Member Spotlight - Rick, Katie and Lauren

Member Spotlight - Rick, Katie and Lauren
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Rick Rehm has been a member with us since 2011 with his wife Melisa Rehm. Rick comes to every class ready to work and has lost over 15 pounds of fat while adding 5 pounds of lean mass! He puts everything he has into the workouts and whatever energy he has left he uses to encourage and motivate the other members every day in class. Rick also takes part in our competitor’s class to help take his fitness to the next level and it shows.

Rick has been an athlete his entire life but he has made significant transformations physically, mentally and performance related.  Here are just a few other progressions he’s made since starting here:

  • Starting Deadlift:  385#’s  Current Deadlift:  475#’s
  • Starting Back Squat: 305#’s Current B.S.: 365#’s
  • Cindy P.R. (personal record): 24 Rds. +12 Reps
  • Starting Weight: 195.2 Current Weight: 185.2 
  • Starting Body Fat %: 17.7%  Current B.F.%: 10% 

Katie Goeckel has been a member with since 2011. She brings a positive attitude and a smile to every class (even when her Mom harasses her or beats here in a WOD J ).  After her first year with us, Katie lost over 13 pounds, 7% Body Fat and continues to make remarkable strength, body awareness and ridiculous mobility improvement.

  • Starting Deadlift:  115#’s  Current Deadlift:  200#’s
  • Starting Back Squat: 105#’s Current B.S.: 175#’s
  • Starting Body Fat %: 29%   Current B.F.%: 21%

Lauren Barzilla has been a member with us for just short of a year and is a joy to have in class. Since she has started she has lost 3% and more in body fat and  over 6 pounds in fat mass all while adding 6 pounds of lean fat free mass!!  With these awesome body composition changes she has also quickly become one of our stronger girls! Outside of the awesome anthropometric changes, check out some of her functional, strength improvements and current Personal Records:  

  • Starting Deadlift:  205#’s  Current P.R.:  265#’s
  • Starting Back Squat: 135#’s Current B.S.: 195#’s
  • Starting Press: 80 #’s Current P.R.: 115#’s
  • “Cindy” Benchmark Test: As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:  5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats
    • Initial Cindy Score: 10 rounds (modified with a large band for pull-ups)
    • Current Cindy P.R.:  15 Rds. + 6Reps (No Bands for pull-ups.  That’s 75 pull-ups without an assistance!!!)


Below are some questions we asked Rick. 

How did it start…

Stepping out of one's comfort zone can be one of the hardest, most embarrassing, and fearful things you have to do in life.....but at one time or another, we all had to do it.  This is how my CrossFit journey, and my relationship with The Combine, came to be.  Knowing Robert from college sports and reconnecting with him ten + years out of college, brought me to a place where I was asked a question, "Have you ever tried CrossFit?  I think you would like it," Robert imposed.  My wife, Melisa, was already coaching and doing CrossFit for over a year at this point.  So, when she spoke with friends about WODs, double-unders, her "Box", Fran, among many other terms, I had no idea (nor did I want to have an idea) what her and her friends were talking about. 

However, sometimes great things are right in front of you.  You just have to step out of that comfort zone like I I did.  I started in October of 2012 going to this thing called CrossFit once a week.  It was a running joke for two months with Melisa, "Where are you going at 5am on Wednesday mornings?"  I had my new found friends from The Combine to keep the secret for me.  So, she didn't know I was doing burpees, muscle up ATTEMPTS, snatches, and something that looked like handstand push-ups.  Finally, I had to tell her, "I got a PR on my dead lift!!"  After that, as they say, it was all down-hill and it's been an amazing ride.  

What has CrossFit and The Combine done for you?

Besides the reason mentioned above, getting out of my comfort zone, CrossFit taught me to push my limits, compete every day with myself and fellow companions, and enjoy it while I do it. Before CrossFit, my workouts consisted of chest and tri's, back and bi's, "legs" (leg press, leg extensions, curls, and calf raises), and a little bit of cardio on the elliptical.  CrossFit made working out fun again, not just something I needed to do for my health and well-being.  I love having a group of friends along-side me, working together, and pushing each other to the limit—I couldn't imagine sharing that with anyone else besides the special group we have at The Combine.

What do you like most about CrossFit and what have you achieved?

I would say I'm my hardest critic.  I compete with MYSELF more than anything or one.  Yes, getting to ring that PR bell is rewarding, but I love to celebrate others’ victories.  Honestly, seeing someone hit or reach a goal they never thought they could give me pure joy!  Seeing individuals get their first muscle-up, PR a squat or power clean, or simply a first pull-up without a band is so much fun to watch and be a part of.  Of course, I feel an overwhelming amount of self-gratitude when I PR any movement (my proudest was hitting 1,000 lbs on the Total).  However, when I'm hunched over, can't breathe, sweating, and I hear a loud "DING,” I look up to see one my friends ringing that bell, I catch my breath and just smile.   

What else would you like to add?

Thank you for letting me take just a brief moment to tell my story.  You can remember what you want, forgive what you don't like, but know I'm truly honored and I love that I can call The Combine my home.  The relationships, the competition, and the experiences I have had here will never be forgotten and I'm grateful.  It's been an amazing ride and I'm looking forward to what the future holds for not only me, but for The Combine.  Thank you to all the coaches through these two years: Luke, Melisa, Webster, and Kady.  Your encouragement and motivation has helped me push myself where I never thought I could.  I feel blessed to have had all of you as coaches.   Robert, although we can joke around and maybe disagree from time to time, I respect and appreciate all you have taught me, instilled in me, and done for me.  Most of all, I'm truly glad for that conversation two years ago.  Without it, I would still be doing calf raises and I would still be in my comfort zone.  Thank you my friend. 


