Team CrossFit Central

by Lauryn Lax

 

Team CrossFit Central has been working hard and training for the Open, under the guidance of team coach and head of Central Athlete, Jesse O’Brien.

“I’ve been programming for each athlete individually, and have mandatory team trainings at least twice per week,” Coach Jesse said.

A total of 5 females and 7 males will enter the Open, with the intention of going to the next level (the CrossFit Central Regional) as part of a team. They include:

Amanda Martin
Megan Miller
Jess Powers
Taylor Loyd
Lisa Bender Thiel

Andy Boerckel
Richie Griffin
Conner Moore
Rich Andreu
Nader Issa
Colton Volpe
Trent Justice
Jeremy Thiel

In addition, Central’s very own Carey Kepler has been focused on making the cut to compete for her first time as a 40-44 Master’s athlete at the CrossFit Games this summer.

photo by Mike Herdzina
photo by Mike Herdzina

“For the past several months now, I’ve been focused on building up the team and helping Carey reach her goal,” Coach Jesse said.

Adding, “We have a lot of athletes who are interested, and it really all comes down to each individual showing up and putting in the work. I’ve been helping them dial in nutrition; structuring their individualized workouts; training them to handle LOTS of volume; holding mandatory team training days; and, ultimately, figuring out what strengths and weaknesses each athlete brings to the team and the Open,” Coach Jesse said.

Without further ado, here is a close-up interview with several of your representing Team Central members for the 2016 Games season:

The Ladies

Amanda Martin
AmandaMartin

Age: 27
Job: Central Athlete Coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 5
Athletic background: Cheerleading for 7 years, CrossFit for 5 years

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Amanda: Found CrossFit through my current boyfriend, I loved the challenge and the competitive aspect of always strive to better each day. Constantly progressing was exciting for me and keeps me hooked. I am pursuing competition because of the challenge to be the best athlete I can be

Q. Specific goals/things you’ve been working on in your training this year?
Amanda: Strength has always been a weakness of mine, so continually trying to get stronger and improve my mental capacity.

Q. Best advice you’ve been given in your training and CrossFit journey?
Amanda: “It’s not going to get any easier” Carey Kepler told me during the middle of “Fran” – this has been the phrase that does through my head during grueling workouts when my mentality starts to limit me.

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Amanda: Sushi, if that counts 🙂 I could eat sushi all day everyday!

Q. Advice for other CrossFitters on training, competing, and growing inside and outside the gym?
Amanda: Get your mind right. Its amazing what our bodies are capable of if we can just get our minds to believe it.

Jess Powers

Jess_TeamCC
Age: 27
Job: CrossFit Central Coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 6 years
Athletic background: Play collegiate soccer in Nebraska and currently on the Austin Acoustic Football team for the Legends Football League

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Jess: I was first introduced to it during our strength and conditioning workouts in college. We would use CrossFit in our offseason to stay in shape. I got hooked immediately with it and loved the feeling you get after you finish a hard workout. I pursued competition after coming to CrossFit Central and loved the competitive environment they had. The day in and day out strive to get better and better everyday is addicting.

Q. How have you grown/evolved as an athlete over the past several years?
Jess: Over the past 2 years I have grown so much as an athlete. I have improved significantly in all gymnastics. I wasn’t able to complete 1 muscle up 2 years ago and now I have done 8 unbroken! I also feel I am more mentally ready for all the ups and downs in training. Not all days will be PR days and that should make or break what you are doing. I am definitely listening to my body more and resting when I know my body needs it.

Q. Best advice you’ve been given in your CrossFit journey?
Jess: If you are not having FUN, you are not doing it right.

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Jess: Favorite is Filet Mignon with roasted brussel sprouts and baked sweet potato squares.

Q. What do you do when you are not working out?
Jess: I love going on hikes with my fiance and our dogs around the greenbelt and creeks, watching movies, and learning SPANISH.

Megan Miller
Megan_TeamCC
Age: 28
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 4 months
Athletic background:
I grew up playing competitive softball year ’round, which led my team to many national tournaments across the country. Shortstop and cleanup batter were my forte, but nothing exceeded the experience and friendships which developed through my passion for sports, teamwork, and a dedication to a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Megan: My journey to CrossFit started in nov 2015 when I walked in the front doors of Central Athlete. It led me to continue to educate myself with a Level 1 CrossFit certification and most importantly real-life success stories.

Q. How have you grown as an athlete since starting CrossFit?
Megan: Yes, every day I find myself hitting PR’s and learning something new.

Q. What have you been focusing on in your training?
Megan: I personal love weightlifting and my weak area is gymnastics. As far as me metabolic conditioning goes, I believe I have a good base, but really motivated to increase my speed.

