October Athlete of the Month: Andrew Lopez

When did you start doing CrossFit? 

I found CrossFit in 2009 and started following the main site workouts in the Gold’s Gym while my buddies were slaying bench press and curls and laughing at me. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and became obsessed. My form was terrible on the Olympic lifts, and I was terrified of attempting a snatch. I specifically remember Becca and I doing our version of Cindy – using the pull-up machine to help with the reps. We moved to Hunstville, AL and joined Crossfit Nomad in 2011. Haven’t looked back since. 

Favorite WOD? 

Any of the classic girls; Helen, Fran, Cindy. I love fast-paced body weight or moderate weight workouts. Pedal to the metal or no rep. The ones that leave you on your back after only 6-8 minutes.

Least Favorite WOD?  

I try to erase the bad ones from my memory, but “The Seven” does come to mind. Probably because we do it every year for the WodFather’s bday.

 Favorite Lift?  

Snatch! Such a technical lift. I love how the smallest adjustments in form and technique make all the difference. 

Least favorite lift? 

Easy – Deadlift.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.). 

I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Becca, for 6 years. We have been blessed with two wonderful boys (Gabriel and Alexander) who keep us on our toes. I received my Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Mercer University (where Becca and I met), and my Master’s degree in systems engineering from Georgia Tech. I specialize in defense aerospace engineering and aircraft modification, and I’m pretty much the coolest engineer you will ever know. I love to cook and I enjoy trying different types of foods (at least once). I also love seeing different parts of the world and learning new cultures. I speak Spanish and limited French.

What were you doing before CrossFit?  

Bench on Mondays and Fridays. Bis and Tris on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Back and Shoulders on Wednesdays. Sometimes I would switch it up a little and hit up Bench and Tris on the same day, no big deal. Skipped leg day.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?  

Watching videos had left me super intrigued. How long has CrossFit been around? Why haven’t I heard of this before? Is it possible for me to be like Chris Spealler??  I questioned what my goals were at the time. I was stuck in the same gym routing since college, and though I was slowly getting stronger I knew that I wasn’t reaching my full potential. These main site WODs were leaving me sweaty, breathless, and shattered – something I never experienced with 3 sets of lat pull-downs. I loved it and wanted more – I am a glutton for punishment, after all. After joining CrossFit Nomad and being in a group setting with other athletes seeking the same level of intensity, I knew CrossFit was my jam.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit? 

My goals prior to CrossFit were strictly brute strength-based. Bench 315, curl the biggest dumbbells, military press XYZ lbs. Things that held no real value in the real world when you think about it. Watching CrossFit videos helped me realize that what I really wanted was to be well-rounded, and not just good at one thing. I wanted to be strong, fast, and efficient with my movements. I wanted to look and feel good, and not be weighed down and bulky with just muscle mass that some of my power lifter friends had at the time. My goals have not changed to this day. I still want to live a healthy, fit life and be able to keep up with my boys when they’re older. Actually, I want them to be able to keep up with me 😉 I hope to instill the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle in our boys lives.

Have you achieved any of those goals?  

Absolutely. I’m amazed that I’m still able to improve on my benchmark WODs and hit PRs on my Oly lifts. Just goes to show that CrossFIt works if you’re dedicated!

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the Gym? 

Besides feeling great every day due to our consistency in the gym and increased fitness levels, Becca and I have met some lifelong friends thanks to CrossFit. My Brown’s Bridge Church small group, CS&F community events, and tandem bar swings/bathroom selfies/general shenanigans with my BFF (#bigblend) has proven that fitness, friendships, and fun extend beyond the walls of our gym. 

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?  

Improving my Murph time every year since joining CS&F, 12 unbroken ring MU, hitting an old bench press PR, handstand walking and holds. My goal for this year is to hit 185# snatch – I’m almost there! 

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Cumming Strength and Fitness?

Consistency, patience, and humility is the key. The improvements and gains will come, but you have to trust the process and put in the effort. 

Something you might not know about me is?  

I was a thespian in high school. Ask me about it!!

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