Member Spotlight: Brian Patrias

Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”. 

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout. 

This month’s spotlight is on Brian Patrias, a Grand Trunk member since 2016. 

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why? 

Brian: I joined back in February of 2016 after moving to New Hudson in October of 2015. It was a progression from starting in 2014 in Florida. I restarted because I knew CrossFit gave me good results and I enjoyed the competition.   

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit? 

I enjoy putting myself through the pain of each WOD and attempting to improve each day. Most days, I’d rather CrossFit than sleep in. CrossFit has become an interest I prioritize and I continue to work at it. I also get to work out with some athletic individuals and coaches at 5:30 a.m. and have made CrossFit a part of the family’s routine. 

What is your favorite movement? 

The clean. 

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of? 

Pistols. I’d never thought I’d be able to do one. 

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish? 

I have many lifting goals I’m working towards that are on the goal board. To keep me on track I am also looking at doing one of the local CrossFit competitions. 

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit? 

For someone who is thinking about trying, don’t be intimidated. The lingo, the movements and the equipment can all be a little scary at first. We’ve all been there.  

As for new members, stick with it and you will improve. It may take one year to complete one double-under or a pull-up. Then you work on stringing them together. Everything is a progression. 

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym? 

It allows me to kick ass on my everyday farm chores.  

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you? 

I do not watch television or see movies. 

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be? 

1000m row buy-in, then: 

(Four rounds) 

8 chest-to-bar 

16 dumbbell snatches (50 lb) 

8 thrusters (115 lb) 

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): I CrossFit because I like it. 

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today! 

Whiteboard: Friend or Foe?

One of the great things about CrossFit is the community you build that pushes you to be the very best version of yourself. 

And one way to track your progress is by inputting scores into a whiteboard so you can see improvement through data. 

But the existence of the whiteboard is a catch-22.  

One day it’s your best friend, displaying your accomplishments for all to see and showing real progress in black and white. 

The next day, it’s your worst enemy because it puts pressure on you to better your score from last time, whether that means adding more weight to the back squat or pushing you to complete one more round of pistols.  

Indeed, the whiteboard is both a blessing and a curse. 

As box owners, we have seen athletes short-change themselves by doing questionable movements (and counting them as a rep) just to put bigger numbers into the system. 

If we didn’t track our numbers, that same athlete might focus less on quantity and more on the quality of their movements. This would lead to better results now and higher numbers down the road. 

On the flip side, some athletes might be tempted to scale back weight to input a faster time, but then do the same weight next time for less reps. 

We let our egos get the best of us in order to ascend the whiteboard leaderboard, which comes with a cost of less focus on technique and more on inflated numbers. 

Don’t do this.  

The only person who is going to judge your whiteboard score is you.  

To let you in on a little secret, nobody else is paying attention to your score, even if they do “like” it in the Wodify app.  That’s the community’s way of showing encouragement. 

When it comes to the results of your workout, tracking them is necessary to show improvement, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of seeing real progress in your CrossFit movements.  

Like our mobile devices, electronic whiteboards are a necessary evil, but they don’t need to hinder your advancement.  

Are you ready to be awesomer? Schedule a free 1 on 1 consultation today! 

Three CrossFit Myths, Debunked

If you’re thinking about starting CrossFit, you have no doubt been exposed to some of the myths associated with this form of exercise.

From being a cult, to being only for world-class athletes, CrossFit has had to battle its fair share of detractors on a regular basis, and that’s before someone even steps foot in a box.

Even one of the local Detroit radio shows (which we love, by the way) has added to the skepticism surrounding this type of workout.

But we know that once someone has been to a CrossFit workout, those fears fall by the wayside.

Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle showing people who could benefit from CrossFit that their fears are unfounded.

So, in the spirit of giving someone thinking about starting CrossFit some peace of mind, here are three common CrossFit myths, and why they are wrong.

  1. CrossFit Is A Cult

CrossFit is certainly not a cult.

But like anything that’s popular, there will be haters, and CrossFit is no different. This is why a myth has emerged portraying CrossFit athletes as members of a cult.

That could not be further from the truth.

It’s true we enjoy each other’s company and often get together when it’s not a WOD or Metcon, but so do office colleagues.

What we are is a community of like-minded people who encourage others to become the best versions of themselves through regular fitness and a willingness to step outside of their comfort zone to get in shape.

  1. You Will Get Rhabdo From CrossFit

Rhabdomyolysis (or, “rhabdo”) is a serious, sometimes fatal, injury caused by working out at a high intensity.

It’s also extremely rare.

While we do want our athletes to push themselves, the beauty of CrossFit is that each workout is scaled to allow the athlete to proceed at their own pace.

