. Though she takes her fitness seriously, she always makes sure to have fun when working out (even when there’s burpees involved!). You can also find her hanging out and competing at our special weekend events! Read her story below!


Please introduce yourself and what brought you to Verve Health & Fitness/CrossFit Rosslyn.
I first started doing CrossFit in Cartagena, Colombia and really loved it. When I moved to the area I did some research to find the perfect place for me and found CROSSFIT ROSSLYN!! (Best decision ever).

Prior to working out at Verve/CFR, what was your fitness/athletic background?
I have always been pretty active, did some rollerskating, running and regular gym routines, but I really reached my peak with Crossfit.

What was your initial impression after your first training session/group class at Verve/CFR?
I was very impressed from the very beginning with the atmosphere at CFR. Not only were they welcoming but also because the coaches were very attentive and supportive with each WOD. I also like that classes are small.

What was your biggest challenge with starting your fitness regimen at Verve/CFR?
My biggest challenge was getting used to the technique of some of the movements.

Please share with us some of your proudest fitness accomplishments.
One of my proudest fitness accomplishments is being able to do double-unders. Thanks to Brittany for being so patient and giving me the best tips!!

What are your favorite and least favorite exercises?
My favorite exercises are double-unders, cleans and wall balls. My least favorite exercises are burpees and pull ups.

Outside of working with the Verve/CFR trainers, what’s the biggest difference that you’ve noticed in your day-to-day life?
The biggest difference I’ve noticed is having more energy during the day and also having my friends ask me to do heavy lifting “because I do crossfit”.

What are your future fitness goals?
I want to be able to do pull-ups, push-ups and rope climbing.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
Your body is ALWAYS going to be sore. It never goes away. Embrace it.

Share something random about yourself!
My friends say I’m a really good dancer! :)

At Verve and CrossFit Rosslyn, we know that getting fit takes some serious hard work. It takes a certain mindset to make it through a tough workout while motivating yourself and others along the way. We like to recognize those who not only show growth and determination within our programming, but also inspires others to be their best!

For this Client Spotlight, we are featuring a CrossFit power couple, Lauren and Michael Lee! They are both diligent when comes to their fitness and always bring lively and positive vibes to classes. They are big on motivating each other and their fellow CrossFitters during WODs and are both very engaged in our fitness community. Read their story below!

Please introduce yourselves and what brought you guys to Verve/CrossFit Rosslyn.

We met our senior year of college (JMU) and have been annoyingly in love ever since. We are both 28 and work at Grant Thornton as consultants. We have two cats named Sassy and Barbossa and love to travel! We have always been on again off again gym goers but had never found something that would get us both engaged and excited. It was around 6 months before our wedding when we realized we needed more structure and motivation to get fit and healthy for our big day. We decided to give CFR a shot and we’ve been loving it ever since!

Prior to working out at Verve/CFR, what were your fitness/athletic backgrounds?

We both played sports in high school (Lauren played volleyball and soccer, Michael played football and ran track) and some rec leagues in college. Over the past few years we have run a few 5ks, played co-ed flag football, and survived a Spartan Race.

What were your initial impressions after you guys took your first group class at Verve/CFR?

We started off going to the Foundations classes to really help set a firm base and build confidence in our form and fitness. When we moved on to the WODs it was a love/hate relationship since it hurt so good. We loved the class size; we never felt lost in the herd and were able to get one-on-one coaching.

What were your biggest challenges with starting your fitness regimen at Verve/CFR?

The biggest challenge we found was being confident and making sure to set aside time to get to the gym. Crossfit is challenging and rewarding but it also takes confidence in your abilities, your strength, and what you can accomplish. Going together has been the best motivator as we constantly hold each other accountable and push each other to keep improving. We now schedule our routine around working out instead of trying to schedule working out around other activities. We may miss a happy hour or two, but we usually just show up to most of them a little later!

Please share with us some of your proudest fitness accomplishments!

  • For Lauren, it’s her overall strength. I have always been athletic but I would never use the word “strong” to describe me. Now, I feel like I can take on anything (except handstand pushups)! My proudest moments have been doing RX WODs. They aren’t every workout, and sometimes they aren’t strictly RX. But being able to do those max weights is a huge personal accomplishment.
  • For Michael, it was being able to recently complete a 10k. CFR helped Michael gain the fitness and drive to achieve this goal. I have been able to go up in weights consistently but always struggle with cardio. CFR has done a great job incorporating all aspects of fitness (strength, cardio, etc.) to help me be better-rounded.

What are your favorite and least favorite exercises?

  • Both of our least favorite = Overhead Squats
  • Lauren’s favorite is Squat Cleans
  • Michael’s favorite is Back Squats

Outside of taking your group CFR classes, what’s the biggest difference that you’ve noticed in your day-to-day life?

  • For Lauren, it’s having arm, back, and shoulder strength that she has never had before. The biggest of these is back strength, I use to have a lot of issues because of my back and since starting CFR those issues have dissipated.
  • For Michael, it’s feeling healthier and fit! Noticeably having much more energy and less lethargic in general, being excited to go workout and building in more structure to my routine and schedule.

What are your future fitness goals?

  • Lauren wants to do a pull up for the first time. That is one thing I have never been able to do, I’m still not there yet but I’m closer than ever before!
  • Michael wants to be able to do double unders and climb the rope without burning his hands sliding down.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

It’s a process and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to become a habit, but once it does it’s second nature. It takes time to build your strength and endurance, but once it does you are excited to get stronger. We have been coming to CFR for a year and still have moves we need to improve, goals to reach, and weight to go up. But it all takes time!

Share something random about yourselves!

As a baby, Michael was featured in a soap opera and on bill-board. Lauren went to a filming of the Rachel Ray show and won a trip to Jamaica (which of course she went on).


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Today’s WOD

  • Friday, 12/15/17

    WOD Romanian Deadlifts – 3×8 (Same Weight for all 3 sets) 12 Minute EMOM: 6 Thrusters (Rx:95#/65#, L2:80#/55#, L3:65#/45#) Abmat Sit-ups for the remainder of the minute (Score = # of Sit-ups)
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