Athlete of the Month

Congratulations Oleg

Hometown:  Moscow, Russia

Current Location: East Norriton, PA

Age: 42 

Occupation: Software Engineer, consultant at Siemens Healthcare

College: Moscow Institute of Radio-engineering Electronics and Automation 

How long have you been a CrossFitter? 

- since September of 2011; I started CrossFit to prepare for my second "official" fight (that year I was actively training and competing in Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, in the amateur circuit) and I felt I needed to get stronger and faster. Many of the guys I was training with started doing CrossFit, and I kept hearing that it was the best way to get some core strength without getting bulky and gaining weight - so I decided to try, Googled it up and found CF KoP. At that point I had one month (September) to get ready for my next fight - and I needed to lose some 10 lbs too, to get down to 165, which I wanted to do gradually, without starving and/or dehydrating myself, and I had to continue doing my regular Muay Thai training also - so, it was a pretty interesting month, to say the least... totally worked out! I felt stronger and more explosive, was right on weight the day before the fight without any special weight-cutting tricks - success! (won the fight, too)  

Did you ever play sports? 

- Nothing till very recently; I was a fat kid during my middle/high school years, started getting a little better while in college - did some 3 years of karate, but not competitively. 
Then got fat again and was not really active until I started my Muay Thai training in 2006  

Got some cool (or uncool) hobbies you'd like to share? 

- Muay Thai, CrossFit, computers, movies, books - you know, the usual stuff :-) 

What is your biggest achievement at CrossFit?

- the fact that at some point I stopped feeling intimidated when looking at a WOD - I guess that means I am learning how to find a right balance - where to scale down and where to push harder 

What do you feel that you still need to work on?

- all of it!! especially the cross-training aspect - I need to get better at running and other endurance elements, and to get stronger too. And the form (of all the moves). And get more flexible. And everything else. This is just a beginning.

Goals for the rest of this year?

- for the rest of this year, and for the next  - I want to target thrusters and front squats more - my front rack form/flexibility is pathetic, something needs to be done about it immediately. And - get stronger, too. 

What's your favorite WOD?

- I like longer WODs, especially multi-modal ones with bunch of different things happening

How about your favorite food/snacks?

- A good steak. Peaches. Chocolate (it's good for the soul) - although now only on cheat days

What is the craziest workout outside of CF you have ever done?

- "Shorts" test at my Muay Thai camp - it's like a belt test in karate, but since Muay Thai doesn't have belts, the fancy colorful shorts were made to be the symbol of advancement. It was more than 4 hours long, sliced in 5-minute rounds with 1 minute rest in-between (and some short breaks at the hour marks); the first hour or so was basically the warm-up, with 5-6 rounds of rope-jumping and 5-6 rounds of shadow boxing, then - some bag work and conditioning tests, and at the end - more than an hour of sparring with different opponents - instructors and advanced students. I don't really remember much about that last hour; and I couldn't eat that day until like 9 or 10 pm - was so exhausted 

What’s your least favorite WOD?  

- Anything with double-unders...

Favorite lift/movement?

- Kettlebells. And deadlift. And I like over-head squats, actually 

What’s your least favorite lift/movement?

- I'm double-unders challenged... Not sure if I can ever learn how to do them. And thrusters - I need to get better at them, so I would not hate them so much 

What skill have you been working on in 2013 the most ?

- I was working specifically on my deadlift, and I feel I "get" its form better now, finally (not always, though); also I was running more and doing Tim's endurance classes, and was excited to see some progress there, however small it was.

What's your favorite piece of workout "gear"?

- I guess my oly lifting shoes (it feels real bad-ass to wear them, like I'm a member of some secret society, or something... I feel the difference when lifting, too) 

What you say is your biggest improvement since starting CF?

- My level of strength, especially the core. And I want more of it!

Who is your favorite coach? 

- Donkey, of course (I still miss her)! In all seriousness - we're lucky to have a bunch of brilliant, knowledgeable and smart-ass-funny trainers that make this place truly special. Since I tend to come mostly to the same classes (schedule-wise), I feel I trained more with Vinny, Tim, Steph (...her warm-ups, though ...I don't wanna even go there!!), Laura, Keith and Miranda - and I deeply grateful for all the help and attention they have given me; I wish I had time to take more classes with Aimee, Jason, Plentus, Paul, Jen, Tim McCann - all the awesome CF KoP coaches. Thanks for choosing me as the ATOM, I'm really honored, and humbled at the same time (ya'll sure you got the right guy??)  

We have an amazing community here, too. I have met many super-awesome people at the box that constantly help me to stay motivated and keep improving myself physically and mentally - and I'm very grateful for that! It's good to have one more happy place to come to. 


Mike P said...



King said...

Oleg - Congratulations. You are such a humble and tough athlete. I am glad i get to spend so many 6am calss in pain with you!

Mike T. said...

Oleg, Congrats. This is well deserved. You are a consistent worker, always going 100% but conscious of form while always striving to improve your form. Keep up the solid work.

Mark C said...

Congratulations, Oleg!

Wax said...

YEA BUDDY - Well deserved!!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on AOTM Oleg! Always a pleasure working out with you and coaching you as well. YES we definitely got the right guy!!

Joy N said...

Congrats, Oleg!

Oleg said...

Thanks everybody!!! All your kind words and your support mean a lot to me

Gina Spinelli said...

Oleg! Aka partner :). This is so well deserved. You are always pushing and motivating others and more importantly yourself. Congrats on AOTM.

Unknown said...

Congrats Oleg! Love doing endurance classes with you! And don't worry, you'll eventually get double unders!

Mike S said...

Oleg, great to see you recognized as athlete of the month! You bring a lot of spirit to the box! Always great seeing you at 6 AM!

Jen Naspinski said...

Congrats, Oleg! I always admire your discipline. So glad to see you recognized. Great job!

Oleg said...

Thanks again, friends, I really appreciate that!

Unknown said...

YAY! Oleg!!! Congrats on AOTM!! You are the man!! I love your enthusiasm, positive attitude and encouragement at 6am. So well deserved!!!

namastasie said...

Congratulations Oleg!

Kathleen said...

Congrats Oleg! Well deserved ATOM!!!!

Kathleen said...

I got to figure out how to stop getting my name to show up as "unknown". -Kathleen

Dave N. said...

My first Endurance class was a series of sprints, followed by a round of some exercise (push-ups, squats, etc.). At the end, we had to do 20 burpees. I was way behind the rest of the group when I finished the last sprint and I was exhausted. I didn't really know anyone at that point, but this Russian dude comes over and says "come on, knock these out". Despite being mildly concerned that this stranger was going to kick my ass if I didn't get moving, all I could really manage at that point was to suck wind while doubled over. Then this guy tells me "come on, I will do the 20 burpees with you", even though he had finished his set. Slowly, one by one, I got through them, as Oleg kindly went at the same pace as me despite having the ability to go much faster.

I am not the only one that Oleg has helped finish a workout. I saw him doing the same thing on the 4th of July pushing his tired teammates along. He's intense, but he's also always looking out for the other folks in the gym, which is a combination that I think embodies what Crossfit should be all about.

Sorry for the novel, but I can't think of anyone who deserves AOTM more than Oleg. Congrats and thanks for helping me progress during my time at KoP!

AK47 said...

Congrats, Oleg! Well deserved. Your support has always helped me to get through a tough WOD. :)

Oleg said...

wow...now it totally feels like it's my birthday... (or funeral...)
thanks guys!
(where is the cake??)

Miranda said...

Congrats Oleg!!!
Very well deserved!

Stephanie Vincent said...

hahaha Oleg you know you LOVE my warm up!! Congrats!