June Athlete Spotlight: Gene Gugger


Tell us something about your life outside of CrossFit (career, family, hobbies, etc).

I come from a family of seven (5 boys) with almost a 20 year gap separating the oldest from the youngest.  I am married with two kids and currently work as an Industrial engineer for FedEx Express.

My favorite book or movie:

My favorite movie would probably be a tie. Best In Show and Shawshank Redemption. I don’t really have a favorite book.  Although, if I had to pick one book, I would probably choose an encyclopedia.

My favorite local restaurant:

Chipotle. I would really like to say a fancier restaurant to show how exquisite my tastes are, but unfortunately that is not case.

Tell us something that we don’t know or would be surprised to learn about you:

I swam for Penn State back in 1990. My swimming weight was 162 lbs. So, I don’t think that even CrossFit could get me back down to that weight.

How I was introduced to CrossFit:  

I ran in a Spartan race and my performance was pretty poor. I hadn’t realized how out of shape I had become through the years.  So, I was looking for a better workout than I was doing.  I did some research (online) and CrossFit seemed to have what I was looking for. However, initially, I was skeptical. I had never worked out in a class setting and I wasn’t sure that I would like it (I kept picturing Jazzercise). I tried it once, and I was hooked.

My fitness routine before CrossFit:  

It was a simple routine. Monday-Chest, Tuesday- Arms, Wednesday-back, Thursday-off, Friday-Avoid doing legs so that you don’t ruin the weekend….and then repeat

My thoughts after my first CrossFit workout:  

How could I enjoy something so immensely that just mentally and physically annihilated me.

My proudest CrossFit accomplishment is:  

Pull ups are not my friend. So, I would have to say completing Fran Rx.

 My favorite WOD is: 

Anything with Wall Balls or handstand pushups.

My Favorite Lift is:

Although I’m not particularly good at them, I like doing overhead squats. It kind of reminds me of Atlas from Greek mythology.

My next goal is:  

Double Unders with consistency

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

It has had a huge impact to my life.  It has strengthened my core which has eliminated the random back pain that I used to suffer from.  It has taught me better lifting techniques that I use in my everyday life to prevent injury. And by having access to the coaches, and other members, I’ve been able to pick up knowledge and different tips to promote a healthier lifestyle in general (what to eat, when to rest, etc.)

What I love most about CrossFit Newtown:  

The culture. You hear horror stories about what can happen in some boxes across the country. However, the coaches at CrossFit Newtown have developed a culture that is open and friendly while also pushing for excellence. This leads to members that fully support each other while simultaneously competing against each other. It is a delicate balance that every box should strive for.

 What advice I would give to someone just joining CrossFit Newtown:  

Focus on form and self-improvement. Some, myself included, may never have the fastest time or the most reps. However, if you concentrate on form and in being better than “yesterday you”, you’ll have consistent improvement and will avoid injuries.

Do you have any diet/nutritional advice?

I am a notorious late night binger. I used to try to not eat anything after 9 pm. But, it was only a matter of time before I would breakdown and destroyed a sleeve of cookies. So now, I have started to have a low cal protein drink as the last thing I eat/drink. Somehow, it curbs my appetite long enough for me to go to bed.


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