Name: Guillermo Santiago
Hometown: San Juan, PR
CrossFitting Since: I was first exposed to some CrossFit-style workouts by Keith in 2006, but when CFV opened, I started CrossFitting on a regular basis.
Favorite WOD or Movement: I love Barbara. It’s a great workout that works your entire body. You can do that one pretty much anywhere, too. Even if you can’t find a bar to do pull ups, you can still do the rest and get in a great workout. I also love push ups… I don’t know why, but I do.
Least Favorite WOD or Movement: I’m not crazy about anything overhead. I’ve had a bad left shoulder for years, which isn’t bad enough to require surgery, but bad enough to make overhead movements very uncomfortable.
What is your fitness background? What were you doing before CrossFit? I boxed from about 10 years old up until I was 22 or 23. After that, I did basic stuff at home – push ups, running, etc.
How did you get into CrossFit? Keith and I used to work at the same place and he introduced me to it. One morning before work we met for a workout at the Crunch near Wall Street. He came up with a CrossFit ‘lite’ type of workout – maybe 3-5 rounds of push ups, wall balls, and squats. It was the first time I had ever worked out that way, and it totally kicked my ass. I loved it.
Eventually, I got a new job and didn’t meet up with Keith again until he opened his first CrossFit gym in Manhattan up on 86th(ish) Street. I never ended up joining that gym because I lived so far away. Somehow I found out about CFV opening so I came to the open house and that’s when I joined.
What are your fitness goals for 2013? Where are you in terms of achieving them? My goal is to come on a consistent basis, at least 3-4 times a week. Even though I’ve been here since CFV opened, I’ve never really been consistent. I’ll sign up for 3x/wk and I’ll come 3x one week, then 1 the next. I also want to get muscle ups. All these years coming to CFV and I still haven’t gotten one. However, I can’t really say I’ve tried very hard.
What makes CrossFit Virtuosity unique? I can’t compare CFV to other boxes because this is the only one I’ve ever tried, but I really love the coaching staff. They know what they’re doing, they know what I’m capable of, and they push me accordingly.
How have you changed since starting CrossFit? I’ve obviously changed physically. When I was boxing, I probably weighed 130 at most. Once I started lifting at CFV, I gained ‘good’ weight. I’ve also gotten much stronger – It’s great.
What advice do you have for people just getting started? Listen to the coaches, they know what they’re doing. Oh, and stretch. Definitely stretch. Take the coaches’ mobility instructions seriously, because that’s half the battle. And scale. It’s better to do a movement right with a lower weight than to do it wrong with a heavier weight.
Anything else? Bring back the punching bag! That was my favorite thing here.