Thursday, October 11, 2012

CrossFit Wichita Athlete of the Month for Oct 2012 - Ryan Bever

Hello Savages! It's October and that means another Athlete of the Month for CrossFit Wichita! This month's AotM is Ryan Bever, a long-time member of CrossFit Wichita and an athlete who is always excited about trying something new! Ryan was selected for his tenacity in the gym, his upbeat attitude, and the huge gains he's made through CrossFit over the last couple of years.

So let's get down to it! As usual, I've contacted Ryan via an email interview and asked him a bunch of questions regarding his view on fitness, his reasons for joining CrossFit, and how it has made a positive impact upon him and his family. Read on to see what he has to say!

Matt: OK, Ryan - so tell us a little bit about yourself (what do you do, do you have a family, hobbies?)

Ryan: I am a software developer at NetApp, which used to mean that I sat on my butt all day, but now I have transitioned into a standing desk. I am married with four kids, two older and two young ones. I have been doing a lot of mud/obstacle races lately, they are a lot of fun.

Matt: How did you get interested in CrossFit and what made you decide to come in and try CrossFit Wichita?

Ryan: Well after I got out of the Marine Reserves and got married I gained quite a bit of weight. One day I was tying my shoes, and I became out of breath. Not because it was tiring, but because my big belly was pushing on my lungs. I figured that was enough, and I started running. I stumbled across a 5K run put on by CrossFit Wichita, and started looking up what CrossFit was. It sounded right up my alley, so I came in for the first three workouts to try it out about a month later, and have never looked back.

Matt: There have been a lot of changes at CrossFit Wichita over the last few years - what are some of the improvements you have seen happen?

Ryan: I think that the CrossFit games being on ESPN2 have given CrossFit a lot more exposure in the Wichita area. This has helped immensely in getting people in the door to try it out, and once you start your hooked. Also there has been an increase in the number of coaches and trainers at the gym. I like being able to work with different coaches to get different perspectives on lifting, mobility, conditioning, etc.

Matt: Where could they still use some work?

Ryan: One thing that I would like to see is a little more skills development, goal and benchmark measuring. Something like Dave Werner’s skill levels to give people some things to focus on and improve at. I would also like to see some Open Gym time come back or alternative classes such as CrossFit Football or Oly Lifting focused classes.

Matt: The recommended CrossFit regimen of 3 days on, 1 day off can be tough to accommodate for a lot of people. Tell us about how you manage staying fit and family life.

Ryan: Well that is tough, the three days on one off, doesn’t necessarily work out for me. I don’t geek out about being on the optimal schedule. Some weeks are more like five on two off, some weeks it looks more like the recommended regimen. I work out every weekday when I can, but I am not afraid to take a day or two off, especially when my body is feeling a little beat up.

Matt: What does a normal week look like for you, from a CrossFit perspective?

Ryan: Well, normal being a relative term per my last answer, something like the following:

I generally get three days of CF Wichita’s WODs, then I have been spending two days a week working out with a buddy with a higher focus on Oly lifting. On Saturday I usually play flag football, run a race, hump(Marine speak for a walking with a weighted pack on), or just take an extra day off. Sunday is usually a day off.



Matt: Zone or Paleo?

Ryan: Paleo – Really more primal than strict paleo as in marksdailyapple.com

Matt: What benefits have you experienced being on the Paleo diet?

Ryan: The biggest benefit I have seen [from Paleo] is that I don’t get wild energy swings anymore. I eat meat, veggies, and a lot of fat. I used to have times when I would get low blood sugar and I would feel really bad, and need to eat some carbs. I don’t ever get that low blood sugar feeling anymore. I can go a long time without eating and not have any negative effects.

Matt: When talking about CrossFit to your friends and family, how do you describe it?

Ryan: Well that’s fun. I try to tell them about functional fitness, which usually gets blank stares. So I tell them it mixes cardio with Olympic and power lifting elements and that it’s really intense. Then I get the inevitably, “Is it like P90X”. So I say kind of, but adding the weightlifting adds a new dimension of crushing you during a workout. I still don’t think they get it.

Matt: Do you try to convince them you're not really crazy or just let it ride?

Ryan: No, I kind of like them thinking I am a little bit on the crazy side.

Matt: The Reebok CrossFit Games 2012 recently re-aired on ESPN - were you able to catch any of the events this year?


Ryan: Yes, we went to Ryan Kittrell’s [Level 1 CrossFit Trainer at CF Wichita] house to watch the first day of the event streaming on ESPN3, I watched the last day streaming from the games.crossfit.com. I have also watched some of the replay’s on ESPN2.

Matt: What stood out as your most favorite event?

Ryan: Well being a Marine I liked the Obstacle Course, though I don’t remember ever doing that particular O-course, I have been through several of them. I thought ending with the three named benchmark workouts particularly Fran was awesome.

Matt: Which of those events do you hope you never see at CrossFit Wichita (if any)?

Ryan: Fran. Just kidding…kind of.

Matt: Any thoughts on getting your Level 1 certification?

Ryan: I have been rolling it around in my mind, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

Matt: In what events have you recently participated that you feel CrossFit really helped get you through it?

Ryan: I recently completed a GORUCK challenge (http://www.gorucknews.com/military/the-goruck-challenge-explained ), which the website explains much better than I can, but is basically an overnight military team based endurance challenge that is put on by former and current special forces members. It was absolutely an awesome experience, and I definitely recommend it. I think CrossFit training played a big part in my ability to not only complete the challenge, but also have a really enjoyable experience.

Matt: Anything coming up you're looking forward to?

Ryan: Tough Mudder Missouri, and two more GORUCK challenges.

Matt: OK, let's talk about stats (add whatever you feel is appropriate as well):

Ryan Bever
Height/Weight/Age
5’9”/195/34

Favorite WOD
My favorites are CrossFit Total, Cindy, and Grace

Worst WOD
Anything with burpees and/or running

Cindy
First – 14 Rounds
PR – 24 Rounds

Helen
PR – 9:40

Fran
First – 7:12
PR – 5:40

CF Total
PR - 855

Clean
PR - 215

Split Jerk
PR - 225

Deadlift
PR - 415

OHS
PR – 195

Fight Gone Bad
First - 257
PR - 318

Matt: Ryan, congratulations again on being named the CrossFit Wichita Athlete of the Month for October 2012!! It's been great chatting with you and getting to know you better. I hope you continue to find success at CrossFit Wichita and look forward to crushing some WODs with you the next time I make it that way!