Nearly a decade after its humble origins in a California garage gym, CrossFit has become a full-fledged fitness revolution. With its combination of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and grueling high-intensity interval workouts—or WODs, as they’re known—CrossFit has rightly earned a reputation for close-knit gym communities, re-introducing uncommon exercises to the fitness mainstream, and spawning whole new training philosophies. exercise, workout, lifestyle, weight loss, diet, nutrition, healthy eating
It’s also earned a reputation for getting people in the best shape of their lives. We’ve found seven guys who went from “chubby” and “pudgy”—their words, not ours—to being “stronger than I ever was” and in “best shape of my life.” Here are their success stories—and the workouts, inspiration, and advice they used to make it happen.
1. Dusty Ashford
All through high school and college I thought I was pretty fit. I was 5’6″ and about 145 pounds. I traveled racing BMX, which kept me pretty lean. Then I had my daughter and took about four years off from fitness. I got up to about 155 pounds and what my daughter called “chubby.”
Then, one day I was mowing the lawn and I got an invite to come to a BBQ and pool WOD. I thought, “Awesome! It’s hot out and I can cool down with a pool workout. How bad could it be?” Well, little did I know I would be introduced to burpees and kettle bells. The pool was at 93 degrees and these psychos were treading water, doing burpees and kettle bell swings. It was the worst day of my life. When we finished up the WOD, they proceeded to grill up burgers and popped open some adult refreshments! Meanwhile, let’s just say I was feeding the flowerbed. The WOD kicked my ass, and I was addicted.
Now, I’m 176 pounds, heavier than I’ve ever been and by far in the best shape of my life. I have more energy than my two-year-old son and feel like I’m 16. exercise, workout, lifestyle, weight loss, diet, nutrition, healthy eating
Favorite WOD: Grace—that’s 30 reps of the clean and jerk for time, lifting 135 pounds. Apart from being a great workout, she’s special to me. I was introduced to her as part of a WOD to benefit a close friend of mine who had breast cancer. My mother and grandmother had also battled with breast cancer, my grandmother having eventually passed away from the cancer. So, in my mind, Grace has always been tied to the fight against breast cancer. It inspires me to push myself harder.