Patriot – Friday 110805

Athlete Profile: LeeAnn G. – the brains behind Big Cat Productions (sorry, Dave).

Q: When did you start with PCF?

A: First WOD – November 2008. First Day of Foundations – January 13, 2009 with the one and only Aaron Mo-Jo.


Q: What was your exposure to CF before coming to PCF? What is your prior fitness background?

A: I ran middle-distance track in high school and my freshman year of college. Though I’ve always been active, I never really considered myself an athlete (and certainly not a strength athlete) until I found CrossFit.


Q: Talk to us about your thoughts after completing your first WOD (ie, “Am I crazy?” or “I might die!”).

A: My husband’s* rugby coach started conditioning the team using CrossFit style workouts. When Dave learned that PCF was opening in Clarendon he signed us up for a free class. Brian was in his hey-day of Free Class coaching and recruiting. He also had hair then.

24 / 20” Box Jumps
225 / 155 lb Deadlift
400M Run

I did the deadlifts at something embarrassing like 75 lbs and finished the wod in 13:46. It was brutal and I distinctly remember having this god-awful metallic taste in my mouth; turns out max-effort and adrenaline actually has a taste. That was also the end of my life as I knew it.

Nine months later, I did the wod RX’d in 10:36. So yes – this stuff works.

* Husband = Dave G., President and CEO of Big Cat Productions; The Most Interesting Man in the Universe; Frequent contender on the Women’s RX’d Leaderboard.


Q: Tell us a little about then vs. now with regard to your performances: on benchmark archive (Cindy, Grace, Fran, Helen, etc.) or lifts. Where did you start and where are you now?

A: I am a better, faster, stronger athlete – but more importantly, I am more aware of and in control of my general health and well-being. I know more about the quality and source of my food than ever before and understand the interconnectedness of food quality, training, sleep quality and recovery.

Some of my biggest achievements: Breaking 500 on CFT; Finishing Angie RX’d sub-30; 1 RM, 1 leg suitcase deadlift – 140 (In a boot no less. Bring it.); 1 RM Bench – 125

As an athlete, my biggest test was the leg debacle of 2009/2010. I had a stress fracture in my tibia from over training on double-unders that later turned into compartment syndrome – except we didn’t know that for over a year.

There aren’t enough words of gratitude to thank BrianPCF for the countless hours of 1-on-1 training / programming he did for me during this time. He refused to let me quit and kept me motivated and challenged for 12+ months of working wounded. And though I doubted him and his crazy volume training nonsense, I turned out to be a better athlete. Brian helped me get my first dead-hang pull up(later 10 unbroken); first ring dips; first pistols (later 12+ unbroken); skin the cats; body weight bench. Want proof that injury makes you better?

May 2010: Helen RX’d in 15:15
May 2011, 5 months after surgery on my leg: Helen RX’d in 13:50

Again, big thanks to Brian and all the coaches who helped me get back in business.


Q: Any favorite or least favorite archive/movements?

A: Squat Mondays and Pull Thursdays are always my favorite. Strong is sexy.
Least of the least favorites are anything involving HSPU because I’m irrationally terrified of being upside down.


Q: Memorable CF/PCF moments you’d like to share? Anything else you’d like to add?

A: There are more than I can remember, but some of the best include the video of Brian and Dan’s PCF Equipment Delivery; PCF 1 Year Anniversary – specifically Sally’s domination over BrianPCF in the “1-lb bacon-eating contest” and the after party; the snowy, shirtless Lumberjack / Ft. Hood Memorial WOD; the impromptu Blizzard workout in February 2010; dodge ball warm-ups; The Drew; the porch at 11th. The realization that CrossFitters do nothing in moderation – and that includes drinking.

And not to get all sentimental, but I love sharing this CrossFit thing with my husband. We used to do our own thing at the globo-gym – but with CrossFit we can work out together for an hour. We both work stupid hours and getting to WOD with him is one of the best parts of my day. CrossFit is basically like recess from life.


Q: Any advice for our newbies?

A: Top 10 things I wish I’d known when I started CrossFit:
* Only increase work capacity by 10% each week. Anything more puts you at significant risk for injury.
* Weightlifting shoes make all the difference in the world.
* The quality of your food matters 300 times more than the specific quantity.
* Paleo + Sleep + Fish Oil + Stretching. Those things in that order will cure 95% of what ails you.
* Strength is the foundation for everything – including metcons. Don’t skip strength days.
* Just because it’s written on the board doesn’t make it Gospel; WOD substitutions can be more difficult than the RX’d WOD.
* Scaling is a sign of wisdom, not weakness.
* Coaches are an amazing resource; they can be your biggest ally, but they’re not mind readers. Speak up if you need help.
* Rest Days are crucial, especially when you’re all banged up.
* Injury can provide the opportunity to focus on things that have been neglected – if you’re willing to see the opportunity rather than the injury.

Have a request for an athlete profile, or want to submit your own? Holler at me:


Unlike long plodding archive where you just want to finish, this WOD holds out the possibility that you can go fairly hard even across a lot of reps. The number of exercises and the low rep ranges mean you should never dread any of the upcoming sets. However, the total accumulation over time will likely make physically moving from one exercise to the other seem pretty daunting.

5 Rounds
7 Ring Dips
7 Thrusters (95/65)
7 Power Snatches (95/65)
7 Burpees
7 Box Jumps (24/20)

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