Our January Athlete of the Month is a staple of the mid-day classes. Often seen crushing metcons, quietly RX-ing, and always willing to stick around for the 1:30pm post-WOD tabata, meet Steve “The Ninja” Wang!
1. How did you get started with CrossFit, and then with CFNH?
After slipping out of routinely exercising at a ‘regular’ gym, I decided I needed to get back on track. I kept passing by a sign for CFI (Crossfit Ironworks) in Haddam, right down the road from my house, so I decided to check it out. I joined in December 2013, right as they were starting their “12 Pains of Christmas,” a series of benchmark and hero WODs leading up to the holiday. I scaled the workout considerably since I was new, but I remember hardly being able to move for about a week! It was during that week that I thought to myself “What the hell have I gotten myself into?!” But I stuck it out, and Crossfit became a hugely positive influence in my life.
When I moved to New Haven last February, I knew it wasn’t realistic to drive 40 minutes each way to CFI, so I did some research and found out that CFNH was just a stone’s throw from my apartment in East Rock! I arranged a drop in with Coach Poach, and signed up the very next day. It was the proximity to my apartment that initially drew me in, but the coaches, athletes, and programming made it easy to stay. My 1-year CFNHiversary is coming up next month, and I couldn’t be happier working out with you guys.
2. Humble-brag time. What are some of your recent accomplishments of which you're most proud?
I recently met a couple goals I’ve had for a while – I cleaned and jerked 200lbs a month or two ago during an EMOM, and around the same time, I got my first bar muscle-up and have even been able to string a few together.
3. The new goal board is up. What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for 2016?
Short-term, I’d like to clean up my diet (that’s actually a long-term goal too)…I’ve been a little too lax with that lately. I’ve been meaning to come a little early and get some rowing in. And get a strict handstand pushup, I’ve been working on that one for a while. My shoulder hasn’t been 100% lately though, so I’ll have to play that one by ear.
Long-term goals are basically just to stay healthy, injury-free, and continually improve my lifts. 300lb back squat, 400lb deadlift, and a bodyweight snatch are some numbers I’d like to reach eventually.
4. Do you follow any specific diet or regimen to fuel your Athlete of the Month-level CrossFit performance? What does your dream cheat meal/day look like?
Not as much lately, to be honest! Like I mentioned, cleaning up my diet is a goal of mine. Diet obviously plays a huge part of being healthy and staying fit, so I always try to eat enough protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, but without indulging too much. The not indulging too much is the tricky part
Dream cheat meal would be a one of those fancy bacon-wrapped filet mignons, some fried coconut shrimp, and anything with chocolate and peanut butter for dessert.
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).
Bread and butter WOD would definitely involve some double unders…those are my jam. Something with front rack lunges and pull-ups…1:00 minute sprints with a 2:00 min rest between rounds, for 5 rounds sounds about right.
Goat WOD would be a long AMRAP of strict presses, HSPU, or wall walks (anything needing shoulder strength), hollow holds, and running. Man, that would be the worst. Aaron, don’t get any ideas!
6. How do you spend your time when you're away from CFNH?
Most of my time is spent working on my photography business and hanging out with my girlfriend (who’s amazing and super awesome, btw). Since I’m photographing weddings most weekends in the summer and fall, I unfortunately miss a bunch of the fun throwdowns and competitions, but I have more free time in the winter. I also enjoy motorcycling, bicycling, hiking, and generally being outdoors/traveling whenever possible.
7. What is one fun fact people may not know about you?
When I was 11 or so, I somehow managed to get both my feet stuck in the escalator at Barnes and Noble in NYC. They gave me a bunch of Garfield books for free, haha. Also, I have a weird ability to remember really dumb jokes and riddles.
8. Do you have any motivational thoughts or suggestions to folks just getting started at CFNH?
'Tis better to have perfect form and less weight than an ugly, heavy rep or set. Listen to the coach’s feedback. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but be smart about it…getting injured isn’t worth lifting 5 extra pounds. Oh, and come to the 1:30 class, it's the best