Athlete of the Month - Ryan Madsen

How long have you been doing Crossfit and how did you hear about Del Val?

I've been doing Crossfit for a little over four years.  After college, I had done a few years of the solo gym scene and was getting really bored with it.  My older brother started trying Crossfit out in DC, and once I saw how fit/strong he was getting, I knew it was something I wanted to check out.  I Googled "CrossFit", found Del Val, met Rob, and haven't looked back since.

What type of WODs do you look forward to?

I enjoy heavy lift days because strength is an area I want to work on most. I also look forward to metcons [conditioning workouts] with olympic lifts mixed in (particularly snatches).  And it's fun to test your progress against the occasional benchmark workout that pop ups up in the programming.  Since beginning Crossfit, I've literally halved my time on the many of them (ie. Fran, Grace, Diane), which has been rewarding.

What motivates you to wake up early every morning and take the 5:30am class?

Crossfit is a really awesome way to start your day.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment right off the bat and typically fuels me with more energy throughout the day (that is, after I've recovered from my post-workout fetal position).  In addition, the people in the early morning classes are awesome, and they motivate me every day.  

Do you remember how you felt after your first CF WOD (workout-of-the-day)?

The first workout I ever remember doing was Rob's simple intro workout before I even officially joined (I think it consisted of a row, kb swings, and burpees?).  In an attempt to impress Big Sexy, I probably went at it way too hard, because I just remember feeling awful afterwards.  Right after, while Rob was talking to us about different aspects of the gym, I just pretended to listen as I tried not to throw up.  

What the most memorable CFDV party, event or competition that you've attended and why?

Oh man there are so many good ones to choose from!  Between holiday parties, competitions, CFDV Proms, Will Wod for Beer, etc... there's seemingly endless opportunities to see your fellow gym mates get drunk or to see Belza take his shirt off.  For me though, I'd have to say that the most recent CFDV In-House competition takes the cake.  The pre (and post) shit-talking was classic, the rivalry was fantastic, and the event was just a blast.  The amount of all-around, gym-wide enthusiasm and support everyone had for each other was really memorable - and Early Birds taking the win was the icing on the cake :) 

What's one piece of advice or one tip that a Del Val coach gave you which has stuck with you?

The Del Val coaches are awesome, and I learn new stuff from each of them all of the time.  In fact, I often like to creep up on our trainers as they talk to others just so that I can soak up additional tips/advice.  One piece of advice I've taken from Chris is the idea of "scaling" a workout to work on what you need most.  For instance, knowing that I want to build strength over cardio, he'll encourage me to use heavier weights even though it may significantly cut down my reps for the workout.  In that same workout, he might encourage someone stronger to use lighter weights so as to build their lungs with more reps.  Particularly for more experienced Crossfitters, I think this is a cool way to think about further refining your training.

Something we don't know about you.

My wife Katie always beats me in thumb wrestling wars.  Her thumb is like half the size of mine, I don't let her win, and I don't understand it.  It really bothers me.  

Favorite thing about Del Val?

No question, the people at CFDV.

Fill in the blanks (one word):

I like... bacon
I'm excited for.. dinner
I just ate.. salsa
I am... hungry

Any extra comments?

I've worn the same pair of workout shoes for 4+ years of Crossfit (a pair of black Inov8s).  I wear them for nearly everything (running, heavy lifting, metcons, etc.), absolutely love them, and will probably continue wearing them until they disintegrate off my feet.