April Female Athlete of the Month

No more scaling the scaled WOD when you have a 3:08 Grace time.  Ladies and gentlemen, Amanda Tripp:


1.        How did you get started with CrossFit, and then with CFNH?

I started On Ramp at CFNH four years ago this month. I was looking for something challenging and varied. I loved that I felt like a bad-ass every time I finished a workout, even if I was the slowest and lifting the lightest in the class. I was hooked immediately.

2.       You have been a regular at CFNH for some time now and have moved seriously into Olympic lifting, including this past weekend's New Haven Open.  What has been the motivation/inspiration?  What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for 2016?

For my first two years at CFNH I worked out about 3x per week. Taking a full load of classes didn’t allow for much more. Once I switched into dissertation mode and had [slightly] more time on my hands I ramped up to about 5-6 workouts per week (and I work from home, so 1:30pm doubles as my social hour of the day). It was then that I really started to see shifts in my performance. I increased the weights of my lifts, endurance improved and I started to focus on specific skills.

At some point in 2015 I plateaued and I started chatting with Aaron about improving lifting technique and he suggested I start OLY – or the New Haven Weightlifting Club. While my participation has been more inconsistent than I would like, over the past year I have seen amazing improvements! Form, efficiency, strength – all drastically better. I think my snatch increased from 73# to 103#! A year ago, a WOD with 95# clean and jerks would have seemed like torture and now I get a little excited when I see them pop up.

I find motivation in the smallest of improvements and am generally* only competitive with myself (*I admit to checking the whiteboard nightly). A 5# increase in a lift, one sit-up more in tabata abmats than the last time…it keeps me going. Gymnastic movements are definitely my weakness. I think it took me about 15 months to get a kipping pull-up, and stringing them together is still a challenge. Short-term goals: string together 10 kipping pull-ups, 3 strict pull-ups, body weight clean and jerk (that may need to move to longer-term goals), 50 kilo snatch. Longer-term goals: handstand push up, becoming really efficient at push-ups and TTB, and I really need to work on increasing my strength coming out of the squat (FS/BS).

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

On April 10th I completed my first USA Weightlifting event…and wore a singlet! I lifted 6/6 and met my PR on the Clean and Jerk. It was very motivating to see all the athletes compete. Last week I had a 4 kilo PR in my snatch, the week before I had a 40 second PR in Grace, and in 16.1 I was able to get through about 20 or so chest to bar pull-ups when I thought I would only get through 5.


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 at the moment. I eat fairly healthy – lots of fish and veggies. I was following EMBF for a while (and it worked really well!), I need to get back on that wagon. I know I have little self-control, so my fridge consists of vegetables, fish, eggs, cheese, milk and bread (and wine). [Side note: My dissertation included analysis of grocery store purchases, so the thought that someone else might be studying what I buy is always in the back of my mind when I grocery shop]. I don’t eat out too often, so my cheat day would consist of eating amazing dishes at my favorite places in New Haven: Mac n’ Cheese with a side of braised greens from Caseus, oysters (those East Beach Blondes from RI), trout dip, octopus and kale salad from Heirloom, deviled eggs and a couple amazing glasses of wine from August.

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: It has to be heavy, long and painful!
18/15/12, follow each movement with 20 DUs
Power cleans [135#/95#] KBS [70#/53#] Weighted Abmat sit ups [15#/10#] [power cleans, 20 DUs, KBS, 20 DUs, etc.]

Goat: Every movement that makes me cringe a little when they show up in workouts, and 36 of them.
Front squats [115/85] Push-ups
Wall Balls [20/14] Finish each round with a 400 M run

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

I am wrapping up a PhD in Public Health, so had you asked me this question last month I would say sitting at home in front of my computer finishing a dissertation. But that has been submitted! Now days I drink coffee and complete the NYT Sudoku in the morning, work on jigsaw puzzles, read cooking magazines and attempt new dishes, build terrariums, read books that have nothing to do with health, economics or policy and slowly plan my move to Minnesota. Quality of life today is infinitely better than last month! 

Sadly, my days at CFNH are numbered. I will graduate next month and move to Minneapolis at the end of May to work for a health care consulting firm (when you hear about Medicaid expansion or bundled payment models in the news, all is good in the world because you know someone evaluating their effectiveness). Kidding aside, leaving CFNH is definitely the toughest part of the move. CFNH has truly become my home away from home in New Haven. I will miss my 1:30 crew, the weightlifting club, and the amazing coaches. Ah, the amazing coaches. Past and present, I am so thankful for your coaching, support, and encouragement over the past 4 years. I will never forget, about 7 months into Crossfit, Kristen Miller turning to me following a review of the WOD and saying “Amanda, you are not allowed to scale the scaled version of the WOD anymore.” Even last weekend, Aaron looked at me following my second C&J and said “60 kilos?” (for my next lift) when I probably would have said 58. Everyone needs that little push.

7.       What is one fun fact people may not know about you?

I am a very boring person, Crossfit and OLY are the fun facts I tell people. “I have a 47 kilo snatch” – PERFECT ice breaker. Hmmm….I have a bit of a jigsaw puzzle addiction. When I moved to New Haven 6 years ago I trimmed the collection down to about 30, but it has expanded once again and has taken over a closet. Let me know if you want a jigsaw puzzle, I have a couple I am willing to part with.

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

A motto I have lived by is “80% of success is showing up” – find a schedule, find a class time, find a group of people you enjoy working out with and who motivate you and SHOW UP. One of the primary reasons I show up at 1:30pm everyday is that I have a solid, motivating, supportive group of athletes to work out with (Kathy, Gil, Steve, Jake, Erich, Benny…you make CrossFit amazing). There are plenty of days where I am wiped or I have a million other things I need to be doing. No matter what, I always feel better (and like a bad-ass) after I finish a workout. 

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