Athlete Profile – John Dyer AKA DYER
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia a/k/a Leadersville, USA
When did you first start CrossFitting?: January 2011
Favorite WOD: Lizzie, Grace, Chippers with 20 reps or less per movement.
Least Favorite WOD: Josh, Murph – anything long or that has overhead squats, burpees or a lot of running.
Three words to describe you: Math whiz
Tell us about your sports & fitness background: I’ll stick with stuff from this century. So, I did the isolated chest monday, back and biceps tuesday, etc stuff during law school, sort of – basically plateaued and hovered around the same amount of strength the whole time – NEVER squatted, deadlifted or did anything that would’ve actually made me stronger. Then, I picked up middle distance running (5K, 10K and couple half-marathons), you know, for the camaraderie of doing something with friends. That lasted from around 2003 to 2008 – no real results (I probably ran between 15 and 30 miles a week when I was actually training and my best 5K was only about 7 minutes better the first 5K I ran with no training at all). Another bad side effect was I got really weak – I could comfortably move my body 5 miles at a moderate pace, but I was a worthless pile of shit if I had to move anything that weighed more than 25 lbs. Then, I started doing a bootcamp/fitness camp in August 2008. That gave me a good base, but lacked real strength training. So, I was fitter and could do more, but hit a plateau on getting stronger.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I first got exposed to CrossFit by my cousin. He is an absolute badass in the gym and in life. I respect the shit out of the guy and I figured if CrossFit was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. First WOD was Helen (3 rounds – 400 meter run, 21 kettlebell swings @ 53lbs, 12 pullups). I scaled to a 35 lb kettlebell and got pulled out of the WOD after 2 rounds. It felt terrible…absolute, complete exhaustion. On the plus side, I realized how much room I had to improve and was excited to get after it.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Wow…..it’s hard to say what hasn’t improved. Some measured improvements – deadlift +130 lbs., squat +90lbs, clean +105lbs, clean and jerk +80 lbs, max pullups +20 reps. Best functional life example is this: in 2010 I had to move a queensized bed into the upstairs of my house by carrying it up a 10′ ladder and putting in the roof (long story, I’ll explain in person if anybody cares to know). I had to get a friend to help me lift it up and move it up onto the roof. Fast forward to 2012 and I had to do the same thing again. Only this time I had no help and was able to do it by myself. No chance in hell I could’ve done that alone two years ago.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The mental aspect of keeping things in perspective and the mental break that the gym provides was not something I expected. No matter what else is going on, I always find solace in the gym. I love how it forces me to focus on my health by so clearly rewarding or punishing me for working hard or not working hard. What I did at work or at home doesn’t matter anymore when it’s time to make a lift or complete a workout. I, and I alone, am in control of this part of my life…drives my wife nuts.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFM moments: Lifting my bodyweight ground to overhead for the first time – huge goal of mine and a great feeling. Finishing Murph with the weight vest. First muscle up was a big deal (now I just gotta get consistent with ’em). Completely bombing in the Open last year during one of the workouts and hearing the encouragement from my gym mates as I struggled. Doing a competition last year with my cousin, Cochard, Sam and Lis. The mattress thing.
Any advice for people just getting started? Have fun with this stuff. Care about your performance, but not so much about that you stop having fun; nobody here is going to the Olympics, but get excited when you finish something you didn’t think you could do or when hit a PR on anything and get excited when somebody else in the gym hits a PR. Record everything; in 3 months, 6 months, a year from now, it will be a lot of fun to look back on how far you’ve come. Make mental notes of impressive stuff you see other members doing; I guarantee that you’ll start surpassing those things and it’s fun to remember how 6 months ago you were super-impressed by what you just did. Ask questions; everybody loves to be asked questions, it makes them feel like they’re awesome and you get some knowledge out of it – win, win. Pick a rival; find somebody who’s just a little faster/stronger than you or right at your level and try to beat them. Participate in the community events as much as you can; you’ll feel more comfortable in the gym and will perform better, you’ll be less likely to stop coming because you’ll want to see your new friends, you’ll have a lot more fun. Don’t look Vabs in the eye when he’s about to go for a big clean and jerk.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I don’t really have any hobbies between CF, my kid and my job. I don’t have much free time. But, I know a secret code on the standup arcade game Galaga that will make the enemy ships stop shooting at you. I like U.S. Presidential history – favorites are George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt.
