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10 AWESOME Washington DC Area CrossFit Coaches

10 AWESOME Washington DC Area CrossFit Coaches

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 12:37pm
10 AWESOME Washington DC Area CrossFit Coaches

Chris Clyde. 

If you love CrossFit and live in the DMV, you are in luck! We have many great boxes and inspiring instructors like the 10 we highlight here. Make sure to check out each instructor feature and go train with them!
Also, we know there are many great instructors not on the list. PLEASE leave a comment below if there is an instructor you love that the DC fitness community should know about! Everyone on this list came from recommendations, so don't hesitate to give your favorites a shout out.
On to the list ...

Steve Dolge - Second Wind CrossFit 

Photo courtesy of Steve Dolge of Second Wind CrossFit.

Steve's advice for folks new to CrossFit: "

1) Don't be afraid of it.  Everyone had their first day of CrossFit and felt woefully inadequate and out of shape.  Good coaches know how to adjust each workout to your ability.  Look for a box with a Foundations or On-Ramp program that will teach you the basics and ease you into the classes.  Prepare to be pushed.  You can do WAY more than you think you can.

Find the right box for you.  You have plenty of choices in D.C.  Find one that has owners, coaches and members that you like and a vibe that makes you feel welcome and important. "

Read Steve's full interview



Rebekka Ellman  - CrossFit MPH 
Rebekka Ellman of CrossFit MPH

Rebekka Ellman of CrossFit MPH.

Rebekka, on the role diet plays in her training: "Nutrition plays a huge role in being able to perform consistently and at a high level. When my nutrition is dialed-in, every workout feels like there is plenty of gas in the tank. Otherwise, it feels like I am running on fumes. I mostly eat Paleo, although after years of following Paleo guidelines, I have been able to tweak them a little bit to better fit my lifestyle. I eat a lot of eggs, chicken, turkey, beef (grass-fed hot dogs are perfect on those days when you don't want to cook a thing), vegetables (frozen green beans are a staple) and bananas and some almond butter and coconut chips. I avoid all wheat and soy products and most dairy and sugar."

Read Rebekka's full interview. 



Mark Toorock - Primal Fitness and American Parkour 
Mark Toorock of Primal Fitness and American Parkour.

Mark Toorock of Primal Fitness and American Parkour. Photo by Juanita Chen.

Mark, on his favorite workouts "I feel that Primal Fitness’ trademark is “FUNctiontal fitness.” We challenge our athletes constantly with multiplanar, functional movements both with and without equipment/weight. For example, we play a game where two opponents standing eight feet apart try to knock each other off balance by throwing a medicine ball in a catch-meets-push-hands game where the loser is granted bonus fitness in the form of burpees or plank. You may find yourself throwing a sandbag over a barrier only to chase it, throw it back, and repeat. It is these elements combined with virtuosity in weightlifting that comprise my favorite workouts in the gym, and for me, outside is even better!"

Read Mark's full interview. 



Alison Bukowski - CrossFit Petworth 
Alison Bukowski of CrossFit Petworth

Alison Bukowski of CrossFit Petworth.

Alison, on her athletic history and how she came to CrossFit: "I've been involved in various sports my entire life. I played collegiate club rugby, helping to found and build the very first women's team at my school, Grove City College. Once I graduated and rugby was over, I had a hard time motivating myself to stay active because the gym was boring and if it wasn't to make a tackle or a tri, I hated running. It wasn't till a few years after school that my husband dragged me to a CrossFit intro class. I was super hesitant to go because I Googled it and was terrified by what I saw. It turns out, I love it."

Read Alison's full interview. 



Siddarth Sawkar of CrossFit South Arlington
Siddharth Sawkar of CrossFit South Arlington.

