CFLA Athlete Profile – Zain Khan

CFLA Athlete Profile – Zain Khan

Hometown:  Los Angeles
Age: 47
Occupation: Software executive
When did you first start CrossFitting?: June 20, 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: June 20, 2011
Favorite WOD: Toss-up between Jackie and Cindy. Going to go with Cindy!
Least Favorite WOD: Basically, any WOD that includes burpees!

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: As a classically trained violinist, violist and conductor, I spent much of my twenties inside practice rooms. My thirties were not much better. Unfortunately, I found gyms somewhat intimidating. Thus, gym visits were rare. Once at the gym, my usual routine would be limited to the treadmill and lifting a few weights. In my mid-thirties, I worked with some personal trainers and had even tried “slow motion” weight training – but, the results were never significant because I would only work out once per week. Though, I now regret not being more physically active in the past, I am grateful I worked up the courage and walked into CFLA back in 2011:“Better late than never!”

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? One day, while driving up Santa Monica Blvd, I saw a group of people running near the CFLA studio. I was curious and looked it up online. It seemed intriguing to me, so I decided to try it for myself. I met with one of the coaches – Becca, and she had me try the “baseline” workout (500 Meter Row, 40 Air Squats, 30 Sit ups, 20 Push-ups, 10 Pull-ups). The workout felt like an eternity and I was only through the first 100 meters of the row. By the end of the workout (which must have taken 15 minutes!), Becca asked me if “I was ok?” Barely alive, and too embarrassed to admit that I felt like passing out, I said, “yes.” A few minutes later, I crawled up the staircase (which felt like another workout to me at the time) and signed up for two sessions per week.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Before starting CrossFit in 2011, I would work out about once per week. That was it. Exercise was not part of my life at that time. I was often tired, and my energy level was pretty low. After joining CFLA, I was immediately introduced to the Whole Life Challenge (part of CFLA at the time), where I started to learn about proper eating habits, exercise and general mindfulness about your physical wellbeing. However, it was only a few months ago that I decided to take training at CFLA more seriously and have been showing up consistently four days per week. Since then, I have seen big changes (weight loss, improved mobility, less back pain to name just a few). In addition to the physical changes, I also feel much more positive and energetic – which is good, because I have very active children and need to keep up with them. Best of all, exercise has become an integral part of my day and I look forward to my classes at CFLA.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The benefits of joining CrossFit have been numerous; however, self-confidence is the primary one: the belief that, with some practice and determination, you can accomplish a level pf physical fitness that, in the past, you thought would be impossible. The coaches at CFLA have really helped to push me out of my comfort zone. Just something simple like running was a challenge for me a few years ago. Not today. Climbing rope – once something unimaginable for me, is totally doable now. Other than handstands and some complicated ring exercises, I can do pretty much everything.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: There have been so many over the years. One specific moment for me was when I finally ran the “big loop” without stopping. I was sure I would walk part of the way, but I actually managed to run the entire distance, which for me back then, was a major accomplishment. Other favorite moments happen daily for me at CFLA, most notably the tremendous sense of community and support one feels when working out at CFLA.

Any advice for people just getting started? If you are a complete novice like me – that’s ok. Use only light weights and focus on your posture and technique. Accept that you will not understand or be good at everything the first week, or even the first month. In my case, maybe never! But, never give up – just SHOW UP consistently and you will see changes.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I am a professionally trained violist and conductor. I have been lobbying the coaches at CFLA to play more classical music at our sessions – but, have not gotten very far!

Check out this video for a a shameless self-plug!

Friday’s Workout
Practice Recovery

A) Air Squat Soiree
Focus on spinal extension

B) EMOM 10, working up across sets
2 Push presses
3 Push jerks

C) FQL, working up across sets
Overhead squats
Accumulate 1000m running between sets

And Coming Monday
Mental Toughness

A) FQL, working up across sets

B) Task vs Time vs Task Priority
1) Task Priority
500m Row, for time
-Rest 3 min, then
2) Time Priority
Row as many meters as possible in the time it took to complete Part 1
-Rest 3 min
3) Task Priority
Row the result of Part 2, for time
–See 10/16/14–




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