June Athlete of the Month: Briana Koza

Get to Know Briana Q&A:

Hometown: King of Prussia, PA

Current Location: King of Prussia, PA

Age: 33

Occupation: Regulatory Affairs for PRA/ Student

College: University of Connecticut (currently at Immaculata University)

How long have you been a CrossFitter? Almost 3 years, but for nearly 2 of those years I have become dedicated to olympic lifting

Did you ever play sports? I played softball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and field hockey until high school. In high school I focused on field hockey and lacrosse, where I was a goalie for both. I was then lucky enough to be able to continue to play field hockey at the collegiate level at division I UConn. After college I had a short stint with the US Indoor field hockey team.

Got some cool (or uncool) hobbies you'd like to share? One hobby I have is that I am a doctoral student (I guess that can be considered a hobby?). I also like to compete with my dog Sparky in competitive canine nose work.
What has been your biggest achievement at CrossFit in the whole 2017 year? My biggest achievement last year was just continuing to develop my technique and consistency on my lifts. There were some major improvements in that area and I was fortunate enough to see some of those results.
What skill have you been working on during 2018? I have been working on technique and strength. A personal goal of mine has been focusing on having technique translate when it is time for a meet. Especially for snatch, somehow my squat snatch turns into a power snatch at meet time. I was finally able to have everything align for my meet in April, so I hope to keep building from that experience.

Goals for the rest of this year? I am registered for the American Open Series II in July, so I want to be able to have a solid meet in that type of venue. I also hope to keep inching my way to the American Open Final qualifying total for my weight class.

What's your favorite WOD? Well I don't really WOD anymore, but my favorites are ones with a heavy barbell or dumbbell that I do not have to move fast. 😊 I also like complexes, especially for clean and jerk as it really helps me focus on positioning for each movement under fatigue.

How about your favorite food/snacks? My favorite foods are pizza, sushi and steak (not necessarily in that order)

What is the craziest workout outside of CF you have ever done? Every year I run a half marathon with my sister…and running really is not a strength for me 😊

What’s your least favorite WOD? That would have to be WODs with longer distance running or rope climbs (I always seem to use my arms more than my legs).

Favorite lift/movement? Snatch…it’s sort of a love hate relationship, but I like the amount of technique that must go into that lift.

What’s your least favorite lift/movement? I do not really have a least favorite lift or movement, but just a lot of areas to work on. I found I struggle with gymnastic movements in CrossFit. I have also found that I do not like squatting before my technique work for my lifts. I know sometimes it is good to change things up in programming for specific reasons, but I found this combination to be a difficult transition.

What’s your favorite piece of workout "gear"? My Nike Romaleos 2 lifters

What you say is your biggest improvement since starting CF? My biggest improvement has been in my strength and what I am functionally able to do outside of lifting. I am also more aware of my nutrition, especially how foods make me feel and help (or don’t help) me recover after a session. Nutrition is still an area that I need to work on.

Who is your favorite coach? All the coaches I have met at CrossFit KoP have been wonderful and have helped me on my journey, but my favorite coach is Steph. She does a lot for me and all her lifters. She gives up her time to help with training and to travel to meets. Steph is always there to offer her support, listen (whether it is about lifting or not) and offer her perspectives. I also appreciate all the early morning coaches (Tim, Jenna, Manisha, Justin…) that offer their support even though I do not take their classes and allow me to lift during their classes, especially before there was open strength in the morning. My schedule is a little crazy working full time and being a student, which only allows me to train in the early mornings. I am fortunate and grateful to have the support of the coaches and the early morning athletes to start off my days.

PR's to mention? Goals Reached? Nutrition highlights’. There have been a few PRs in the last year, but my favorite has been with snatch. I really struggled with snatch and finally my form has started to come around, which allowed me to make some increases in my weight for the lift. It has been neat to look back at even a few months ago with training and meet video to see how far my form has come. I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the journey. I also have enjoyed finally making some progress with weight on my front squat. I feel like I have been stuck at certain numbers for awhile and to finally move on from those has been exciting.

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