Our staff of coaches is properly trained and certified to ensure each athlete works out at their own pace in a safe and supervised environment.

Your mother always said you would get sick if you ate too much chocolate, and the same goes for CrossFit: everything in moderation.

  1. CrossFit Is Only For Serious Athletes

If your only frame of reference to CrossFit is the CrossFit Games, then we can totally see why you might think this is true. (Sara Sigmundsdóttir intimidates us, too.)

But CrossFit was created to help everyone get fit and healthy, no matter their prior workout history.

CrossFit is truly for everyone.

If you give it real effort, you will see, over time, that your body is reacting positively to regular fitness, even if you will never be at the level of the athletes in the Games.

And that’s okay.

We embrace anyone who is committed to improving their health, with none of the pressure.

If you want to get in the best shape of your life, schedule your free consultation today!

CrossFit 101

We are the first to admit that if you’ve never done CrossFit, it can be intimidating to somebody who wants to try but is unsure how to start.

Let’s face it: If your only exposure to CrossFit is watching the CrossFit Games on television, then it’s understandable if you are hesitant about signing up.

But it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

CrossFit prides itself on being welcoming to new athletes, and Grand Trunk CrossFit is no different.

That said, we’ve talked to a number of members who say one of the most daunting aspects of CrossFit is the lingo thrown around by our more seasoned members.

It can be hard enough to show up and do a workout by yourself; it’s even trickier when it sounds like we’re speaking in tongues.

With that in mind, let us calm your fears and give you a head start on learning the language of CrossFit.

Here are the most common terms new athletes should know:

WOD – This terms stands for Workout Of The Day. When our athletes show up at the gym, the big screen shows them the workout they will be taking part in. It’s usually divvied up a weightlifting portion and then a second portion that is a bit more intense. These are usually an AMRAP or a Metcon. Not familiar with what those are? Read on.

AMRAP – This stands for As Many Reps As Possible. It’s one variation of the WOD. When an AMRAP is part of the workout, athletes are urged to complete as may reps as possible in a given time. Once the time is up, the number of reps is the athlete’s score that is then inputted into the system.

Metcon – This is short for metabolic conditioning. It’s another form of a WOD that athletes work through on any given day. Just like an AMRAP, there are certain reps and movements included. The difference is that athletes have to complete all of the reps (in rounds) for time before their workout is over.

Rx – Each weightlifting portion of the workout comes with a prescribed weight for men and women. For instance, if kettlebell swings are part of the WOD, the Rx weight for men might be 50 pounds, while Rx for women is 35 pounds. Of course, you can use less weight if you don’t feel comfortable “Rx’ing it”. The prescribed weights are there to push our athletes and act as an attainable goal for those who are not quite at that level.

The Box – The box is our gym. It’s the area where our athletes come together to stretch, workout, be awesomer, and create the best version of them. It is our home away from home.

Now that you are familiar with some of the lingo, we want to encourage you to come in and schedule a free session with a coach.

You will not be disappointed!

Member Spotlight: Allison DeHorn

Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Allison DeHorn, a Grand Trunk member since 2015.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Allison: My friend, who is also a member, invited me to a Saturday “Bring A Buddy Day.” Then I went again the following Monday (even though I could barely walk) and the rest is history!

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

Having a community of great people who are all trying to better themselves, and who are supportive and encouraging of one another.

What is your favorite movement?

Split jerk! And even though you didn’t ask, my least favorite is wall balls.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

I’m 44 years old and I’m stronger and have more endurance than when I was 20. Also, there are a couple of things I NEVER thought I’d be able to do, but now can. One is rope climbing, since I was a total failure at this as a kid. But, I was probably most excited to get my first pull-up.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

SO MANY things I want to improve…but right now I’d say stringing pull-ups together.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Don’t make any judgments about it until you’ve gone several times, since there are always going to be movements/lifts/Workouts of the Day (WODs) that you don’t like or aren’t good at. Then, by the time you are ready to make a judgment, you’ll already feel a little bit of muscle forming! J

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

Since I became a mom 15 years ago, I quite my job and basically devoted all my time/energy to my kids. CrossFit is the first thing I’ve done JUST for ME, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

My husband asked me to marry him by hiring a plane carrying a message banner to fly over Michigan Stadium during a football game. (Since 9/11, they no longer allow any planes near the stadium.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?


1RM Press Triplet


2 rope climb buy-in

3 rounds of 36 double-unders, 18 pull-ups, 12 box jumps

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can):

I CrossFit so I can stay active, strong, and hang out with my awesome Grand Trunk CrossFit buddies!

Feeling inspired? Schedule a free consultation today!