Oak Park/CFLA Athlete Profile – Nick Yiakos
Hometown: I was born in Mesa, Arizona, spent my childhood growing up in Germany, before my family moved back to Chandler, AZ when I was 12.
Age: 31 (Turning 32 on Friday: 11/17)
When did you first start CrossFitting?: October 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: October 2017
Favorite WOD: Anything with hang power cleans and/or wall balls. 🙂
Least Favorite WOD: Nancy!
Tell us about your sports & fitness background: I grew up playing basketball and played all the way through high school. Prior to CrossFit you could find me running around the neighborhood or at your local LA fitness.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? My friend mentioned to me about these crazy workouts that I’d love. I asked, “What are these crazy workouts that you speak of?” She said, “CrossFit.” My curiosity intensified. I knew that this “CrossFit” would be something that would change my life. I could feel it. Finally, my friend and I took a class. The workout was “Karen,” 150 wall ball shots for time. 3…2…1…and my buddy and I were off to the races. At one point, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” I even looked over at my friend during the workout. I could see that the ‘struggle was real!’ We both ended up finishing at the same time and being completely hooked! THIS WAS THE START OF MY CROSSFIT JOURNEY!!!!
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’m probably in better shape in my thirties, than I have ever been before. I’m stronger, better looking, healthier, more mobile and all around more conscious. You would have never found 25 year old Nick, stretching, focusing on breathing, rolling out after a wod or eating 5 healthy meals a day.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? Joining CrossFit changed my life. What started as a way for me to get out of LA fitness, perfect my abs and support my taco and ice cream eating habit; somehow turned into all of this. The CrossFit community has provided me with life long experiences, friendships and a career. The idea that I can still enjoy my tacos and ice cream, all while coming to work and helping people better their lives is an amazing feeling. When I graduated with my degree in Psychology and Philosophy, I figured I would end up having a job I tolerated rather than enjoyed. But taking what I know, and it mixing it with what I love is a dream. Coming here and working with like minded individuals, coaching and befriending great people is the best!
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: About a year ago “Active Life RX” had a competition in which people could write in and nominate someone they deemed to be “Exceptional”. The winner would win 6 months free of Active Life personalized programming. My wife, our friends and lots of members that I once coached all wrote in about me and how they deemed me to be ‘Exceptional’; and I won. They then took all the letters they wrote and turned it into a book, that they gave me on my birthday. Reading those letters and hearing from Active Life that I had the most submissions, was an amazing feeling. I knew then that I 100% chose the best path and was doing something right.
I’m fairly new to CFLA, but I’m super excited to come back and tell you about my favorite experience. For now, I’ll tell you how I ended up here, and what drew me to OakPark. After a great chat and amazing cup of coffee with Josh EmBree, he then introduced me to the “Kenny Kane” 🙂 . Kenny invited me over and we talked for hours. Literally for hours! ha. I knew then that he was doing something special. However, what really sold me was when he invited my wife and myself over, because he knew that 1. I’m not allowed to make decisions without her lol and 2. He wanted to ensure my family, that joining this family at Oak Park would be one that we would not regret. Coming in each and everyday, to place with like minded individuals, who are not only passionate about what they do, but they are are passionate about the people they work with, is a great feeling. I’ve never been somewhere for such a short amount of time where everyone is so kind, welcoming, open and all here for the same reason. Very excited to see what the future brings!
Any advice for people just getting started? Consistency is key. Whatever your goals are, they’ll never amount to anything if you’re not consistent. Whether that’s mobility, breath, strength, endurance, weight loss, muscle mass. Also, Do not let the CrossFit name scare you. Ask my wife, it took me almost 4 years to convince her to try it out (I’m relentless and will not give up on you! ha). If you ask her, after saying yes to me, it is probably one of the best things she’s done. The environment, community, connections and friendships that you forge is incredible. Everyday you’ll learn something new about yourself and how far you can push yourself, all while having fun and becoming the best version of yourself.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Any given weekend you can find me starting my day walking to ‘The Conservatory’ grabbing coffee with my wife (best coffee in Culver City). Hanging out with friends, in search of a new Mexican food spot to try out. All while hoping Melanie has something she wants to do or something to catch up on, so I can play the new “Call of Duty”.
Max Effort Bench press (BW / ⅔ BW)
Max Effort Kipping Pullups
10 Thrusters (135#/95#)
20 Thrusters (95#/65#)
30 Thrusters (75#/55#)
400 M Run
5 Deadlifts (135/95)
5 Hang PC
250 M Row
“Thankful for Classmates”
In 23 min, w/ a partner, 1 person working at a time
Then in remaining time:
11 SA KB Thrusters (24/16)
16 Box step ups (28/24)
21 Burpees to a partner target high five