Black Heart Kyle


As the Paleo Challenge comes to an end and testimonials start to trickle in, there’s been lots of banter around the box about people’s experiences.  Over the next week we will be sharing those testimonials as we get ready to vote on the winner.  Just to kick things off, in response to many inquiries about his CrossFit journey, and after confirming stories of the past told by many, Kyle, our very own Black Heart trainer,  shares his story.

It has come to my attention that many of you are having a hard time picturing me/straight up don’t believe I was overweight and de-conditioned…

Day one of my CrossFit experience I was weighing in at a not-so-solid 250lbs.  I was out of shape – way out of shape, and never had considered myself very athletic.  I could do 1 pull up, and  barely run a mile straight without stopping to catch my breath.  My first CrossFit workout was before CrossFit West Santa Cruz existed, and was done up at the UCSC track with Sam (for those of you who don’t know Sam was my High School history teacher).  I remember the day clearly.  I was to meet Sam at the field one hour before my Literature class.  I arrived a little early in my shorts and a T-shirt.  I did not bring a water bottle or any other equipment.  Sam showed shortly after toting a weird heavy object that looked like a canon with a handle and a pair of rings with red straps.  My workout was to be 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 of Kettlebell Swing, Jumping Ring Dip, and Jumping Pull Up; a workout I could now easily finish as a warm up.

Ten minutes later I was laying in the grass posturing, blacking in and out of consciousness, and feeling like I might hurl.  Or as Beto so appropriately puts it, it was a feeling as if I had just been “microwaved.”  I was worried I might have heat exhaustion or be extremely dehydrated, since I didn’t bring a water bottle.  I vividly remember Sam joking that I “looked like I had epilepsy” as I struggled to stabilize myself on the rings.  Needless to say, I did not go to my Literature class after that but instead asked Sam for a ride home and passed out for the rest of the day, useless, just a pile of skin and bones.  The remainder of the week I was so sore I could barely move, and I distinctly remember my forearms hurt so bad that I couldn’t hold a pen to take notes in class.  I was in love.

I hit it hard after that, almost immediately going 3 days on 1 day off, the standard CrossFit prescription.  I did everything Sam told me to do, unquestioningly, because what did I know about diet and exercise?  Nothing obviously.  It was a match made in heaven.  “Do the Paleo diet” Sam said.   He promised me results.  Back then I was working out with Sam, Derek and a number of other amazing athletes in the back corner of Golds Gym, and I was sick of being last in every workout.  I did what Sam told me: attacked my weaknesses, showed up diligently, strictly followed a Paleo diet, and quickly saw the results I hoped for.  Here are some of my stats from when I began keeping a workout journal (2 or 3 months into training),

Grace w/ 95 lbs -2:22

Max Rep Pull Ups – 1 rep

Helen – 14:12 w/ jumping pull ups

My first Fight Gone Bad was in the high one hundreds

Overhead Squat – 45 lbs (just the bar)

1 mile time trial – 9:38

Just to name a few.

I kept working hard and put my complete faith in the program.  Eventually I wasn’t always last in every workout.  Then the day came that I won my first workout.  At this point I was strictly doing paleo-zone, something that shot me ahead of a number of my fellow athletes who weren’t adhering to any diet.  I lived and breathed CrossFit, got my level 1 cert and watched videos for hours a night trying to perfect my olympic lifting technique, or learning the intricacies of performance nutrition.  I have now been doing CrossFit for exactly a year and a half and coaching for 10 months.  Because of beauty of CrossFit-measurable and repeatable results- here are my relatively updated stats (some of these I haven’t retested for 4-5 months)

Grace as rx’d in 1:45, Grace with 155 lbs in 3:30

Max Rep Pull Ups – 38 reps

Helen – 8:17

Fight Gone Bad – 391

Overhead Squat – 250 lbs

1 mile time trial (haven’t done since last winter) – 7:00

Current Body Weight – 198 lbs

It seemed appropriate to share my testimonial this week, as the end of the Paleo challenge approaches.   But I also wanted to write this to show you, my clients, that I didn’t come into CrossFit already an athlete.   It took hard work, and lots of it.  I didn’t come into CrossFit at my ideal body weight.  I had to fight hard and long to loose weight and reach a goal I was comfortable with.  I still, to this day, do a very strict version of paleo-zone and swear by the results because I have observed them in myself and others.  There is no other program with the efficacy and efficiency of CrossFit.  If you put in the work and believe in the methods you too will see the same results.



(Kyle’s first of course)

10, 8, 6, 4, 2

Jumping Pull Up

Jumping Ring Dip

KB Swing (53/35)


Muscle Ups/88lb KB