Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014 by Michael Elkins in

     Gains.  We all want them.  It may not be in lifting or fitness, but just in life.  Nobody wants to look back on their life in 20 years and say they gained nothing.  This is one of the reasons I have quit any fitness endeavor over the last 15 years of my life.  I saw no gains.  Sure, maybe a tiny bit here or there, but nothing significant.  That is, until CrossFit.  For the record, the guy pictured above is not me (nor will it ever be because I will not take steroids!), in fact, I am nothing close to that and I am not too upset by that.  If you saw me walking down the street you would not mistake me as a body builder, or even a pretty "ripped" guy...I am also ok with this.  My gains have been in every area of fitness, both physical and mental.  Most importantly I have gained confidence in myself and my abilities, I have gained respect from myself, I have gained a new passion and energy.  I have gained something that my wife and I enjoy doing together, and the list goes on for mental gains.
     This may not apply to all people, but for me I have seen spiritual gain as well.  CrossFit has helped me learn some things about myself that I didn't know, both the good and the bad.  It has made me more passionate about my relationship with God and other people.  It has helped me to learn to be honest with myself, and try not to be content staying where I am in my journey.
     I have seen physical gains as well.  I am faster than I have ever been.  I can jump higher than I have ever been able to.  I have gained cardio endurance (I used to breathe heavy walking up any flight of stairs).  I have gained muscles that I never even had before.  I have gained the ability to recover.  My friend/crossfit coach asked me to list out my gains so people could see it.  I don't typically like to do this but I was at the bottom of the barrel when I started and now I am about half way up it.  Just know that if you are trying to find gains, stick with it, push yourself, and go for it.  If I can do it, you can do it.  One thing that I remind myself of often is that nobody ever "arrives" anywhere.  We are always journeying somewhere.

So here is my list of physical gains (I will list what it was when I started (approx. wight) and what it is as of today):

Deadlift                      185# / 400#
Bench Press                135# / 240#
Back Squat                 185#  /  345#
Front Squat                 195#  /  295#
Thruster                      95#   /  220#
Clean                          95#   /  225#
Shoulder Press           95#   /  185#
Box Jump                   39"   /  47"
Hand Stand Push Up  0  /  17 kipping
Pull Ups                      0  /  20
Double Unders            5  /  88
CrossFit total               660#   /   930#   (This is the combined 1 rep max for deadliest, back squat, strict shoulder press) 

*  The kicker is I may have been able to do a little more on some of these lifts and movements, but my mind would not let me push myself any more.

Just a video of awesomeness:

Which "guy" are you?  Where have you seen gains...either in the gym or in life?  Comment and let me know!