What did you eat today? Coffee, eggs, bacon, protein powder, whole milk, coffee (trust me, it needs to be listed twice). Glad you didn’t ask about yesterday.
Do you follow the paleo or primal lifestyle? What is your nutrition philosophy? No. I drink a lot of whole milk and I only eat paleo meals if it’s easy. Breakfast is easy. If I go to the store and do the cooking it’s easy and I do it, but I will usually include more sweet potatoes than is probably recommended. My nutrition philosophy is to get as much protein as I can (I shoot for 150 to 190 grams per day), to keep the carbs and fats as quality as I can, but not making myself crazy about it. I do notice that I perform better when I’ve eaten cleaner. I’m light years better than I was, but still have plenty of room to improve. So, yeah, you will catch me with a bacon cheese burger or a glass of scotch from time to time.
31 Heroes is Saturday, August 4th
CrossFit Midtown is hosting this fundraising WOD and DYER wants you to participate. Yes, it’s DYER DAY on the blog. See his message below:
I just signed up for the 31 Heroes Event on the CFM group. If you’re looking for some way to honor those who have sacrificed in order to provide the freedom we celebrated last week, registering for this event would be a good place to start.
I did this last year and it was great experience all around. For those who don’t know anything about it, here’s some info that I would want to know (most of this you can find on the link shown to the right in the website sidebar…and you can register there):
What is this?: An event to raise funds for organizations that support the military and military families in honor of the 30 solders and 1 military dog who were killed in action in the Chinook helicopter crash that happened on August 6, 2011.
Where does the money go? 1/3 to the families of the 30 soldiers we are honoring, 1/3 to the Snowball Express, and 1/3 to the Travis Manion Foundation. I believe that 100% of the money goes to these three places (i.e. – no skimming).
Cost: $37 ($31 for the event, $6 for shipping your tshirt – you suck up the shipping cost to make sure all of the registration money goes where it should and not to a shipping company; this is good). Don’t know for sure, but you may be able to do it for just $31 if you opt not to get a tshirt.
Where will the workout take place? CFM – It’s your home gym. So, no worries about getting familiar with or finding a new strange location.
When will the workout take place? August 4th. It’s a Saturday. Best day of the week to get in for a workout and a beer with your friends afterwards.
What’s the WOD? 31-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) partner workout. 8 thrusters (155/105), 6 rope climbs (15ft), 11 box jumps (30/24); 1 partner works on doing these reps while the other runs 400 meters carrying a 45lb(men)/25lb(women) plate; switch when the running partner returns. Switch back and forth for 31 minutes. Score is the total number of reps by you and your partner combined.
Can you scale it? Definitely, I’m sure Lis can help you figure out the appropriate ways to scale this one. This is a hard workout to do Rx. Don’t not sign up just because you might need to scale it.
Do you need a partner? Yes and no. You’re supposed to have a partner to do the workout. But, don’t not sign up just because you don’t know anybody who would want to do it right now. Just sign up. The partner thing will work itself out. Or better yet, find a somebody and make them sign up with you and plan to do it together. If anybody is left without a partner on the day of the workout, Cochard will do the workout twice.
Will this be fun? Yes! The camaraderie will be outstanding and, with Lis’ blessing, I’m going to bring a cooler full of beer etc. to the box for finishers to enjoy after the workout. Editor’s note: Blessing granted
I don’t have a partner yet. So, if anybody wants to do it and partner up with me, sign up and let me know. Willing to do it Rx or scaled – your preference. Looking forward to working with you all on the 4th!
Workout of the Day
1. Gymnastics skill work – Handstands – 10 minutes
Handstand Push Ups (HSPU)*
*HSPU modifications: negatives, strict press, pike
3. Cash Out: 100 barbell roll outs; foam roll glutes & low back