Q. Favorite Benchmark workout and lift?
Megan: Muscle ups! I will master the muscle up this year.

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Apple and peanut butter

Q. Advice for other CrossFitters?
Megan: Find a great coach and dedicate yourself. The outcome will be something you’re proud of.

Q. Personal goals (life, career, etc.)
Megan: To continue my path/education in the fitness world!
Q. A couple quirky facts we wouldn’t know about you!?
I was Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge Athlete

I was in a commercial (see it here:
http://youtu.be/NeK61TPWQOc)

Broken Skull Challenge Commercial MegsLegs
youtu.be
Full Episode (season 2 finale): http://www.cmt.com/shows/steve-austins-broken-skull-challenge/steve-austins-broken-skull-challenge-ep-210-best-for-last/17348…
I was nominated Bodybuilding.com personal trainer of the month in October 2013:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/personal-trainer-of-the-month-megan-miller.html

Taylor Loyd
Taylor_TeamCC

Age: 27
Job: Personal trainer
Athletic background: Bodybuilding and I played various sports in High-school

Q. What’s your CrossFit story?
Taylor: I wanted something to do that was competitive, and found CrossFit through a friend.

Q. Any specific goals or things yo

u’ve been working on in your training this year?
Taylor: Just to keep getting better

Q. What do you do when you are not working out?
Taylor: I work a lot.

Q. Any advice OR encouragement for other athletes on training to be their best?
Taylor: Work harder.

Lisa Thiel
LisaThiel

Age: 38
Job: mom/coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 9 yrs
Athletic background:
High school Volleyball and track
Weight lifting, distance running, triathlon until I found Crossfit

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Angie was my first CrossFit workout with Carey Kepler in 2007 – we finished ran 7 miles and it took me a week to recover…..I was hooked. I loved the challenge – the scalability – the community and team atmosphere. Each year I learn something new physically and mentally about myself. I have been fortunate enough to compete in 4 CrossFit Games and share my love for the sport and fitness as a coach!

Q. Specific goals/things you’ve been working on in your training this year?
I found out I was pregnant two weeks before 2015 regionals so I spent much of 2015 staying fit during my pregnancy. My baby girl will be two months when the 2016 open begins so my goal is – get back into shape – be healthy and have fun with the team.

Q. Best advice you’ve been given in your training and CrossFit journey?
“There is no such thing as a wasted training day ” good or bad – pr or struggle city – every time you step in the gym you learn/gain/improve some aspect of YOU!

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Almond butter and well, just about anything

Q. Advice for other CrossFitters on training, competing, and growing inside and outside the gym?
Your nutrition – supplements – mobility and recovery (sleep/acupuncture/ART) are as important as your time and performance in the gym….your mental prep and attitude is MORE important 😉. Find a mentor. Train with someone who has done what you want to do! Be consistent!

The Fellas

Andy Boerckel
Andy_TeamCC

Age: 35
Job: Medical Device Sales Rep/CrossFit Level 1 Coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 2 years, 8 months
Athletic background: All City Football and Baseball Player in High School, Division 1 football player at Texas Christian University (TCU)

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Andy: I started CrossFit only twice a week and only started bc I saw a few friends on FB that posted they were doing it. I got super hooked after the 2015 open when I realized I was really good at it with only going 2-3 times per week. I am a sales rep and played sports my whole life, so I am always competitive, never leaves me. I also stick with it and work so hard bc I believe it sets a good example for my kids. Working hard.

Q, What does your training schedule currently look like?
I do 2 workouts a day, twice a week, and then workout once a day 3 other days. Off of Thursday and Sundays. My single workouts take between 2-3 hours each

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
I’m on a specific macro plan but the person that cooks for me makes me the best Blueberry Protein pancakes

Richie Griffin
Richie_TeamCC

Age: 30
Job: Coach/Trainer
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 7 years
Athletic background: I’ve played football since the 2nd grade. Once I got to high school I ran track, threw discus and powerlifting

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Richie: My good friend John Del Peral back in college (2006) discovered CrossFit and insisted it was the truth. So we fooled around with some rings and kettle bells for a while up until he went to work for CrossFit Central (CC). For the next 3-4 years I would do modified versions of the CrossFit.com workout up until I moved back to Austin and joined CC. I have a background in strength and conditioning so I was pretty good. Naturally I started competing.

Q. Best advice you’ve been given in your training/CF career?
Richie: Be consistent.

Q. Fav. Benchmark workout and lift?
Richie. Fran. Fran is fast and nasty! I hate long workouts. Get it in and get out!! As for lift: The Snatch is just so technical. When you do it right you know!

