Athlete in Spotlight: Ian Hull

Q: Tell us your basic Bio in a few sentences (family, work, hobbies, other interests)?

A: I work as a supervisory statistician for the Department of Commerce, working specifically on economic indicators.  I am originally from Baltimore and have been living in Alexandria for three years.  Prior to that, I was living in Texas for four years.

Q:  What is your athletic background? What were you doing prior to CrossFit?

A: Very little.  For the last decade, athleticism was not part of my life.  (see below)


Ian’s Before CrossFit

Q: When and where did you start CrossFit?

A: I joined CFK in late May 2014, desperate for a change in my life.  I had put on a significant amount of weight since moving from Texas and completing treatment for cancer.  I tried starting a basic gym program (multiple times over two years), but kept failing to stick with it.  I was at a loss and needed help.  A good friend suggested, on my thirtieth birthday, to check out CrossFit (he trains in Baltimore).  I signed-up for a free intro class at CFK and one other gym in the area.  I instantly felt a connection at CFK and decided to give the foundations class a try.  I thought I would never make it through my first WOD, and when one of the coaches suggested I take a full class before before the foundations track completed, I was intimidated, but survived!

Q: What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?

A: Constant encouragement from the coaches and other athletes.  Without a dynamic, supportive environment, I would have never been able to make these changes — let alone stick with a program.

Q: What is your favorite thing or memory about CrossFit Kingstowne?

A: The supportive community. I also just accomplished some PRs – 365 back squat, and 215 clean and jerk.

Q: Why do you choose CFK as your training facility?

A: I visited a few CrossFit gyms when I first started.  It was clear that CFK had superior coaches.  There is a true sense of community at CFK.  There are many athletes that have supported, pushed, and propelled me since joining.  It is this sense of community and support that helps me show up some afternoons, when all I want to do is go home after a long day at work.

Q: How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

A: I feel dramatically better in all aspects of my life! I have lost forty pounds in the last seven months (January 2015 – July 2015) and over sixty pounds since joining in May 2014.  I have greatly improved my diet.  My energy levels have rebounded.

Q: Does anyone else in your family CrossFit?

A: No.

Q: Favorite benchmark or CFK WOD?

A: As awful as it sounds, I have learned to appreciate Fight Gone Bad.  It is the most perfect, horrible workout.  I have increased my total reps by over 120 in the last nine months and I love the sense of accomplishment (and utter exhaustion) after completing the workout.

Q: Lease Favorite benchmark or CFK WOD?

A: I still need help with any workout including handstand pushups.

Q: What is your favorite and least favorite lift?

A: Favorite – back squat, a close second and new one for me is the front squat (I never thought i would be able to get the full range of motion, but just completed a 3-rep max that was more than double my original one rep max).

Least – snatch


Ian After CrossFitting

Q: What are your Short term goal/Long term CrossFit goals? Have you achieved any of those goals?

A: I have far exceeded all of my goals.  I hope to continue to work on my overall endurance and diet in the coming months.  I also want to dead-lift 2x my body weight in the next two months.  I am at 1.85x right now.

Q: What is your favorite Musician/band to listen to while doing the WODs?

A: Anything loud.  But if I had to chose, Coach Binh’s music sets are my favorite.

Q: What is your choice of CrossFit Shoe?

A: I currently use the Reebok Nano 4.0.  I recently started using the Reebok Lifter 2.0 during strength components and I find it incredibly beneficial as well.

Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

A: It is critical to be patient.  It took me months to be able to complete many of the workouts as prescribed (if even scaled sometimes).  I saw some of my biggest gains after six months, especially after I combined my workouts with diets changes. Although I hated that the advice from the coaches that diet is a bigger component of overall fitness, they were not lying!