Another Success Story

My fitness journey has been a long process of slowly finding my way to healthy habits. I grew up as an extremely picky eater with poor habits. After trying half a dozen different forms of caloric deficit diets (vegan “dieting”, Weight Watchers, extreme low fat/protein diets…) I kept yo-yo’ing up and up to my highest weight around 320lbs.

I finally woke up and realized that I needed to make real lifestyle changes. I slowly learned what would work for me, seeing small improvements each time. Cut out fast food, lose 15lbs. Cut daily soda and candy, lose another 15lbs. I was finally feeling better, and felt motivated to start making much larger changes. I moved on to “slow carb” (paleo + legumes with a cheat day), and lost another 50lbs in a few months. And then, I got stuck. I spent over a year floating around 230lbs.

After some major frustration, and feeling myself slipping on my eating habits, I realized that I needed more than just dietary change to reach my goals. Some amazing friends told me “Hey! Why don’t you come try out CrossFit!” I figured, well, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try and signed up for the 5 week prep class (February 2013), promising myself that I wouldn’t miss a class, and decide at the end if I liked it.

As Kevin and Joanna probably remember, my first class left me barely able to walk out the door – and I was determined that I would come back to make sure I never felt THAT exhausted again after only a workout of bodyweight movements (yay burpees!)

Since then, I’ve lost 25lbs (while seeing significant muscle gain), constantly increased my lifts, and gone from being unable to run 400m unbroken to running 5k at Legs for Literacy in 30:49! I feel better than ever, and I know that I’m improving every time I step through the door at CFM!

Strength – Clean Pulls w/ hook grip (5×5)

EMOTM for 20 min
5 Hang Power Cleans

*May increase in weight
**Post all loads to comments

Compare to April 12/13

John Gunn
John Gunn

61 thoughts on “Another Success Story”

  1. Mobility + WU x 1 (8 strict reps) ring dips
    Strength: Clean pull 5 x 5 reps

    WOD: EMOTM 20 min
    5 hang power cleans
    5 rounds at 85#
    5 rounds at 90#
    5 rounds at 95#
    5 rounds at 100#

    All rounds unbroken must have gauged the weight pretty good I only had trouble finishing the last round.

    Surprise 1 min unbroken plank

  2. Another great story from John this am! It’s great to read about everyone’s progress!

    I’m just catching up on reading this weeks posts wow huge numbers and lots of PR’s! Speaking if Pr’s have you guys looked at the December board, only 11 days in and there is not much space left!

    Thanks uncle P for the class! Always great info and tips given!!! Great work this morning 6 and 7 am groups!!! And keep up the good wirk to all the CFM members for the reminder of the day!!!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your weight loss journey John. I taught this young during his high school years ago at RHS and his weight was becoming an issue for him at that time. John, you should be very proud of yourself for taking your health into your own hands. Your transformation is incredible and you are certainly a role model at CFM.

    Laura and I continue to be impressed with your daily face book paleo meals/recipes. You really should consider opening up a restaurant!

    Congrats and keep up the good work John!

    1. Open a restaurant? That sounds like work… πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for all the encouragement! I never thought I’d find myself working out with my high school French teacher, but it’s been a pleasure!

  4. Great story John. I love hearing these stories and yours is a good one. Keep at it and life will only get better.

  5. Mobility

    Group Mob/Barbell WU

    Strength: Clean Pulls

    WOD: EMOTM 20Min
    Hang Power Cleans

    Started @55#
    Ended @80#

    Cashout: 1Min Plank

  6. Thank you for sharing your story, John. You have made incredible progress! Keep up the great work. Very inspiring. πŸ™‚

  7. Mobility
    WU x 1 (8 reps)
    Group WU

    Strength: Clean Pulls 5 x 5 reps

    WOD: EMOTM 20 min
    5 hang power cleans
    – 5 rounds at 60#
    – 5 rounds at 65#
    – 6 rounds at 70#
    – 4 rounds at 75#

    Cashout: 1 min unbroken plank

    Thanks Patrick!

  8. Strength
    Clean Pulls x5

    5 HPC EMOTM for 20min
    Round 1-5 @ 120#
    Round 6-10 @ 135#
    Round 11-13 @ 145#
    Round 14F (4 reps @ 145#)
    Round 15-19 @135#
    Round 20 @ 140#

    Now ..that was tough!

  9. Mobility + WU x 1 (8 strict reps) ring dips
    Strength: Clean pull 5 x 5 reps

    WOD: EMOTM 20 min
    finished with 95
    cash out 1 min plank

  10. A HUGE thanks to everyone at CrossFit Moncton! I’ve had nothing but support and encouragement every time I’ve steeped foot in the gym!

