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Fact: This Hottest contestant can probably bench more weight than you can. Madeline Mosier is a trainer at Brick in West Hollywood and is a CrossFit diehard. We found out how she got her start, her tips for CrossFit newcomers (down to the right shoes to wear) and just how important fitness is to her family.
How did you get into CrossFit?
"It started in 2008. My middle brother had done a CrossFit class and he immediately called me up afterwards and was like, 'Dude, you gotta try this.' I had just graduated college and did the typical hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes and then go do some sort of weight training for 30 minutes [routine]. I didn't really know what I was doing. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I'll never forget that first workout. I just knew that I had to get into it.
I continued for a couple years until I was on the verge of going to law school. All of a sudden I was like, this is what my parents want me to do, not necessarily what I want to do. I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles. I got into the PR industry and it took me away from CrossFit a little too much. I missed training and I missed being around my friends at the gym. I just missed that challenge. So I quit my job with the PR firm and got CrossFit certified and I've been coaching for over a year now. It's been a journey but at the end of the day I realized that you gotta do what you love."
What's the hardest thing about what you do for a living?
"Waking up early can be pretty difficult. We have a 5:15am class at Brick [in WeHo] and at our next location Downtown we're going to have even more 5:15am classes. Getting out of bed that early, it's tough. But it's so worth it. You're doing this for your members and you want to give them a great experience."
What's the most rewarding part?
"Members hitting different milestones along the way on their CrossFit journey. When someone hits their first pull-up for the first time, or their first muscle up—we call [it] a 'PR,' or a personal record. It's so exciting when it happens because you know someone has worked so hard for it. There's always a roar of applause and cheers around the gym.
I always think about my mom. My brothers and I started doing CrossFit around the same time our mom found out that she had osteoporosis and pretty severe arthritis. Her doctor told her that he didn't want her doing anything besides walking for exercise. We got her private CrossFit sessions with a coach. She started back in 2009, shortly after we did. Now in 2012 she's deadlifting 205 pounds. My mom is 63 years old and she's lifting 205 pounds. So it doesn't matter where you start. It could be with osteoporosis and you a bar that weights virtually nothing. You could one day be doing 200+ pounds in a workout. It's so inspiring. My mom, she just got her bone density scan back a few months ago and she no longer has osteoporosis. Had she continued to do what the doctor told her, she'd be worse off now."
What are your tips for people who are new to CrossFit? It looks intimidating.
"That's a question that we probably answer at least once or twice a day. I was definitely intimidated the first time I walked into a CrossFit gym. I'd never picked up a barbell in my life. You start with the bare-bones fundamentals and virtually no weight. You learn these Olympic lifts and power lifting movements that are technical, but you keep things light. It's so important to learn and focus on the skill part. Your coaches are there to guide you through. And if we see someone try a movement and they aren't proficient at it yet, then we'll tell them. Over time we will build up."
What's the biggest workout mistake you see people making?
"Well, whenever we do our workouts we're usually against the clock. We always want to do our workouts for time. I see people sacrificing their range of motion for time. When you don't do that full extension on a push up or stand all the way up on a dead life, you're not getting the most out of the movement and that's not going to set you up for success. It's not going to help you get stronger."
A perfectly-flat stomach: do you have tips?
"It's both your diet and the way that you train. Stick to the outside aisles at the grocery store. If you go to the in-between aisles, that's where you're going to get the processed food and that's going to make you bloat. Coupling that clean diet with CrossFit-style workouts where we are doing metabolic conditioning, cardiovascular conditioning and weight training, you're going to be golden."
Where do you shop for gym clothes?
"Primarily Lululemon. I love that [brand], I'm sure most people do. There are a lot of CrossFit-specific apparel companies that are really, really cool. One of them is called Life AsRx, another is WOD Gear. And Reebok, since they have partnered with CrossFit, is making CrossFit-specific apparel and shoes. Those are the four main places."
And what kind of shoes would you recommend?
"That's such a great question because so many people come in wearing the wrong shoes. Typical running shoes have a very high platform. When the heel drops to the toe you're very high off the ground so it puts your body at an angle. Your body wants to be upright, so it corrects itself and that creates an unnatural sway in your back. We always tell people, the flatter the better. I usually wear my Reebok CrossFit shoes, they're called Reebok CrossFit Nanos. If you're not willing to buy an expensive new shoe, Converse All Star is a great alternative because it's flat and it has a wide toebed."
What do you do when you're not at the gym?
"When I left Texas to come to California, I knew that if I could find CrossFit I could find friends. All of the family that I've created out here is from the people that I know from Brick. It's hard to say that there's life outside of CrossFit because so much of our lives are surrounded by it, but we're either sitting by a pool somewhere or going and seeing a movie. We're pretty low-key."