Take a look below and read about Katie journey over the last 3 years and some questions we asked Katie.

How did you hear about CSC CrossFit/The Combine?

I heard about CSC through Robert Brown.  I have known Robert for almost ten years now!  He has been my fitness beacon since sophomore year in college when I started personal training with him in order to learn how to properly lift weights.  I have to say that he has been one of the most positive influences in my life. 

When Robert and Daniel opened the Combine back in 2011, Robert suggested trying Crossfit.  At the time my Mom and I were doing dual personal training sessions a few days a week with him.  Without knowing much about what Crossfit was, we both signed up.  I'm glad that we had no idea what we getting ourselves into because inhibitions might have gotten the best of us!  

Why did you start CrossFit?

I started Crossfit for the same reasons most people join gyms.  I was out of shape, I wanted to lose weight, and I wanted to fit better in clothes.  I had no idea the breadth of positive effects it would have not only on my fitness capabilities, but my mental stamina and overall confidence.  

What has CrossFit at The Combine done for you personally? Physically?

CrossFit has given me grit.  I have never regarded myself as a competitor.  Even when I swam on swim team in high school, I enjoyed the sport but not the competition.  It wasn't until I dedicated myself to CrossFit that I started taking my own athletic abilities more seriously and became amenable to new challenges, new sports, new people, and finding adventure in things that were completely unfamiliar to me.  

CrossFit has made fitness my lifestyle. Because of the functional nature of the workouts, I have been able to push new limits and challenge myself outside the gym.  This summer I hiked a 50 pound pack in and out of the Grand Canyon 12 miles both ways without dying.  My running has greatly improved, I can do headstands in my yoga practice and this June I signed up for my 2nd Olympic distance tri and am looking forward to surpassing my previous time, now a much better athlete!

What do you like most about CrossFit?

I love that CrossFit is suited for people of all abilities and backgrounds and the sense of community it promotes.  I've also become oddly fond of the sound of weights dropping on the ground and my fellow members screaming and fighting for their last rep.

What do you like most about The Combine?

The excellent coaches, the members, and the community.  I've never felt such a sense of heart and family in a gym environment which is what justifies my 40 minute roundtrip commute just to workout!

What are your 3 favorite exercises?

Deadlifts, Turkish Get Ups, Air Squats


Below are questions we asked Lauren.

What has CrossFit done for you?

I have played sports since I was able to walk.  My parents were constantly putting me into new sports, and I was forever on my way to a soccer, softball, volleyball, whatever game.  Finally, when I was around 10 or 11 years old, I started playing tennis.  That was the sport that stuck, and I ended up playing in high school, as well as college.  So, since I was very young, I was pushed to practice, lift weights, run, etc.  So, by the time I was 22 and out of college, I wasn't much for working out; however, I understood the importance of it, so I picked up running (easy, cheap).  I HATE running.  So, I would do it for a solid for 6 months to a year, take four to six months off, feel lazy, get back to running, repeat.  I did this for years.  I always enjoyed lifting weights, but I never did in a way that would get me into the shape that I wanted to be in.  My workouts just weren't intense enough.

So after some research, I started looking into this Crossfit thing that everyone was going on and on about.  The Combine is very close to my office, so I went by to check it out and signed up for my first foundations class with Kady.  I went to the foundations class and it was really nice to get back into it.  Plus, Kady seemed more than happy to tell me to squat lower, lift something again, and overall just try to kill me with a smile on her face.  So, I slowly and gingerly walked out of the foundations class feeling like the weakest person in the world, but ready to see what tomorrow was about.  Tomorrow was about soreness, and the day after that was about soreness, and this went on and on for about a month or two (I still get sore now, it just isn't every day).  However, The Combine made me enjoy working out for the first time in my life.  I look forward to the workouts—the WOD is one of the first things I check out in the morning.  I know that Robert and Kady help push me to my breaking point, which is great!  Until you fail, you never know how much you can lift or how good you are…at least that is what Robert says.

What do you like most about CrossFit?

The people are what I like most about The Combine.  When you feel like you can't do one more squat or do one more pull up, there is always someone there to encourage you to keep going.  I also like the fact that Kady and Robert are always trying to push you to do something you think you might not be able to do.  They do it in a positive way, a way that makes you WANT to try.  It is competitive without being cutthroat.  It is competitive in a way that even the people you are competing against want you to do well.

What results and goals you have achieved?

The results have been amazing, in many different ways.  The monthly CrossFit totals are awesome because they are a great way to see how far you have come and how much you have improved.  After only three months at The Combine, I increased my strict press, back squat, and deadlift max's by around 20 lbs for each exercise.  Another unexpected, but pleasant, change happened with my eating habits.  I find myself trying to eat better, not to lose weight or to be healthier (even though those are good reasons), but because it makes my workouts better.

Overall, I'm in much, much better shape than I was when I started.  I'm stronger, I'm leaner, and I actually enjoy working out, and all without running THAT much.

posted 2/10/2014

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