    Mob, WUx1 (8 reps) – jumping pull ups, 35# OHS and GM
    Group mob/WU

    Strength – Clean Pulls x5
    65 – 85 – 105 – 120 – 130

    WOD – 5 Hang Power Cleans EMOTM for 20 min
    Round 1-16 @ 85#
    Round 17-19 @ 75#
    Round 20 @ 80#

    Felt good weight-wise at 85#, but I took a chunk off my left index finger peeling a sweet potato this morning, so every time I’d reset my hook grip I’d get a twinge up my arm and started losing my grip πŸ™

    On the plus side, this had been one of my first WODs after completing the prep class back in the spring, which I started at 35# and ended at 60#! I’m pretty happy with that progress, even with a bad finger!

    1. ValΓ©rie Arseneau

      I had that happend before but with a butternutsquash and we were doing deadlifts. Was a bloody WOD.

  11. Sorry for the late notice but can you cancel me from the 5:45? Trapped at work (again) and no end in sight πŸ™

  12. No mob or wu!
    Leg smash with Jeremy! Some how I received a lot of enjoyment out of this. ( doing him of course)

    Strength- clean pulls

    WOD -20min amrap
    Hang power cleans
    55 -for 5
    60-for 5
    65-for 8 (2 reps failed, 17 & 18)
    Little disappointed, would have like to try for 75.

    Great class Amanda, sorry I was late.

  13. Mobility
    WUX1 ( 8 reps strict)
    Group WU

    Clean Pulls x 5

    WOD : EMOTM for 20
    5 Hang power clean
    Round 1-5 @135
    Round 6 and 7 @ 155
    Remaining rounds @ 135

    *Things to add to my list that I need to work on.
    – Fatser elbows need to land at the same time as feet hit the ground
    – Land a little lower

    Thanks Amanda for the tips and the fun class!

  14. Clean Pulls x5

    EMTOM for 20 min
    3 Ground to Shoulder (Atlas Stone – 140#)

    And now I’m badly bruised. Thanks for coaching Amanda!!

  15. Warmup
    Clean pulls up to 125

    Started with 85…and need with 90. Missed round 16, 19, and 20.
    Issue with hand on my last rep. Realized after that I was not ever losing the hook grip (keeping it at the top) and it was causing my hand to get tingly…so I wimped out. Boo.

    Thanks for the great class, Amanda!

  16. mob wux1 8 rep
    group wu

    strength clean pull x 5

    EMOTM for 20 min
    5 hang power clean
    first 5 round 1153
    11 round 125#
    last 4 round 130#
    cash out 1 min plank

  17. Wu x 1

    Clean pulls 5×5

    Wod: EMOTM for 20

    5 hang power cleans


    5# pr from April.

    1 min plank unbroken

      1. I know. I went there way to quick and didn’t want to go above until the last round cause they were getting heavy. I wanted the PR but I think staying lower longer may have gotten me a bigger finish. Next time.

  18. mob.. WU x 1

    clean pulls x 5

    wod emotm for 20 minutes 5 HPC


    loved this wod.. and thanks for the #5 Jen B, I did not want to make that jump all the way to 175! πŸ™‚

  19. Mobility
    WU x 1 (strict pull ups 3-3-3 *ran out of time)
    Group barbell wu x 2

    Strength: Clean pulls (x5)

    EMOTM x 20 min
    5 HPC (must be unbroken for round to count)
    *missed rounds of 16 and 19, only got 4 reps on last round at 150#

    In April, I completed one round @ 150# and failed at 155# on last round. What was different is, in April I started at 65# and slowly increased weight in 5 and 10# increments. This time I went too heavy, too fast, with bigger jumps and was DYING at the half-way mark. My thumbs felt like they were going to burst from the pressure of the hook grip and my thighs are bruised to sh*t from lowering (slamming) the weight into them between reps. πŸ™

    Just for fun, I calculated total weight from April, which was 8555#.
    Today, it was 10,625#

    Cashout: 1 min plank (unbroken)

    Awesome work 5:45 crew! πŸ˜€

  20. Mobility

    Strength: Clean Pulls

    WOD: EMOTM for 20 min

    5 Hang Power Cleans
    Started with 55 # and ended with 75#

    Cashout: 1 min plank

  21. Barbell WU X 2

    WOD w/ Coach Amanda – EMOTM 20 Min 5 Hang Power Clean


    Really need to focus on full extension, not arm pulling as much and landing lower.

