CFLA Athlete Profile – Alex Bentley
Hometown: Gloucester, MA (home of The Perfect Storm movie)
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Sept 2006
When did you first start training at CFLA?: Sept 2006
Favorite WOD: Anything that gives me a slight advantage so I can bask in the glory!
Least Favorite WOD: Anything my wife Tanya is really good at because then she can rub my face in it, or just look at me with pity.
Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I did step aerobics back in the early nineties, but that was mainly to check out girls in spandex (now of course there is yoga! ). I probably took sports too seriously as a kid because I was good enough to make teams but never really good enough to get a lot of playing time, which was hard. My only moment of real athletic glory was being a part of the mile relay team that set the school record, and that was only because of a teammate named Jimmy Mennocci who would have kicked my ass if I let him down.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I started CrossFitting in very primitive conditions. There were no custom jump ropes, no body fat truck, Reebok Nanos, wrist wraps, Biosteel or even coconut water. All we had was one crazy, early adopter ex-marine with a wacky, cackling laugh named Andy Petranek running a gym called Petranek Fitness. It was a tiny place stuck in the back corner of a small parking lot – almost impossible to find. I’m pretty sure the “programming” was created as he was writing on the whiteboard. I have no idea what my first WOD was, but it probably involved lifting too much and running around the block, trailing a shirtless Michael Stanwyck and his eight-pack abs.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’ve been doing it for so long now it is hard to look back and really know. But one thing I’m sure of is that when I compare myself to my non-CFLA “civilian” peer group, I’m pretty happy with the shape I’m in. Also, considering I really don’t train for them, I’ve done pretty well in 5 & 10K races and triathlons. So this CrossFit stuff might actually work.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I think one of the great benefits of CrossFit is that when you go to the gym you forget anything that might be on your mind and have complete focus on what is happening in class. It is really mentally cleansing and great for getting rid of stress.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: In eight years there are certainly many, many great moments. Mostly it is just the day-to-day fun of the class. I’ve also liked days when it is pouring and we have to run in and out of the gym. I especially enjoy the very rare moment when I get to beat a nooner like Vince, Scott or Charlie – usually when they are tired, sick or injured .
Any advice for people just getting started? After buying lifting shoes, knees sleeves, wrist wraps, grips for the bar, pre and post shakes, and covering yourself head to toe in Reebok Crossfit gear, the most important thing is just showing up. And then don’t let your ego get in your way. Listen to the coaches, but don’t hesitate to modify a workout if you need to make it work for you.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Surfing, snowboarding and mountain biking top the list. Many times I’ve been thankful of my CrossFit overall fitness, especially when some giant wave has kicked my ass or I’m trying to turn my snowboard in deep powder to escape a close encounter with a tree (I’ve been trying to encourage Andy not to snowboard into trees but so far it has not worked). In all those sports fatigue can be deadly so it really helps.
A) FQ at ≤70 RPE
40 Box jumps with step down
30 Kipping CTB pull-ups
B) 4 RFQ at ≤70 RPE
5 Thrusters (40% of 1RM jerk)
**1min Rest between each round**
And Coming Monday
A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 10lb as 1RM)
75% x 5
80% x 5
85% x 5+
50 Wallballs to 10’
C) AMRAP 10
30 Double unders
10 Toes to bar
5 Power cleans (65-70%)