August 2022 Member of the Month, Michael Pettinati!

CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our August 2022 Member of the Month, Michael Pettinati! He has been a member since November 2021 and has made some major gains and PR’s, made from dope friends, and has become a staple lunch crew member! Read on to learn more about Michael and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!
Lifting weights and crushing workouts.

Name: Michael Pettinati
Age: 31
Hometown: Wenham, Ma

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I had friends who would workout at CrossFit when I was in college and grad school. They always spoke very highly of the training. I’d have them accompany me to the school gyms to critique my deadlift and squat form. That’s probably the first time I had significant exposure to what CrossFit was about.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Fitness was an important part of my life for many years leading up to the pandemic. When my gym closed, I had a hard time finding something that worked for me. Coming out of the pandemic, I wanted to find a gym where it was easy to hold myself accountable and see progress. I tried CFM because it was conveniently located to me, and I loved the class style and workouts.

Michael finishing up a 400m run.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
I took Foundations with Pat. The first day consisted in part of the baseline workout: rowing, body weight squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups. It was a motivator. My pacing was terrible. It was equally motivating to see the improvement I had when I retested a few weeks later.

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected (ie. new friends, “family”, the community, more self confidence, etc)?
I definitely enjoy the community at CFM. I look forward to seeing everyone at noon classes during the week. It’s good to see the athletes I workout with regularly grow over time and share frustrations and successes with them. The competitions, workouts and parties that have brought the community at large together were blasts. I also appreciate how dedicated the coaches are to individuals making meaningful gains. I get check-ins regarding my progress on individual movements all the time, and I’ve gotten really good advice from all the coaches on movements I struggle with.

Tell us some of your recent accomplishments. What goals do you have for 2022!?
I think I’ve seen some huge improvement in box jumps and pull-ups since starting at CFM. I lacked confidence on any box above 12” when starting and now I’ve landed a 24” box. I was lucky to get one or two single strict pull-ups unbroken when starting, and I’m close to ten on good days now. My ability to do box jumps and pull-ups at higher volumes has definitely improved. My goals for the rest of the year and beyond is to focus on form for lifts from the ground (cleans, deadlifts, etc.) and to focus on single leg movements. As part of that, I’m really focused on getting better hamstring mobility/flexibility and balance.

Heavy deadlifts

What does your frequently used emoji tab look like? (screen shot and send it!)

What is your favorite workout and if you could make up your own workout what would it be?
I really enjoy Cindy a lot and consequently I really enjoyed doing Murph on Memorial Day.

If I could design a workout, it would probably be an AMRAP. I like the challenge of pacing myself appropriately for these workouts. I learn a lot about where I am with different movements and how different movements are taxing me during these types of workouts. The movements would probably be: row, pull-ups, and thrusters. The first two because they’re some of my favorite. The third is a challenge.

What is your favorite cheat food/meal?

It’s hack but pizza. I’ll add steak because my portion control is zero with it.

Working on phase 3 of the pull up program!

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFM)?
I really enjoyed Friday Night Lights during the Open. It was very cool to get everyone together and to cheer on people competing. It was definitely a motivator to see how hard work and dedication can pay off and to work on fitness areas that you may struggle with.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests? What does a day in the life of you look like outside of being a stud Crossfitter?
I spend a lot of time next door next to CFM doing improv. I’ve done standup too. I like trying to figure out different types of audiences. It’s fun to take topics and ideas that interest me or are just randomly thrown out and figuring out ways to make people laugh by finding a novel angle on them.

I like trying new sports too. I’m playing in a flag football league now.

Advice for new CrossFitters
I would say pick a few days a week to show up to class and show up no matter what the workout is. It’s good and rewarding to do a workout you “like”, but it’s even more rewarding to get through a workout you’re dreading when you read it. Further, I would say on your own time, whether it be open gym or an apartment complex gym, try some of the movements you struggle with. Taking the time to do skill work has been really big for me. A couple of successful reps on my own has expedited me bringing movements into class workouts, which in turn has helped build volume.

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