Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SVGFIT interviews - Alan Joyner of CrossFit Believe

Alan Joyner, owner of CrossFit Believe

Today SVG FIT is (virtually) meeting with Alan Joyner CrossFit athlete and owner of CrossFit Believe in Warrensburg, Missouri. Alan recently took a contingent of his athletes from CrossFit Believe down to compete in The Shop Summer Games 4 in Topeka, Kansas on the 17th of July, 2012.

Despite the grueling temperatures outside for the first two events and the steaming oven of a box the Topeka gym had for the indoor event, Alan took 3rd place overall. The WODs themselves could easily have fit right into the CrossFit Games themselves with the first event involving a 500m course, a 50-pound ruck sack and burpees. Alan took 7th in this first event, but came back strong for events two and three.

I caught up with Alan after the events had concluded and talked to him about his “life as a CrossFitter” and to find out a little bit more about how he trains both himself and his clients at CrossFit Believe.

Matt: Alan, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers. First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been a CrossFitter?

Alan: I started CrossFit in May of 2009. For the first 2 years I would WOD out of my backyard/garage gym, but followed the programming of Jeremy Brownlee, who was the owner of CrossFit Lee’s Summit at the time. My neighbors and good friends, Will and Amy Bushmeyer started with us (My wife, Lindsey and I) and through accountability to each other we all stuck with it.

After being a member of CFLS for 2 years I decided it was time to affiliate myself. The original four, as we called ourselves, wanted something we could call “home”. The Bushmeyers were not interested in opening an affiliate at the time so I jumped in head first on my own. After tons of research, a little bit of cash and the L-1 CrossFit course, CrossFit Believe was born.

When I first started offering classes we only had one class a day and it was quickly “full” and our doors were closed to new members after about 2 weeks. Our original facility was only about 950sq/ft. After a few months of turning down hundreds of people for membership I decided it was time to move the gym and reopen the doors. Our new box is about 3000sq/ft.

Our first On-Ramp course was held in Feb. 2012. Before that course we had 14 members, today we have 74. We have 5 classed[sic] a day and I coach every one of them. I think that is one thing that sets our box apart from other boxes. I see every client, every day, doing every WOD. I program the daily WODs for all members, but I do not program my own personal WODs.

Matt: In a normal week, what does your training routine look like?

Alan: I follow Coach James “OPT” FitzGerald’s programming. I follow a strict 3 days on and 1 day off workout schedule. I am a Zone Diet guy. I have tried paleo and although it works for so many people I had a difficult time staying strict on it. I have had great results with the Zone Diet.

I am also a marathon runner. I typically will run a marathon or ultra marathon once a month. I do absolutely ZERO run training. I use CrossFit only to train for the marathons. I workout from 2:00pm-3:30 on my “ON” days. On my “OFF” days I will completely rest or do some active rest skill work.

Matt: This isn’t your first CrossFit competition; what do you do differently to train for “events” as opposed to everyday “work”.

Alan: I never change my training schedule, except for a rest day the day below the event. I continue following my programming up until 2 days out. I actually ran an ultra marathon in Kansas the weekend before this event.

Matt: Alan, you have an impressive number of competitions under your belt. You definitely have taken to heart of what it means to be a “CrossFitter” in the sport of fitness. Can you break down a list of where you have competed in the last few years?

CrossFit Lee's Summit's Athletes 4 Athletes 2011: 4th Place
2011 Reebok CrossFit Games Open: 352nd Place - North Central Region
The Shop: Topeka's Garage Gym's 2011 Summer Games: 3rd Place
WODClub Open: 40th Place
CrossFit Lee's Summit's Athletes 4 Athletes 2012: 18th Place
The Shop: Topeka's Garage Gym's 2012 Winter Games: 3rd Place
2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open: 160th Place - North Central Region
CrossFit Eminence WODfest Cyber Series March WOD: 3rd Place
CrossFit Eminence WODfest Cyber Series April WOD: 3rd Place
CrossFit Eminence WODfest Cyber Series May WOD: 1st Place
CrossFit Eminence WODfest Cyber Series June WOD: 2nd Place
The Shop: Topeka's Garage Gym's 2012 Summer Games: 3rd Place

Matt: CrossFit in Kansas has not taken off as quickly or as explosively as it has across other parts of the country. What do you think the existing CrossFit Gyms in Kansas can do to help raise awareness about the benefits of joining this world wide community?

Alan: As you might know, I put on an online monthly competition series. It involves just one WOD and is completely FREE to participate in. I give away about $2000 in prizes monthly. Most of which is paid for right out of my own pocket. I don’t try to sell CrossFit to any new potential members, I think it sells itself.

I believe that if the existing CrossFit boxes in Kansas would put on more “open” to anyone competitions it would like spread the word. I love The Shop: Topeka’s Garage Gym’s competitions because they are so open to anyone. They are willing to work with individuals of any fitness level. I believe more competitions like this would help greatly. We had 13 of us travel 2 and a half hours to compete there and we all had a blast. I had members that had only been CrossFitting for about 2 months compete this past weekend. A-Maz-Ing.

Matt: As you mentioned, you had 13 people travel with you, one of which was pretty much brand new to CrossFit. What is it you do you do differently to build that sense of community within your gym?

Alan: One thing that I really pride myself on is having my gym doors open to ANYONE. I am willing to help anyone and everyone scale down the workouts to make sure they feel completely comfortable before the WOD starts. Although I was competing at “The Summer Games”, I am still a coach first. I made sure all my members were comfortable with the movements and knew exactly what they were capable of. I am a CrossFitter, but I am a Coach first.

Matt: Being able to be hands-on with each and every one of your clients must have a huge impact on your clientele’s experience! What advice might you have for other boxes out there struggling to find that level of cohesion?

Alan: Every CrossFit box I have ever been to does a great job of making people feel welcome and comfortable. That is what we are about. That is CrossFit. CrossFit Believe is my home away from home. Everyone that steps foot in here is my family. The word impossible does NOT exist here. I am my own competition. I am part of something much larger than myself.

Matt: Alright, Alan let’s talk about stats.  Every CrossFitter has their stat list of the workouts we all love to loathe. Can you give us a summary of where you currently sit with some of those?

Alan Joyner
Vitals: 6’1”, 187, 27 y/o
Favorite WOD? I really enjoy Fran & Helen
Least favorite WOD? Linda……by far.
5k: 19:46
Fran – 2:44
Murph – 39:12 (Vest)
Deadlift – 490#
Clean and Jerk - 255#
Thruster – 225#
Snatch – 205#
Ultra Marathon 50k: 5:18:04
Full Marathon: 3:38:18
Half Marathon: 1:36:56

Matt: Alan, a big THANK YOU from SVG FIT again for taking the time to talk with us and answering all of these questions. We wish you the best of luck and continuing success with both your competitions and CrossFit Believe! One more question, if you would though: Alan, why do YOU CrossFit?

Alan: Simply, my family. My beautiful wife, Lindsey and two daughters, Lillian and Violet.

Gym Address: 62 SW BB Hwy | Warrensburg, MO 64093 | (660) 909-4249 |

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