Good morning, Savages! This morning I am sharing my opporunity to sit down and talk with Noah Morford of AMP CrossFit; the first CrossFit athlete to come out of Wichita and compete in the CrossFit Games Regionals. We talk to him here and get a first hand account of his background in football and baseball, his new-found love for CrossFit and his thoughts on training, the Open and Regional competitions for 2013. With that, Noah, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in fitness:
Noah: Arkansas City Native, but Winfield High Graduate. Long story but I bleed purple and gold........I have been married for just over a year now, and luckily she is still with me due to the fact the opening day of Regionals was on our 1st year anniversary :) My wife Kendra and I have 2 step children Natalie(9) Jack (6), and we have a child together, Kash, who is 6 weeks old. So as you can imagine these past few months have been as or more intense than my training :) My father, David, lives in Lenexa and is the Principal of Olathe North. My mother lives in Winfield and is an elementary Special Ed teacher and WHS cross country coach.
My day job, or 9-5, is as a Class Ring and Grad sales Rep for Jostens in the southern part of Kansas. Most people don't know much about Jostens except that they bought a class ring from them, but Jostens is actually one of the oldest companies still in existence today; 116 years strong...kinda cool. I also own a sports signage business with my father, we focus on school record boards, weight room boards, state championship banners, etc.... any custom signage we can do but our main focus is High School athletics and extra curricular event at the schools. You can check out our most recent job at Wichita South High in their new weight room and locker rooms.
And then there is my hobby and most enjoyable time spent away from my family of course (FAMILY FIRST!!)...that's AMP Crossfit. I co-own AMP and love doing what we do. I believe we are building one of the best boxes in the Midwest. For only being in business for 1 year and having over 125+ loyal members, we are building up a great community and only hope to add the knowledge of fitness around the ICT area.
Matt: You have a broad history in sports and fitness. Could you give us a run-down of your life before CrossFit and how you first became interested in the "sport of fitness"?
Noah: Grew up like any other small-town Kansas kid, play every sport, outside all day. I really excelled in baseball and football. My dad, a college football player from Florida, had a brief stint in the NFL and my mother was a great tennis player and avid runner/marathoner. So I say sports was in [my] blood. I caught on to baseball a lot quicker than football at a young age and was considered the one of the top baseball players in the state leading into high school. BUT I LOVED FOOTBALL.
Coming into High School I could hit a ton and had a rifle on my arm, but then came the good ole curve ball.......once it was introduced, my batting wasn't as great. I honestly lost interest in the sport from playing every Tuesday and Thursday and a 4-game tourney every weekend from age 12-18; I was burnt out.
Football, however really started to excel for me. I wasn't your typical player though. My senior year I was 5'10, 200lbs and was the starting QB and LB; an odd combo. I could run the shit out of the option, and was a very highly touted LB. I verbally committed to OSU as a walk on but due to a last minute coaching change lost my opportunity to walk on. I was very bummed because I love Stillwater. So I decided last minute to go the JuCo route to Butler CC. Hated it, nuff said.
I left after a semester and walked on at KSU. LOVED IT! I played running back for Bill Snyder, won a big 12 title, backed up Darren Sproles and staff for 2 1/2 years before realizing my career was almost over. I wanted to PLAY MORE....I transferred to Friends University, made the switch back to LB, and had a great 2 year stint there. I was twice named All American. We won a conference title and I had the opportunity to tryout for the New York Giants, Green Bay packers, and Tennessee Titans...I didn't make the final cuts and hung it up to dry after that. Then I got my masters in exercise physiology.
So what was a 22 year old 5'10-5'11 240lber to do?
Matt: Well, congratulations on your performance this year leading up to the CrossFit Games! You were the first competitor from Wichita to make it up to Chicago for Regionals. What did you think about the Open events and how you did leading up to Regionals?
Noah: Well, it sucked both mentally and physically...it humbled me too.. 13.1- I remember the release of it Wednesday night, called Mike Grijalva, said meet me at gym 7 am on Thursday gonna hit the WOD. No plan, just go balls to the wall.....well that about killed me. I hit like 160 some reps. So I stepped back assessed everything. I programmed it out; calculated time and hit again. 170 something. Third time's a charm right? 175+ something.
From there on I planned everything out with the help of Rudy Nielson and TheOutlaw way (my programming)
I faired pretty well in the open. I wasn't concerned about winning them at all, I just wanted a top 48 spot because once I secured that I had reach one of my goals. I knew regionals would open for more even ground.
Matt: You are no stranger to competition, inside or out of CrossFit - how do you feel your background in football, for example, has prepared you for competition in the CrossFit community?
Noah: My Life before crossfit in a few words was PARTY HARD TRAIN HARD let my Athleticism do the rest. It worked, but what I'd give to do it all over again and have the mindset I do now. I would be playing on Sundays and Monday nights, I swear by it.....but then crossfit would have never been introduced to me.