Siddharth Sawkar of CrossFit South Arlington

Siddarth, on his favorite workout: "Helen: 3 Rounds of 400M Run; 21 Kettlebell Swings; 12 Pullups. I love it as an individual athlete and as a trainer. As an athlete, I love it because I can go hard for every part of the workout- the load/volume for each part- the run, kb swings and pullups, are in a sweet spot where there is no need to slow down for any of them.  It’s an incredible threshold workout when scaled correctly. As a trainer, I may love it even more. It’s wonderfully accessible- I can scale this workout and still give new and experienced athletes the right stimulus.  From changing the run to a row, substituting ring rows for pullups or even turning it into a broken interval workout, the combinations are limited only by imagination. Secondly, it’s a great diagnostic workout.  I can tell a lot about an athlete’s ability to stabilize and coordinate their hips, knees and shoulders with these 3 movements.  An athlete with an unstable hip or knee will be exposed during the run; an athlete who don’t know how to properly load up their hips and hamstrings will demonstrate this quickly during the kb swings; an athlete with poor shoulder awareness will quickly display this during the pullups or ring rows. Third, it’s a great benchmark workout. Focused work on running, kb swings and pullups will obviously lead to improvements, but more interestingly, improvements in seemingly unrelated areas (like back squatting or deadlifting) will be expressed in greater performances during this workout.  This happens with most well designed CrossFit benchmarks, but this triplet is particularly expressive of general increases in fitness."

Read Siddarth's full interview. 



Chris Clyde - Balance Gym 

Photo provided by Chris Clyde.

Chris, on what CrossFitters need to do less of: "With the evolution of the sport of CrossFit, the purpose and motivation for a lot of people has become blurred or basically something completely different and opposite to the original purpose of why CF was created. This training philosophy was created to take people out of their comfort zones on a regular basis in a community based, friendly competitive environment that not only facilitates physical improvement, but also breeds mental growth and all-around happiness through social connection. To be blunt, we need less assholes “no-repping” as they watch from the sidelines, we need less rep-shavers, “games hopefuls” and people who if they don’t perform “well” within their scope of crazy high self-expectations are pissed off throwing tantrums or starving themselves that night or whatever"

Check out Chris's full interview.



Andrea Ferry - District CrossFit 
Reebok Fitness Ambassador and CrossFit Coach/Competitor Andrea Ferry.

Reebok Fitness Ambassador and CrossFit Coach/Competitor Andrea Ferry.

Andrea, on what CrossFitters should do more/less of: "I think CrossFit athletes need to get more sleep (7-8 hours) and make sure they are recovering properly outside of the gym.  Weight training (in general) and high intensity workouts are demanding on your body, so sleep and proper nutrition is key. I think they should also listen to their body if something hurts. Sometimes CrossFit athletes can overtrain themselves, so my suggestion would be to train less when your body needs it."

Read Andrea's full interview. 



Maddie Watkins and Rob Koebke of 202strong
Maddie Watkins 202strong

Maddie Watkins

Maddie on what she thinks CrossFitter's should do less of: "I think that CrossFitter's should forget about their score more often and really master the basics of movement. They should do far less reps with sacrificed form just to get a good score or lift heavier weight."

Rob on why he became a CrossFit instructor: "CrossFit had an incredibly positive impact in my life. I changed my eating habits, lost 15 pounds, and regained functionality in my knee. I was already in school for Kinesiology because the health and fitness world perplexed me. How could I see orthopedic specialists and physical therapists regularly for two and half years, yet what allowed me to return to a normal lifestyle was learning to squat properly? Was this a well kept secret or were most people just looking for answers in the wrong places? 

I became a CrossFit instructor because I wanted answers to these questions. Once I found those answers I felt like it was necessary to help others find them too."

Read Maddie's and Rob's full interviews.



Noah Gabriel-Landis of Priority:Strength 
Featured Exercise: Back Squat

From the Priority Strength website: "Noah Gabriel-Landis is the former co-owner and Head Coach of District CrossFit in Washington, D.C. Between years as a coach and competing in the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition every year since 2012, Noah is relentlessly enthusiastic about refining and improving workout programs for elite athletes, teams, and beginners alike."

Make sure to check out the Priority Strength website for some awesome videos describing proper lifting technqiue. Drop Noah a line for personal coaching too.