Crossfit Blog

March Male Athlete of the Month

in Athlete Of The Month by Coach John D'Ags

Watching Art Viana work out is a demonstration in obsession over turning weaknesses into strengths.  Whether at 5:30am or 7:30pm, Art is at CFNH daily, working hard and inspiring those around him and we're proud to announce he is CFNH's March male Athlete of the Month

1.  When and where did you start CrossFitting?

I've always liked endurance sports (like running) better, but would still go to the gym to lift weights - which I thought was super boring and not very effective, since I had been using the same routine for 5 years. My younger sister started doing CrossFit in Teresina - our hometown in Brazil - and became completely obsessed with it. She kept telling me how dynamic it was and that I would love it and insisted that I start it too.

When I moved to New Haven in July 2015, I looked up Crossfit gyms in the area and came across CFNH. I then called the day an On Ramp class was going to start (with coach Evan) and was lucky enough that someone had cancelled that very same day and a spot had just opened. I've been CrossFitting since then and I love it!  I'm like my sister now and have convinced multiple people to join. 

2.  How have your goals and/or motivations changed in the last year?  What are some of your goals for 2017?

When I started, my goal was to at least be able to perform all basic movements without getting hurt. Some - like cleans - scared me mainly due to wrist mobility, as I was afraid to hurt myself and not being able to work (I am a gastroenterology fellow and a wrist injury ​could prevent me from performing endoscopies). With focus and awesome coaching (and wrist wraps), I now feel comfortable doing those lifts.

​M​y goal for 2017 is to improve form and strength with the olympic weightlifiting program. I also ​aim to be able to perform gymnastics movements ​like ​handstand push ups and muscle ups​.

3.  What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?

​After a long time struggling with them, ​I'm proud of being able to string 60 double​-​unders ​unbroken!​​

4.  Do you adhere to any form of daily/weekly diet regimen to power your workouts?  What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?

​Being a physician, ​I'm super skeptical when it comes to diet. There certainly are diets that have been shown to provide benefit​s​ in certain disease processes (like the DASH diet for hypertension, Mediterranean diet for prevention of cardiovascular disease, low FODMAP diet for IBS) but most pre-packaged diets ​are not evidence-based.

That said, I do like​ ​the Paleo diet (and took the challenge once) because it leaves out refined sugars, which I avoid. I usually have nuts and dry fruit for snacks and oatmeal prepared with almond milk for energy before work outs. I also eat legumes and think they're quite healthy and a good combination of carbs and protein.

I'm addicted to diet soda though... oops.

My dream cheat meal would be going to a Brazilian steak house and eat meat until I dropped, accompanied by feijoada, farofa, and collard greens - Brazilian style. All washed down with caipirinhas. Yum!

5. Design 2 WODs:  1 that is your bread & butter, filled with your movement strengths; 1 that is all goats (movement weaknesses you feel you need to improve).

I like long work outs with lots of cardio stuff, so here it goes:

25-minute AMRAP
10 push ups
10 pull ups
10 toes-to-bar
10 air squats
30 double unders
400m run

Overhead work is definitely my biggest weakness.

5 rounds for time
10 power snatches
10 overhead squats
5 wall walks

6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?

When I'm not at work or at CFNH, I just like to hang out with friends and eat out, have drinks. I do enjoy a Sunday boozy brunch!  I often visit friends in NYC or Boston and in the summer I'll go to the beach​ or lake ​every weekend I have off to keep my tan on​. My favorite beach is hands down Watch Hill - having lived in Rio for 6 years I do think that place is amazing and the white thin sand, green/blue waters remind of Brazil.

7. What is one fact that other CFNHers may not know about you?

I did capoeira as a kid and there's a studio (not sure what to call a capoeira place) right next to the gym. The chants can be heard from the weightlifiting area and ​it brings​ back memories...

8.  Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?

At CFNH I learned that you don't need to have a certain body type or look a certain way to do Crossfit. Just show up! As coach Jared used to say: "the most important part is to have fun!

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