    Made it to 165 for all 5 reps and 175 for 4 in April.

    *More mobility work on forearms, triceps and lats is needed.

  22. mob.. WU x 1

    clean pulls x 5

    wod emotm for 20 minutes 5 HPC


    Cashout: 1 min plank and worked on DUs

  23. Mobility
    WU x 1 (8 reps)
    Group mobility

    Strength: Clean pulls x 5
    55-70-80-90 (ran out of time)

    EMOTM: HPC x 5 (20 min)
    Start: 50#
    Finish: 75#

    Cash out: 1 min unbroken plank

  24. WU x 1

    Strength: Clean Pulls x 5


    EMOTM for 20 minutes: 5 HPC





    Should have tried 145…chickened out..

    1 minute plank

    50 no show burpees

    Thanks for coaching Ron!

  25. mob.. WU x 1

    clean pulls x 5

    wod emotm for 20 minutes 5 HPC


    Cashout: 1 min plank and worked on DUs with my amazing son πŸ™‚ and jeff

  26. Quick wod between classes, no strength

    55-65-75-85—-kept 85 to the end. Went up too quick, I think? Should have had a plan but it was my first attempt at this one and wasn’t sure what to expect.

    Thanks for joining me, Jeff! It was fun!

    Thanks for all your help Kevin – I learned a lot today!

  27. Mobility
    skipping practice
    Group WU

    Strength clean pulls x5

    Started with 55# & went up to 65#. After 5 @ 65# I was having trouble holding the bar so I dropped down to 60# then finished back at 55#.

    Cashout 1min plank unbroken

  28. Mob
    Clean pulls
    Wod 20min emotm 5 reps
    0-4 hang clean 95,95,95,95,105
    5-9 power clean 105,105,115,115,125
    10-14 hang squat clean 125(4),125,125,125(3),125(4)
    15-19 squat clean 125,125(3),115,115,115

    This was surprisingly very tough the first rounds seemed easy then the squats started. Good class Kevin.

    Just watched the first wod (hell) for optimyze 2014 and looks like a doozie. Hope the weights are a little lighter for the scaled division.

  29. MOB

    Group Barbell WU

    Strength: Clean Pulls

    WOD: EMOTM 20Min
    Hang Power Cleans

    Rds 1-2 #85
    Rds 3-4 #105
    Rds 5-6 #120
    Rds 7-8-9 # 135
    Rd 10 #140
    Rds 11-12-13 #120
    Rds 14-15-16 #110
    Rds 17-18-19 #100
    Rd 20 #95

    So I approached this WOD with the intention of completing 5 lifts every round. But I still wanted to find my x5 max. With that in mind I tackled it like a mountain. Working up to the peak around the middle and then descending after my muscles were really beginning to fatigue in the 2nd half. I figured that if I did a slow build then I wouldn’t have been able to hit #140 by the 20th round as I would have been far too fatigued by that point. And believe me, round 20 with only #95 felt just as hard as #140 did at round 10.

    My thumbs are really hating me from all the hook grip work.
    Great WOD and great class from coach Ron! (My first class ever with Ron coaching)

    Strong work 6:45ers!

    Cashout: 1Min Plank

    And inspiring Story John! Happy that we’re part of the same crossfit family!

  30. Clean pulls5x5

    EMOTM for 20min

    5 hang power cleans

    Started at 55# and ended with 70#

    Cash out 1 min unbroken plank

  31. Mobility + WU x 1 (8 strict reps)

    WOD: EMOTM 20 min
    5 hang power cleans
    5 rounds at 65#
    5 rounds at 75#
    5 rounds at 85#
    5 rounds at 95#

    1 min unbroken plank

  32. Mobility + WU x 1 (8 strict reps)

    Clean pulls5x5

    WOD: EMOTM 20 min
    started 115# successful to 145#, failed 155# (4 reps)
    Previous PR was 145 so tied PR.

  33. Mob + Wup x 1 (8 strict)

    Strength: Clean Pulls
    x5, 55, 55, 55, 60, 60

    WOD: EMOTM for 20 min.
    5 Power Cleans
    max weight has to be unbroken

    55 lbs for 10 rounds
    60 lbs for 3 rounds
    65 x 2 fails
    65 x 1 fail
    ended off at 60lbs

    Well, strategy didn’t work out for as planned, but still a great workout.

    1. Great story John. I shared this with a few of my students and it blew their minds – they were really inspired by your journey and so am I

Start here

Book a free intro today so we can learn all about you, your goals and how we can help you reach them
Free Intro