Matt S. has always been pretty active since he was a kid. He grew up playing baseball, hockey, football, basketball, soccer and golf – organized or around the neighborhood. After junior year of high school Matt could no longer rely on his towering height (5’4”) and imposing frame (120lbs) to dominate organized sports. Instead, he did what most 17-21 year olds do and spent most of his time “hanging out”. After a couple of years of not going to the gym or playing any sports, Matt eventually found his way back into a local gym owned by a family friend. He would spend the rest of college in and out of his gym routine of bouncing from machine to machine or on a treadmill/elliptical counting down the minutes until he felt like he “worked out”. Nonetheless, Matt felt reasonably fit for a young guy.
Senior year of college, after returning from a semester (about 95 days) abroad in Rome, Matt stepped on a scale weighing 24lbs heavier than when he left – almost 2lbs per week! Any guy with Matt’s frame would think this is “serious gains”, except he didn’t go to the gym 1x in Rome, or eat any protein unless it was on a pizza or in pasta. Up until this point, Matt never worried about what he ate or how intense he worked out and the impact those two things could have on your body. At his peak “skinny-fat” Matt knew he should make some changes, but still felt he was in good shape and his gym routine was adequate.
For five years following Rome, Matt continued to swipe his key-chain at a local globo-gym after work feeling like he was maximizing his work-out time, again, bouncing from machine to cardio equipment. Matt would still be doing this today if it wasn’t for fellow Thermal member Mike D. inviting him to Thermal to see what Crossfit was all about. Matt’s first class at thermal was a 6am class in December of 2015 that featured snatch as the strength component. The box was cold, the lift was difficult and heavy and the experience left him sorer than he’d ever been in his life. This class was literally everything Matt hates – cold weather and doing things he’s not good at – better defined as being uncomfortable. To make matters worse, his second day at Thermal was the 12 days of Crossfit. Needless to say Vinny repeatedly asked Matt if he was OK and suggested he stop multiple times so he didn’t throw-up or die. Vinny was especially concerned since he wasn’t sure if Matt completed the Injury Waiver. This was another “I need to make some changes” moment for Matt, except it felt more real since he was no longer a college kid. Matt needed a few days to recover, but when he returned he signed up as a member at Thermal.
Prior to joining Thermal, Matt S. viewed working out as something to do to “stay in shape”. After those first two days, Matt realized being “in shape” was a relative term and the la-di-da workouts at LA Fitness weren’t going to cut it. Since that day, Matt has hit numerous PRs, learned to do kipping pull-ups (after barely being able to do 1 strict PU) and can snatch much more than the 15lb beginners’ bar he struggled with on Day 1. Matt has also run three 5k’s in the past year, improving his result each time and recently completed the Broad Street Run for the first time on Sunday.
Matt is very appreciative of all of the help and encouragement from the Thermal coaches and members along the way and looks forward to further improvement.
“Matt S.” Strength
2RM Back Squat
“Matt S.” Metcon
AMRAP in 13 minutes:
23 double unders
5 deadlifts, 185/125#
2 rope climbs