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What I’ve Learned About CrossFit Is… By Brandon Bergin

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What I’ve Learned About CrossFit Is… By Brandon Bergin

Good ole Brandon in the "Airs."

Warm-up: 500m Row, Do each exercise with each arm (50/35lbs): 5 1-arm KB Swings, 7 KB Snatches, 5 KB Push-Press, 2 Turkish Get-Ups

Clean: 1-1-1-1-1 @ 80-90% 1RM

Squat: 3RM

MetCon – For Reps:
Tabata Mountain Climbers

Finisher: 60 second L-Sit

Enjoy the guest post by Brandon Bergin, I know I did. Also, we need more members to volunteer to write posts. Don’t make us hunt you down.

Because we could hunt you down thanks to CF,
<3 Coach Miss J

I’ve been doing Crossfit now for about a year, with a bit of dabbling in it the months before.  Prior to discovering Crossfit, I swam competitively and did the traditional body building split for working out.  I considered myself very fit, and very knowledgeable about fitness.  Here are some things I have learned while CFing (in no particular order):

  1. Diet is more important than most people think. People constantly ask me how I manage to “stay skinny” or look fit.  They say things like “wow, you must have great metabolism” or “you must work out like 4 hours a day.”  While these things are true to an extent, diet has more to do with body composition and performance than just about anything else you can do.  After years of carb loading before big events, and skipping breakfast, avoiding fats, and eating bread like it was my job, I finally took the time to learn about food and its effects on the body.
  2. Performance is more important than looks. When I first started Crossfitting, I kept worrying about “getting ripped” and checking my weight, and how my clothes fit.  I then realized that if I focused on becoming stronger/faster/fitter, the aesthetics portion of it would follow.
  3. Don’t judge someone’s ability by how they look. Oktoberfest was our first Crossfit competition.  I will never forget going to check in with Caleb and Forrest, and seeing the other competitors: who were all bigger than us, looked stronger than us, and certainly had more definition than … Forrest.  We were worried  – but after that weekend, when Ktowners finished near the top of nearly every event, I realized that looks don’t always translate into fitness.  (Especially when the guy who won that whole competition makes Grant look like a big dude.)
  4. There is always somebody better than you. This translates into life as well.  There will always be somebody better than you at whatever it is you do (unless your last name is Federer, Gates, Bergin etc).  My old swim coach used to tell us that as soon as we thought we had accomplished something, we had failed to accomplish the next thing.  Never be complacent in what you do, always strive to be better, faster, stronger, or whatever word describes your chosen career/interest/hobby.
  5. The discipline learned in Crossfit (and other sports) carries over into life. I’m sure I’m not the only one who found other aspects of life become more clear and easier after being involved in sports.  The discipline learned and required by CF quite simply teaches you to be a better person.
  6. It never gets easier. When I first started Crossfit, I did my first Fran in something like 8 minutes.  I quickly looked it up online to see how fast the best guys did it in.  “2:30?  Man, I wish I could do pull-ups that fast … would be so much easier,” I thought.   I was wrong, and that’s the great part about Crossfit – the more fit you get, the faster you can go, the more weight you can lift, and the longer you can push yourself.  It’s always a challenge and therefore you can always continue to improve.
  7. There is no price tag on health and fitness. The single biggest complaint I hear about Crossfit is how expensive it is.  People see (xxx 24-hour fitness) for $29 a month and they can’t fathom spending $150 a month at a Crossfit gym.  The knowledge gained, camaraderie formed, and sheer results speak for themselves though.  Not to mention, your health (or lack of health) is something you have to live with forever … isn’t that worth any price?
  8. The simplest looking workouts are often the worst. My very first Crossfit workout was Tabata Bottom to Bottom squats.  (For those that don’t know, 20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds of “rest” in the bottom position, 8 rounds).  I thought I was in shape, and surely no measly 4 minute workout with no weights was enough to even break a sweat.  I couldn’t walk up and down stairs for at least 2 days after that…
  9. You get out as much as you put in. I’m sure some of you are as guilty as I am of this one.  I’ll see (insert GOAT here, double unders for me) on the board for warm up, and instead of taking the opportunity to work on what I’m bad at, I simply skip it.  I don’t like double unders, I can’t do them, so I don’t.  If I keep that up though, I will never be good at double unders.  If you want to be in great shape, be good at Crossfit, or whatever your goals may be, it takes work.  If you go home and eat poorly after the gym, you’re wasting your time.  If you’re getting poor sleep (and can avoid it), you’re wasting your time.  If you’re coming in and not giving it 100%, you’re wasting your time.

I’m learning new things every day, about myself, others, the fitness industry, health, and people in general.  That’s why I love Crossfit.


Post what you’ve learned while Crossfitting to comments.

It is so rare to find a picture of Brandon on his back.

By | 2017-04-25T14:39:46+00:00 May 11th, 2010|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|7 Comments


  1. Taylor May 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I would add 2 things:

    1) Every goal is attainable. Whether it’s the first pull up, first snatch PR, first sub-3 min Fran, or some important life goal like being “Really, really, ridiculously good-looking,” anything is achievable if consistent time and effort are applied.

    2) Brandon Phillips will always have a greater work capacity than you. End of story.

  2. crossfitktown May 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    PS – Calendar should be working!


  3. Ben May 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Great post Brandon! I love the guest posts because every single one always revives my energy and drive to be better and work harder. Awesome points Brandon and with such humility….you are an inspiration.

  4. Glenn May 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Great post Brandon. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Erin May 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Well said, Brandon! You make tons of great points.

    Thanks to my coaches and friends at CFKT, I’ve learned to have way more confidence in my abilities. Exhibit A :: that damned pull-up. I just knew I couldn’t do it. But, the encouragement I received was overwhelming and I finally did it; something I thought would be impossible. I’m pretty sure I called everyone in my phone after that workout. Now, I’m doing things I never would have dreamed of. I still get down about my performance at times [mainly due to my gimp back], but knowing how much I’ve grown in these last several months and having a team of friends behind me… it’s awesome.

    PS – I did tabata bottom to bottom yesterday & oh boy! Hurt so good!

  6. crossfitktown May 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Brandon you have come a along way since you walked in our doors, with not only your CrossFitting but your attitude towards it. It is a pleasure coaching you when you are actually in town. One of Ktown’s own Firebreathers.

    To Erin: You are an inspiration to so many female athletes in here, myself included. Keep up that spunky attitude and don’t worry about your back. It will come around. And then, my dear, you will destroy us all.
    -Miss J

  7. James May 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Great post B-Money! I would have to credit Brandon for teaching me the butterfly pull-up, even though he was showing someone else how to do it I was watching in the distance. I can’t wait for the next metcon with pull-ups so I can try them out. Holla!

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