CFLA Athlete Profile – Pete Mann

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Hometown:  Pacific Palisades, CA
Age: 53
Occupation: TV advertising sales for AT&T U-verse
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Sometime in 2008
When did you first start training at CFLA?: August 2009
Favorite WOD: I would say Trevor Win’E because it has all the standard body weight movements, and the teams and costumes make it a fun morning.  Plus, my entire body is sore afterwards.
Least Favorite WOD: Worst ever was the 14.5 Open workout: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Thrusters (95#) and bar burpees. Brutal.

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I have been skiing since I was a kid, so I get up to Mammoth as often as possible during the winter, and for closing weekend which is either Memorial Day or 4th of July.  When growing up, instead of the usual organized sports, my dad would take us hiking on the weekends and on backpacking trips in the summer.  By the time I was 16 I had climbed over 100 peaks in the Southern California mountain ranges.

In high school I was on volleyball, soccer, lacrosse and swim teams.  I played volleyball at Dartmouth (not exactly a powerhouse in that sport), but never did any kind of serious conditioning.  After college I tried gym memberships but rarely went because I hated all the mirrors and posers.  After not doing any kind of serious exercise for a while, I finally started working out with a personal trainer about 10 years ago.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel?When the personal trainer route got too expensive, I started going to a class at Velocity.  It was pretty tame – lots of agility, balance and mobility – until the day that a new instructor arrived.  It was Jonesy. He brought in a portable white board and pull up bands, and we started doing CrossFit-style WODs.  One of the first workouts I remember was death by thrusters with a 45# bar, which destroyed me.  The Velocity class was very small, usually only 2-4 of us, so I was hesitant to work out with a bigger group at CFLA.  When they canceled the class at Velocity, Jonesy convinced me to give it a try. 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? At 53 years old, I’ve never been in better shape in my life (besides maybe when I was swimming in high school).  I have improved my baseline time by 1:30 from when I first started, and that was with assisted pull ups!  I used to have recurring back pain that would kick in if I just rolled over the wrong way in bed.  My previous trainers would baby it and work around it, but with CrossFit my back issues have gone away.  Overall I’m more healthy and fit, and hardly ever get sick.  A good workout usually knocks it right out.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I would never have expected to be doing some of these crazy workouts at my age.  100 pull ups?  No way!  15 years ago I hated working out, and have never been a morning person, but now I look forward to the 7am classes.  CFLA is so much more motivating than going to a gym on my own, headphones on, not making eye contact with anyone, and hardly breaking a sweat working on machines. 

The Whole Life Challenge has kicked things up to a new level.  I’ve been able to hold onto some of those practices between challenges, and maintain a more consistent level of fitness.  I never thought I would turn into a black coffee guy, and couldn’t imagine going 8 weeks without booze!

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: The camaraderie is one of the best things about CFLA – the 7am crew, the Open workouts (14.Kick Ass!), walking back from Franklin Hill, to name a few.  It’s always great to achieve benchmarks like PRs, and first getting movements like double unders, handstand pushups and bar muscle ups (well, maybe just one unassisted bar muscle up so far).  And of course, team Mann-Lee Men winning the Men’s Party Division in CFLA’s first Buddy Battle!

Any advice for people just getting started? Scale appropriately.  It’s a competitive environment, but don’t feel pressure to do Rx or go heavier than you should.  You want to be in it for the long haul and not get injured.  I used to get nervous before class, not knowing if I could handle the weight or survive the workout, but I’ve learned that I can get through any WOD and get in a great workout if I push myself hard with the right scaling.  Just show up and be consistent!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I love music, and play mandolin in a rock and roll cover band and a bluegrass band.  In college I was an art major and still like to design the occasional t-shirt or flyer.  I’m married and have two sons – one is a senior at the University of Michigan, and the other is a senior at Pali High.  We’re very involved with Pali’s football program, and I’m looking forward to watching my son play his senior year.  Go Dolphins!


Friday’s Workout
Recovery Week: Practice

1500m Row at 7.5 RPE

B) 3RFR on the 3:00
Max Effort Bench press (BW / ⅔ BW)
**30 sec cap each round**
**See 9/5/14**

C) HSPU skill practice

D) EMOM 10
Odd: 10 T&G Deadlifts (40%)
Even: 20 Butterfly abmat situps

And Coming Monday

5 Thrusters (135/95)
10 Bar muscle-ups
200m Run





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