Q. What do you do when you are not working out?
Richie: Think about working out! Haha!! Kidding! I mostly come up with creative workouts for my bootcamps and personal training clients. I also do marketing for Relentless bootcamps

Q. Advice for CrossFitters on training..,competing…growing inside and outside the gym?
Richie: Know yourself. You are not Rich Froning or anyone that you see at the games or on the internet. Work on improving but don’t be an idiot. Also, have fun!! Drink a beer! Eat pizza! Don’t take it so serious or you WILL burn out! It’s supposed to be fun!!

Conner Moore
Conner_TeamCC

Age: 29
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 6
Athletic background: Football into college. Running game on girls for life.

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
Conner: An injury ended my aggressively average football career early.. That meant I got 3 full years of getting wicked pumps in the Texas State rec center without playing any real sports. I was introduced to CrossFit my freshman year of college an initially thought it was kind of silly and wanted no part. As CrossFit developed I began to see what they were getting at and decided to get involved. I began coaching and competing my last semester of college.

Q. How have you grown as an athlete over the past several years?
Conner: Recently I have really stopped the pursuit of numbers and have really began to embrace the process of training. The numbers and PRs come and go and really don’t bring a ton of value to me any more. The pursuit is in the process.

Q. Favorite Benchmark workout and lift?
Conner: The 300 workout. It’s a mental test as well as physical. As for lift: Front Squat – it’s the best reference point of strength for me.

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Conner: Venison

Q. Advice for other CrossFitters?
Conner: There is no “good enough” so learn to love where you are and where you will be.

Rich Andreu
Rich_TeamCC

Age: 29
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 5
Athletic background: Swimming, Rugby, kick boxing, bodybuilding.

Q. What is your CrossFit story as an athlete—how did you find it..what got you hooked..why did you pursue competition?
I started training with the coach at my university while I was studying Mechanical Engineering, I had a lot of time between classes so we would train several times a day. He made us do burpees or “multiple action exercise ” as he called them. After hating/loving them I Googled burpees and its variations.. One thing took me to another and then I started seeing all these workouts with girls names… I found out about CrossFit like this, found the only gym in Mexico City back then and started raining, I qualified for regionals after just 6 months of training and after that I decided to open up my own gym, after a few years of regionals competitions and running my gyms, CrossFit and competing has been my escape from life, while at the same time making life better.

Q. How have you grown as an athlete since starting CrossFit?
I don’t take myself as serious anymore, and I put in the work no matter what.

Q. What have you been focusing on in your training?
All of my goats, training with Jesse O’Brian and Central Athlete, our training is basically based on working on things I need to get better at, usually all of these are things I’m not good at so training has become very mentally and emotionally challenging. My training has moved from constantly varied and random to planned objectives. I love improving, there’s nothing like coming back to a workout that destroyed you and destroying it.

Q. Favorite Benchmark workout and lift?
King Kong, I love the high after this short heavy workout.

Q. Favorite healthy eat?
I love making tuna Poke, easiest way to get lean protein, fat and carbs… My recipe is secret. But I’ll share if you ask. Ha.

Q. Advice for other CrossFitters?
Have fun, and don’t take yourself to serious.

Q. What are your personal goals?
I have lived my life doing the best I can at what I have in front at the moment, I have had so many professional and personal changes over the course of my life that I now just go with the flow.

Q. 3 quirky facts we wouldn’t know about you!
1. I always have to #2 before any benchmark. I can’t control it. Haha. I’m obsessed with
2. CrossFit shoes and I have lucky ones and in lucky ones. Don’t judge me.
3. I can’t go more than 3 days without some kind of exercise.

Jeremy Thiel
Jeremy_TeamCC

Age: 34
Job: CrossFit Coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 10
Athletic background: Football and Power lifting

Q. What is your CrossFit story?
I started CrossFit in 2005 and I haven’t stopped
Q. Specific goals/things you’ve been working on in your training this year?
Be healthy overall!
Q. Best advice you’ve been given in your training and CrossFit journey?
Find the best program that works for you, be consistent, and pivot and adapt as necessary.
Q. Favorite healthy eat?
Oatmeal, with coconut oil and cinnamon and some protein powder mixed in.
Q. Advice for other CrossFitters on training, competing, and growing inside and outside the gym?
Work on basic technique of general movements, work on your metabolic capacity, and sharpen your skills. Nutrition, sleep, and recovery is 80% – but consistency is the most important piece.

Colton Volpe
Colton_TeamCC

Age: 25
Job: CrossFit Coach
Years you’ve been CrossFitting: 1.5 years

Q: What is your CrossFit story?
Rich Froning

Q: Favorite benchmark and lift?
Fran, Snatch

Q: Favorite healthy eat?
Chicken

Q: Advice for other CrossFitters?
Work hard.

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