I trained MMA for a while and that was what helped me shed the lbs, but I didn't like getting punched all the damn time, no one does. I still had the drive to compete, so that is when I started to transition to CrossFit. I did it on my own for a while and thought I was in great shape because I was in better shape than all my friends. Then I met my neighbor Mike Grijalva. We got together and started training in the garage. I still, to this day, remember the wod we did: 10 Ground-to-Overhead at 135lbs, 20 wallballs, 30 burpees, 200 m run with vest; 3 rounds. I got smoked by a 38 year-old at the time. Humbling? I'd say so. That sparked my desire to learn this sport. From there, as they say, the rest is history; I was a human CrossFit sponge.
I have been religiously been doing crossfit for just over 1 full year now.
Matt: What ran through your mind when you found out you qualified for Regionals?
Noah: When I qualified, I was relieved, but had this feeling that I deserved to be there. I know what I can do with my body, and I'm not done, this Regional series really just pissed me off. 2014 is going to be fun.....not stressful now; it's fun.
Matt: There were only a few short weeks before the end of the Open and the Regionals competition. What did you do to prepare and did your training plan change any in that time?
Noah: LIFTED HEAVY, A LOT!!!! Volume was ridiculous, not pleasant. Actually harder than regionals. Just not in 1 weekend, so I could recover.
Matt: What was going through your head when you took the floor for that very first event at Regionals 2013?
Noah: I was pumped! No nerves. What a lot of these athletes don't understand, since it was their first time they were competing in a venue with 5k ppl screaming, I played every Saturday for 2 1/2 years in front of a crowd of 50,000-105,000 ppl... so it actually got me ready and hyped.....
Matt: What were your thoughts on the actual Regional WODs? Were they well-rounded, in your opinion? Was there any bias one way or another for which you hadn't prepared?
Noah: Haha this is funny because a buddy Derek Robinson, Central East competitor(Big Guy) was telling me how much crap it was that the programming was made up to suit the smaller athlete. I would have to say, I agree to an extent. There was some heavy lifting but not enough. I think it's hard to determine what is the right mixture when it comes to WODS for just one-weekend events. Being a bigger guy in CrossFit, 5'11+ 215lbs... I always want heavy shit...
All-in-all, it was a challenge. Now I know what I need to improve to compete with the best and it will be done.
Football has helped me tremendously in Crossfit.. I have the passion to compete for a common goal but also come together as a team and understand its not all about competing its about staying fit, enjoying life and meeting friends...I just want to build a healthy city and will do my best to succeed, I love to help people, and some may be intimidated since I am decent at crossfit but I truly just want everyone to be healthy and be able to be around for their children or loved ones as long as they can, and fitness can help that... God only knows when we are done here, but ill do my best to thank him and use what he has given me to help others...
Matt: You have scored very well in some of the other CrossFit competitions in which you've competed. What are some of the other CrossFit events in which you have participated?
Noah: I really have only competed in 3 competitions:
KCMO throwdown 2012- 1st place
Rose City ruckus 2012- 7th place (1st- 3rd place were big dawgs.... Daniel tyminski was one)
NC regionals 2013- 35th place
I won't compete a lot. Too busy but I'll pick a few big ones this year and let loose.
Matt: How did you score in North-Central? This being your first Games competition, do you think you will change your training plan now that you have a better idea of the tempo and strain imposed at the Regional events?
Noah: I took 35th, Not HAPPY.... I had a busted up shoulder leading into the open all year. Just wear and tear from football. I have a tough time with high-repped muscle-ups (shoulder), not a lot of strength in shoulder for OHS or jerk. Soo, with that being said: three of the events I was at a huge disadvantage already. If I score the middle of the pack on those three, I'm in 12th place. I have fixed the problem with my kinesiologist, Dr. Thane Perrier (I highly recommend him to everyone). One week before the regionals, I couldn't turn the steering wheel on my truck, and my snatch PR was 215...three day ago I PR'd my snatch #240. So Im coming back.....
I have also jumped ship on programming... I Love outlaw, don't get me wrong, its great stuff and I may one day go back to it...but with my shoulder and some of the programming I felt stuck and/or plateaued. So now I follow CJ Martin and Invictus programming... I highly recommend it, I love it!!!!!!!!!!
Matt: Noah - everyone in the CF community likes to talk stats, so tell us about some of yours:
5'11", 215lbs, 29 y/o
HBBS: 440 (ass to floor) might be higher now I did 375x20 not to long ago:)
Front Squat: 370
Fran - ~2:17, not 100% sure
Jackie - 5:35
Fight Gone Bad - 487
I don't really do the girls as much lately and never tracked my times before...
Matt: Noah - we always try to get our interviewees to give us one good WOD they really love-to-hate. Do you have a WOD that really stands out that you'd like to see us program in at SVG FIT?
Noah: Regional 5 wod was awesome. My favorite thus far.....
CrossFit Games 2013 Regional Event #5
30" Box Jump
Noah's Time - 4:34
Matt: Noah, thank you very much for taking the time out of your clearly busy schedule to talk with us and share a little bit about yourself. I know everyone in the North Central Region will be keeping an eye on you through this next training year leading up to the 2014 CrossFit Games! Best of luck this year and feel free to stop by the Savage garage gym anytime for a WOD!
Stay Savage, My Friends!