One thing you can say about Dan is that he has heart. Not just for getting himself in shape, but also helping others do the same. He has made a career of being a coach, not just at CrossFit but also in his other role as a Physical Therapy Assistant.
It took Dan a while to find CrossFit — he spent some time doing bro reps at a globo gym. When he did find it, he knew it was going to be his second home.
We’re super happy that Dan found us a few years into his CrossFit career. He has contributed an enormous amount to the box and we’re looking forward to much more over the years to come.
What is your athletic background?
I grew up always playing sports. Soccer was my main sport from age 5 though high school, and I played a little lacrosse in high school too. As an adult I learned to play Ice Hockey, and also love to snowboard, mountain and road bike. The reality is that I have not changed a bit, if there is a game that you can keep score at, I’m in, and I will be playing to win.
How did you get into CrossFit?
While working as a personal trainer, I was told about Crossfit by another trainer. A CrossFit class was being run out of a local gym so I decided to give it a try. One of the first workouts I ever did was “Fight Gone Bad” and I loved it. Unfortunately at the time, it was too costly for my budget to join a CrossFit gym, so I was forced to cherry pick workouts from different websites and do them on my own. After my son was born, my wife started working with a personal trainer who worked at Granite State CrossFit. That was all the push I needed and I jumped in with 2 feet. I’ll never forget my first WOD. Power Cleans and Burpees. I thought that I was in good shape so it would be easy. 3-2-1 and I went off like I was shot out of a cannon, 10 power cleans unbroken then some burpees and boom I was killing everyone…then I learned what CrossFIt was really all about. Round 2 was a rude awakening, I hit the redline too early and watched as everyone passed me. We had to be 30 min into the WOD I thought…Nope! Only 2 minutes had passed. I finished the WOD, dragged my beaten carcass to my car and sat in it for a while, too tired to even drive; and that was it, I was hooked.
What can an athlete do to stay motivated when they are not achieving a result?
2 pieces of advice I can give here. 1) Be honest with yourself. Are you really putting in the work, working on progressions and improving on whatever is holding you back. If the answer is no then get on a program that will help you achieve whatever it is you are hopping for. 2) If you are putting in the work, take a look at your past numbers. Look back 6 months and see where you were. Its easy to judge yourself from one day to the next and get down. But when you look back at the numbers and times you had a year ago you see how far you have come. Nothing gets me going more than knowing I just did a previous 1 rep max of a movement for multiple reps.
What do you expect from the athletes you coach?
100% effort and to follow the plan. That’s the beauty of CrossFit, all the other work has been done for you.
What are your personal athletic goals?
In 2016 for CrossFit, I would like to achieve a 400 lb front squat, 500 lb deadlift, 200 lb snatch and a strict ring muscle up. Ultimately I would also love to squat 500 lb, but that’s a few years out. I also love to throw a couple of competitions in throughout the year to give me some thing to train for. Outside of the gym as my kids get older and I have a little more free time I would love to get back to snowboarding and mountain biking and maybe some more organized sports.
Proudest accomplishment so far in CrossFit?
Winning Festivus which was a lot of fun. My first muscle, when I first saw one I thought that I would never be able to do it. Squatting 400lbs was also a huge moment for me.
What is your favorite CrossFit workout/movement/philosophy to coach?
I can’t say I like one thing over another. When it comes to coaching, I love it all.
What is your favorite workout/movement to do?
No question….I love to squat, Front squat is probably my favorite and double unders. I also really enjoy going back to my roots and doing an old fashion bro session with some bench pressing and bicep curls. I can’t say I have a favorite WOD because at this point they all suck and hurt.
What keeps you motivated as a coach?
There is no better feeling than knowing you helped someone conquer a fear, achieve a goal, or do something they never thought possible.
How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?
Of course, the fitness side of stuff has been amazing. I’m definitely in the best shape of my life. But CrossFit filled a major void in my my relationship with my wife. Like I said earlier I have always been active and my wife and I where always active together (snowboarding/skiing and biking). After my son was born, all of our focus went to him. I knew that we where missing being active together which is what our relationship was build on. When we started CrossFit, we found that magic again. Even if we didn’t go to the box together we did the same WOD so we could always talk about it, and then on the weekends we would workout together. The reality is that a day does not go by without a conversation about CrossFit in my house, and now my kids are participating too.
What are you passionate about?
Although this is a Non-CrossFit the answer is Fitness and Health and CrossFit. As a Physical Therapy Assistant, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach the majority of my day is spend in the health and fitness world. I love helping people be healthy. Outside of that of course my family take up the rest of my day. Finally I love sports, Lets Go Mets, Islanders and Redskins
What is your favorite movie?
All time is a tie between Major League and Die Hard…John Mclean is a bad ass. More recently EuroTrip
Pizza, Beer and Ice Cream
Something you might not know about me is
– I hated lifting weights until my senior year in High School. Up until that point I would get so mad when we did the weight room for gym class.
– I played the saxophone from 3rd grade through college and also learned to play clarinet and flute too. The facts are I was a much better musician than athlete but athletics was my first love. When I would come home from school my parents always asked me about music class, but all I wanted to talk about was soccer and lacrosse practice even if I was running the opposing team’s offense and being used as a glorified tackling dummy.