Marc Elias, Senior Leasing Agent in Regency's Tampa office, has lived and breathed CrossFit for the past six years outside of the office. He uses it for overall conditioning but also challenges himself by competing at various CrossFit competitions. For those not familiar, CrossFit is form of high-intensity interval training. Its workouts include strength and conditioning comprised of functional movements. These movements include actions that someone would perform in his or her day-to-day life — think squatting, pushing, and pulling.
RC: Tell us how you got into CrossFit.
ME: In 2014, I started doing CrossFit when I got tired of going to LA Fitness every day and doing the same things. I had a couple of friends that had started doing CrossFit, and loved it. I was skeptical at first, as I had never done heavy barbell movements, gymnastics or large sets of pull-ups or muscle-ups. I hadn’t heard of half of the things they were doing. I fell in love with not having to program my workouts anymore. You walk in and they tell you exactly what you are doing for the next hour or two. I quickly started seeing results — and got hooked. I eventually started doing local competitions and continue to do them. They give me something outside of work to train for. The community is amazing, I have made tons of friends in the box (a term used to describe a CrossFit Gym).
RC: Tell those of us who haven’t tried CrossFit before what it is like.
ME: CrossFit is a conditioning program centered around high-intensity interval training. It mixes aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises) and Olympic lifting. CrossFit is often described as “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.” When you go to the gym/box, your coach has a WOD (workout of the day) programmed and you can generally complete it within an hour. If you can’t do a pull up, muscle up or barbell movement, there are scaling options — no matter your skill level, you can do CrossFit.
RC: How often do you go to Crossfit classes? And how often do you compete?
ME: I go to CrossFit 6-7 days a week, and try to compete at least twice a year. The competitions have various names depending on the location, or what the workouts are. I have participated in the Tampa Bay Games, Battle at the Beach and 4 Heroes Competitions.
RC: When was your most recent competition and how did you do?
ME: In August 2019, I did 4 Heroes which honors our fallen heroes. These are service men and women, police officers and fire fighters who lost their lives while in the line of duty. CrossFit Inc. names workouts after these fallen heroes and everyone in the CrossFit Community has access to them on the main page, and they become standard workouts that we do regularly and it also gives you benchmarks to be able to compare your time on a hero workout to one of your friends. For example, Murph, every gym/box does this workout on Memorial Day. It honors Lt. Michael P Murphy, a Navy Seal killed in action in 2005. The workout is a 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 unweighted squats, followed by another 1 mile run. It takes me between 40-45 minutes to complete MURPH. What is cool is that I can call my buddy in California and see how he did on Murph, following Memorial Day and compare that to my score and time.
RC: What is your favorite part about CrossFit and the competitions?
ME: The community of people — they make it awesome! I also love that there is always something different to do. In one of my competitions, there was a floating rig out in the water, so you had to swim out to a floating platform and do pull-ups, then swim back. I have done plenty of pull-ups and swimming, but putting them together was brutal. The same competition had a paddle boarding workout. I mentioned it earlier but I also like the fact that I don’t have to do much thinking, when I walk in, everything I need to do is already written out for me.
RC: Didn’t you meet your wife at CrossFit?
ME: I probably should have said that this was my favorite part of CrossFit! I met my wife (pictured below) at my first gym/box in Palm Beach Gardens. She was giving me a hard time, she would whoop my butt on everything we did. She could do 3 pull ups in the time it took me to do one. She could run a sub-6 mile, I was lucky to get 7 minutes. One day I asked her out and one thing turned into another. We started working out together, all the time, both inside and outside of the gym. We started eating healthy, which generally requires you to constantly shop and cook fresh foods. She would get me to train a couple of times a day. We got hooked together and our friendship grew into what it is today. Now that we have a baby, our CrossFit Gym in South Tampa offers day care, so we get to spend an hour together every evening baby free, and we still love it as much as we did when we first met. To note, there are still very few things I can beat her at.
Marc with wife, Laura, at a CrossFit competition