CFLA Athlete Profile – Fernando Montero

Hometown: Miami, New York, Lima
Age: 35
Occupation: International Strategy at Lionsgate
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Sept 2015
When did you first start training at CFLA?: Sept 2015
Favorite WOD: Franklin Hill
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with a Sit to Stand (I look like a newborn giraffe)

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: I grew up with aspirations of being the next Andre Agassi. Luckily I’ve managed to destroy all photographic evidence. Throughout college and my 20’s, I pretty much dabbled in everything: spinning, snowboarding, running, lifting, doing all sorts of — in hindsight — inefficient movements in an attempt to get stronger. Upon moving to LA for grad school, I dabbled more in doughnuts, beer, and pizza. Back in the real world, I got hooked on triathlon (sprints only please, no Ironman here) and did the Malibu tri 3 times, finishing just off my age group podium in 2013 (check out the drama queen picture below). Effectively burned out on triathlons, I became hooked on the boot camp class (redubbed The Pain Cave) at TriFit, which led me to CFLA.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? My first experience with CrossFit was prejudging and rolling my eyes at it. Cut to me becoming obsessed with the “Pain Cave” class at my former gym, which consisted of various set combinations of push-ups, lunges, squats, sprints, box jumps, pull ups, jump rope, and burpees (sound familiar?). When I told my coach I wanted to lift heavier weight, he told me to consider CrossFit. “Not for me,” I said. “What in the F* do you think we’ve been doing here this whole time?” I walked into CFLA sheepishly and was greeted by Miss Shirley Brown. The rest is history. My first WOD was, fortuitously, Franklin Hill, setting up expectations of competence that have been consistently debunked ever since. It was only later when I picked up my first sandbag or tried to overhead squat that I really understood what I was in for.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I feel stronger and better understand the connections between muscle groups, even when some might feel a little abused. The range of motion, compared to “regular” lifting, of some of the movements engages so many muscles at once that the connections are reinforced. All the little tweaks that were easy to work around are no longer feasible. Inflexibility in the hamstrings, a weak lower back, a pain in the shoulder, HYPOTHETICALLY speaking of course: the time to fix those is NOW.

It’s also, let’s face it, so much more fun than lifting by yourself. Although I do miss my playlists…

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I now see my masseuse with more frequency than some of my best friends. I have a person in my life that I can refer to as “my masseuse” without irony. I watch mobility videos at my desk at work. I follow CrossFit athletes on Instagram, and not just because some of them are very easy on the eyes. After great experiences dropping into CrossFits in Vegas, Petaluma, and NYC, I now research affiliates in cities I am headed to.

But best of all, all jokes aside, the greatest unexpected thing has been becoming part of the CFLA community. Laughing, dancing, lifting, breaking, falling, joking, and sweating together has brought real joy to my life.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: My all-time favorite moment so far was 13 minutes into (the Open workout) 16.1 when the song “Formation” by Beyonce came on the speakers and I knew, KNEW!, that Diz was playing it for me and WHOA, did I ever need it. The motivation from the song, though, paled in comparison to knowing I was supported in this rather loony but determined attempt to test and push myself to my physical breaking point.

Another great moment was maybe 3 months in when we had some sort of DU workout and I just could not get them going, even after practicing on my own. I threw my rope down in exasperation. It showed me, to my shock, that I really cared; that I really wanted to get better and improve. Without even being aware of it, I was hooked.

Any advice for people just getting started? If you have a small (but SUPER cute) one bedroom, find a place to hang your wet, sweaty clothes that won’t stink up your apartment…but be careful that your balcony doesn’t become your hamper. Be watchful removing the plates from the barbells, toes are very sensitive. Learn your weak spots and then attack them. Show up on the weekends. Careful on the 200m run as there is always some a**hat who leaves his doggy doody bags on the street. Dear Sir or Madam, I am going to find you and teach you a lesson about civility. Sincerely, The Doggy Doody Vigilante.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Like pretty much everyone else, I love me some movies, TV, music, and books. Off the top of my head thoughts: Almodovar, the OC, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Woody Allen, Zadie Smith, Madonna, Broad City, Clue, David Foster Wallace, Roger Federer, The Good Wife, Wes Anderson, REM, Terri Gross, Ben Lerner, Chrvches, Meryl Streep, and, of course, Beyonce.

I have a talent for 1-2x a day fantasizing about just dropping everything and moving to Europe to read books all day.

Friday’s Workout
“CF Open 16.5”
Dudes …it’s back …
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters  (95/65)
Bar-Facing Burpees
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters (65/45)
Bar-Facing Burpees

Saturday’s Workout

2 Reps of Bear Complex (95/65)
8 HSPU (or 4 wall walks)
300 M Run

Monday’s Workout

“Franklin Hill 1, 2, 3”

3 Rounds for total time
50m Sprint (1st to 2nd light)
100m Sprint (1st to 3rd light)
150m Sprint (1st to 4th light)
–All intervals start on the 3:00–



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