4. Nate Smith*
I used to work out occasionally at a big box gym, but it was cigarettes, prescription pills, and drugs that really kept my weight down. Actually, they kept me sunken in. And when I finally started to get clean, the weight just packed right on. Depending on my extracurricular activities, or lack thereof, my weight would shoot up a good 10 pounds in a month. Meanwhile, my depression and anxiety were out of control.
Since then, I’ve gotten hooked on CrossFit. Apart from having gained 35 pounds, almost entirely of muscle, I’ve been able to stop taking antidepressants, using drugs, and binging on alcohol. I feel better than I have in years.
Favorite Fast-Blaster: Double unders, when the rope goes around twice for every jump. It’s so hard at first, but it is amazing for getting my heart rate up and torching calories.
*Name has been changed.
5. Patrick Moen
A few weeks after moving across the country for work, I came down sick. First, I figured it was food poisoning, then maybe a stomach bug. After about 2 weeks I started seeing doctors and they still couldn’t figure it out. I was seeing specialist after specialist. Maybe it was liver failure. Maybe my gallbladder had burst. Maybe I had Crohn’s disease. Meanwhile, I had lost nearly 40 pounds. I was eventually scheduled for an endoscopy and we had the answer: I had Celiac disease.
First things first, I had to get my eating habits on track. But once I did, I was ready to get into the gym. I had gotten hooked on CrossFit not long before relocating, and was eager to get back to it. I started hitting the gym two days a week for about six to eight months, and then ramped it up to five or six days a week.
Now, I’m proud to say I’ve gained back all of my weight—and then some—in muscle. I have surpassed all of my goals. I’m actually in better shape than I was when I was a personal trainer in college.
Try This WOD: Amanda. Do nine, then seven, then five muscle-up reps, then follow them up with nine, seven, and five squat snatch reps, using 135 pounds. I sweat just thinking about it.