Welcome back to Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!
Thank you for stopping by today and always. You’ve picked an extra special day to visit because I recently had the privilege of sitting down with our veteran morning coach, Coach Robbie, to discuss the sport of CrossFit and get a glimpse inside his life.
Coach Robbie has been with Fern Creek CrossFit since the doors opened. He has been a steadfast part of the gym for many members. His vast knowledge of the movements, along with his passion to help others reach their full potential, has impacted countless individuals. His sarcastic wit has not : )
Meg: What made you start CrossFit?
Robbie: I was training for a marathon and tweaked my knee back in 2012. I realized that I was really bored with my training regimen and needed to change things up. I was at LAC one morning and they were in the beginning stages of starting a Crossfit program, and the head trainer asked me to do Grace (30 C&J for time) with him. It sounded simple enough but it absolutely wrecked me and I was hooked from that point on.
Meg: What has made you continue CrossFit?
Robbie: First is the training modality, the philosophy of constantly varied functional movement never allows me to get bored with my workouts. Secondly, is the results and the direct impact that my crossfit training has had on my everyday life. Lastly, the friendships that I have built with my training partners and the community as a whole.
Meg: What is your least favorite CrossFit movement?
Robbie: Overhead squats for sure. My lack of mobility makes it difficult to get in the correct positions but I need to shout out Coach Bryan Brown, who has worked with me on my overhead squat over the last several months and I am starting to see some real progress.
Meg: What attributes do you think a coach must possess to be a great coach?
Robbie: Knowledge of the movements, ability to communicate effectively to your athletes, enthusiasm for what you are doing, and ability to lead a large group of people and keep them on task
Meg: What is the most frustrating thing about being a coach?
Robbie: Athletes who do not have an open mind and think that they already know everything that there is to know so they are unwilling to take any sort of constructive feedback.
Meg: For those that don’t know, jiu-jitsu is also a big part of your fitness routine/life. How are jiu-jitsu and CrossFit alike?
Robbie: It may sound simple, but they are both challenging. I believe it was Jocko who I heard say “Do something difficult every day of your life.” Both Crossfit and Jiu Jitsu are not only physically challenging but mentally challenging as well and the feeling after a tough day in the box or on the mats is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Secondly, they are both something that we will never master, there are always things to improve on, so this pursuit of improvement on a daily basis keeps me mentally engaged.
Meg: If an athlete is short on cash but wants to build their home gym, what 2 items should they buy first and why?
Robbie: I will do one better, I will give you one item that you should build you home gym around: a kettlebell. Kettlebells are probably the most versatile piece of equipment that you can own. You can do swings, cleans, jerks, snatches, presses, rows, curls, squats, carries, etc. all with a single kettlebell. You can design so many different workouts all with a single kettlebell so for this reason, I think it should be the staple of any home gym.
Meg: If you could only listen to one band/artist when working out what/who would it be?
Robbie: This is tough as I have a very eclectic taste in music. But if forced to chose I would have to say Drake.
Meg: Do you have a favorite moment or specific story you love from coaching?
Robbie: It is hard for me to narrow it down to one specific story or moment because there are so many to chose from and everyone who has come to my class, past and present, have all made a lasting impact on me. My favorite thing about coaching, and my favorite moments, are those where someone is able to do something that they never thought they would be able to do, made especially great when I have watched them struggle for weeks working on a movement or skill and seeing the joy on their faces when they finally breakthrough.
Meg: When you aren’t in the gym what are you most likely to be doing?
Robbie: Jiu Jitsu lol but outside of all physical activity you will most likely find me playing chess or some other game with my daughter. She is relentless and talks more shit than I do.
Meg: What fitness goals will you set for 2021?
Robbie: First, I think the most important thing about this question is the realization of how essential it is to set specific and measurable goals, not just in fitness but in every aspect of our life. It is just as important to write down your goals in a very clear manor. It is not enough to say “I want to get better at Crossfit,” but how specifically are you planning on getting better at CrossFit? With that being said, I set a lot of strength goals as I know they are my weakness, so I am going to set a 350 LBS back squat goal, Clean and Jerk 225 LBS, Sntach and Overhead Squat 185 LBS. I will develop a supplemental plan as to how to get to each of these numbers of the next 12 months. And as soon as I hit these goals, I will set new ones. Never be complacent!
Meg: Tell us one good thing about 2020 for you.
Robbie: First, it has allowed me to refocus on what is important in my life and slow down and appreciate the small things. Secondly, it has allowed me to focus on my personal goals. As a coach, we sacrifice a lot of our fitness time to help other athletes, which we love to do, but sometimes it is nice to have some time to focus on yourself as well.
A big thank you to Coach Robbie for taking the time to answer my questions and for all he does at Fern Creek CrossFit. We are very lucky to have you and we acknowledge your hard work.
Thank you readers for your time. Now go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!